The Service of the Sacrament
The Administration (Cont.)
1. The Pax Domini
a. What does this mean?
i. The peace of the Lord
b. When did Jesus say this, and how does this connect to our receiving him now
i. To his disciples after the resurrection
ii. We receive his crucified but risen body now as he is physically present among us
c. What physical action does the pastor do while speaking the Pax, and why?
i. He elevates the host and chalice before the people
ii. To indicate where our peace comes from
iii. The Pax is also a spoken blessing, “A sacramental announcement of the gift of peace promised by our Lord.”
d. What is the congregation’s response?
i. The Amen.
ii. How does this differ from the other responses given to pastoral blessings?
1. Rather that speak a blessing back, we speak the Amen
2. The congregation acknowledges the gifts of God given for them
e. At times in the history of the church, here was put the “Sharing of the peace”
i. This isn’t a “Holy Howdy” but rather an ancient custom
1. The NT speaks of the “kiss of peace” five times
2. It points us to the peace we have among each other, because we are at peace with Christ
a. It is a salutary practice, given the words of Jesus, “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you . . .” Matt 5:23
2. The Agnus Dei
a. What does this mean?
i. Lamb of God
1. From John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
2. Also reminds us of Isaiah 53, and how Revelation speaks of the Jesus as the Lamb
ii. How does this connect to the Passover?
1. Jesus is the Paschal Lamb, whose blood was shed, so that death passes over us
2. We now prepare to eat this meal of forgiveness and life
b. How many times do we sing these words?
i. Three times
1. This points us to the divine nature of this Lamb
2. It it connected to the Gloria in Excelsis
3. The Distribution
a. Does it matter how we distribute the sacrament?
i. Not necessarily. As we confess, “Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training, but that person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words, ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’”
ii. But our actions can and do confess something
1. Kneeling, bowing, folding hands, and general reverence speak to the great value of the gift we receive.
2. Likewise, receiving into the hands or mouth, from chalice or individual cup is not to be made a point of confession, but these practices can point to what we believe.
iii. Does it matter who distributes?
2. The distribution ought to be left to the pastor, and any male assistants necessary, for it is the call of the pastor to administer the sacraments of God.
a. That is, act as God’s man for the people
b. Serving God by serving his people
Closing Prayer: Thanksgiving after receiving the Sacrament (Inside cover of hymnal)