(One of the goals of Brothers of John the Steadfast is to train the Brothers in good practice and theology. This article is one in a series that teaches about the liturgy. We apologize for the long delay between the last posting and this posting; the pastor who was helping us update these took a call to another place and hasn’t had enough time to work on them. Thanks to Pastor Mohr for stepping up to finish this series.
These articles were initially intended to be put into bulletins or read during the service to educate the laity on the different parts of the service. They were therefore purposefully made short.
Notes on the Liturgy #18 — Pre-Communion Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
The prayer before Communion (LSB pp. 161/178 and 209) is part of the preparation for Communion. It continues in the spirit of thanksgiving that started with the Preface. The prayer also points us away from ourselves and places the emphasis on God who is the host at the Lord’s Supper. We bring the wine, bread, set up the altar but God is the one doing the feeding.
The Pre-Communion Prayer also teaches us. Read the words carefully for yourself. It teaches us that God has had mercy on us in Christ. It teaches us that we can’t save ourselves but have redemption in Jesus. It teaches us that God Himself has gathered us and all Christians from the ends of the earth to this meal, which is the unending marriage feast of the Lamb (p. 161/178). It teaches us that, though we were barred from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, God has planted a new tree at Calvary; in the Lord’s Supper, we take and eat the fruits of the tree of life and live forever (p. 209).
In connection to the Lord’s Supper we speak the Lord’s Prayer. (Indeed, in LSB Divine Service Three and Divine Service Five, this is the only Pre-Communion Prayer.) Note the fifth petition, “…and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive…” Having prayed for forgiveness, we receive it by faith as the body & blood is given to us under the bread and the wine. Thus, in Communion, God gives us a resounding and immediate “yes” to our request.
Previous Notes on the Liturgy —
Introit, Psalm or Hymn
Kyrie and Gloria
Alleluia Verse and other responses
The Hymn and Hymns
Preface and Proper Preface
Pre-Communion Prayer & Lord’s Prayer
Communion & the Peace
Post Communion Canticle & Collect
These notes were originally written in 2001 by Pastor David Oberdieck and have been edited. Thanks to Pastor Michael Mohr for improvements to this segment.