16 October 2011

The Consecration and the Conduct of the Holy Communion: A Bibliography

I've been doing my homework in preparation for a presentation on "Consecrationism vs. Receptionism" at the Indiana District Fall Church Workers' Conference (17-18 October).

The particular significance of this topic came to my attention a couple of years ago, in a conversation with my District President, the Reverend Dr. Daniel May. I am grateful to President May for asking me to address the topic, now, at our Indiana District Conference. Thanks, also, to the various brothers in Christ who have encouraged me in my preparations, to the dear people of my congregation for remembering me in their prayers in the course of these endeavors, and especially to my fellow Blackbirds, Paul Beisel, Gifford Grobien, Alan Ludwig, David Jay Webber, and William Weedon, for their helpful input and suggestions along the way.

The following is not an exhaustive bibliography, but it is a fairly complete list of the resources I have found most interesting, significant, and useful in my preparations. In addition to other comments, I welcome any further resources that readers might recommend; especially because, as the Spirit of Christ enables, I am inclined to write up some manner of article, blog post, or essay on this topic (though obviously not in advance of my presentation).

Beisel, Paul L. To Mix, or Not to Mix: The Sacramental Character of the Reliquiae. Unpublished paper, presented to the Iowa District Fall Pastors’ Conference, 2007.

Burnett, Amy N. “Basel and the Wittenberg Concord.” Archive for Reformation History 96 (2005): 33–56.

Chemnitz, Martin. Examination of the Council of Trent, Part II. Tr. Fred Kramer. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978. (Especially “Concerning the Sacrament of the Eucharist,” 217–332.)

Chemnitz, Martin. The Lord’s Supper: De coena Domini. Tr. J. A. O. Preus. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1979.

Chemnitz, Martin. Ministry, Word, and Sacraments: An Enchiridion. Tr. Luther Poellot. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1981. (Especially “The Lord’s Supper,” 120–32.)

Green, Lowell C. “Article VII: The Holy Supper.” A Contemporary Look at the Formula of Concord. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978.

Hardt, Tom G. A. The Sacrament of the Altar. Tr. Erling T. Teigen, 1998. (Condensed English version of Hardt’s doctoral dissertation, Venerabilis et Adorabilis Eucharistia, 1971.)

Hardt, Tom G. A. “The Saliger Sacramental Controversy.” Lutheran Quarterly IV, No. 4 (Winter 1990): 405–18.

Harris, Paul R. “The Angels Are Aware . . . and We Are Too.” Logia IV, No. 1 (1995): 21–29.

Killinger, Keith. “Domesticating an Untamed Sacramental Rule.” Lutheran Quarterly VII, No. 4 (Winter 1993): 401–24.

Kittelson, James M.; and Ken Schurb. “The Curious Histories of the Wittenberg Concord.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 50, No. 2 (April 1986): 119–37.

Luther, Martin. “The Adoration of the Sacrament (1523),” tr. Abdel Ross Wentz. Luther’s Works, Volume 36, ed. Abdel Ross Wentz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 271–305 (esp. 290–98).

Luther, Martin. “Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper (1528),” tr. Robert H. Fischer. Luther’s Works, Volume 37, ed. Robert H. Fischer (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1961), 151–372 (esp. 180–94, 303–41).

Luther, Martin. “The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ—Against the Fanatics (1526),” tr. Frederick C. Ahrens. Luther’s Works, Volume 36, ed. Abdel Ross Wentz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 331–61 (esp. 341–51).

Murray, Scott R. "The Sacrament of the Altar and Its Relationship to Justification." Logia IX, No. 3 (2000): 11-16.

Peters, Edward Frederick. The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use,” in Sixteenth-Century and Seventeenth-Century Lutheran Theology. [Th.D. Thesis, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1968.] Fort Wayne, Indiana: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1993.

Pieper, Francis. Christian Dogmatics, Volume III. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953. (Especially “What Constitutes the Lord’s Supper,” 365–73.)

Piepkorn, Arthur Carl; and Charles McClean. The Conduct of the Service. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Redeemer Press, 2006. (Especially “The Service of the Sacrament,” 21–35.)

Saar, David P. “Still Another View of Consecration.” Lutheran Quarterly IX, No. 4 (Winter 1995): 473–85.

Sasse, Hermann. “Consecration and Real Presence (1957).” Scripture and the Church: Selected Essays of Hermann Sasse, ed. Jeffrey J. Kloha and Ronald R. Feuerhahn (St. Louis: Concordia Seminary, 1995), 272–317.

Sasse, Hermann. “The Lutheran Understanding of the Consecration (1952).” We Confess the Sacraments, tr. Norman Nagel (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1985), 113–38.

Sasse, Hermann. This Is My Body: Luther’s Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar, Revised Edition. Adelaide, Australia: Lutheran Publishing House, 1977.

Schmeling, Gaylin R. “Review Essay: The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Martin Chemnitz.” Lutheran Quarterly VIII, No. 3 (Autumn 1994): 321–7.

