LPPC  Bible   Institute  


The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship  
Mark  Peters  
With  extensive  quotation  from  Worship,  Gottesdienst,  Cultus  Dei  edited  by  James  Brauer  

S t .   J o h n ’ s   L u t h e r a n   C h u r c h ,   M o n e t t ,   M i s s o u r i  


The  Lutheran  Confessions  and  Christian  Worship  
Table  of  Contents  
PREFACE ......................................................................................................................3   INTRODUCTION  TO  BOOK  OF  CONCORD ......................................................................4   WORSHIP .....................................................................................................................5   WORD..........................................................................................................................8   BAPTISM ......................................................................................................................9   THE  LORD’S  SUPPER ...................................................................................................10   CONFESSION/ABSOLUTION ........................................................................................12   PRAYER ......................................................................................................................14   PRAISE .......................................................................................................................16   RITES/CEREMONIES ...................................................................................................18      

The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   2    

Because   the   Lutheran   Confessions   are   documents   from   the   16th   century,   some   readers   may   ask   how   these   writings   are   helpful   in   addressing   issues   that   the   church   faces   today.     After   all,   the   Confessions  were  written  for  other  times  and  places;  today’s  situation   is  vastly  different.    Some  Lutherans  suggest  that  to  reach  those  who  do   not   yet   know   Christ   the   church   should   put   more   stress   on   its   missionary   thrust   and   less   on   issues   of   doctrine.     They   observe   the   dramatic   increase   in   interaction   between   church   bodies,   with   the   result   that   many   Lutherans   have   become   acquainted   with   or   have   begun   to   explore   concepts   and   practices   from   other   Christian   traditions.     In   addition,   many   Christian   groups   around   them   are   employing   in   their   worship   customs   and   preferences   of   people   who   have   lived   outside   the   Christian   church.     Lutheran   defenders   of   this   experimentation   point   out   that   the   essence   of   worship   as   discussed   in   the   Lutheran   Confessions   does   not   involve   human   tradition   of   any   kind.    Thus  those  interested  primarily  in  evangelization  feel  they  can   justifiably   ask,   “What   could   we   gain   from   examining   historical   questions  on  worship?”   Other   Lutherans   who   are   wary   of   change   might   ask,   “How   can   these   16th   century   writings   be   helpful   in   stemming   the   tide   of   change   in   worship   among   Lutherans   in   North   America?”     Indeed,   they   see   that   patterns   and   concepts   from   other   Christian   traditions   have   spilled   into  Lutheran  worship  without  much  debate  or  scrutiny.    The  result  is   worship   practices   never   before   seen   in   Lutheran   congregations.     Perhaps   remembering   the   Chinese   proverb   “If   an   urn   lacks   the   characteristics   of   an   urn,   how   can   we   call   it   an   urn?”   these   readers   might   ask,   “If   worship   among   Lutherans   is   so   diluted   by   other   traditions  that  it  is  no  longer  recognizable  as  Lutheran,  how  can  it  be   called  Lutheran?”  (from  Worship,  Gottesdienst,  Cultus  Dei  p.3)   Too  often  we  hear  the  Lutheran  Confessions  used  in  our  Lutheran  church  as  the   scapegoat  for  liberal  ideas  about  freedom  in  worship.    It  is  true  that  the  Confessions   state  no  specific  form  for  worship,  and  furthermore,  identify  Biblical  proofs  that   there  is  no  one  correct  form  for  worship  and  also  that  there  is  no  form  that  justifies   us.    So  basically  we  have  the  Word  of  God  with  an  Old  Testament  full  of  rules  and   regulations  about  worship  and  a  New  Testament  practically  void  of  any  overt   instruction  about  worship,  except  that  there  be  no  law.    What  then  are  we  to  do?   In  the  Lutheran  church  today  we  have  anemia  of  worship.    Our  worship  “blood”  is  so   thin  and  oxygen-­‐deprived  that  we  are  basically  suffocating  our  worship  with  foreign   forms,  rituals  from  other  denominations,  worship  songs  that  generally  don’t  have  a   place  in  worship,  and  a  general  lack  of  knowledge  about  how  Christ  should  be   central  to  our  worship  life.    For  most  people  (and  pastors  too)  this  means  that  the   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   3    

CCM  song  that  they  pick  for  Sunday  worship  has  Jesus’  name  in  it  more  than  once.     But  a  Christocentric  theology  has  much  more  to  do  with  than  just  saying  Jesus’   name.    As  we  walk  through  the  Confessions  together,  you’ll  see  just  how  specific  our   Confessions  are  about  how  we  ought  to  worship  Christ.    For  beginners,  it’s  not  our   worship,  but  God’s  gift  to  us  that  we  actually  are  able  to  worship  Christ.    Our   response,  then,  is  a  gift;  it’s  not  our  worship,  but  Christ’s  words  that  we  are   returning  to  him  through  Word  and  song.  That’s  why  the  content  of  worship  is  so   important.  

We  know  that  if  every  medieval  workman  brought  his  own  measuring  rod  to  a   building  site,  the  lack  of  a  standard  would  soon  waste  the  resources  and  create  an   unusable  structure.  (11)   The  Book  of  Concord  was  not  only  written  as  a  prescription  for  future  doctrine,  but   as  a  statement  and  testimony  to  the  pure  doctrine  of  the  Gospel  that  the  Lutheran   church  taught  in  the  era  of  the  Reformation.    How  can  we  use  it  today  as  the  “rule   and  norm  of  faith?”     It’s  really  strange  as  we  go  through  this  study,  most  of  the  quotations  are  taken  from   either  the  Small  or  Large  Catechism,  primarily  from  the  sections  on  the  Lord’s   Prayer.    Seems  like  the  reformers  were  trying  to  tell  us  that  the  Lord’s  Prayer  has   something  to  tell  us  about  how  we  should  worship.     This  book  goes  into  detail  of  every  American  denomination  and  their  views  on   worship  and  its  role  in  the  Christian  life.    The  early  Lutherans  had  similar  struggles   to  define  worship  practices  around  them  and  also  to  define  what  worship  meant  for   them.    If  we  believe  that  worship  is  clearly  defined  in  these  Confessions,  we  need  to   continue  to  ask  the  questions  they  asked  that  will  be  discussed  from  here  on  in  this   study.   1. Is  worship  some  kind  of  heavenly  fourth  dimension?     2. Is  it  valued  for  its  ability  to  generate  a  Christian  life?     3. Is  it  a  priestly  offering  of  the  Church  of  God?     4. Is  it  measured  by  how  many  converts  it  produces?     5. Is  it  judged  by  how  much  the  Holy  Spirit  seems  to  move  people?     The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   4    


