The Service of the Sacrament
The Post Communion
1. The Nunc Dimittis
a. What does this mean? Where is it from?
i. Now depart
ii. Luke 2, the song of Simeon
1. Simeon acknowledges that salvation is from God
2. Manifested in the flesh Jesus and given to us by His very hand
b. What is its significance at this point in the service?
i. It is reminiscent of the first Holy Communion, “When they had sung a hymn they went out into the Mount of Olives.” (Matt. 26:30)
ii. “That for which the believer has come into the Sanctuary has been received in all its fullness, and he now feels himself at peace with God and declares his readiness to depart.” (Conduct, 65)
iii. It connects the Incarnation to the Holy Communion- the same flesh and blood born of Mary is given for us now.
c. Where else is this hymn sung?
i. Services at the close of the day – Compline, Prayer at the Close of the Day
d. What connection does this make?
i. We can be dismissed by the Lord, whether from this day, this earthly life or this Divine Service, in the peace of eternal life in the flesh and blood of Christ
2. The Prayer of Thanksgiving
a. How is the prayer introduced?
i. By a versicle and response (found is Psalms 105, 106, etc.)
ii. This bids us unite our hearts in prayer, for God has promised to hear us and have mercy upon us
b. Why do we offer now a prayer? And what do we pray for?
i. In the same way that we give thanks before and after meals (we often leave out the after part, but it wasn’t always this way), we offer our thanks and praise to God the gift of this holy meal- His Lord’s Supper
ii. We pray, especially, that the Holy Communion would strengthen our faith in God and our love for neighbor
3. The Benedicamus
a. What does this mean?
i. Let us bless
ii. It’s short for “Let us bless the Lord” (Benedicamus Domino)
b. What do we have first?
i. Another Salutation!
1. Yes, another prayer of blessing between Pastor and congregation
2. But this one sounds a little different
a. You’ll note that following the Holy Communion the chanting has changed keys to one that is higher than previous used
b. This helps us mark the conclusion of the service with slightly different tone, pointing to gifts just received.
4. The Benediction
a. How is the Benediction different from the Salutation?
i. The Salutation is a prayer for blessing
ii. The Benediction is a blessing from God
1. “They (the priests) shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:27)
2. This was God’s command to Moses, and even our Lord’s final act with the disciples (Luke 24:50)
b. How is the Benediction composed?
i. Of three verses, each beginning with “The Lord”
1. The first verse offers God’s blessing and protection
2. The second verse announces the favor and mercy of God
a. In our sins, the Lord is displeased with us- He frowns
b. But by the forgiveness of Christ, we are reconciled to God and He now smiles upon us.
3. The third verse assures us of God’s love
a. He looks upon us lovingly, like husband to wife, or father to son
b. We begin the service confessing our sins, we end it assured of peace in God
ii. The congregation’s response
1. The three-fold Amen.
2. We believingly accept all of God’s gifts for us.
Closing Prayer: After Worship (Inside cover of hymnal)
*Notes taken from An Explanation of the Common Service, and The Lutheran Liturgy