Which do you Elevate Higher, the Offering Plates or the Body of Christ? by Pr. Rossow

Pastor Weedon has  collected a great list of quotes from Luther and the  Lutheran Confessions  that support liturgical worship. One of them prompted me to write this little piece that has been swirling around in my tiny, confused brain for some time now. It was this quote from Luther on elevating the host:

We do not want to abolish the elevation, but retain it because it…signifies that Christ has commanded us to remember Him. For just as the sacrament is bodily elevated, and yet Christ’s body and blood are not seen in it, so he is also remembered and elevated by the word of the sermon and is confessed and adored in the reception of the Sacrament. In each case, He is apprehended only by faith; for we cannot see how Christ gives His body and blood for us and even now daily shows and offers it before God to obtain grace for us. — Blessed Martin Luther, *The German Mass* AE 53:82

When I came to my current congregation 17 years ago, I copied the associate pastor’s habit of turning toward the altar and lifting up the offering plates to God upon receiving them from the ushers. It is a nice gesture of praise to our God who provides all good things for us. A few years  ago  I heard Dr. Arthur Just (Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne) utter one of the most provocative things I have ever heard about the practice of the liturgy. He asked the class of graduate  students I was with why it is that so many Lutheran pastors lift the offering plates higher than they lift the body of Christ, if they elevate it at all.

Guilty! From that day on I started elevating the body of Christ and  presenting the offering plates to God with a simple motion and without any elevation. It reminds me of how we often fail to  believe what we believe and how our practice belies our incomplete understanding of our confessed  doctrine.

The body and the blood of the Lord are truly present in His supper and we ought to act in accordance with this great and gracious truth in all that we say and do.

The congregation cannot see it because I have my back turned to them, but thanks to Dr. Just’s fine teaching, each time I offer the plates to God without elevation, I have a little smile on my face, thankful that I was taught to better practice what I preach and with an eye peeking ahead  a few moments in the Divine Service when the true and godly elevation shall occur for all to see.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Which do you Elevate Higher, the Offering Plates or the Body of Christ? by Pr. Rossow — 32 Comments

  1. When I saw the title of this post, I nearly split my gut laughing.

    Then I thought about it a moment. The offering of the gifts is sacrificial act on our part. The offering of the body and blood of Christ is sacramental act, and most definitely not a sacrifical act on the congregation’s part or the part of the pastor/priest.

    I’m not saying that one shouldn’t elevate the host and the chalice. I’m just saying that an argument for elevating the elements based on the elevation of the offering plates probably isn’t the way for a Lutheran to go. A Roman Catholic might go this way, perhaps. But not a Lutheran.

    Anyway, thanks for the laugh, and also thanks to Charles H. for offering his every other week offering suggestion. Now that’s some funny stuff.

    In Christ,

  2. Actually, We take collection every week so we can get a Pastor on the first and third Sundays.

    Sorry had to do it. :^)


  3. I am by no means anti-liturgical, but I am strongly opposed to liturgical pietism — especially the kind which would assign “guilt” in the matter of how high one elevates anything in the Divine Service whether that guilt be real, imagined or figurative.

    And that especially includes Dr. Just putting ideas into the minds of seminarians (if that is in fact what he was doing) that they are sinning or violating the doctrine of Christ by elevating the offering plates but not the host and/or the chalice. Really??!! What a load of hooey — at best used as an example of a logical fallacy if used for anything at all.

    Regardless of the fact whether Luther had a free-standing altar or not while he was elevating the host (but only elevating in one kind? not elevating the chalice?), I could certainly understand the confusion or offense which some people might express if the pastor elevates the host with his back to the congregation. Is the pastor elevating the host, offering it as a sacrifice to God in behalf of the people? I could fully understand how it looks that way.

    If I elevate the host and the chalice it is after the consecration when I turn to the congregation and say “The peace of the Lord be with you alway,” and they say “Amen,” (not, “and also with you” as in LSB).

    And then I keep host and chalice elevated a while longer while the congregation sings the first words of the Agnus Dei – “O Christ, Thou Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world . . .” to indicate that “here in my elevated hands is Christ for you. There is not some other Christ for you to whom you are singing. It is not some body-less Christ in heaven to whom you are singing. Christ is here in my hands and soon to be in your mouths: Christ, forgiveness, life and salvation.”