A  helpful  quote  from  the  book  on  this  topic:   “When  any  ecumenical  exchange  of  traditions  is  considered  or  when   mission  work  with  new  groups  of  people  exposes  differing  traditions   and  forms  of  worship,  the  church  does  best  when  it  returns  to  the   primary  questions  around  sola  scriptura,  sola  gratia,  and  sola  fide  as   she  assesses  what  may  be  useful  in  worship.”  (29)   Often  in  classes  on  worship,  reengineering  the  worship  service  to  maximize   evangelism  results  in  a  different  approach  to  worship  than  the  original.    Why  would   such  a  practice  be  discouraged?     Is  the  theology  of  worship  important?     Who  is  the  center  of  worship?     Lex  orandi,  lex  credendi.    Define.     Latria  –  Define.     Gottesdienst  –  Define.     To  believe  in  Christ  is  worship’s  highest  act,  in  Greek  called  latreia.    Grace  is  not   conferred  on  a  believer  by  the  act  itself  (ex  opera  operato)  apart  from  faith.    What   does  this  mean  for  our  view  of  traditions  in  worship?    

Athanasian  Creed,  3    This,  however,  is  the  catholic  faith;  that  we  worship  one  God  in   trinity  and  Trinity  in  unity,  neither  confusing  the  persons  nor  dividing  the  substance.   One  should  note  that,  within  the  Confessions,  the  reformers  are  reacting  to  their   situation  against  the  Roman  church  and  the  Anabaptists  (and  many  other  heretical   sects  that  they  name).    Whenever  they  talk  about  worship,  they  are  talking  about  it   with  the  understanding  of  reforming  the  abuses  by  Rome.    The  main  abuse  was   thinking  of  the  Mass  ex  opere  operato,  or  that  by  the  work  of  doing  the  mass,  extra   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   5    


salvation  was  available  for  those  gathered.    From  this  also  sprung  the  abuse  of   private  Masses  for  the  dead.    A  priest  would  be  paid  by  the  family  of  the  deceased  to   say,  for  example’s  purposes,  20  or  more  masses  in  a  row  to  decrease  the  deceased’s   time  in  purgatory.    The  confessions  are  not  a  revolt  against  liturgical  worship,  nor   are  they  abolishing  ceremonies.    But  instead  of  focusing  on  ceremonies  here  we  will   be  discussing  how  worship  is  offered  and  to  whom  worship  is  offered.   Acts  of  worship  invented  by  men  are  not  necessary  for  salvation.    What  is  necessary   for  salvation?     Apology  IV,  168-­171    Even  in  our  redeemed  state  there  is  sin  that  could  be  imputed  to   us,  [Adam’s  sin,  the  sins  of  forefathers]  so  we  must  constantly  be  in  worship.   Those   who   require   other   service   or   worship   take   honor   away   from   Christ   and   his   saving   work.     God   does   not   require   perfect   worship   but   requires  us  to  trust  that  through  Christ  he  has  reconciled  us  to  himself   and  that  he  will  aid  us  in  our  lives.    Our  flesh  doubts  this  promise  but   the   Holy   Spirit   through   the   Word   creates   a   reliance   on   God’s   mercy,   which  the  prophets  praise  as  true  worship.  (54)   Apology  XV,  18    For  they  deprive  Christ  of  his  honor  when  they  teach  that  we   are  not  freely  justified  on  account  of  Christ  through  faith  but  through  such   rites,  and  especially  when  they  teach  that  such  rites  are  not  only  useful  for   justification  but  even  necessary.   How  and  why  could  Christ  be  deprived  of  honor?     Is  Christ  deprived  of  honor  in  our  worship  ceremonies  today?     The  examples  of  false  worship  of  God  fall  into  two  broad  categories:   1. The  first  category  replaces  the  righteousness  of  faith  in  Christ,   offered   through   the   means   of   grace,   with   a   teaching   that   one   can   earn   salvation   by   his   or   her   own   works   or   the   works   of   others:   a. That  God  necessarily  gives  grace  to  those  who  do  good   works,   b. That  services  to  God  such  as  vows  of  poverty  can  make   satisfaction  for  sin,   c. That  one  can  earn  heaven  by  his  or  her  own  works,   d. That   in   teaching   repentance   no   mention   is   made   of   Christ  or  faith  in  his  redemption,   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   6    

