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Preparation For the Sacrament of Holy Communion

In preparing to partake in the Sacrament of Holy Communion the Christian should review and consider the 10 commandments (Gods Law). Gods Law shows the Christian where he or she has sinned against God. To assist you the commandments, a portion of Luther’s Small Catechism, and a portion of the Communion Service are printed here.

The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 20

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  2. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,  for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  3. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
  4. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  5. You shall not murder.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

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Small Catechism Section IV

Christian Questions with Their Answers Drawn Up 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 Holy Supper, the pastor may ask, or one may ask himself-

  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; these I have not kept.
  3. Are you also sorry for your sins?
    Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.
  4. What have you deserved of God by your sins?
    His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. Rom. 6:21 , 23.
  5. Do you also hope to be saved?
    Yes, such 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, then, 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; for the Father is God only, the Holy Spirit likewise; but the Son is 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 and from the words of the Sacrament; and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.
  12. How do those words read?
    Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He brake it and gave it to His disciples, saying, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup when He had supped, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink ye ail of it; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
  13. You believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament?
    Yes, I believe it.
  14. What induces you to believe this?
    The word of Christ, Take, eat, this is My body; Drink ye all of it, this is My blood.
  15. What ought we to do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and thus receive the pledge?
    We ought to remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
  16. Why ought we to remember and proclaim His death?
    That we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for our sins but Christ, true God and man; and that we may learn to look with terror at our sins, and to regard them as great indeed, and to find joy and comfort in Him alone, and thus be saved through such faith.
  17. What was it that moved Him to die and make satisfaction for your sins?
    His great love to His Father and to me and other sinners, as it is written in John 14; Rom. 5; Gal. 2; Eph. 5.
  18. Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament?
    That I may learn to believe that Christ died for my sin out of great love, as before Said; and that I may also learn of Him to love God and my neighbor.
  19. What should admonish and incite Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently?
    In respect to God, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord should move him and in respect to himself, the trouble that lies heavy on him, on account of which such command, encouragement, and promise given.
  20. But what shall a person do if he be sensible of such trouble and feel no hunger and thirst for the Sacrament?
    To such a person no better advice can given than that, in the first place, he put hand into his bosom, and feet whether he still have flesh and blood, and that he by all means believe what the Scriptures say of it in Gal and Rom. 7. Secondly, that he look around to see whether he is still in the world, and keep in mind that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15 and 16; 1 John 2 and 5. Thirdly, he will certainly have the devil also about 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; Eph. 6; 2 Tim. 2.

Note: These questions and answers are no child’s play, but are drawn up with great earnestness of purpose by the venerable and pious Dr. Luther for both young and old. Let each one take heed and likewise consider it a serious matter; for St. Paul writes to the Galatians, chapter sixth: Be not deceived; God is not mocked."

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The service of Holy Communion

And now I ask you before God, who searches the heart:

  1. Do you sincerely confess that you have sinned against God and deserved His wrath and punishment?
    Then declare so by saying: I do confess.  Verily, you should confess; for Holy Scripture declares: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth -is not in us.
  2. Do you heartily repent of all your sins committed in thought, word, and deed?
    Then declare so by saying: I do repent. · Verily, you should repent, as did the penitent sinners: King David, who prayed for a contrite heart; Peter, who wept bitterly; the sinful woman; the prodigal son; and others.
  3. Do you sincerely believe that God, by grace, for Jesus’ sake, will forgive you of all your sins?
    Then declare so by saying: I do believe. · Verily, you should so believe, for Holy Scripture declares: God so loved the world that lie gave His only-begotten Son-, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  4. Do you promise that with the aid of the Holy Spirit you will henceforth amend your sinful life?
    Then declare, so by saying: I do promise.
    Verily, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord, says: Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
  5. Finally, do you believe that through me, a called servant of God, you will receive the forgiveness of all your sins?
    Then declare so by saying: I do believe.   As you believe, even so may it be unto you.
    Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
Admission to the Lord's Supper: Basics of Biblical and Confessional Teaching (1999)
Theology and Practice of the Lord's Supper (1983)

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