26 January 2011

Neglected Rubric #whatever...

The following occurs in every Divine Service:

At the conclusion of the DISTRIBUTION or during the POST-COMMUNION CANTICLE, the remaining consecrated elements are set in order on the altar and covered with a veil.

What I find interesting about this rubric is that it runs contrary to Luther's own counsel about consuming the remaining elements at the end of the Distribution.  This is the final rubric of the service dealing with the consecrated elements!  It is not unreasonable to assume that they'd be removed from the altar, but there is no rubric that they be.  In our own parish practice, whatever has not been used for distribution is consumed by pastor(s) and elder(s) following the Divine Service in the sacristy, after the elements are removed to that room.  Perhaps when the Desk Edition appears (it will appear, surely?), we'll have more information in regards to this particular rubric.


Pastor Peters said...

I place the hosts remaining in a pyx, cleanse the ciborium and paten into the chalice, consume its remains and wipe it out with the purificator, and then place the pyx and cruet into the tabernacle. I do this at the end of the distribution while the people sing the Nunc Dimittis. I have been doing this exactly the same way for 31 years.

Tapani Simojoki said...

I don't know if it's Anglican influence or the experience of too much bad practice, but I always consume everything at the altar at the end of the distribution.

This way I don't only treat the consecrated elements with the respect due to them, I am also seen doing so. In a largely non-Lutheran world, that's important in my view.

(Having a very small congregation helps: I hardly ever have consecrated hosts left over, since it's easy to count the number I need before the consecration.)

Anonymous said...

Pieper's Dogmatics reminds us that
the bread and wine only become the
body and blood of Christ when they
are consumed by the communicant.
So if the wine is spilled or the
bread is dropped, it is not the body
and blood of Christ. This is what
our Seminaries at Fort and St. Lous
teach their students. We are not
to worship the elements of the

William Weedon said...

Pieper is DEAD wrong on that one. Dr. Luther would be the first to call him to repentance.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Fr. Peters: Very nice! My respect for you just increased a notch.

Fr. Weedon: I appreciate your practice, and just wanted to say it seems unusual for this final consumption to take place in the sacristy, instead of at the altar. Well, I really don't know if it is unusual or not, but my thought is that doing this at the altar, after the communion, would make the purifications and ablutions more efficient and easily facilitated. Is your practice a parish custom?

Anonymous said...

Roman Catholics believe in
transubstantiation which maintains
that once the bread and wine is
consecrated it remains the body and
blood of Christ. So if you spill the
wine you spill the blood of Christ.
So Dr. Luther remained a Roman
Catholic in his belief concerning
transubstantiation according to
Pastor Weedon.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

You are quite mistaken in your definition of transsubstantiation, my dear anonymous. The Blessed Reformer did, however, remain Catholic (along with all genuine Lutherans after him) on the doctrine and veneration of the real and personal presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament.

William Weedon said...

The deacon is correct; the duration of the presence is not at all the same thing as a doctrine that defines the exchange of substances - so that bread and wine cease to be in the Sacrament. Dr. Luther's own practice was defined in the correspondence with Wolferinus in which Luther defined the presence as lasting from the Our Father until everything was consumed. Further, we know what Dr. Luther did with anything that was spilled - he got on his hands and knees and licked it up. I'd commend to you Dr. Teigen's work on Chemnitz' Doctrine of the Sacrament and also the fine monograph, On the Venerable and Adorable Sacrament, by Dr. Thomas Hardt.

Jim Huffman said...

With regard to Luther -- or anyone -- "remaining a Roman Catholic," it's important to remember that Roman is not the only Catholic manifestation. There are Eastern Catholics, Maronite Catholics, and a number of other varieties, all of whom are defined by their being in fellowship with the Pope.

William Weedon said...

The doctrine of that in the Eucharist the bread is Christ's body and the wine is blood is, of course, the heritage of the entire catholic church. That the ancient Roman doctrine was not the same as the developed teaching on Transubstantiation is shown by Pope Gelasius, the famous Roman liturgist, who declared: "Certainly the sacraments of the body and blood of Christ are a divine thing, through which we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance or nature of bread and wine does not cease to be (tamen esse non desinit substantia, vel natura panis et vini)."

