Some Quotations Pertaining to the Consecration
and the Sacramental Union

It is the Word, I say, that makes this a sacrament and distinguishes it from ordinary bread and wine, so that it is called and truly is Christ’s body and blood. For it is said, “Accedat verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum,” that is, “When the Word is joined to the external element, it becomes a sacrament.” This saying of St. Augustine is so appropriate and well put that he could hardly have said anything better. The Word must make the element a sacrament; otherwise, it remains an ordinary element. ... It is true, indeed, that if you take the Word away from the elements or view them apart from the Word, you have nothing but ordinary bread and wine. But if the words remain, as is right and necessary, then by virtue of them the elements are truly the body and blood of Christ. For as Christ’s lips speak and say, so it is; he cannot lie or deceive. (Large Catechism V:10-11,14 [Martin Luther], The Book of Concord, edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000], p. 468)

As Justin says, “We do not receive this as ordinary bread and as an ordinary beverage, but just as Jesus Christ, our Savior, became flesh through God’s Word and had flesh and blood for the sake of our salvation, so we believe that the meal consecrated by him through Word and prayer is the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Formula of Concord SD VII:39, Kolb/Wengert p. 599) the Lord’s Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly and substantially present and are truly offered with those things that are seen, bread and wine. Moreover, we are talking about the presence of the living Christ, for we know that death no longer has dominion over him [Rom. 6:9]. (Apology of the Augsburg Confession X:4 [Philip Melanchthon], Kolb/Wengert p. 185)

We maintain that the bread and the wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ and that they are not only offered to and received by upright Christians but also by evil ones. (Smalcald Articles III, 6:1 [Martin Luther], Kolb/Wengert p. 320)

In the same way I also say and confess that in the Sacrament of the Altar the true body and blood of Christ are orally eaten and drunk in the bread and wine, even if the priests who distribute them or those who receive them do not believe or otherwise misuse the sacrament. It does not rest on human belief or unbelief but on the Word and ordinance of God – unless they first change God’s Word and ordinance and misinterpret them, as the enemies of the sacrament do at the present time. They, indeed, have only bread and wine, for they do not also have the words and instituted ordinance of God but have perverted and changed it according to their own imagination. (Martin Luther [as quoted in the Formula of Concord], [Great] Confession concerning Christ’s Supper, quoted in FC SD VII:32, Kolb/Wengert p. 598) human words or works create the true presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Supper, whether it be the merit or the speaking of the minister or the eating and drinking or the faith of the communicants. Instead, all this should be ascribed solely to the almighty power of God and to the words, institution, and arrangement of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the true and almighty words of Jesus Christ, which he spoke in the first institution of the Supper, were not only effective in the first Supper; they remain so. They retain their validity and power and are still effective, so that in all places in which the Supper is observed according to Christ’s institution and his words are used, the body and blood of Christ are truly present, distributed and received on the basis of the power and might of the very same words that Christ spoke in the first Supper. For wherever what Christ instituted is observed and his words are spoken over the bread and cup and wherever the consecrated bread and cup are distributed, Christ himself exercises his power through the spoken words, which are still his Word, by virtue of the power of the first institution. He wills that his Word be repeated, as Chrysostom says in his Sermon on the Passion, “Christ prepares this table himself and blesses it; for no human being makes the bread and wine, which are set before us, the body and blood of Christ. Rather Christ himself, who was crucified for us, does that. The words are spoken by the mouth of the priest, but when he says, ‘This is my body,’ the elements that have been presented in the Supper are consecrated by God’s power and grace through the Word. Just as the saying ‘be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth’ [Gen. 1:28] was said only once and yet is continually effective in nature, causing it to grow and multiply, so these words were said once. But they are powerful and do their work in our day and until his return, so that in the Supper as celebrated in the church his true body and blood are present.” (Formula of Concord SD VII:74-76, Kolb/Wengert p. 606)

Here, too, if I were to say over all the bread there is, “This is the body of Christ,” nothing would happen, but when we follow his institution and command in the Supper and say, “This is my body,” then it is his body, not because of our speaking or our declarative word, but because of his command in which he has told us to speak and to do and has attached his own command and deed to our speaking. (Martin Luther [as quoted in the Formula of Concord], [Great] Confession concerning Christ’s Supper, quoted in FC SD VII:78, Kolb/Wengert p. 607)