Stephenson, John R. The Lord’s Supper. St. Louis: The Luther Academy, 2003. (Esp. Ch. 5, “In His Person and Name,” 83–109.)

Stephenson, John R. “Reflections on the Appropriate Vessels for Consecrating and Distributing the Precious Blood of Christ.” Logia IV, No. 1 (1995): 11–19.

Teigen, Bjarne W. “The 1959 St. Louis–Springfield Faculty Statement in the Light of the Saliger Controversy.” Logia XIV, No. 1 (2005): 11–18.

Teigen, Bjarne W. “The Case of the Lost Luther Reference.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 43:2 (October 1979): 295–309.

Teigen, Bjarne W. The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Martin Chemnitz. Brewster, MA: Trinity Lutheran Press, 1986.

Teigen, Bjarne W. “Martin Chemnitz and SD VII, 126.” A Lively Legacy: Essays in Honor of Robert Preus (Lake Mills, Iowa: Graphic Publishing Co., Inc., 1985), 164-172.

Teigen, Bjarne W. “The Nihil Rule Revisited.” Lutheran Quarterly VIII, No. 3 (Autumn 1994): 269–85.

Teigen, Bjarne W. “Views on Reviews.” Confessional Lutheran Research Society Newsletter, No. 10 (Easter 1988).

Teigen, Erling T. “Luther and the Consecration” Mysteria Dei: Essays in Honor of Kurt Marquart. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1999.

Walther, C. F. W. Pastoral Theology. Translated and abridged by John M. Drickamer. New Haven, Missouri: Lutheran News, Inc. (Esp. Chapter 17, “The Administration of Holy Communion,” 130–145.)

Wengert, Timothy J. “Luther and Melanchthon on Consecrated Communion Wine.” Lutheran Quarterly XV (2001): 24–42.

Ziegler, Roland F. “Should Lutherans Reserve the Consecrated Elements for the Communion of the Sick?” Concordia Theological Quarterly 67, No. 2 (April 2003): 131–47.


Pr. H. R. said...


There is a very important, and concise, piece by the Synod's current 5th VP, Dr. Scott Murray, in Logia. It can be had here:



Pr. H. R. said...

PS: I hope Erich Fickel will record your presentation and post it.


Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Many thanks, Heath. Very helpful. I'll certainly be looking at the article between now and when I give my presentation. I'm actually surprised that I wasn't already aware of it, and that I hadn't stumbled across it in the course of my other reading.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Yep. Great article, Heath. Thanks again for the recommendation.

Kurt Onken said...

Would love to read any paper of yours that may follow from your presentation, Rick. I'm in the middle of reading Teigen's book right now and I suppose I'll have to check out some of the other sources you've posted here.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Dear Kurt,

I'll be happy to share -- with you and anyone else who may be interested -- whatever I may eventually write up on the topic. In the meanwhile, in addition to Teigen's book, you should certainly check out Tom Hardt's work, Edward F. Peters' Th.D. thesis (which, I assume, should still be available from the CTS Press), the essays by Herman Sasse, and anything that John Stephenson has written on the Lord's Supper.

Pastor Foy said...

Rick, your presentation was beyond words so please allow thank you and wonderful to suffice. I would like to ask a question: If an LC-MS pastor were to use words other than those in the Hymnal or use words such as "signify" or "symbolize" what would result? Supper or not? Body and blood or not?
Please share with me the words you spoke that described why other confessions do not have the sacrament as they do not intend to, do not use the Verba, etc. Please understand that I am not trying to ask the mouse that ate the host question, I just want to be able to explain better why others who "celebrate" the Lord's Supper do not actually have it or why it is that they also don't take the bread and wine (there is not body and blood, No Jesus present") to their judgment. Please forgive me if I am just ignorant.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Thank you for your kind comments and good questions, Brother Foy. There's certainly no need for you to apologize for what you've posed.

What it comes down to, is whether or not one has the Words of Christ in the context of His Supper, and all of this depends entirely upon His Institution. Where His Words are reinterpreted and publicly confessed to mean something other than what Christ has actually said, then even the same sounds and vocables are no longer His Words -- and whatever sort of supper one may be having, it isn't the Lord's Supper. Thus, when the Reformed publicly declare that "is" means "symbolizes," etc., they have removed the Lord's Words and do not have His Supper. So, too, when the Papists take only a portion of His Words, namely, "This Is My Body," but omit the Holy Communion in favor of a presumed sacrifice of propitiation; not "for us Christians to eat and to drink," but, instead, for reservations, processions and adoration apart from the Holy Communion, then that is not the Sacrament of the Altar, either, but some other vile thing.

It is a matter of what is publicly taught and confessed, and what is publicly practiced -- in comparison to the actual Words of Christ. It isn't a matter of waiting to see what happens, but of what is publicly declared and known up front.

