30 January 2017

A fascinating, but little known

part of the history of the Eucharistic liturgy in Lutheranism is the King John Red Book of Sweden, and in particular its treatment of the canon. This liturgy was used in the Church of Sweden from 1577 to 1593.

[Prayer of the Church]

Let us pray. Almighty, eternal God, heavenly Father, Thou who hast promised us the Spirit of grace and prayer: We beseech Thee grant us grace that we, according to Thy commandment and promise, may call upon Thee in spirit and in truth. Let Thy Holy Spirit rule our hearts, for without Thee we cannot be pleasing to Thee. We therefore humbly pray Thee and desire most merciful Father, through Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, that Thou wilt suffer our prayers to be pleasing to Thee and graciously hear that which we bring before Thee for Thy holy universal Christian church, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant it peace, to preserve, unite, and govern it throughout the world, together with all government spiritual and worldly of whatsoever dignity loftiness and name it may be, so likewise all true Christians that love and confess the true universal and Apostolic faith.

O Lord God, who willest that Thy Son's holy and most worthy Supper should be unto us a pledge and assurance of Thy mercy awaken our heart that we who celebrate the same, His Supper, may have a salutary remembrance of Thy benefits and humbly give Thee true and bounden thanks, glory, honor and praise for evermore. Help us, Thy servants and Thy people, that we may herewith remember the holy, pure, immaculate, and blessed offering of Thy son which he made upon the cross for us and worthily celebrate the mystery of the new testament and eternal covenant. Bless and sanctify with the power of Thy Holy Spirit that which is prepared and set apart for this holy use, bread and wine, that rightly used it may be unto us the body and blood of Thy Son, the food of eternal life which we may desire and seek with greatest longing. Through the same, Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with Thee and the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth in one Godhead from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

Preface / Consecration [Verba Testamenti] / Sanctus and Benedictus, then this:

Therefore, we also remember, O Lord God, this blessed command and the same Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ's holy passion and death, His resurrection and ascension. And this Thy son Thou hast in Thy boundless mercy sent and given unto us that he might be an offering for our sins and by his one offering on the cross pay the price of our redemption, fulfil Thy justice, and make perfect such an offering as might serve for the welfare of all the elect unto the end of the world. The same Thy Son, the same offering which is a pure holy and unblemished offering, set before us for our reconciliation, our shield, defense, and covering against Thy wrath, against the terror of sins and of death, we take and receive with faith and offer before thy glorious majesty with our humble supplications. For these Thy great benefits we give Thee fervent thanks with heart and mouth, yet not as our bounden duty is but according to our power. And we humbly beseech Thee, through the same, Thy Son, whom Thou in thy Godly and secret counsel hast set before us as our only mediator, that Thou wilt vouchsafe to look upon us and our prayers with mercy and pitying eye, suffer them to come to Thy heavenly altar before Thy Divine majesty, and be pleasing unto Thee, that all we who are partakers at this altar of the blessed and holy food and drink, the holy bread of eternal life and the cup of eternal salvation, which is the holy body and precious blood of Thy Son, may also be filled with all heavenly benediction and grace. We pray Thee likewise, O Lord God, that Thou wilt vouchsafe to grant us poor sinful men who trust in Thy manifold mercies that we may be received among Thy holy Apostles, Martyrs and all Thy saints, in the number of whom suffer us to be, not of our merit, but of Thy compassion, who forgivest our sins and failings. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom Thou, O Lord dost ever create, sanctify, quicken, bless, and grant us every good thing. Through Him, with Him, and in Him be all honour, glory and praise unto Thee, almighty God Father and to the Holy Spirit, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.


Phillip said...


Joanne said...

Would seem you're working from a good English translation of King John's Red Book?? I've often read of it, but never actually seen the text. Was it really "Jesuitical" or not? Is there a good source in English to read? Would an orthodox Lutheran understanding shed a different light on the Red Book liturgy, though one notes this was a 16th century phenomenon? One expects Lutheran orthodoxy then, except when Calvinism is moving in.

William Weedon said...

Joanne, I believe that was Yelverton's translation from Mass in Sweden. The prayer is not problematic in my opinion. The fact that John III was conniving with the pope behind the scenes due to his RC wife was what sunk the Red Book.