e. That  the  good  works  of  another  can  make  one  godly  or   save  one  from  God’s  wrath,   f. That   the   Mass,   by   the   outward   act,   can   take   away   the   sins  of  the  living  or  the  dead,   g. That   without   God’s   Word   or   command   a   self-­‐chosen   worship  as  a  way  of  holiness  can  be  established,  and   h. That   worship   consists   of   using   candles,   vessels,   or   images.   2. The  second  category  divorces  the  Holy  Spirit  from  the  means  of   grace   and   thereby   sets   aside   the   ministry   of   the   Gospel   that   Jesus  instituted.    It  teaches  that  the  Holy  Spirit  comes  through   an  inner  experience,  by  one’s  own  preparation  and  works,  and   apart  from  the  Word  of  God  and  the  Sacraments.   Apology  XV,  42    And  yet  the  chief  worship  of  God  is  to  preach  the  Gospel.    And  when  the   opponents  (RC)  preach,  they  talk  about  human  traditions,  about  the  devotion  to  the   saints  and  similar  trifles.    This  the  people  rightly  loathe,  and  so  they  walk  out  on  them   immediately  after  the  reading  of  the  gospel.   This  above  statement  affirms  our  Lutheran  understanding  of  Sola  Scriptura.    Why  is   it  so  important  to  uphold  these  Reformation  truths?     The  Lutherans  of  the  Confessions  were  particularly  disturbed  about  the  worship  of   the  monks  and  nuns  being  considered  more  holy  than  the  worship  of  the  people.     Why  did  Rome  consider  their  worship  more  holy  and  how  can  we  avoid  future   errors  such  as  this?    What  is  a  popular  view  among  Lutherans  that  comes  close  to   this  heresy?     Apology  XXIV,  89    It  is  a  horrible  teaching  to  attribute  as  much  to  the  work  of  the   priest  as  to  the  death  of  Christ.   FC,  Ep  II,  13    We  also  reject  and  condemn  the  error  of  the  Enthusiasts.    They  imagine   that  God  without  means,  without  the  hearing  of  God’s  Word,  and  also  without  the  use   of  the  holy  Sacraments,  draws  people  to  Himself  and  enlightens,  justifies  and  saves   them.    (We  call  people  enthusiasts  who  expect  the  heavenly  illumination  of  the  Spirit   without  the  preaching  of  God’s  Word)   Lutherans  reject  that  God  draws  anyone  to  faith  outside  the  means  of  Word  and   Sacrament.    What  is  your  reaction  to  this  statement?    

The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   7    

AC  XV,  42    The  chief  worship  of  God  is  to  preach  the  Gospel.   It  was  commonplace  in  Luther’s  time  to  only  hear  a  sermon  once  a  quarter.    The   Lutherans  started  preaching  every  Sunday  and  many  times  during  the  week,  which   I’m  sure  caused  a  stir!    The  preaching  of  the  Gospel  was  the  hallmark  of  the   Reformation,  hence  Sola  Scriptura.   FC,  Epit  VII,  10,  13    The  reason  for  our  position  against  the  sacramentarians  on  this   matter  are  those  which  Dr.  Luther  set  forth  in  his  Great  Confession:…”the  Word  of  God   is  not  false  or  deceitful…”   LC  III,  53    The  coming  of  God’s  kingdom  to  us  takes  place  in  two  ways:  first,  it  comes   here,  in  time,  through  the  Word  and  faith,  and  second,  in  eternity,  it  comes  through  the   final  revelation.    Now,    [in  the  Lord’s  Prayer]  we  ask  for  both  of  these  things:  that  it   may  come  to  those  who  are  not  yet  in  it  and  that,  by  daily  growth  here  and  in  eternal   life  hereafter,  it  may  come  to  us  who  have  attained  it.   What  petition  is  this  referring  to?    What  does  it  mean  that  we  “have  attained  it?”     SC  III    The  kingdom  of  God  certainly  comes  by  itself  without  our  prayer,  but  we  pray  in   this  petition  that  it  may  come  to  us  also.   How  does  God’s  kingdom  come?    God’s  kingdom  comes  when  our  heavenly  Father   gives  us  His  Holy  Spirit,  so  that  by  His  grace  we  believe  His  holy  Word  and  lead   godly  lives  here  in  time  and  there  in  eternity.   Sounds  like  we  don’t  have  anything  to  do  with  God’s  kingdom  coming.   How  does  God’s  kingdom  come,  then,  through  worship?     FC,  SD  XI,  77    According  to  his  normal  arrangement,  the  Father  draws  people  by  the   power  of  his  Holy  Spirit  through  the  hearing  of  his  holy,  divine  Word,  as  with  a  net,   through  which  the  elect  are  snatched  out  of  the  jaws  of  the  devil.    For  this  reason  every   poor  sinner  should  act  in  such  a  way  as  to  hear  the  Word  diligently  and  not  doubt  that   the  Father  is  drawing  people  to  himself.    For  the  Holy  Spirit  wills  to  be  present  with  his   power  in  the  Word  and  to  work  through  it.    This  is  the  drawing  of  the  Father.   What  is  the  doctrine  of  election?     How  does  that  inform  our  worship  practices?     The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   8    


LC  IV,  18    This  [Word]  too,  is  where  it  (Baptism)  derives  its  nature  so  that  it  is  called  a   sacrament,  as  St  Augustine  taught,  “when  the  Word  is  added  to  the  element  or  the   natural  substance,  it  becomes  a  sacrament,”  that  is,  a  holy,  divine  thing  and  sign.   Where  does  Baptism  derive  its  authority  and  facility?     FC,  Epit  II,  4    However,  God  the  Holy  Spirit  does  not  effect  conversion  without  means,   but  he  uses  the  preaching  and  the  hearing  of  God’s  Word  to  accomplish  it,  as  it  is   written  (Romans  1:16),  the  gospel  is  a  “power  of  God”  to  save.   How  does  the  Holy  Spirit  convert?     Just  like  the  Sacraments  we  are  about  to  discuss,  does  the  sins  of  the  pastor  make   him  a  worthy/not  worthy  to  listen  to  preacher?    Does  his  lifestyle  negate  the  words   he  is  preaching?    

SC  IV    Baptism  is  not  simply  plain  water.    Instead  it  is  water  enclosed  in  God’s   command  and  connected  with  God’s  Word.   Baptism  is  one  of  the  three  means  that  God  connects  us  to  salvation.    The  others  are   the  Word  of  God  and  the  Lord’s  Supper.    See  quote  above  (FC,  EP  II,  4).    Is  salvation   possible  outside  of  Baptism?    How  does  our  Baptism  inform  our  worship  and  daily   life?    The  reformers  clearly  distinguished  that  the  water  in  Baptism  has  no  power   outside  the  Word.    Thus  it  is  the  Word  of  God  that  is  salvific,  and  the  Sacrament  that   is  the  sign  and  assurance  of  salvation.   How  does  Baptism  inform  our  understanding  of  the  Divine  Service?   “Baptism  is  commanded  by  Christ.    It  is  a  ceremony  in  which  God  offers  us   the  content  of  his  promise.    Baptism  saves.    It  is  water  connected  to  the  Word   of  God.    Faith  receives  the  gift  of  life,  salvation  and  the  Holy  Spirit  that  comes   from  God.”   Large  Catechism  IV,  65,  67    “This  act  or  ceremony  (Ger.  This  work  or  gesture  [the   German  word  actually  means  outward  appearance!])  consists  of  being  dipped  into  the   water(!),  which  covers  us  completely,  and  being  drawn  out  again.    These  two  parts,   being  dipped  under  the  water  and  emerging  from  it,  point  to  the  power  and  effect  of   Baptism,  which  is  nothing  else  than  the  slaying  of  the  old  Adam  and  the  resurrection  of   the  new  creature  (man),  both  of  which  must  continue  in  us  our  whole  life  long.    Thus  a   Christian  life  is  nothing  else  than  a  daily  baptism…Now,  when  we  enter  Christ’s   kingdom,  this  corruption  must  daily  decrease  so  that  the  longer  we  live  the  more   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   9    