    Beyond that, the proper elevation of Christ occurs when we rightly know our sin, when we confess it, grieve of it, repent of it, and then believe Christ’s words, “FOR YOU.” That is the elevation, that is the praise, that is the glory which can be accomplished by no arm lifting.

    If Luther wanted to elevate the host for the reasons mentioned, I have no problem with that. But woe to the persons who bind the consciences of men by telling them that they are faithless shepherds who elevate the offering plates but not the host. I am certain that Luther would lose no time castigating such liturgical pietists who lay heavy burdens on men by telling them that they must stand this way or that, turn their bodies or hands this way or that because if they fail to do so, they are violating the doctrine of Christ, denying the faith, or desecrating the body and blood of our Lord.

    Do you want to elevate the offering plates in reverent thanksgiving? Lift away! Do you want to present the elements (bread and wine) together with the offerings as perhaps the early church did? Do it. Make a nice tithe, terumah or t’nufah, heave offering or wave offering — but no offering or sacrifice for one’s sins! There is only One once-for-all Sacrifice who was elevated once for all on the cross.

    Do you want to receive offerings during the Missa Fidelium and not accept offerings from the uncatechised, the ungodly, and the unfaithful? If not, then perhaps you are better off not elevating the offering plates, but should shuffle them off to some side table — and certainly not place them on the altar. Offerings from the faithful are holy and are to be used for the holy purpose of supporting the work of the Gospel.

    Liturgical piety should by all means be a part of our practice and catechesis — but liturgical pietism must be opposed and resisted vehemently at every point lest we devolve from the freedom of the Gospel into some neo-Gnesio, Pharisaical Lutheranism which is not Lutheranism at all.

  4. @Rev. Joel A. Brondos #5
    These thoughts are cogent in the light of some Liturgical Pietism in and around Synod’s Confessional Pastors.

    Also, a marked distinction between the Sacramental and the Sacrificial could lead into a belief that there is something we do, as opposed to all things Sacramental and Sacrificial coming down from the Father of Lights and all good gifts, as well.

  5. I don’t believe Pastor Rossow was promoting the “Unbloody Sacrifice.”

    Charles Henrickson :How many churches would consider having the offering only on the first and third Sundays of the month, so it won’t become “too common”?

    I got a kick out of this comment. Same deal for the sermon and C & A. One wouldn’t want too much forgiveness.

  6. If I elevate the host and the chalice it is after the consecration when I turn to the congregation and say “The peace of the Lord be with you alway,” and they say “Amen,” (not, “and also with you” as in LSB).

    Pr. Brondos,

    LSB does NOT have “and also with you” as the response to the Pax Domini in any of the settings of the Divine Service – they all have, “Amen.” LW had “and also with you,” but this was thankfully corrected in LSB.

    As for the rest of your post, I think you are over-reacting a bit. I highly doubt that Dr. Just would assign “guilt” to any faithful Lutheran pastor who does not elevate. Having had a few grad-level classes with him myself, I’m pretty confident that he is no “liturgical pietist.” I think the whole “liturgical pietism” and “hyper-ritualization” stuff promoted by some is blown way out of proportion. I don’t know a single pastor among those who are accused by some as being “liturgical pietists” who would argue that those who do not elevate, chant, wear chasubles, etc. are any less faithful than those who do, or guilty of being less than Lutheran.

    Just my $.02.

  7. Joel,

    Chill out man and reread my post. The only guilt on this string has been imported by you.

    If you wish to assert that there is liturgical pietism in the LCMS that’s fine but don’t hang it inappropriately on me or on what I recorded of Dr. Just’s little truism.

    Actually I thought he made his point in a fairly passive way. He didn’t put a guilt trip on anyone. He simply called to mind two striking pictures that illustrate that we often tend to be more protestant than Lutheran.

    Pastor Weedon likewise in his post is quite passive. He simply lists a catalogue of confessional quotes that remind us that our fathers were more at home with liturgical expression than we tend to be.


    P.S. Our readers may find it of interest that when I have a Sunday off and am at home, we usually go to St. Paul’s, Brookfield where Prs. Ball and Brondos hold forth. Also, ditto what Messer said.