...when those who had presented their own confession regarding this article at Augsburg wished instead to affirm the confession of our churches, the following formula concordiae, that is, “Articles of a Christian Agreement between the Saxon and South German Theologians,” was drafted in Wittenberg in 1536 and signed by Dr. Martin Luther and other theologians from both sides:
“We have heard how Martin Bucer has explained his own position and that of the other preachers who came with him from the [South German] cities regarding the holy sacrament of the body and blood of Christ:
“They confess, in the words of Irenaeus, that there are two things in this sacrament, one heavenly and one earthly. Therefore, they hold and teach that with the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ are truly and essentially present, distributed, and received. Although they do not believe in a transubstantiation (that is, in an essential transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood) and they do not hold that the body and blood of Christ are localiter, that is, spatially enclosed in the bread or are permanently united in some other way apart from reception [Latin: usus] in the sacrament, they nevertheless admit that through the sacramental union the bread is the body of Christ, etc. For they do not hold that the body of Christ is present apart from reception [Latin: usus] – for example, when the bread is laid aside and kept in the tabernacle or carried about and put on display in the procession, as happens in the papacy.
“Second, they hold that the institution of this sacrament, as it was performed by Christ, is effective throughout Christendom and that its power does not rest upon the worthiness or unworthiness of the minister who distributes the sacrament, nor upon the worthiness or unworthiness of the one who receives it because, as St. Paul says, even the unworthy receive the sacrament. Thus, they hold that the body and blood of Christ are truly distributed even to the unworthy and that the unworthy truly receive the body and blood when the sacrament is conducted according to Christ’s institution and command. But they receive it to judgment, as St. Paul says [1 Cor. 11:27-32], for they misuse the holy sacrament because they receive it without true repentance and without faith. For it was instituted to testify that the grace and benefits of Christ are applied to those who truly repent and find comfort through faith in Christ and that these are the ones incorporated into Christ and washed in Christ’s blood.” (Formula of Concord SD VII:12-16, Kolb/Wengert pp. 595-96)

Indeed, in the administration of the Holy Supper the Words of Institution are to be clearly and plainly spoken or sung publicly in the congregation, and in no case are they to be omitted. This is done, first, so that Christ’s command, “Do this,” may be obeyed. Second, it is done so that Christ’s words will arouse, strengthen, and confirm the hearers’ faith in the nature and benefits of this sacrament (that is, the presence of Christ’s body and blood and the forgiveness of sins, and all the benefits that have been won for us by Christ’s death and the shedding of his blood, which are given to us in his testament). Third, it is done so that the elements of bread and wine are sanctified and consecrated in this holy practice, whereby Christ’s body and blood are offered to us to eat and to drink, as Paul says [1 Cor. 10:16], “The cup of blessing that we bless...” This of course takes place in no other way than through the repetition and recitation of the Words of Institution.
But this “blessing” or the recitation of the Words of Institution of Christ by itself does not make a valid sacrament if the entire action of the Supper, as Christ administered it, is not observed (as, for example, when the consecrated bread is not distributed, received, and eaten but is instead locked up [in the tabernacle], made into a sacrifice, or carried around in a procession). On the contrary, Christ’s command, “Do this,” must be observed without division or confusion. For it includes the entire action or administration of this sacrament: that in a Christian assembly bread and wine are taken, consecrated, distributed, received, eaten, and drunk, and that thereby the Lord’s death is proclaimed, as St. Paul presents the entire action of the breaking of the bread or its distribution and reception in 1 Corinthians 10[:16].
In order to preserve this true Christian teaching on the Holy Supper and to avoid and eliminate many kinds of idolatrous abuses and perversions of this testament, this useful rule and guide is taken from the Words of Institution: nothing has the character of a sacrament apart from the use [usus] instituted by Christ or the divinely instituted action [actio]. (That is, when Christ’s institution is not observed as he established it, there is no sacrament.) This rule dare not be rejected in any way, but it can and should be followed and preserved in the church of God with great benefit. The usus or actio (that is, the practice or administration) does not refer primarily to faith or to the oral partaking, but to the entire external, visible administration of the Supper, as Christ established the administration of the Supper: the consecration, or Words of Institution, and the distribution and reception or oral partaking of the consecrated bread and wine, Christ’s body and blood. Apart from this practice it is not to be regarded as a sacrament – for example, when in the papistic Mass the bread is not distributed but is made into a sacrifice, or enclosed [in a tabernacle], or carried about in a procession, or displayed for adoration. It is the same way with baptismal water. When it is used to consecrate bells or to heal leprosy or when it is exhibited in some other way for adoration, it is no sacrament or baptism. For this rule was initially used against such papistic abuses and was explained by Dr. Luther himself. (Formula of Concord SD VII:79-87, Kolb/Wengert pp. 607-08)