gentle,  patient,  and  meek  we  become,  and  the  more  we  break  away  from  greed,  hated,   envy  and  pride.    This  is  the  right  use  of  baptism  among  Christians,  signified  by   baptizing  with  water.   Does  the  gesture,  or  outward  sign,  in  a  Sacrament  make  a  difference?     By  doing  the  Sacrament  wrong,  or  making  a  mistake  while  reciting  the  Word,  make   the  Sacrament  null  and  void?     What  is  the  operative  part(s)  of  the  Sacrament  that  give(s)  salvation?     AC  IX,  1-­3    Concerning  baptism  it  is  taught  that  it  is  necessary,  since  grace  is  offered   through  it,  that  one  should  also  baptize  children,  who  through  such  baptism  are   entrusted  to  God  and  become  pleasing  to  Him.    Rejected,  therefore,  are  the  Anabaptists   who  teach  that  the  baptism  of  children  is  not  right.   What  is  the  Biblical  proof  for  baptizing  children?   Mark  19:14    But  Jesus  said,  “Let  the  little  children  come  to  me  and  do  not  hinder  them,   for  to  such  belongs  the  kingdom  of  heaven.”   Are  children  by  nature  sinful?     What  is  the  benefit  of  infant  baptism?   1.     2.    

AC  X,  1-­2    Concerning  the  Lord’s  Supper  it  is  taught  that  the  true  body  and  blood  of   Christ  are  truly  present  under  the  form  of  bread  and  wine  in  the  Lord’s  Supper  and  are   distributed  and  received  there.    Rejected,  therefore,  is  the  contrary  teaching.   Is  it  body  and  blood  in  the  chalice  and  the  paten?    Or  is  it  a  spiritual  representation   of  the  body  and  blood  which  are  in  heaven  where  we  ascend  to  partake  in  a  spiritual   feast?    Or  is  it  truly  Christ’s  body  and  blood  in,  with  and  under  the  bread  and  wine?    I   suppose  we  will  be  arguing  over  this  forever.    I  love  the  Lutheran  understanding  of   both  aspects,  the  spiritual  and  the  physical.    It  is  truly  present,  but  at  the  same  time   it  is  interceding  in  heaven  for  us.    One  of  my  favorite  quotes  from  Luther  is:  “I  would   rather  eat  only  the  body  of  Christ  with  the  pope  than  to  eat  only  bread  with  the   Zwinglians  (a  form  of  Reformed  doctrine).”   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   10    

LC  V,  8-­9    “Now,  what  is  the  Sacrament  of  the  Altar?    Answer:  It  is  the  true  body  and   blood  of  the  Lord  Christ,  in  and  under  the  bread  and  wine,  which  we  Christians  are   commanded  by  Christ’s  word  to  eat  and  drink.  And  just  as  we  said  of  Baptism  that  it  is   not  mere  water,  so  we  say  here  too,  that  the  sacrament  is  bread  and  wine,  but  not   mere  bread  and  wine  such  as  served  at  the  table.    Rather,  it  is  bread  and  wine  set   within  God’s  Word  and  bound  to  it.”   Just  like  Baptism,  Holy  Communion  has  a  physical  element  tied  to  the  Word  of  God.     What  are  those  words?     FC,  SD  VII,  50    “Here,  in  the  institution  of  his  last  will  and  testament  and  this  enduring   covenant  (bond)  and  agreement  (union),  he  did  not  use  flowery  language  but  rather   the  most  appropriate,  simple,  unambiguous,  and  plain  words.   The  Lutheran  interpretation  of  the  Words  of  Institution  are  plain  and  simple,  just   like  the  language.    “Take,  eat”  means  “Take,  eat.”    The  genius  of  Lutheran  theology  is   this  direct  explanation  for  very  difficult  topics  such  as  the  bodily  presence  in  the   Lord’s  Supper.     FC,  Epitome  VII,  8-­9    “Concerning  the  consecration,  we  believe,  teach  and  confess  that   neither  human  effort  nor  the  recitation  of  the  minister  effect  this  presence  of  the  body   and  blood  of  Christ  in  the  Holy  Supper,  but  that  is  to  be  attributed  solely  and  alone  to   the  almighty  power  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.    In  addition,  we  believe,  teach  and  hold   with  one  accord  that  in  the  use  of  the  Holy  Supper  the  words  of  Christ’s  institution  may   under  no  circumstances  be  omitted  but  must  be  spoken  (recited)  publically,  as  it  is   written,  “The  cup  of  blessing  which  we  bless…”  (1  Cor  10:16).    This  blessing  takes  place   through  the  pronouncement  of  the  words  of  Christ.”   Again,  as  in  Baptism,  the  effort  or  merits  of  the  pastor  have  no  effect  on  the   institution  of  the  Sacrament.    If  you  had  a  pastor  that  was  openly  sinful,  would  the   Sacrament  cease  to  become  the  Sacrament?     Large  Catechism  V,  46    “However,  you  may  say.  ‘But  the  words  are  added  “As  often  as   you  do  it;”  so  he  compels  no  one,  but  leaves  it  to  our  free  choice.’    Answer:    That  is  true,   but  it  does  not  say  that  we  should  never  partake  of  it.    Indeed,  precisely  his  words  ‘as   often  as  you  do  it’  imply  that  we  should  do  it  frequently  (Lat;  in  intervals).”   How  often  should  we  have  the  Supper?     What  practice  is  informed  by  the  Lutheran  tradition?   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   11    