  8. @Rev. Joel A. Brondos #5

    Pastor Brondos,

    I have to agree with Pastor Messer that I think you’ve read a little more into this than what was stated or intended. Is it wrong, or unduly guilt inducing, to examine one’s practice to see if it is proclaiming what we ought to proclaim? In this particular instance, the question is, “do we make more of a show of the gifts we offer to God than the gifts God offers to us?”

    Another question that has intrigued me for some years now came from a couple to whom I gave a tour of the chapel while at the Sem. They were not from a liturgical background, and upon seeing the large, marble pulpit compared to the small, wooden lectern, they said, “So the Pastor’s words in the sermon are more important than the Scripture readings?” I explained the prominence of the pulpit stemming from the historic practice of reading the Gospel from the pulpit, and the sermon as proclamation of that Gospel. I have often thought that it would be better practice to return to reading the Gospel from the pulpit, but asking that question doesn’t mean I’m guilting anyone or saying other practices are sinful. We ought constantly to examine our proclamation to make sure that it is speaking what we ought to be speaking.

    Just my 2¢ worth.

  9. Oh my.
    I love you guys. (huge smile) . I have never seen such a group of people that can get their panties in a bunch so fast. ( bigger grin).
    What I gather from both Pr. Rossow and Pr. Just, is that different perceptions can be seen in every move made in the historic liturgy. Therefore anything MAY have additional meaning, as seen in this discussion. IMHO This is the opposite of modern mega church services where most movements have no additional significance. Using the historic liturgy most / some folks realize that there is significance in the form. Does this mean we have a greater responsibility to watch our movements? Maybe. So is there significance? Possibly. Was this commanded? No.
    So if you want to hold it low in humbleness and respect, I’m with you. If you want to raise it up, as Christ was raised up on the cross in reminder of his sacrifice. I’m with you.
    Your not guilty of anything.
    Let’s not read more into this.


  10. I would like to present a case study in what has been called, Liturgical Piety or Hyper-Ritualism.

    Every year I attend a Catechetical Symposium at which there is Divine Service with a Reception afterwards.

    During the Service for Communion, when the Body and Blood is distributed for those who receive it and the words are spoken to them, The true Body of Christ, given for you and The true blood of Christ, shed for you, the Ministers in the pews, a number of them, bow and genuflect, with the sign of the cross, at every table!

    The effect on some of the laymen is reflected by their questions, at the reception, such as, Isn’t once enough? or, Do they have to do that at every table? or, What are they trying to prove?

    Now, I do not know if this kind of Communion Piety by Ministers, officiating or not, is of the Greek Orthodox or from some other Communion, but is it wise to transport a foreign Liturgical/Communion Piety into LCMS congregations, hitherto unknown in our Liturgical/ Communion devotion.

    A professor, at the Seminary, once remarked, when discussing Liturgical Practice, that some of the boys act like 15 year old girls, who one day discover make-up.

    Be that as it may be ,should anything be done by Ministers of the Gospel that creates suspicion and /or a sense of, what may be called and is behind, I suspect, the Layman’s reaction, to an over done Liturgical Piety, all other things, the faithful attendance and devotion of Laymen, being equal.

  11. Deacon Hughes,

    I have two points to consider in response to your query.

    First, liturgical piety moves and changes very slowly and not monolithically. Was the “makeup” applied at the conference you attended too much for those laymen with you? It sounds like it was. However, simply answering the question of liturgical reform based on that instance would be to expect piety to be monolithic. Was it too much for the church broadly speaking? That is a question we cannot and should not answer for a generation or so.

    Secondly, the clergy you witnessed at the conference are closer to Luther and his piety than to the basic LCMS TLH piety of the Midwest in the last generation. The pastors you described and their pious expressions are more “Lutheran” than the congregation I grew up in. It was in the middle of nowhere in north central Iowa and had little in the way of liturgical expression beyond the folding of hands. Just to demonstrate how focusing on individual events and expressions is problematic, and for that reason only, let me challenge you with this – the LCMS’ers I grew up with, probably 98% of them, would be offended by the picture you attach to your comments. They would be offended at the notion of a deacon and they would be most offended that you the non-pastor deacon is wearing a robe with a pectoral cross and God forbid, with a “Catholic” crucifix in the background. I hope that makes my point that judging things on an individual basis gets a little dicey. I have taken two laymen to the Ft. Wayne seminary in the last ten years and both of them came away in awe and with a much deeper understanding of Lutheranism based solely on the rich liturgical expression there. Does that make it right? That is not my point. We cannot judge such changes amd movement monolithically.

