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Words of Institution

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by Searching_for_Christ, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Searching_for_Christ

    Searching_for_Christ simul justus et peccator

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    So what are they? how should they be applied during Communion? is taking Communion while neglecting the words of institution considered improperly taking Communion? or does the lack of words of institution just make it as some Catholics put it " Just juice and bread" ?
     
  2. DaRev

    DaRev New Member

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    The "Words of Institution", or also known as the 'Verba', are the words spoken within the Mass as part of the administration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. They come from the very words of Christ spoken at the Last Supper when He instituted the Sacrament. They come from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and also from 1 Corinthians. They are:
    "Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night He was betrayed, took bread. And when He had given thanks, He broke it, gave it to His disciples and said, 'Take. Eat. This is + My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.' When the supper was ended, He took the cup. And when He had given thanks, He gave it to them saying, 'Drink of it, all of you. This is + My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink of it, in remembrance of Me.'"

    At the points marked with the '+' above, the pastor makes the sign of the cross over the elements. These words must be spoken aloud during the Mass in order for the Sacrament to be valid. We do not know when the body and blood of Christ are present in the elements of bread and wine. We just know that they are present at some point between the reciting of the Verba and the reception of the Sacrament. If the Verba is omitted, there is no Sacrament, just a piece of bread and a sip of wine. That does not a Sacrament make.
     
  3. doulos_tou_kuriou

    doulos_tou_kuriou Located at the intersection of Forde and Giertz

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    Rev said it well, it is essential that the promises of the sacrament (found in the WoI) are spoken at the sacrament. Luther understood sacrament based upon Augustine's definition that when the word binds itself to the element, it becomes a sacrament. Not only must the verba be spoken, but it must be understood, it must be proclaimed. The people must hear the words spoken over the bread and wine, this is contrary to the Catholic understanding where the words are spoken to the bread and wine (in some cases it would be whispered or mumbled).

    Please note that the making of the sign of the cross is not essential either, although I am certainly not advocating against it. Rev was just noting the traditional liturgical expression that accompanies the speaking of the words.

    Pax
     
  4. Searching_for_Christ

    Searching_for_Christ simul justus et peccator

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    Thank you. The words of institution..are these to be said all at the same time? or is it aloud to be split up? like my Church would take communion..say a few things..take the bread...then when all have had it, they will say something else and we take the juice..should the institution be held all together? or can it be split like that? also if the pastor stops in the middle of the institution (if he even says it) to explain something..does that suddenly make the institution invalid because of the added words?
     
  5. DaRev

    DaRev New Member

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    In churches that hold to the Biblical teaching that the body and blood of Christ are truly present in and with the elements of bread and wine, the Verba and the distribution of the Sacrament would not be split up. We maintain that the Sacrament is valid within the context of the Mass (Service of the Sacrament). Outside of that context, there is no Sacrament.
     
  6. doulos_tou_kuriou

    doulos_tou_kuriou Located at the intersection of Forde and Giertz

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    I think he means that in the midst of the verba, it might be interupted for a prayer or announcement or some such thing, and then continued. Something like:
    -Prayer, verba about bread, prayers, distribute the bread, prayer, verba about the wine, prayer, distribute the wine.
    Something to that affect (if I am reading his right)
    If I read your post right, it sounded like you were discussing outside the order of the Mass. Verba yesterday, distribution today or some such. I'm not entirely clear.
    Pax
     
  7. DaRev

    DaRev New Member

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    I understood what he was asking. I was saying that in the administration of the Sacrament (Mass) there shouldn't be any interruptions such as additional prayers or announcements. I'm not sure what church he is affiliated with so I don't know what their teaching on the Lord's Supper is. If it is a Reformed tradition, there really is no Sacrament there, as per our Confessions. It's simply a memorial with bread and wine. So how they do it is of no effect.
     
