To gather in disunity is to contradict directly the very nature of the Sacrament and the purpose for which it exist. The Lord's body in the Supper actually effects the oneness of the body of believers: Christians who eat the bread. Thus, reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus is not an idividual freedom. The Eucharist is the congregation's sacrament of unity.
As Christians of old, we worship the Crucified Christ and hold to the teaching of the Church from antiquity that the crucificed body and blood of Jesus is esentially and actually present in, with, and under the bread and wine of Holy Communion. We do not try to define how this happens, this is a sacramental mystery. But we know why it is offered. It is offered for the forgiveness of our sins. Thus:
As confessional Lutherans we belive what Holy Scripture tells us in the Gospels and in St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-26 that the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is present in, under, and with the bread and wine of Holy Communion. Furthermore, St. Paul asks: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." (1 Cor. 10:16-17, ESV) expecting an affirmative answer. He continues, "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself." (1 Cor. 11:26-29, ESV)
The Eucharist is God's means of preserving the unity of the Church, maintaing the many Christians as one body since all eat of one loaf (bread) (1 Cor. 10:17). To create division is to contradict the character and purpose of the Sacrament, and to fail to discern the body.
Therefore, our practice is Closed Communion, the practice of communing only those who have been catechized in the faith of the Luthean Church and have been examined. If you are a visitor from a member congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod or a church which with we are in Altar and Pulpit fellowship, you are welcome to the altar rail to receive the body and blood of Jesus. But if you have not been catechized in the Lutheran faith, we ask that you speak to the pastor prior to Divine Service, he will welcome you to the altar rail to receive a blessing. If you would like to receive instruction in the faith of the Evangelical Lutheran faith, the pastor would be more than happy to explain the process.
Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday and on every Feast Day
Copyright © 2023 graceluthparistx - All Rights Reserved.