Rev. Jim Roemke said...

With regards to Anonymous and the Pieper quotation, our Confessions, which we all vow to uphold as the proper interpretation and understanding of Holy Scripture, see the Large Catechism, V, The Sacrament of the Altar, paragraphs 1-14.* It is a bit lengthy, but I have included it here. Luther, in our Confessions, clearly states that it matters not how we receive it or misuse it, the power and blessings of the Sacrament lie in God's Word. It is God's Word which makes the bread and wine the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Word does not leave if the elements are dropped, God's Word does not become faithless if we faithlessly forsake the Sacrament by not consuming it or treating it with the proper respect. My ordination vows were to the Confessions of the Book of Concord, not to Blessed Dr. Pieper's dogmatics, which are just wrong on this matter.

Rev. Jim Roemke said...

*In the same manner as we have heard regarding Holy Baptism, we must speak also concerning the other Sacrament, namely, these three points: What is it? What are its benefits? and, Who is to receive it? And all these are established by the words by which Christ has instituted it, 2] and which every one who desires to be a Christian and go to the Sacrament should know. For it is not our intention to admit to it and to administer it to those who know not what they seek, or why they come. The words, however, are these:

3] Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.

After the same manner also He took the cup when He had supped, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

4] Here also we do not wish to enter into controversy and contend with the traducers and blasphemers of this Sacrament, but to learn first (as we did regarding Baptism) what is of the greatest importance, namely, that the chief point is the Word and ordinance or command of God. For it has not been invented nor introduced by any man, but without any one's counsel and deliberation it has been instituted by Christ. 5] Therefore, just as the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed retain their nature and worth, although you never keep, pray, or believe them, so also does this venerable Sacrament remain undisturbed, so that nothing is detracted or taken from it, even though we employ and dispense it unworthily. 6] What do you think God cares about what we do or believe, so that on that account He should suffer His ordinance to be changed? Why, in all worldly matters every thing remains as God has created and ordered it, no matter how we employ or use it.

Rev. Jim Roemke said...

7] This must always be urged, for thereby the prating of nearly all the fanatical spirits can be repelled. For they regard the Sacraments, aside from the Word of God, as something that we do.

8] Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar?

Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink. 9] And as we have said of Baptism that it is not simple water, so here also we say the Sacrament is bread and wine, but not mere bread and wine, such as are ordinarily served at the table, but bread and wine comprehended in, and connected with, the Word of God.

10] It is the Word (I say) which makes and distinguishes this Sacrament, so that it is not mere bread and wine, but is, and is called, the body and blood of Christ. For it is said: Accedat verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum. If the Word be joined to the element, it becomes a Sacrament. This saying of St. Augustine is so properly and so well put that he has scarcely said anything better. The Word must make a Sacrament of the element, else it remains a mere element. 11] Now, it is not the word or ordinance of a prince or emperor, but of the sublime Majesty, at whose feet all creatures should fall, and affirm it is as He says, and accept it with all reverence, fear, and humility.

12] With this Word you can strengthen your conscience and say: If a hundred thousand devils, together with all fanatics, should rush forward, crying, How can bread and wine be the body and blood of Christ? etc., I know that all spirits and scholars together are not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger. 13] Now here stands the Word of Christ: Take, eat; this is My body; Drink ye all of it; this is the new testament in My blood, etc. Here we abide, and would like to see those who will constitute themselves His masters, and make it different from what He has spoken. It is true, indeed, that if you take away the Word or regard it without the words, you have nothing but mere bread and wine. 14] But if the words remain with them, as they shall and must, then, in virtue of the same, it is truly the body and blood of Christ. For as the lips of Christ say and speak, so it is, as He can never lie or deceive.

Anonymous said...

Well, Anonymous said that Pieper said such and such, but also didn't care enough about what Pieper said to show us where he supposedly said it. I am doubtful that Pieper stated this matter in quite the same way as Anonymous states.


Scott Larkins said...

Ay, Caramba!

Thanks again Thomas Aquinas.