2How  important  is  confession  and  absolution/preparation  before  receiving  the   Sacrament?     Apology  XXIV,  11    “For  we  have  shown  in  our  Confession  that  we  hold  that  the  Lord’s   Supper  does  not  confer  grace  ex  opere  operato,  nor  does  it  ex  opere  operato  confer   merit  for  others,  living  or  dead,  the  forgiveness  of  sins,  guilt  or  punishment.”   What  does  this  mean?     How  is  this  view  (ex  opere  operato)  alive  and  well  in  Christianity  today?     Apology  XXIV,  19    “Now  there  are  two,  and  no  more  than  two,  basic  kinds  of  sacrifice.     One  is  the  atoning  sacrifice,  that  is,  a  work  of  satisfaction  for  guilt  and  punishment   that  reconciles  God,  conciliates  the  wrath  of  God,  or  merits  the  forgiveness  of  sins  for   others.    The  other  kind  is  the  Eucharistic  sacrifice.    It  does  not  merit  the  forgiveness  of   sins  or  reconciliation  but  is  rendered  by  those  who  have  already  been  reconciled  as  a   way  for  us  to  give  thanks  or  express  gratitude  for  having  received  forgiveness  of  sins   and  other  benefits.”   What  are  the  two  kinds  of  sacrifice?    Which  is  from  the  Law  and  which  from  the   Gospel?    

SC  V    “Here  reflect  on  your  walk  of  life  in  light  of  the  Ten  Commandments:  whether  you   are  a  father,  mother,  son,  daughter,  master,  mistress,  servant;  whether  you  have  been   disobedient,  unfaithful,  lazy,  whether  you  have  harmed  anyone  by  word  or  deed;   whether  you  have  stolen,  neglected,  wasted,  or  injured  anything.”   Apology  XII,  99-­100    “For  we  also  retain  confession  especially  on  account  of  absolution,   which  is  the  Word  of  God  that  the  power  of  the  keys  proclaims  to  individuals  by  divine   authority.    Therefore  it  would  be  unconscionable  to  remove  private  confession  from   the  church.”   Have  you  been  to  private  confession?    What  was  your  experience?     Apology  XIII,  4-­5    “For  these  rites  (Baptism,  Holy  Communion  and   Confession/Absolution)  have  the  command  of  God  and  the  promise  of  grace,  which  is   the  essence  of  the  New  Testament.    For  surely  our  hearts  ought  to  be  certain  that  when   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   12    

we  are  baptized,  when  we  eat  the  body  of  the  Lord,  and  when  we  are  absolved,  Christ   truly  forgives  us  on  account  of  Christ.    And  God  moves  our  hearts  through  the  word   and  the  rite  at  the  same  time  so  that  they  believe  and  receive  faith  just  as  Paul  says,   “So  faith  comes  from  what  is  heard  (Romans  10:17).”    For  just  as  the  Word  enters   through  the  ear  in  order  to  strike  the  heart,  so  also  the  rite  enters  through  the  eye  in   order  to  move  the  heart.    The  word  and  the  rite  have  the  same  effect.    Augustine  put  it   well  when  he  said  that  the  sacrament  is  a  ‘visible  word,’  because  the  rite  is  received  by   the  eyes  and  is,  as  it  were,  a  picture  of  the  Word,  signifying  the  same  thing  as  the  Word.     Therefore  both  have  the  same  effect.”   What  is  the  visible  element  in  Confession/Absolution?     Is  it  a  sacrament?     Do  you  think  that  the  reformers  ever  wanted  private  absolution  to  fall  out  of  disuse   as  much  as  it  has  today?     SA  III,  VIII,  2    “Because  private  absolution  is  derived  from  the  office  of  the  keys,  we   should  not  neglect  it  but  value  it  highly,  just  as  all  the  other  offices  of  the  Christian   church.”   What  is  the  Office  of  the  Keys?    (Cf.  SC  V)     Where  does  the  pastor  get  the  right  to  withhold  or  retain  sins?     Apology  XII,  100-­105    “It  would  therefore  be  wicked  to  remove  private  absolution  from   the  church.    And  those  who  despise  private  absolution  understand  neither  the   forgiveness  of  sins  nor  the  power  of  the  keys.    As  for  the  enumeration  of  sins  in   confession,  we  have  said  earlier  that  we  do  not  believe  that  it  is  necessary  by  divine   right…The  ministers  of  the  church  therefore  have  the  command  to  forgive  sins;  they  do   not  have  the  command  to  investigate  secret  sins.    In  addition,  they  absolve  us  of  those   which  we  do  not  remember;  therefore  absolution,  which  is  the  voice  of  the  Gospel   forgiving  sins  and  consoling  consciences,  does  not  need  an  investigation.”   The  abuse  of  private  confession  in  the  Reformation  was  the  investigation  of  secret   sins,  using  the  confession  of  the  penitent  as  an  investigatory  tool.    What  would  keep   you  from  going  to  private  confession?     The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   13    

Do  you  feel  like  corporate  confession  and  absolution  (a  practice  that  was  not  used   until  the  1900’s)  is  an  adequate  substitute  for  private  confession?     Is  private  confession  only  for  “the  big  sins?”    

