Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

A look into the mind of one of the most random, crazy people in all the land.

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Formula of Concord and the Adoration of the Consecrated Eucharist

I've switched from the LSB daily lectionary to the "Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood" lectionary. Similarly, I have moved to using the Psalter from the "Reading the Psalms with Luther" book from CPH...quite a good price and a wonderful resource.
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 9-10
New Testament: The Holy Gospel According to St. Luke 9-12
Book of Concord: SD VIII Paragraphs 1-21
Small Catechism: Lord's Supper - The Sacrament of the Altar
Psalms for Wednesday of Pentecost: Morning - 25-27
Evening - 28-30

Yesterday, the daily lectionary from the LLPB website completed the five days of reading through article 7 in the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord. This article is addressing controversies and heresies with regard to the Lord's Supper. I found no real problem as I read the article, in fact finding several good points against the "Papists" and the view of transubstantiation which I was unaware of, or at least was unsure of.

However, when I reached paragraph 126, I had to do a double take. The paragraph condemned the adoration of the elements of the blessed bread and wine! Surely I had to be mis-reading the paragraph. Nope, it stayed the same...a big, "heck no" to that practice. It was then that it hit me...the adoration which both the Greek and Latin churches do after the Verba/Epiclesis is not thrown out, but understood against the Romanists. The paragraph is denouncing the adoration of the ELEMENTS....which, though blest, are still just bread and wine. What is adored after the consecration is Christ's body and blood "in, with, and under" the elements. Therefore, the adoration CAN be retained, just so long as those present realize it is not the bread and wine that is worshipped, but Christ Himself, present "in, with, and under" the elements, not according to the "first mode of presence," but the second (at least). The different modes of presence are covered in paragraphs 99-102 for those who are unsure of what I am referring to.

To adore the elements after consecration would be to confess that the substance of the bread and wine are destroyed and replaced with the body and blood of Christ. However, we do not adore the elements, which are the mode of transmission of Christ, but Christ Himself. This is perhaps why "impanation" is so condemned, for then one could worship the elements because Christ is actually "IN" the element. Thanks to the concept of Sacramental Union, what is to be adored is kept connected to what is not to be adored with regard to function/institution, but separated with regard to worship.

Brief news:
1. Done with classes at I.C.C. I now should receive an associates degree in philosophy...pastors who attended the Augustana Ministerium beware ;-)!
2. I move to "the Fort" (God-willing the financial details are ironed out by then) to begin Summer Greek....woot!
3. I had a good, long talk with McG about some theological and personal issues. I think I've been taking steps in the right direction to truly understand and appreciate the Orthodox view of theosis and the distinction between "essence" and "energy" of God. Though, I still had a question that was unable to be answered. Here goes: If Christ is God in essence and also man, and if man cannot witness the Divine Essence (not just "and survive" but simply not able to perceive it) because it is transcendant....was and is it ever possible for Jesus to perceive His own Divine Essence? I struggle to see how this question will be solved without drifting too far into Eutychianism or Nestorianism....but of course, I could be misunderstanding all points just mentioned ;-).
4. I'm going to try to post some of my papers, particularly the philosophy of religion ones and my ethics paper. The ethics paper I like, because I tackle a pro-choice favorite, and I think in only 6 pages I didn't do too bad of a job! The argument I will critique is Judith Jarvis Thompson's "violinist argument."
5. If anyone really knows a good source (or 10 LOL), I would like to look into several aspects of theology for personal interest:
A. Lutheran liturgy with regard to the evolution and removal of invocation of the saints and why certain hymns and aspects of worship seem to retain the practice ("Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones," the part of the Evening Prayer which says, "Rejoicing in the fellowship of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, one another, and our whole life to Christ, our Lord," etc.).
B. Lutheran architecture and the relationship between American pietists and the decreased usage of statues, icons, vestments, and incense.
C. The debate within American Lutheranism over the role, function, and necessity of Bishops (in Apostolic Succession), Priests/Pastors, and Deacons/Deaconesses. Also, how this debate changed what was seemingly a necessity in the time of the Reformation with the current "business as usual" mode of ecclesiology. It seems odd to me that a male-led system of succession which is received by the church became a female-led system of the Bride of Christ choosing the icon of Christ Himself for a congregation.
D. The acceptance (and to what degree) of the ancient councils of the church. Do Lutherans accept the seventh and eighth ecumenical councils (the eighth being the one dealing with Photius). It seems odd to me that we accept the reasoning behind using icons/statues, yet deny this same reasoning with regard to invocation. Similarly, we don't talk of "free will" often, but then again, free will can mean different things...what did it mean in the context of the fifth ecumenical council?
E. The relationship between Lutherans and those in the Reformed tradition, particularly with regard to ecumenical dialogue surrounding the person of Christ and the Communication Idiomatum and the further relationship of Lutherans to Rome within this light. Is our current direction aimed at pleasing the Reformed or main-line Protestants (you know what I mean you Wittenberg Trail fans ;-D)?

I think this gives me enough to start with....and go to my grave not being able to finish two of those goals to my satisfaction. However, most overlap, and that's good....because I'm a "big picture" THEN "little details" guy. Even though a trained science student....I'm right brained.


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