Now see, as I have said, how much the poor bodily voice is able to do. First of all it brings the whole Christ to the ears; then it brings him into the hearts of all who listen and believe. Should it then be so amazing that he enters into the bread and wine? Is not the heart much more tenuous and elusive than bread? You will probably not attempt to fathom how this comes about. Just as little as you are able to say how it comes about that Christ is in so many thousands of hearts and dwells in them – Christ as he died and rose again – and yet no man knows how he gets in, so also here in the sacrament, it is incomprehensible how this comes about. But this I do know, that the word is there: “Take, eat, this is my body, given for you, this do in remembrance of me.” When we say these words over the bread, then he is truly present, and yet it is a mere word and voice that one hears. Just as he enters the heart without breaking a hole in it, but is comprehended only through the Word and hearing, so also he enters into the bread without needing to make any hole in it.
Take yet another example. How did his mother Mary become pregnant? Although it is a great miracle when a woman is made pregnant by a man, yet God reserved for him the privilege of being born of the Virgin. Now how does the Mother come to this? She has no husband [Luke 1:34] and her womb is entirely enclosed. Yet she conceives in her womb a real, natural child with flesh and blood. Is there not more of a miracle here than in the bread and wine? Where does it come from? The angel Gabriel brings the word: “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, etc.” [Luke 1:31]. With these words Christ comes not only into her heart, but also into her womb, as she hears, grasps, and believes it. No one can say otherwise, than that the power comes through the Word. As one cannot deny the fact that she thus becomes pregnant through the Word, and no one knows how it comes about, so it is in the sacrament also. For as soon as Christ says: “This is my body,” his body is present through the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. If the Word is not there, it is mere bread; but as soon as the words are added they bring with them that of which they speak. (Martin Luther, The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ – Against the Fanatics, Luther’s Work 36 [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959], pp. 341-42)

...the evangelists write that the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ in the form of a dove at the river Jordan. Again, he came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, in the form of wind and tongues of fire. Again, upon Mt. Tabor in the form of a cloud. Here [John] Wycliffe and the sophists may play wise men and say, “This dove is present without the Holy Spirit,” or, “The Holy Spirit is present without the dove.” We say, in opposition to both parties, that as one points to the dove, he rightly and properly says, “This is the Holy Spirit,” in virtue of the fact that here the two diverse beings, Spirit and dove, in some degree are also a single being, though not naturally or personally. Well, it may be called a “formal union,” because the Holy Spirit has deigned to manifest himself in such a form. Here the Scripture says precisely that he who sees this dove sees the Holy Spirit, e.g. John 1[:33], “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain,” etc.
Why then should we not much more say in the Supper, “This is my body,” even though bread and body are two distinct substances, and the word “this” indicates the bread? Here, too, out of two kinds of objects a union has taken place, which I shall call a “sacramental union,” because Christ’s body and the bread are given to us as a sacrament. This is not a natural or personal union, as is the case with God and Christ. It is also perhaps a different union from that which the dove has with the Holy Spirit, and the flame with the angel, but it is also assuredly a sacramental union.
Therefore, it is entirely correct to say, if one points to the bread, “This is Christ’s body,” and whoever sees the bread sees Christ’s body, as John says that he saw the Holy Spirit when he saw the dove, as we have heard. Thus also it is correct to say, “He who takes hold of this bread, takes hold of Christ’s body; and he who eats this bread, eats Christ’s body; he who crushes this bread with teeth or tongue, crushes with teeth or tongue the body of Christ.” And yet it remains absolutely true that no one sees or grasps or eats or chews Christ’s body in the way he visibly sees and chews any other flesh. What one does to the bread is rightly and properly attributed to the body of Christ by virtue of the sacramental union. (Martin Luther, [Great] Confession concerning Christ’s Supper, Luther’s Works 37 [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1961], pp. 299-300)