    I share your concern for trying to properly manage liturgical expression, but overall, I would say that we have a long way to go before we come close to surpassing the kneeling, crossing, bowing, etc. of Luther and our other church fathers.


  12. Dear Pastors:

    Pardon me while I throw out the “A” word…(should I yell fire in the hole?), but arent these things adiaphora (sp?). As long as the actions are meet, right and salutary, and offered in real piety, then aren’t they all good? As long as no one is saying “this is how it MUST be done” (which, by the way, would REQUIRE us NOT to engage in that practice, wouldn’t it?) than does it really matter?

    I always enjoy visiting other confessional congregations and observing the variious differences and nuances on worship practices. Every congregation has different practices, to some degree. I recently visited one where the communion rail was behing the alter and the congregation filed up the stairs (I don’t recall if the altar was on a raised dias above that) in a circular pattern. That struck me as odd, but I didn’t question their piety (or is piousness more correct?). It is proper to question why we do what we do, and understand our reasons, but I suppose it is a matter of some indifference (see the “A” word above) exactly what those practices are, as long as they are good right and salutary. Or am I out to lunch here? I’m going to hit the deck, feel free to pile on, in the most loving way possible of course. 🙂

    Eric Ramer

  13. Eric,

    You are right. These things are adiaphora. No need to hit the deck.

    Dr. Just was not demanding that the host be elevated. He was simply pointing out the oddity that many Lutheran pastors elevate the offering plates more so than the host. Now if elevating is a sign of devotion and respect it only makes sense that we would elevate the host more so than the body of Christ. He was pointing out that Lutherans have become protestant (i.e. not actually believing in the true presence of Christ’s body and blood in the sacrament).

    I would add this caution though about playing the adiaphora card. Saying that something is an adiaphora in our current culture which rejects ornament and ritual as inherently authoritarian and mediated can sometimes be a vote for not having ornamentation and ritual. Christians have been given life-giving sacraments and words that actaully forgive sins (baptism, the Supper, preaching, absolution) and so it only makes sense that there is going to be a certain reverance and ritual that gets associated with these things. Baptists can pass the bread and wine down the pew or serve it in individualized plastic wrapped boxes that fit in the pew rack because they do not believe the body and blood of the Lord are present and they reject the Biblical teaching that word and sacrament deliver the forgiveness of sins. That causes them to have very little in the way of ritual and reverence. That is not the adiaphoristic world I want to live in nor should live in.


  14. @Pastor Tim Rossow #14
    My main point, was that if laymen in any locality have and retain a certain piety as regards the Lord’s Supper which indeed is commensurate with and reverences the Real Presence, then when they see the Minister(s) bowing and genuflecting, from the pews, as it is being distributed, for every table, then the laymen get the idea that they are not doing enough or are not believing enoughor are doing something wrong.

    It is a matter of discretion not to give less trained and understanding laymen any reason to doubt their piety and devotion to the Lord’s Supper, as I think was behind the reaction to the Ministers.

    Liturgical Piety is like unto Jesus’ admonition not to pray with so many words, as if with the multitude of Words in prayer God, only then, is really listening or to make a show of your piety before men.

    And it really is happening that Liturgical Piety is Monolithic, as their are some who think that any departure from strict Liturgical ritual is akin to not being informed or pious enough.

    As to Luther’s or the Orthodox Fathers piety being much more ‘Lutheran” than the average midwest Lutheran Milieu I can only say that God looks at the heart and laymen should be given no reason or excuse to doubt their piety. As all shepherds are to be as a gentle nurse to the infants they at times minister to.

  15. Deacon Hughes,

    You are putting words into the pastor’s actions. From what you described, no one at the conference said that the way they expressed their piety was the only way and that you and your laymen were at fault. You read that into the situation. If they did say that in duscussion after the service then I agree with you, they are at fault.

    Based on your criteria, no one could make any gestures at any worship service because there may be someone present who is offended at all gestures. There are some people who do not fold thier hands for prayer. If such a person sat next to you at church and you folded your hands, according to your standard, you would need to stop folding your hands.