So much more clearly in a case where the sounds and vocables have actually been changed, and the Words of Christ are replaced with something else altogether. By way of the examples you have alluded to, "symbolizes" or "signifies" is not a faithful translation of the word, "is," and therefore is not a use of the Word of Christ. That takes the misinterpretation and misuse another step further into a false teaching and confession, and thus, without the Words of Christ, there is certainly no Supper of Christ.

Where a faithful rendering of the actual Words of Christ are spoken "in remembrance of Him," that is to say, within the faithful administration of His Supper "in His Name and stead," there, at His speaking, His Body and Blood are present -- the bread is His Body, the wine is His Blood -- for His Christians to eat and to drink, for the forgiveness of sins and life and salvation. The presence of His Body and Blood does not depend upon the reception and eating, but the reception and eating depend upon the presence of His Body and His Blood, which His own Word has declared, made so, and given.

Phil said...

Fr. Stuckwisch,

You have mentioned Killinger's LQ article, but it itself was a distillation of his Th.D. thesis which I read earlier this year. He has some very interesting challenges to Teigen's reading of Chemnitz. The usual ELCA-LCMS disagreements, especially over women acting as pastors, still show through, though.

I have had a great deal of personal interest in this question and the related question of sacramental reservation and have read many of those books--thanks for listing several I haven't caught! I might add the works of Jurgen Diestelmann and Jobst Schone, but for the large part they are only available in German and inaccessible to me, so I can only say that I'd like to read them.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Thanks for your comments, Phil. I'd be interested in reading Killinger's thesis, as well, which I didn't come across. Seems like there's always more stuff out there, and, even in this digital age, sometimes it's still only by chance that one comes across something.

By and large, and I have not found the critiques of Teigen's work on Chemnitz to be compelling. However, as much as I have appreciated Teigen's work, I am ultimately more convinced by my own reading of Chemnitz himself.

The divide between "consecrationism" and "receptionism" obviously touches upon questions of reservation, as well, but there is yet a difference between these topics. Where my own prior thinking has been challenged -- and I still have some questions to answer in this regard -- is with respect to reliquiae (that is, whatever is not consumed either during the Divine Service or shortly thereafter). So far the evidence suggests that even Luther would, at least on occasion, regard such reliquiae as no longer within the use of the Sacrament, and, therefore, no longer the Body and Blood of Christ. But, for Luther, and for the Lutheran Church Orders, there were to be no such reliquiae, because everything that was consecrated was to be consumed -- every drop, every crumb -- either at the Altar at the end of the distribution, or in the sacristy following the Divine Service, as needs may be. And such consumption was understood to be within the "action" and "use" of the Sacrament -- indeed, it was the appropriate completion of the "action" and "use" of the Supper.

For myself, I continue to find the simplest answers in the Words of Christ: He tells us what the bread and wine are: His Body and His Blood. And He tells us what to do with them: Eat, and Drink. The Verba not only give us the Sacrament itself and everything we need to know about it; they also suggest, to any pious disciple of Jesus, the appropriate conduct and decorum with which to administer and receive this Holy Sacrament.

William Tighe said...

I read Killinger's Th.D. thesis (from the Lutheran school of Theology in Chicago ca. 1991) about 12 years ago, and it is very much worth seeking out and reading carefully.

Daniel Baker said...

I have a question: What makes the Sacrament of Holy Baptism valid in the Papist and Reformed communions whereas the Sacrament of Holy Communion is invalidated? It seems to me that, for example, the Pentecostal preacher who baptizes adults as a "symbol" of fellowship in the Church is not baptizing with the intent of Christ. And yet, we do not re-baptize people from other "Christian" traditions. What makes one Sacrament more valid than the other?

Anonymous said...


The difference is in the words themselves. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." It is a baptism, and it is in the name of the Triune God. They are not changing the meaning of baptize (they apply water) they are doing the action of applying the water, they do not change the name of God either. The Word has been joined to the element, and thus they have a Sacrament. Therefore it is a baptism, regardless that they do not recognize the promises that God has attached to the same.

Now there IS a disturbing trend we all need to be very careful with. Lately there are Baptist churches which are NOT using the words of Jesus. They give a reading about baptism, say from Acts 2, or something. Then they immerse the person, and say nothing at all. Lacking the words of Jesus, that is no baptism. With future converts we will have sto be especially diligent in discerning the circumstances of their baptism, and may well be faced with re-baptizing someone because their baptism is in doubt.

George and Colleen said...


I know you make the classical lutheran argument... but doesn't it seem like begging the question? I mean, "baptize" surely doesn't mean "wash with water" only. It is clearly a technical term. Luther's answer to "how can water do such great things" is a perfect example, but so is the NT usage of the word.

If a baptist has reinterpreted the word "baptize" to mean "a symbolical washing" then what really is the difference?

It's at best a scholastic distinction to claim that a baptist baptism is valid (my only baptism, I will add) but that a baptist Lord's Supper is invalid.