From the Confessions: The Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
It is evident that for a long time it has been the public and grave complaint of upright people that the Mass has been profaned by using it for financial gain. It is well known how widespread this abuse is in the churches, as Masses are said for fees or stipends for the privileged, and how many celebrate them contrary to the Canons by doing so privately. Paul admonishes those who deal unworthily with the Eucharist when he says, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27). Therefore, when our priests were reproved concerning this sin, Private Masses were discontinued among us, as scarcely any Private Masses were celebrated except for the sake of profit.
Pulling It Together: The Mass, or Holy Communion, was being bought and sold in the days of the Reformation. It was thought that one could purchase a Mass to be said for himself as a way of earning some merit with God. Further, the Mass had come to such a sad place that priests were hired to say Masses for the dead, that God's wrath toward them would be appeased. Since the grace of God is a gift, freely given because of his immeasurably kind mercy toward us, private Masses were discontinued by the Lutherans. Lutherans administer the means of grace without cost to all believers, for that price has been paid by Christ alone through his death (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23) for the whole world (John 3:16).
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for my sin, through your death. Amen.
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