    Of course all shepherds should be gentle nurses to the infants they minister to but that does not mean that at a divine service at a conference they should sit motionless. To me, this seems like a good teachable moment. I am not suggesting that you must teach the laity to do just what they did, but you could teach them why they did it, affirm that it is a good thing but not required of all, and go on from there.

    Determining appropriate liturgical expression is not a simple thing. For sure we are both on the same team here and we ought not to get all bent out of shape over this but see our discussion as one more small chapter in the discovery of what it means to be a Lutheran. I just think you are coming down to hard on the pastors. God is looking into their hearts as well and based on their gestures, He is certainly seeing people who are humble before his glory.


  16. As all shepherds are to be as a gentle nurse to the infants they at times minister to.

    @Deacon Brian Hughes #17

    You can be a “gentle nurse” without putting yourself on the level of the “infants”.
    I hope no one expects a mother to live on milk because that is what her new baby needs. Quite the contrary, she needs mature nutrition if she is going to take care of the infant.

    You said this was a conference… presumably an opportunity to learn new things. So there is no reason to complain that there were new things to be learned.

  17. John Hooss (#12) makes excellent points.

    I’d only add, according to FC.X, that if pastors were to face extreme duress to conduct (or not) a particular adiaphoron, it may become the pastors’ duty to perform the opposite practice to demonstrate no Scriptural command exists for such adiaphoron.

    As for signs of piety in the church service, turning off cellphones would be a major positive pious practice for which one won’t be accused of Eastern or Romish leanings.

  18. As for signs of piety in the church service, turning off cellphones would be a major positive pious practice

    One went off today during the Words of Institution.

  19. @Deacon Brian Hughes #20
    Thank you, Deacon, I’m quite accustomed to “A”‘s 🙂

    Try this:
    You are complaining of “excessive piety” (at a conference) on the part of a few clergymen who are more formal in their reverence for the Sacrament than you think necessary. (Presumably, they are doing what they would be doing at home in their own chancels, but at a place where they are in the pew.)

    You are making the complaint on the behalf of poor pewsitters (like myself) who might take offense at the actions of the clergy.

    I’m suggesting that the poor pewsitter might not take offense, or if he does, that he might reflect that he is doing it where none was intended. [If complaints were made to you, you should be intelligent enough to explain what was done and why… or find out if you don’t know.]

    I’m both more and less formal than many around me in the pews now. I was taught to use the sign of the cross in the service. OTOH, I do not kneel for the lengthier prayers because it’s difficult to rise. Nobody has questioned me about it. It reflects what I was taught/what I am able to do. It in no way reflects on their practice.

    Do I understand you (and you, me)?

  20. The point is there was no complaining in my posts in the first place.

    It was a case study of what laymen take to be excessive piety or Hyper-Ritualism and it refered to nothing about my reaction at all but of theirs and their comment to me

    Please read what is posted and not your own thoughts about it.

    It does not take a Martin Luther or a shaman to discern when something is being overdone or underdone as in Low Church and High Church and the excesses that are sometimes indulged in.

    Another point is is the Adiaphoron of it or no.

    You simply do not do anything that upsets the faith of even one parishioner as long as that ‘ pew sitter’ does not equate salvation to doing it or not doing it.

    Remember Paul’s admonition that he said he would not do anything, even to eat meat or drink wine or anything else, if it serves to make his neighbor stumble, i.e,. fall from the faith, to undo the work of Christ, the Atonement, in a person’s soul.

    Not that these Pastors knew this or would not care if they were told, as I said, it is a matter of discretion and being aware where you are.

    It is also a matter of common sense to be able to discern what one is saying by reading closely and putting the best construction on it.

  21. @Deacon Brian Hughes #24
    “It is also a matter of common sense to be able to discern what one is saying by reading closely and putting the best construction on it.”

    Listening to your friends and putting the best construction on what they say would be good pastoral practice (if you are heading in that direction).

    Reporting the incident here as a “case study of excessive piety or Hyper Ritualism”, [two caps, yet!] expecting an outburst of sympathy, is, IMHO, “a complaint” (and unwarranted).


