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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
The Greek canon does not apply the offering as a satisfaction for the dead because it applies it equally for all the blessed patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. Therefore, it seems that the Greeks make an offering as thanksgiving, and do not apply it as satisfaction for punishments. Yet they speak not only of offering the body and blood of the Lord, but of the other parts of the Mass, namely, prayers and thanksgiving. For after the consecration they pray that it may profit those who partake of it. They speak of no others. Then they add that reasonable service does not mean the offering itself, but prayers and all things which are conducted there.
Pulling It Together
The ancients never intended to deliver the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles from a so-called purgatory. They only wished to offer up thanks together with them for the blessings that have been given to them and to us, the “household of faith” (Gal 6:10), the Israel of God (Gal 6:16), the whole Church.
These or similar words are spoken after the Lord’s Supper has been received: “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.” Then thanks and prayer are offered for all those present. Such thanks and praise are our reasonable service of worship.
Prayer: I give you thanks and praise, O God, for all the blessings your people receive in Word and Sacrament through the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus. Amen.
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Pastor Kent Groethe's study of the Book of Acts, Acts - Old Places, New Faces, focuses on the life of the early church as a model for church life today. The message and power of the church today needs to be revitalized and renewed by the power of God's Spirit, just as it was in the early church.