Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Walther, 1906. Chapter 17, “The Administration of Holy Communion”

Chapter 17, “The Administration of Holy Communion” pp. 130-145

Here Walther discusses the consecration, distribution, and reception of the bread and wine. First he considers it a matter of adiaphoron what kind of bread is used, so long as it is made with water and grain, as well as how the wine is prepared, whether red or white, pure or mixed. Bread and wine must be used and not substituted for. It is neither necessary nor forbidden to break the bread apart publicly.

The Words of Institution and distribution are critical as Jesus commands his people to do as He did. On p. 132 Walther cites Gerhard’s insistence that there is a genuine change in consecration so that Jesus is bodily present.

Beginning on p. 134 Walther discusses administration of the Supper by a lay person. Because there cannot be a necessity, as there is in baptism or absolution, lay administration is not positive. While such lay administration is not viewed as correct, all Lutherans confess it is valid (p. 135).

On p. 139 Walther asserts that where the real bodily presence of Jesus is denied there is no Sacrament, only bread and wine, regardless of the words used.

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