    If I were going to worry about not offending even one person, I might not get up in the morning. But my supervisor might “take offense” at that (and anyone else who decides to be bothered by my apparent “laziness”!)
    If people want to “take offense”, they will find something offensive, (in their opinion), won’t they, Deacon!?

    (I know it’s easier to tackle me, but go back and read Pr. Rossow. )

  22. @Daniel #3

    You are right on! The reason for de-emphasizing the elevation of the host in the first place was because the Catholics insist that it is a sacrifice on the part of the recipients. Elevating the host, for Catholics, is a gesture of offering the sacrifice up to God. Lutherans elevate the offering for that exact same reason, and have stopped elevating the host so as not to be confused with the Catholic offering.

  23. Elevating the host and wine, having an altar, calling the officiant father or priest and calling the sacrament “mass” makes me wonder if some of you Lutherans are closet Catholics.

  24. Didn’t Martin Luther say? – “Each person must do his own believing, just as each person must do his own dying.” So, shouldn’t each person do his/her own worshipping, thusly observing his own piety as either learned of his personally, embraced traditions or as led by the Holy Spirit?

    We all understand Paul’s statement but then no one should do or not do a thing that would make him (Paul) stumble, either. This is a self-serving two way street that one uses to accommodate his/her own opinion much too easily. Should we just all stand at attention and move nothing so as not to upset another’s apple cart for the day.

    Our church is rich in individual traditions…as taught and embraced as a child, embraced in other congregations across the globe or as led by the Spirit. If someone crosses themself, genuflects, kneels in prayer, or does anything atypical to another so be it. It is their tradition. It is not required, and as long as it not done with a prideful heart, it is an individual’s right to worship as they so be led.

    Luther was concerned about regulated and required piety to seal the deal…he was not akin to cleaving a man’s personal piety. He was pious throughout his life in many respects if we look at his worship in a non-legalistic way. Many would argue his piety is greatly reflected in the crafting of his catechism…..the instruction on how and why we do things.
    Let us not judge a man on his personal relationship in observing the divinity of the Trinity. Judging a man for what he does in his observance gives another the right to judge what you do not do in your observance.

    IF – “Each person must do his own believing, just as each person must do his own dying.” – Then allow them to do their own worshipping.

  25. Rev. Thomas C. Messer :
    LSB does NOT have “and also with you” as the response to the Pax Domini in any of the settings of the Divine Service – they all have, “Amen.” LW had “and also with you,” but this was thankfully corrected in LSB.

    Yes, “thankfully” corrected. I’m reminded of a dear friend who likened the congregational response of “and also with you” to:

    (“The Lord be with you.”)

    “Right back atcha, Bud!”


  26. @Daniel #3
    Anyway, thanks for the laugh, and also thanks to Charles H. for offering his every other week offering suggestion. Now that’s some funny stuff.

    Amazing what gets rehashed after three years! As a matter of fact, “Charles H.” I am paid once a month. So, on the assumption that Paul was talking to people who received their wages once a week… or once a day, in some cases… I sometimes defer my “general” offering to the first week.
    Other times, I plan and give in advance, since my income is not seasonal like a farmer’s.

    @Deacon Arthur #28
    Didn’t Martin Luther say? – “Each person must do his own believing, just as each person must do his own dying.” So, shouldn’t each person do his/her own worshipping, thusly observing his own piety as either learned of his personally, embraced traditions or as led by the Holy Spirit?

    Thank you for that! Some of us learned a very simple format many decades ago and later were taught a more formal one. I don’t think it need bend anyone else in the pew out of shape, whichever one we use.

    My Pastor, who is fairly but not excessively formal, told a story about visiting a church up north, in “civvies”. After the service another pastor’s wife came up to him and asked, “Are you a pastor”? Upon his affirmation, she said, “I thought so. You were doing everything right.”
    Since most of what he was “doing right” occurred during the prayers, he wondered how she knew, if she was “doing everything right” herself (which presumably included bowed head, and perhaps eyes closed). 🙂

    @Dan Heisner #27
    Elevating the host and wine, having an altar, calling the officiant father or priest and calling the sacrament “mass” makes me wonder if some of you Lutherans are closet Catholics.

    No, Dan, but we may have studied the Book of Concord! 😉

  27. Rats! And here I thought it was going to be a piece on fifty-two weeks of sermons on stewardship, something similar to what we had at our (former) church. 🙂

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