Thursday, July 10, 2008


Whew, I just got through reading all the blogging going on regarding the matter of when or whether the consecrated elements cease to be the body and blood of Christ.

It takes awhile, but for those wanting to get up to date, I suggest you do so by clicking here and here and maybe also here.

What you'll find, for the most part, is Rev. Paul McCain tirelessly arguing against anyone who might suggest, or hint, that what remains of the elements might continue to be the body and blood of Christ after the service is over. He says no way, no how. Because the Lutheran Confessions say so. We have a number of Lutheran pastors, a few laymen, and even some Orthodox priests in the fray. It's interesting at times, but also a bit redundant. I'm going to spare you the rest of the details. If you're interested, just click on those 'here' references above.

Here's my belated reply to the current discussion. I don't want to belabor anything but a couple of things came to my mind, which I didn't see anyone addressing, so here's my insertion.

What about the body of Christ which has been consumed? When does that cease to be the body of Christ? Talk about a Scholastic question, but there is a point to be made here, methinks.

Secondly, if Rev. McCain wants to be speaking the truth in love, and restoring any 'fallen' brethren (such as I evidently am, who gladly count myself a -- what? - durationist? consecrationist? not sure), then how does he plan to do so if he's going to do nothing but quote the Confessions?

I mean, let's say he convinces me the Confessions oppose my position (he's a very long way from doing so, incidentally). For the sake of argument, what happens then? I must, if I am a man of integrity, I suppose, quit Lutheranism and go East, or to Rome, or somewhere, right? But Rev. McCain has repeatedly chided Fr Hogg for inserting himself into 'Lutheran' debates because it's some kind of sheep stealing technique.

So I'm bewildered. How can Rev. McCain convince me (or anyone) to stay Lutheran if all he can do is quote the Confessions? Isn't that what he wants to do?

More later. I spent all my time simply reading up on this debate today.


Paul McCain said...

I was looking through TLH, LW and LSB pastoral agendas at the orders for communing the sick and shut-ins, etc. I could find no provisions in any rubrics that would take into account the belief that the reliquiae are, and ever remain, the body and blood of Christ.

So, I was wondering what words folks use who commune the sick and shut in, if they do not use the services as prepared and provided in the various agendas our Synod has used for a very long time, and most recently, with LSB.

How are Lord's Words spoken, and what, precisely do you say when having a communion service privately for the sick and shut-in?

Paul McCain said...

I know how busy you are, but I would like to hear how you commune the sick and shut-in and how you use the words of institution.

Do you repeat what is in the various pastoral agendas we have from TLH, LW and LSB? Or do you use them in some other way?


Rev.Fr.Burnell F Eckardt said...

It's a fair question.

I insert into the order the following words, just prior to the words of institution:

"These elements have been carried from the altar of the church our Lord Jesus Christ, where his blessed words of institution were spoken over them, which words I now repeat in your hearing."

Paul McCain said...

Thanks Fritz, for your answer. If you don't mind, may I ask why you say "these elements" instead of saying, "The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ has been carried from the altar"

Thanks for your patience. I'm trying to understand as thoroughly as I can this point of view.

Rev.Fr.Burnell F Eckardt said...

Actually, Paul, to say it the way you suggest would be acceptable to me, but I guess that grammatically it seems better to make it clear that I am referring to what is before me. I mean, I could say, "These elements, which are the body and blood of Christ, etc." but that would be clumsy and unnecessary, I think.

Paul McCain said...

I'm not so sure Fritz. It seems that to be consistent with your position that bread and wine that have been consecrated remain the body and blood of Christ no matter how long after they are consecrated as long as you intend to distribute it should be referred to as the body and blood of Christ.

Rev.Fr.Burnell F Eckardt said...

Being a grammarian, I'm always in search for a concise and appropriate way to say something.

As far as my making it clear that they are the body and blood of Christ, I follow the old rubric of making my reverence when I set down the carrying case, and again, when all has been prepared.

In fact, I avoid small talk and extraneous conversation when I am carrying the carrying case from place to place.

There's an old medieval English rubric that requires that a person carrying a lantern should walk ahead of the coach which transports the priest and the Sacrament en route to the sick house.