1 Corinthians 11:27-32
From the Confessions: The Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
Our churches are falsely accused of abolishing the Mass. The Mass is maintained among us and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all of the usual ceremonies are also preserved, other than that the parts sung in Latin are interspersed here and there with German hymns. These have been added to teach the people. Ceremonies are needed so that the uneducated be taught what they need to know about Christ. Paul commanded, as does human law, that the church employ a language understood by the people (1Cor 14:2-9). The people, as many as are able, partake of the Sacrament together. This increases the reverence and devotion of public worship. For none are admitted except they are examined first. The people are also taught about the dignity and use of the Sacrament that it brings great consolation to anxious consciences so that they may learn to believe God and to expect and ask of him all good things. In this respect, they are also instructed about other and false teachings concerning the Sacrament. Such use of the Sacrament in worship pleases God and nourishes true devotion toward God. Therefore, it does not appear that the Mass is celebrated more devoutly among our adversaries than among us.
Pulling It Together
Lutherans celebrate Holy Communion often—many of our churches communing each Lord's Day. We do so with order and reverence, beginning with the acknowledgment that we all sin (1John 1:8-9), then continuing with self-examination and confession of our sins. After this preparation, we hear the word of the Lord: that he entirely forgives us of all our sins. After prayer, hymns, reading of Scripture, and the proclamation of God's Word, Holy Communion is received by all who desire God's grace. This pleases God, for it is his will that we receive his grace in necessary proportion (Eph 4:7). And we sinners need his grace very much indeed.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving your power to make me a child of God. Amen.
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Learning About Communion teaches the meaning of Holy Communion according to the pattern of Luther's Small Catechism, and is recommended for the Fifth Grade Level. Each week focuses on a specific Bible story which illustrates the theme, with additional references from Scripture andLuther's Small Catechism - Children's Version. Lessons emphasize the sacramental promise of the forgiveness of sins conveyed to us in the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This booklet was designed to be used as a Sunday School unit, or for classes to prepare students for their First Communion.