Thus we – not only when we pray, but also when we baptize, absolve, have been absolved, and go to the Lord’s Supper, yes, even at the reading of the promises or the text of the Gospel – should bend our knees or at least stand as a sign of our adoration or reverence and gratitude. Accordingly, even if nothing else were offered in the Lord’s Supper than bread and wine, as the Sacramentarians blasphemously assert, nevertheless the promise and God’s Word are there, and the Holy Spirit works through the Word at the Supper. For this reason we should approach it with reverence. But how much more fitting it is for this to be done when we believe that the true body and the true blood are present with the Word! For in this way the fathers adored God and God’s promises and their signs, because they knew that it was God’s Word and promise. They did not worship the relics of the saints, as it was customary to do under the papacy. Nor did they worship the bones or the clothing of the dead. No, they regarded the promise and the works of God as sacrosanct and fully worthy of reverence and adoration. ... When we hear the Word of God, we should receive it with special reverence and piety, if not with bended knees, at least with humble hearts. Thus it is good that the Sacrament of the Altar is honored with bended knees; for the true body and blood of the Lord are there, likewise the presence of the Holy Spirit and the promise or the Word of God, which should be heard reverently. For God works there, and the Lord shows Himself. (Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, Luther’s Works 8 [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1966], pp. 144-45)

This, too, would be a fine interpretation, if the priest would with the elevation of the sacrament do nothing other than illustrate the words, “This is my body,” as if he wished to express by means of his action: Look, dear Christians, this is the body which is given for you. Thus the elevation would not be a symbol of the sacrifice to God (as the papists foolishly imagine) but an admonition directed toward men, to provoke them to faith, particularly since he immediately elevates the bread right after speaking the words: “This is my body which is given for you.” (Martin Luther, [Brief] Confession concerning Christ’s Supper, Luther’s Works 38 [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971], p. 314)

When too few hosts or too little wine has been consecrated, and we have to consecrate more, we do not elevate them a second time... (Martin Luther, Letter to George of Anhalt [1542], quoted in Edward Frederick Peters, The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use” [Fort Wayne, Indiana: Concordia Theological Seminary, 1993], p. 190 [WA Br. X, 86])

First, it is not a matter of negligence but evil and indeed extreme evil on the part of this deacon [Adam Besserer], who as a despiser of God and men publicly dared to regard consecrated hosts and unconsecrated as one and the same. Therefore he must by all means be expelled from our church; let him go to his Zwinglians. It is unnecessary that a man who does not belong to us be held imprisoned. He must not be believed under oath. Furthermore, the one who has received the unconsecrated host [from Besserer] has sinned in nothing. His faith has saved him in that he believed that he was receiving the proper Sacrament and he relied on the Word of God. He is not cheated, just as the believing one who is baptized is not cheated even if the baptizer were to play a game or had baptized with another liquid. Moreover, on this occasion it is not imperative to dispute so severely so that simple consciences are not disturbed and provoked. It is enough that all is possible for him who believes. As for the mixed particles [i.e. the consecrated and unconsecrated hosts that Besserer had mixed together] it was good that they were burned, although in this situation it would not have been necessary to burn them, since outside the use nothing is a Sacrament as the water of Baptism outside the use is not Baptism. With those who eat and believe, Christ operates in the Sacrament. But on account of the offense the pastor did what was right with the burning. (Martin Luther, Letter to Nicolaus von Amsdorf [1546], Lutheran Synod Quarterly 28:4 [December 1988], pp. 72-73 [WA Br. XI, 258])

