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    Prayer & Christian Devotion - Thread: Lutheran Liturgy Explanation

    1. #31
      Lämmchen's Avatar
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      The Prayer of Thanks

      After Christ has given us His true Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper, the only response we can properly give to God for such a precious gift is our thanks. That is why from very early times the liturgy was called the “Eucharist,” meaning “the giving of thanks,” that Christians coming to worship God received of Him more than comfort, strength, or answer to prayer. God’s gift was not a memento of Himself, something just to cheer them through evil days. God’s gift then, as it is now, is Himself. Our whole life should be filled with thankfulness and praise for what God has done for us in Christ. Thus we are reminded in several of the Psalms (106:1; 136:1) “to give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”


      The Benediction

      The Benediction is not a prayer, but a blessing from God. Because it comes from God, it is not conditional, but a guarantee granted to each one of us. The words themselves come from God's command for Aaron to place God’s blessing upon the people in Numbers 6:22-27. Christ, also, as a final act before He ascended into heaven, blessed His disciples (Luke 24:50) on the Mount of Olives. Now, again, in the Holy Sacrament, His presence has been a reality for us, and He now gives us His blessing, through the word of His servant, as the service ends.

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      I hope everyone enjoyed this thread! Here is a final appendix concerning the service:

      “Our Lord speaks and we listen. His Word bestows what it says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise, enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God. Saying back to him what he has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure. Most true and sure is his name, which he put on us with the water of our Baptism. We are his. This we acknowledge at the beginning of the Divine Service. Where his name is, there is he. Before him we acknowledge that we are sinners, and we plead for forgiveness. His forgiveness is given us, and we, freed and forgiven, acclaim him as our great and gracious God as we apply to ourselves the words he has used to make himself known to us.


      The rhythm of our worship is from him to us, and then from us back to him. He gives his gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Our Lord gives us his body to eat and his blood to drink. Finally his blessing moves us out into our calling, where his gifts have their fruition. How best to do this we may learn from his Word and from the way his Word has prompted his worship through the centuries. We are heirs of an astonishingly rich tradition. Each generation receives from those who went before and, in making that tradition of the Divine Service its own, adds what best may serve in its own day – the living heritage and something new.”

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