Scott Larkins said...

Who said that?

We believe and confess that our Savior Jesus Christ has ordained and instituted the sacrament of the Holy Supper to nourish and sustain those who are already born again and ingrafted into his family: his church.

Now those who are born again have two lives in them. The one is physical and temporal-- they have it from the moment of their first birth, and it is common to all. The other is spiritual and heavenly, and is given them in their second birth; it comes through the Word of the gospel in the communion of the body of Christ; and this life is common to God's elect only.

Thus, to support the physical and earthly life God has prescribed for us an appropriate earthly and material bread, which is as common to all as life itself also is. But to maintain the spiritual and heavenly life that belongs to believers he has sent a living bread that came down from heaven: namely Jesus Christ, who nourishes and maintains the spiritual life of believers when eaten-- that is, when appropriated and received spiritually by faith.

To represent to us this spiritual and heavenly bread Christ has instituted an earthly and visible bread as the sacrament of his body and wine as the sacrament of his blood. He did this to testify to us that just as truly as we take and hold the sacraments in our hands and eat and drink it in our mouths, by which our life is then sustained, so truly we receive into our souls, for our spiritual life, the true body and true blood of Christ, our only Savior. We receive these by faith, which is the hand and mouth of our souls.

Now it is certain that Jesus Christ did not prescribe his sacraments for us in vain, since he works in us all he represents by these holy signs, although the manner in which he does it goes beyond our understanding and is incomprehensible to us, just as the operation of God's Spirit is hidden and incomprehensible.

Yet we do not go wrong when we say that what is eaten is Christ's own natural body and what is drunk is his own blood-- but the manner in which we eat it is not by the mouth but by the Spirit, through faith.

In that way Jesus Christ remains always seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven-- but he never refrains on that account to communicate himself to us through faith.

This banquet is a spiritual table at which Christ communicates himself to us with all his benefits. At that table he makes us enjoy himself as much as the merits of his suffering and death, as he nourishes, strengthens, and comforts our poor, desolate souls by the eating of his flesh, and relieves and renews them by the drinking of his blood.

Moreover, though the sacraments and thing signified are joined together, not all receive both of them. The wicked person certainly takes the sacrament, to his condemnation, but does not receive the truth of the sacrament, just as Judas and Simon the Sorcerer both indeed received the sacrament, but not Christ, who was signified by it. He is communicated only to believers.

Finally, with humility and reverence we receive the holy sacrament in the gathering of God's people, as we engage together, with thanksgiving, in a holy remembrance of the death of Christ our Savior, and as we thus confess our faith and Christian religion. Therefore no one should come to this table without examining himself carefully, lest "by eating this bread and drinking this cup he eat and drink to his own judgment."^78

In short, by the use of this holy sacrament we are moved to a fervent love of God and our neighbors.

Therefore we reject as desecrations of the sacraments all the muddled ideas and damnable inventions that men have added and mixed in with them. And we say that we should be content with the procedure that Christ and the apostles have taught us and speak of these things as they have spoken of them.

Past Elder said...

Transsubstantiation does not maintain that once the bread and wine are consecrated they remain the body and blood of Christ.

Roman Catholics do not believe in transsubstantiation, they believe it is a fitting way to state what they believe, the Real Presence.

Or, as my kids say: FAIL.

Transsubstantiation is an attempt to explain, by appropriating the Aristotelian distinction between substance and accident, how something that as far as we can tell is bread and wine before and after consecration in fact becomes the body and blood of Christ with no apparent change.

To explain the how this can be is not to explain the how per se, and transsubstantiation is not so much about how, when, or how long, as about what -- what it is that is being transformed so that the seeming impossibility of any how is addressed.

It is not universally accepted as an explanation by those who believe in the Real Presence, ironically enough, Aristotle being Greek, by the Greeks.

The Roman Church strictly speaking does not hold a doctrine per se of transsubstantiantion, but rather sees it as a fit way to describe what is held doctrinally.

Even Rome backs away from making this a matter of philosophy. The accidents, as distinct from the substance, are more commonly called "species". Christ is literally and fully present in the species. Which, btw, is the basis of the Roman insistence that both species (bread and wine) are not necessary for Communion since Christ is completely present in either one.