SC  III    With  these  words  God  wants  to  entice  us,  so  that  we  come  to  believe  he  is  truly   our  Father  and  we  are  truly  his  children,  in  order  that  we  may  ask  him  boldly  and  with   complete  confidence,  just  as  loving  children  ask  their  loving  father.   Prayer:    The  most  misunderstood  and  most  simple  element  of  Christian  worship.     The  Confessions  extensively  discuss  prayer,  especially  since  the  Roman  church  put   so  much  emphasis  on  prayer  earning  merits  in  front  of  God.    As  the  Lord’s  Prayer   teaches  us,  our  proper  understanding  of  prayer  in  worship  is  first  God  directing  his   loving  actions  toward  us,  then  us  offering  our  sacrifice  of  praise.   SC  III,  1-­2    Our  Father,  you  who  are  in  heaven.   What  does  this  mean?    With  these  words  God  wants  to  entice  us,  so  that  we   come  to  believe  he  is  truly  our  Father  and  we  are  truly  his  children,  in  order   that  we  may  ask  him  boldly  and  with  complete  confidence,  just  as  loving   children  ask  their  loving  father.       AC  XXVII,  49-­50    In  addition,  the  commands  of  God  and  proper,  true  service  of  God   (Gottesdienst)  are  obscured  when  people  hear  that  only  monks  must  be  in  the  state  of   perfection.    For  Christian  perfection  is  to  fear  God  earnestly  with  the  whole  heart  and   yet  also  to  have  a  sincere  confidence,  faith,  and  trust  that  we  have  a  gracious,  merciful   God  because  of  Christ;  that  we  may  and  should  pray  for  and  request  from  God   whatever  we  need  and  confidently  expect  help  from  him  in  all  affliction,  according  to   each  person’s  vocation  and  walk  of  life;  and  that  meanwhile  we  should  diligently  do   external  good  works  and  attend  to  our  calling.    This  is  true  perfection  and  true  service   of  God  –  not  being  a  mendicant  or  wearing  a  black  or  gray  cowl,  etc.   Is  perfection  in  your  spiritual  life  doing  external  good  works?     What  is  Christian  perfection  according  to  the  above  statement?     How  will  God  help  a  person  through  his  prayers?     The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   14    


LC  III,  98    Moreover,  above  and  beyond  all  other  signs  (prayer)  has  been  instituted   precisely  so  that  we  can  use  and  practice  it  every  hour,  keeping  it  with  us  at  all  times.   Was  the  practice  of  daily  prayer  a  bad  one?    What  did  the  monks  do  that  we  should   emulate?     AC  XXI,  1,4    Concerning  the  cult  of  saints  our  people  teach  that  the  saints  are  to  be   remembered  so  that  we  may  strengthen  our  faith  when  we  see  how  they  experienced   grace  and  how  they  were  helped  by  faith…According  to  Scripture,  in  all  our  needs  and   concerns  it  is  the  highest  worship  (Gottesdienst)  to  seek  and  call  upon  this  same  Jesus   Christ  with  our  whole  heart.    “But  if  anyone  does  sin,  we  have  an  advocate  with  the   Father,  Jesus  Christ,  the  righteous  one.”  (1  John  2:1)   Should  we  pray  to  saints?    Can  they  help  us?     What  is  the  highest  worship  according  to  the  above  paragraph?     LC  III,  92    Thus  this  petition  [And  forgive  us  our  trespasses)  really  means  that  God  does   not  wish  to  regard  our  sins  and  punish  us  as  we  daily  deserve  but  to  deal  graciously   with  us,  to  forgive  as  he  has  promised,  and  thus  to  grant  us  a  joyful  and  cheerful   conscience  so  that  we  may  stand  before  him  in  prayer.   LC  III,  82    Thus,  you  see,  God  wishes  to  show  us  how  he  cares  for  us  in  all  our  needs  and   faithfully  provides  for  our  daily  sustenance.    Although  he  gives  and  provides  these   blessings  bountifully,  even  to  the  godless  and  rogues,  yet  he  wishes  us  to  ask  for  them   so  that  we  may  realize  that  we  have  received  them  from  his  hand  and  may  recognize  in   them  his  fatherly  goodness  towards  us.    When  he  withdraws  his  hand,  nothing  can   prosper  or  last  for  any  length  of  time,  as  indeed  we  see  and  experience  every   day.   Ap  XXI,  20    Trust  in  mercy  arises  from  both  the  promise  and  the  bestowal  of  merits.     Such  trust  in  the  divine  promise  and  in  the  merits  of  Christ  must  provide  the  basis  for   prayer.    For  we  must  be  completely  certain  that  we  are  heard  on  account  of  Christ  and   that  by  his  merits  we  have  a  gracious  Father.   I  had  never  thought  about  this  until  now.    Trust  in  Christ’s  merits  (his  death  and   resurrection)  must  provide  the  basis  of  prayer.    If  not,  how  could  we  stand  in  front   of  God  and  ask  for  the  trivial  things  we  ask  for?    The  Father’s  gracious  hand  is  only   visible  through  the  Son.    God’s  good  will  and  pleasure  does  not  exist  outside  Jesus.    

The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   15    

LC  I,  84    Second  and  most  important,  we  observe  them  so  that  people  will  have  time   and  opportunity  on  such  days  of  rest,  which  otherwise  would  be  unavailable,  to  attend   worship  services  (Gottesdiensts  zu  warten:  Services  of  the  Word;  Divine  Services)  that   is,  so  that  they  may  assemble  to  hear  and  discuss  God’s  Word  and  then  to  offer  praise,   song,  and  prayer  to  God  (in  Latin;  “hymns,  psalms  and  spiritual  songs”  from  Eph.  5:19).   Why  should  we  have  church  on  Sunday?     What’s  the  primary  purpose  of  a  universal  time  for  the  Service  of  the  Word?     LC  III,  110    At  such  times  [of  temptation]  our  only  help  and  comfort  is  to  run  here  and   seize  hold  of  the  Lord’s  Prayer  and  to  speak  to  God  from  our  heart,  “Dear  Father,  you   have  commanded  me  to  pray,  let  me  not  fall  because  of  temptation.”    Then  you  will  see   that  the  temptation  has  to  cease  and  eventually  admit  defeat.   What’s  the  best  prayer  to  pray  in  a  time  of  temptation?     Will  God  hear  our  prayer  even  if  we  don’t  get  creative  or  pray  from  the  heart?    (Eg,   will  God  hear  an  insincere  prayer?)    

