Every Sunday Communion?

The Lord be with youThe Lord's Supper - Matthew 26:17-30

Augsburg Confession Article VII: The Church

Our churches teach that one holy Church is to remain forever. The Church is the congregation of saints [Psalm 149:1] in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered. For the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. It is not necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies instituted by men, should be the same everywhere. As Paul says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” [Ephesians 4:5-6]

In reference to what is meant by unity concerning the Lord’s Supper, the Augsburg Confession Article X, says:

Our churches teach that the body and blood of Christ are truly present and distributed to those who eat the Lord’s Supper [1 Corinthians 10:16]. They reject those who teach otherwise.

One notes that no reference to frequency is made.

I have felt for many, many years that the “powers that be” are doing everything possible to move the LC-MS, synod wide, to every-Sunday Communion. I first noticed this push in the hymnal Lutheran Worship. I also feel this push with our new hymnal, Lutheran Service Book. This felt push has existed over numerous synod presidents.

When I have spoken of this with friends who are active in the “Liturgical Renewal Movement,” they have told me I’m imagining things. Yesterday I read an article from one who is an “insider” (or at least an observer of the “insiders” and supporter of their agenda). He wrote:

“What astonishes me, however, is that Lutherans are still not unanimous in their embracing of the weekly Eucharist. This has been a central goal of the Lutheran liturgical movement for decades, and it still has not come to pass.”

I am grateful for the many wonderful things the Lutheran Liturgical Renewal Movement has generated. The congregations I’ve serve have been truly enriched by their many contributions. Yet I am astonished that anyone would be astonished that something that is not part of the doctrine of the Gospel (frequency of communion), but is a tradition of man, is not uniformly practiced throughout our congregations. I am not surprised when everyone does not kneel during the confession of sins. I am not surprised when some do not make the sign of the cross when the absolution is pronounced. And I am not surprised when every congregation does not embrace every-Sunday Communion. Such uniformity in the doctrines of men is not necessary for true unity in the Faith.

Uniformity in practice is good, but not necessary. Agreement in doctrine is where true unity lies.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Rickert