  8. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    The church I went to in high school was like that. It was C&MA. They would do the verba for the bread and pray and distribute then do the verba for the juice (because they didn't serve wine) and then pray and distribute. I stopped going when the pastor stopped warning those who weren't believer to not partake. That pastor left after his secret lover told her congregation about his affair.
     
  9. Searching_for_Christ

    Searching_for_Christ simul justus et peccator

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    oh..my Church is a Non-Denominational 4-point Calvinistic Church. Our Church does the same that Aibrean says her Church did however ours doesn't do a warning...its more of a "now this isn't anything magical it does nothing..if you take it it won't do anything..its just something to be done for remembrance" thats about it.
     
  10. doulos_tou_kuriou

    doulos_tou_kuriou Located at the intersection of Forde and Giertz

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    I think you could argue it ok to have prayers what not in between the bread and wine so long as the verba and distribution of each is not interupted. Not saying I think you should do that, but I think it could be argued as ok biblically.

    Pax
     
  11. AngCath

    AngCath Well-Known Member

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    Just thought you may be interested in knowing that the Assyrian Church of the East's liturgy (Holy Qurbana of Addai and Mari) does not have the words of institution. What is interesting about this for us in the West is that in 2001 the Catholic Church declared this liturgy valid. The rationale is because the liturgy can be traced to the early church (via Edessa), the Assyrian Church has preserved the orthodox faith regarding ordination and the eucharist, and that though the words are absent, the meaning is implied.

    Again, I can appreciate why this would not weigh in too heavily in a Lutheran discussion, but I thought you may find it interesting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2009
  12. doulos_tou_kuriou

    doulos_tou_kuriou Located at the intersection of Forde and Giertz

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    Thank you, that is interesting.
    I am surprized that Pope B and not changed that given his more conservative Catholic nature.
     
  13. DaRev

    DaRev New Member

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    I do find that interesting given that St. Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 11 seem to come from an early liturgical formula. The Assyrian Church's liturgy would post-date that making it a departure from the tradition.
     
  14. Searching_for_Christ

    Searching_for_Christ simul justus et peccator

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    I got a question that was brought up with my discussions with a Lutheran. She said that word for word of the Institution, wasnt important but that it was pretty much that the words where said the the same EFFECT was the part thats important? what do you guys think of that? She also mentioned the Words of institution varies in Scripture as well? any insight.
     
  15. LilLamb219

    LilLamb219 The Lamb is gone...I am at Christianity Haven Supporter

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    It's not a magic formula and hocus pocus you get the body and blood of Christ. God gave us communion for a purpose. As long as someone doesn't totally rip apart the meaning when the Words of Institution are said, then slight variations on actual wording isn't that crucial.
     
  16. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

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    The Words of Institution are Christ's words. There are variations in the three Gospel accounts and Paul's account in 1 Cor. 11. But the words used during the service combine aspects of each. They are still Christ's words, and as Lamb stated, they are not magic.

     
  17. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Staff Member Administrator Supporter

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    No offense LL, but I just do not like the term Hocus Pocus. Reformed protestants coined this phrase to ridicule the orthodox view of the Eucharist. It is a bastardization of (and forgive me if my Latin spelling is bad) "Hoc Est Corpus Meum" "This is My body".

    I consider the term blasphemy.

    Respectfully,

    Mark.
     
  18. Searching_for_Christ

    Searching_for_Christ simul justus et peccator

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    Thanks for the answers guys. Not to seem pushy but as it was expressed to me the words of institution are pretty important in regards to performing Communion. If the words are not as you put it "magic" or another way it could be put "special" then why so much emphasis on the words of institution? it would seem to me that the words of institution would be kinda vital being that it WAS the way it was instituted by Christ himself?
     
  19. DaRev

    DaRev New Member

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    Without the words of institution, there is no Sacrament.
     
  20. Searching_for_Christ

    Searching_for_Christ simul justus et peccator

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    So would you agree with the posters above me? that the words aren't needed to be as specific?
     
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