AP  XXIV,  30    Accordingly,  with  the  abrogation  of  Levitical  worship,  the  New  Testament   teaches  that  new  and  pure  sacrifices  will  be  made,  namely,  faith,  prayer,  thanksgiving,   confession,  the  preaching  of  the  gospel,  suffering  on  account  of  the  gospel,  and  similar   things.   The  word  “praise”  has  had  the  awful  duty  of  carrying  a  lot  of  baggage  lately.     Especially  in  the  light  of  contemporary  music,  “praise”  music  is  the  only  eligible   “heart  language”  of  the  people  today.    The  reformers  and  faithful  pastors  and   teachers  of  the  church  would  prefer  to  think  that  the  Word  of  God  and  music  of  any   type  that  relates  faithfully  to  that  Word  is  the  “heart  language”  that  we  should  be   listening  to.    We  can  tell  from  the  quality  resources  and  enduring  hymnody  that   came  out  of  the  Reformation  that  the  Reformers  were  listening  to  that  “still,  small   voice”  of  the  Word.   Apology  XXIV,  32    We  readily  concede  that  all  who  want  to  include  the  ceremony  of  the   Mass  here  may  do  so  as  long  as  they  do  not  interpret  it  as  a  mere  ceremony  or  do  not   mean  that  by  itself  (ex  opere  operato)  the  ceremony  is  beneficial.  

The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   16    

Apology  XXIV,  17    A  sacrament  is  a  ceremony  or  work  in  which  God  presents  to  us  what   the  promise  joined  to  the  ceremony  offers.   Is  the  order  of  the  “mass”  evil?    Do  we  celebrate  the  mass?     Is  a  ceremony  evil?    What  is  the  comfort  of  a  ceremony  to  a  Christian?     Apology  XXIV,  18    Now  there  are  two,  and  no  more  than  two,  basic  kinds  of  sacrifice.     One  is  the  atoning  sacrifice,  that  is,  a  work  of  satisfaction  for  guilt  and  punishment   that  reconciles  God,  conciliates  the  wrath  of  God,  or  merits  the  forgiveness  of  sins  for   others.    The  other  kind  is  the  Eucharistic  sacrifice,    It  does  not  merit  the  forgiveness  of   sins  or  reconciliation  but  is  rendered  by  those  who  have  already  been  reconciled  as  a   way  for  us  to  give  thanks  or  express  gratitude  for  having  received  forgiveness  of  sins   and  other  benefits.   When  we  praise  Christ,  what  are  we  offering?     When  we  take  the  Lord’s  Supper,  what  type  of  sacrifice  are  we  receiving/doing?     (Trick  question!)     Apology  IV  51,  57    Thus  it  is  not  enough  to  believe  that  Christ  was  born,  suffered,  and   was  raised  again  unless  we  also  add  this  article,  which  is  the  real  purpose  of  the   narrative:  “the  forgiveness  of  sins.”…This  worship,  (Ger.  “highly  praised  Gottesdienst”)   is  especially  praised  throughout  the  Prophets  and  Psalms.    Although  the  law  does  not   appear  to  teach  about  the  free  forgiveness  of  sins,  the  patriarchs  knew  about  the   promise  concerning  Christ,  that  God  intended  to  forgive  sins  on  account  of  Christ.   What  is  the  highly  praised  worship?     LC  III,  46    This  petition  (Hallowed  by  thy  name),  then,  is  simple  and  clear  if  we  only   understand  the  language,  namely,  that  to  “hallow”  means  the  same  as  in  our  idiom  “to   praise,  extol,  and  honor”  both  in  word  and  deed  (works,  same  word  as  for  ritual).   How  do  we  hallow  God’s  name  through  the  liturgy?     Apology  XV,  39    But  our  enemies  falsely  charge  that  we  abolish  good  ordinances  and   church  discipline.    We  can  claim  that  the  public  liturgy  in  the  church  is  more  dignified   among  us  than  among  the  opponents…They  chant  psalms,  not  in  order  to  learn  or   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   17    

pray,  but  for  the  sake  of  the  rite,  as  if  this  work  were  a  required  act  of  worship,  or  for   the  sake  of  financial  reward.    Many  among  us  celebrate  the  Lord’s  Supper  every  Lord’s   day  after  they  are  instructed,  examined,  and  absolved.    The  children  chant  the  Psalms   in  order  to  learn  them;  the  people  also  sing  in  order  either  to  learn  or  pray.   Why  do  we  do  what  we  do  in  worship?     A  brief  order  of  worship  before  you  go  about  your  day:   SC  VII,  1-­3    In  the  morning,  as  soon  as  you  get  out  of  bed,  you  are  to  make  the  sign  of   the  holy  cross  and  say:    “God  the  Father,  Son  and  Holy  Spirit  watch  over  me.    Amen.”     Then  kneeling  or  standing,  say  the  Apostles’  Creed  and  the  Lord’s  Prayer.    If  you  wish,   you  may  in  addition  recite  this  little  prayer  as  well:   (Luther’s  Morning  Prayer)   After  singing  a  hymn  perhaps  (for  example,  one  on  the  Ten  Commandments)  or   whatever  else  may  serve  your  devotion,  you  are  to  go  to  your  work  joyfully.  

