THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to those in his household.
l. What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, given to us Christians under the bread and wine to eat and to drink, as it was instituted by Christ Himself.
Where is this written?
The holy evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the apostle Paul write this way: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and, when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples saying, Take, eat. This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’
“In the same way He took the cup, after supper, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you. This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’”
2. What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?
The words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that God gives forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation through the Sacrament. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
3. How can eating and drinking do such wonderful things?
Eating and drinking actually do nothing. It is the words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” which do this. These words, together with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main part of the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: forgiveness of sins.
4. When is an individual properly prepared to receive this Sacrament?
Customs in connection with eating and clothing are indeed a fine preparation. However, a person is truly worthy and well-prepared who has faith in these words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Whoever does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared. The words, “for you,” require nothing but believing hearts.