The Lord’s Supper

Our Belief

We believe that in the Lord’s Supper we receive the true body and blood our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “in, with and under” the bread and wine.  In the Lutheran church we refer to this as the “real presence” meaning we believe the bread and wine are more than a symbol of his body and blood, but that Christ’s body and blood are actually present along with these elements.

We also believe that Jesus instituted (in other words he established and commanded) the Lord’s Supper for Christian believers to receive often. In this meal we receive forgiveness for our sins, salvation and life everlasting. We are also strengthened in Christian living.

When should I participate in communion?

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is given for sinners who repent of their sins and rightly understand what is being given to them in communion.

Provided below is a list of “Christian Questions with their Answers” written by Martin Luther to help a Christian believer examine themselves in preparation to receive the Lord’s Supper.

When should you abstain from Communion?

  • If you do not trust and believe Jesus as your Savior for forgiveness and salvation
  • If you have a sin that you are neither sorry or repentant of
  • If you have refused to offer forgiveness or failed to seek reconciliation with another person
  • If you are not sure what the Lord’s Supper is for or why you should receive it
  • If you are unable to examine yourself in the case of a young child

It is important for a person to properly examine themselves before they come to communion. For as much as a promise is connected with the this wonderful meal there is also a warning.

God’s Word states: Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body and blood of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Corinthians 11:27–29

For this reason, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has a practice of “close communion” in which we celebrate this supper with those who share a close confession with us. If you do not share our confession, we ask that you refrain from participating in this meal by either remaining seated, or coming forward for a blessing as we are blessed to have you!

What if I am a visitor?

At King of Glory we believe that the celebration of Holy Communion is not only a time when we receive the blessings of the Lord but it also is a public confession of the common faith shared by those who commune together at this altar.  For those who are not members of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, out of respect for your own faith traditions, we ask you to refrain from participating. Where you can, in good conscience, believe and confess those things as taught and described here we invite you to have a conversation with Pastor beforehand.  If, however, you are unsure, have questions or disagree with these teachings regarding the Lord’s Supper we invite you to remain in your seats or to come forward to receive a blessing from the pastor.  Please know, not participating in Holy Communion in no way makes any statement about who you are as a child of God or as a Christian.  There are simply times and circumstances when we must recognize and appreciate our differences in teaching and understanding.  Our prayer is always that the day will come when all truth will be revealed and the whole church will be united as one in the presence of our Lord.

Christian Questions with Their Answers

Prepared by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament.

After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves these questions:

1.Do you believe that you are a sinner?

Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.

2.How do you know this?

From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.

3.Are you sorry for your sins?

Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.

4.What have you deserved from God because of your sins?

His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Romans 6:21, 23.

5.Do you hope to be saved?

Yes, that is my hope.

6.In whom then do you trust?

In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.

7.Who is Christ?

The Son of God, true God and man.

8.How many Gods are there?

Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

9.What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him?

He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.

10.Did the Father also die for you?

He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed his blood for me.

11.How do you know this?

From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.

12.What are the Words of Institution?

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

13.Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament?

Yes, I believe it.

14.What convinces you to believe this?

The word of Christ: Take, eat, this is My body; drink of it, all of you, this is My blood.

15.What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge?

We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

16.Why should we remember and proclaim His death?

First, so that we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for our sins. Only Christ, true God and man, could do that. Second, so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. Third, so we may find joy and comfort in Christ alone, and through faith in Him be saved.

17.What motivated Christ to die and make full payment for your sins?

His great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as it is written in John 14, Romans 5, Galatians 2, and Ephesians 5.

18.Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament?

That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and also learn from Him to love God and my neighbor.

19.What should admonish and encourage a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently?

First, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord. Second, his own pressing need, because of which the command, encouragement, and promise are given.

20.But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for the Sacrament?

To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch his body to see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of it in Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the world, and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15–16 and in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with his lying and murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the Scriptures picture him in John 8 and 16, 1 Peter 5, Ephesians 6, and 2 Timothy 2.

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