In fact, even the anathema (13th Session of Trent) pronounced by Trent does not uphold transsubstantiation as a doctrine but rather pronounces anathema on any who would deny the actual literal physical presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and mentions transsubstantiation as the way the Church fittingly calls it, but not it itself.

Thus does theology, both theirs and ours, get in the way of that for which it is supposed to clear the way.

We do not take and eat so that it may be the body and blood of Christ, we take and eat because it is the body and blood of Christ, just as He said. Nor do we apart from the taking and eating stick it in monstrosities, er, monstrances, before which to pray or around the block with to walk.

Nor need we engage in theology apart from the taking and eating re the shelf life of the Eucharist.

Signed, Past Elder, who is not anonymous, and who is a preconciliar RC altar boy who never lost so much as one host holding the paten under the chins of the communicants, since being the body of Christ only the consecrated fingers of the priest could touch it to pick it up if the altar boy messed up.

Pastor Peters said...

While Pieper does not accord the Verba Christi a magical nature to effect Christ's presence apart from the usus of the sacrament, he affirms "the bread and Christ's body are so united in the Lord's Supper that they are received with the mouth in one undivided act..." [II, p. 362]. In order to be received, they must both be present in the distribution. Luther maintains that through Christ's institution a "sacramental union" has come about in the Lord's Supper... He says:'Here two things have become one; I would call that a sacramental union because both are given us... [III, p. 363]. And again, "The Sacrament, instituted by Christ, comes into being not by the sate of the administrant, nor by the faith of the communicants, but by the Word of Christ...which to the end of time experts its power.... solely Christ's word of promise and command causes Christ's body and blood to be present... [III, p. 365]. And "because of His command, that He has enjoined us so to speak and to do, and bound His command and action to our speaking" [III, p. 366]. "not the work of any man produces the true presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper, not the merit of the minister nor the eating and drinking or faith of the communicant... but all this should be ascribed alone to the power of Almighty God and the word, institution, and ordination of our Lord Jesus Christ... for the true and almighty words of Jesus Christ which He spake at the first institution were efficacious not only at the first Supper but they endure, are valid, operate, and are still effication so that in all placed where the Supper is celebrated according to the institution of Christ and His words are used, the body and blood of Christ are truly PRESENT, DISTRIBUTED, AND RECEIVED... [III, p. 366]. So Pieper is clearly not a receptionist although some take his words out of context in order to make him sound like one...

William Weedon said...

An often neglected point in this debate is how the Formula cites Chrysostom's statement in SD VII:76 (Latin) as the words of Christ bring it about from then to the present day and until His advent, that the sacrifice is present *on all the altars of the Church* - per omnes mensas ecclesiae.

Past Elder said...

This controversy over the extent to which the Real Presence remains -- as if it were an isotope whose half life is to be measured -- as yet another example of Lutherans trying so hard to not be Catholic that they end up not being Lutheran either.

Having come from Rome, this phenomenon strikes me with particular force.

Receptionism is not the answer to the errors of Rome, and it is not necessary, though superficially effective, to adopt it since it is clearly not Roman, any more than it is necessary to dump liturgy itself to not be Roman.

I think Luther himself saw this sort of thing coming. In Babylonian Captivity he said the woeful effects of Rome's errors are so large that sometimes it seems like the thing to do is throw everything out and start over, but, we so not do that, because everything is not a Roman error.

It was a Reformation, not a Revolution. Re-formation would not be possible were what is being re-formed not basically OK. And so our mindset it to accept, unless if contradicts the Gospel revealed in Scripture, the church's book.

"Take and eat","take and drink", are not subjunctive. There is no "ut" in there (for you Latin guys). The power of the Word to accomplish what it says means it is not by the power of the believer to accept it. Receptionism is then rather like the Eucharistic version of decision theology.

Just as Faith and rebirth is the work of the Holy Ghost and not me making a decision, the Real Presence in the Eucharist is the work of the Holy Ghost and not me receiving it.

So may we be "Lutherans", the real catholics.