Slideshow image

This Sunday we begin to use "Divine Service, Setting 5" from Lutheran Service Book (p.213).

It is based on Luther’s German Mass of 1526, in which he fully translated the whole service into German, setting the canticles of the liturgy to hymn tunes in order to teach the people. These hymns not only use the text of the canticle, but also explain what is going on in each parts of God’s service as He distributes His forgiveness and righteousness to us. 

After the Words of Institution—by which our Lord blesses us with His grace and mercy by being present, according to His Word (“This is My body,” “This is My blood,” Matt. 26:26-28) in the bread and wine—we sing the Sanctus hymn “Isaiah Mighty Seer in Days of Old” (LSB 960) based on Isaiah 6:1-4. This hymn includes the song of the seraphim and angels: "Holy, Holy, Holy is God, the Lord of Sabbath" (armies or hosts). At this moment the consecrated host and chalice are raised on high for all to see. For there is Christ, the One we remember, the One who comes with healing in His wings, the One who is bodily present in bread and wine for us Christians to eat and to drink (see the Small Catechism), so that God is with us. (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:21-23)

In his 1526 German Mass Luther explained this elevation this way: 

We do not want to abolish the elevation but retain it because it signifies that Christ has commanded us to remember him. For as the sacrament is elevated in a material manner and yet Christ’s body and blood are not seen in it, so he is remembered and elevated by the word of the sermon and is confessed and adored in the reception of the sacrament. Yet it is all apprehended by faith, for we cannot see how Christ gives his body and blood for us.

Below is a video of the Rev. William Weedon, when he served St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Hamel, IL (Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod) doing this same service with the elevation of the consecrated host and chalice. 

The image at the top of the page is one of the earliest known images of a Lutheran Lord's Supper from a Small Catechism printed in 1530 for the Dutchess of Denmark.