Apology  VII,  5    [The  Church]  nevertheless  has  its  external  marks  so  that  it  can  be   recognized,  namely,  the  pure  teaching  of  the  gospel  and  the  administration  of  the   sacraments  in  harmony  with  the  gospel  of  Christ.   I  love  a  well-­‐done  liturgical  service.    Organ,  choirs  and  brass;  full  pews;  several   pastors  in  liturgical  garments  and  chausible;  candles  and  perhaps  even  incense.    But   what  of  the  rites  of  the  local,  weekly  liturgies?    Are  they  any  less  holy  or  sacred?     What  kinds  of  goosebumps  crawl  up  your  arm  when  they  fire  up  the  old  Hammond?     Or  when  the  pastor  comes  out  with  a  white  robe  that  has  yellow  sweat  lines  all  over   the  collar?    The  truth  is  that  the  ceremonies,  no  matter  the  décor,  effort,  or  class,  all   distribute  the  same  gifts.    The  merit  or  worthiness  of  the  officiant  or  people  does  not   diminish  Christ’s  gifts  to  his  people.   AC  V,  1,4    To  obtain  such  faith  God  instituted  the  office  of  preaching,  giving  the  gospel   and  the  sacraments…Condemned  are  the  Anabaptists  and  others  who  teach  that  we   obtain  the  Holy  Spirit  without  the  external  word  of  the  gospel  through  our  own   preparation,  thoughts  and  works.   Are  you  prepared  to  receive  the  Sacrament  the  next  time  you  go  to  Communion?     Are  you  a  good  enough  Christian!?     AC  XXVI,  33    In  addition,  it  is  also  taught  that  all  are  obliged  to  conduct  themselves   regarding  bodily  discipline,  such  as  fasting  and  other  work,  in  such  a  way  as  not  to  give   occasion  to  sin,  but  not  as  if  they  earned  grace  by  such  works.   Why  could  we  fast?    Is  it  a  good  practice?   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   18    

  Apology  VII,  30-­40    …But  just  as  the  different  lengths  of  day  and  night  do  not   undermine  the  unity  of  the  church,  so  we  maintain  that  different  rites  instituted  by   human  beings  do  not  undermine  the  true  unity  of  the  church,  although  it  pleases  us   when  universal  rites  are  kept  for  the  sake  of  tranquility.    Thus,  in  our  churches  we   willingly  observe  the  order  of  the  Mass,  the  Lord’s  day,  and  other  more  important   festival  days…The  opponents  say  that  universal  traditions  ought  to  be  observed   because  they  are  thought  to  have  been  handed  down  from  the  apostles.    Such  religious   people!    They  wish  to  retain  rites  taken  from  the  apostles,  but  they  do  not  wish  to   retain  the  teaching  of  the  apostles.   AC  XXVIII,  53-­60    How  then  should  Sunday  and  other  similar  church  ordinances  and   ceremonies  be  regarded?    Our  people  reply  that  bishops  or  pastors  may  make   regulations  for  the  sake  of  good  order  in  the  church…The  same  applies  to  the   regulation  of  Sunday,  Easter,  Pentecost  or  similar  festivals  and  customs.    For  those   who  think  that  the  Sabbath  had  to  be  replaced  by  Sunday  are  very  much   mistaken…Yet,  since  it  was  necessary  to  establish  a  certain  day  so  that  the  people   would  know  when  they  should  assemble,  it  appears  that  the  church  designated  Sunday   for  this  purpose.    Apparently,  this  was  even  more  pleasing  because  people  would  have   an  example  of  Christian  freedom  and  would  know  that  it  was  not  necessary  to  keep   either  the  Sabbath  or  any  other  day.   Why  do  we  keep  certain  traditions?     Why  is  unity  in  the  church  by  keeping  feasts  and  services  on  the  same  day   important?     FC,  SD  X,  2-­3    In  a  time  of  persecution  that  demands  confession  of  the  faith  –   particularly  when  the  opponents  are  striving  either  through  violence  and  coercion  or   through  craft  and  deceit  to  suppress  pure  teaching  and  subtly  to  slip  their  false   teaching  back  into  our  churches  -­    such  things,  even  indifferent  things,  (adiophora)   may  in  no  way  be  permitted  with  a  clear  conscience  and  without  damaging  the  divine   truth.   Adiaphora:    The  golden  nugget  word  for  getting  away  with  things  in  the  church.   Do  we  live  in  a  time  of  persecution  in  the  church  today?    What  does  that  entail  for   confessional,  liturgical  Lutherans?     If  we  do  live  in  a  time  of  persecution,  what  things  should  we  hold  on  to  just  to  be   obnoxious?   The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   19    

  FC,  SD  X,  9    Therefore,  we  believe,  teach  and  confess  that  the  community  of  God  in   every  time  and  place  has  the  right,  power  and  authority  to  change,  reduce  or  expand   such  practices  according  to  circumstances  in  an  orderly  and  appropriate  manner,   without  frivolity  or  offense,  as  seems  most  useful,  beneficial,  and  best  for  good  order,   Christian  discipline,  evangelical  decorum,  and  the  building  up  of  the  church.    Paul   teaches  how  one  may  yield  and  make  concessions  to  the  weak  in  faith  in  such  external   matters  of  indifference  with  good  conscience  (Rom  14:1-­23)  and  he  demonstrates  this   with  his  own  example  (Acts  16:3  and  1  Cor.  9:10).   Have  you  ever  seen  rituals  expanded?     Sometimes  church  practices  and  liturgical  innovations  seem  new  to  laypeople  of   congregations  when  their  pastors  or  cantors  start  doing  them  in  church.    Many  of   these  “new”  practices  are  actually  quite  old.    Name  some  useful  practices  that  have   fallen  out  of  disuse  in  the  church  which  are  not  contrary  to  the  Word  of  God.    Could   these  be  implemented  in  your  parish  without  offense?     Remember-­‐above  all-­‐that  the  true  worshipers  of  Christ  are  identified  by  means!    His   presence  in  our  lives  is  not  ambiguous  but  very  clear-­‐and  that  is  a  unique  heritage   that  Lutherans  are  definitely  proud  of!    Christ  is  present  in  Word,  Baptism  and  his   most  holy  Eucharist.    He  is  also  confirming  his  presence  with  you  in  personal   devotions,  the  liturgical  ceremonies  you  take  part  in  to  receive  His  gifts,  all  outward   signs  and  symbols  of  His  presence.    As  you  study  His  Word  and  partake  in  these   gifts,  may  your  faith  be  strengthened  and  your  Baptism  renewed  as  you  live  in  the   highest  form  of  worship-­‐the  forgiveness  of  sins  through  the  merit  of  Christ’s  death!   Pax  Domini-­‐Der  Herr  sei  mit  Euch!  (Peace  of  Christ-­The  Lord  be  with  you!)   Cantor  Mark  Peters   Reformation  2010  

The  Lutheran  Confessions  on  Worship   20    

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.