There is no doubt that it is not we who got it from you, but you who got it from us, that Sacraments are actions, and not persistent manufactures. But what is this peculiar rashness of yours that you would rather not abstain from this evil appearance which you know is a scandal, namely, that you mix the remains of [consecrated] wine and bread with [unconsecrated] bread and wine? By which example do you do that? Indeed, do you not see what dangerous questions you are raising, if you contend so much in this opinion of yours, that when the action ceases, the Sacrament [also] ceases? Perhaps you want to be considered a Zwinglian, and am I to believe that you are afflicted with the insanity of Zwingli, when you are so proudly and contemptuously irritating, with this peculiar and magnificent wisdom of yours? Was there no other way for you to avoid giving the suspicion to the weak and to the enemy that you are a despiser of the Sacrament, than to cause offense with this evil appearance that what is left of the Sacrament is to be mixed, poured in with [unconsecrated] wine? Why do you not imitate the other churches? ... For you can do what we do here [in Wittenberg], namely, to eat and drink the remains of the Sacrament with the communicants, so that it is not necessary to raise these scandalous and dangerous questions about when the action of the Sacrament ends, questions in which you will choke unless you come to your senses. (Martin Luther, [First] Letter to Simon Wolferinus [1543], in Edward Frederick Peters, The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use,” pp. 207-08 [WA Br. X, 340-341])

Indeed Dr. Philip [Melanchthon] wrote rightly that there is no Sacrament outside of the sacramental action; but you are defining the sacramental action much too hastily and abruptly. If you do it in this way, you will appear to have absolutely no Sacrament. must give this Sacrament a certain period of time, and a period of appropriate breadth of time, as they say, “in breadth.” Therefore, we shall define the time of the sacramental action in this way: that it starts with the beginning of the Our Father [orationis dominicae] and lasts until all have communicated, have emptied the chalice, have consumed the Hosts, until the people have been dismissed and [the priest] has left the altar. In this way we shall be safe and free from the scruples and scandals of such endless questions. Dr. Philip defines the sacramental action in relation to what is outside it, that is, against reservation of and processions with the Sacrament; he does not split it up within [the action] itself, nor does he define it in a way that it contradicts itself. Therefore see to it that if anything is left over of the Sacrament, either some communicants or the priest himself and his assistant receive it, so that it is not only a curate or someone else who drinks what is left over in the chalice, but that he gives it to the others who were also participants in the Body [of Christ], so that you do not appear to divide the Sacrament by a bad example or to treat the sacramental action irreverently. (Martin Luther, [Second] Letter to Simon Wolferinus [1543], in Edward Frederick Peters, The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use,” pp. 210-11 [WA Br. X, 348-349])

Why have you not taken note of this word of the Evangelist, “saying,” by which he clearly indicates that the bread was given as he [Christ] was speaking and adds what he said, “Take and eat, this is my body?” From this it is clear that the giving of the bread took place at the same time as and together with the speaking, that is, as the words of Christ were uttered and spoken: “This is my body”... By the participle dicens [saying] the Evangelist completely removes a time interval. ... If I would give you a hundred florins, it would certainly make no difference whether after or before giving them I would say, “Here are a hundred florins.” The nature of the act and the account of the event strongly suggest, however, that the giving and speaking were simultaneous, so that at one and the same time he gave the bread and said, “This is my body.” For thus it is usually done in every action that the giver simultaneously gives and speaks or mentions what he is giving. Unless you would again bring up to us that miserable old question concerning the moment of the presence according to which, as the papists teach, Christ’s body is there at the last syllable [of the words of institution] and not before. We despise these thoughts and prescribe no certain moment or time for God, but we are satisfied simply to believe that what God has said certainly happens. For we do not quarrel over which moment the leper was cleansed, when Jesus said (Matthew 8:3) “I will do it, be cleansed,” but it is enough that we believe he was cleansed as Jesus said. Likewise, we believe that the royal official’s son became well (John 4:50) as Christ had said, “Go forth, your son lives,” and we do not concern ourselves about at which syllable or in which moment it happened. And Lazarus became alive as the Word of Christ sounded (John 11:43), “Lazarus, come out.” We leave it to the idle people and useless babblers as to whether he became alive again at the words “Come out” or “Lazarus,” and there are many other things like this. Thus we also say here, that the bread is the body of Christ because Christ said, “This is my body.” We leave it to others, namely to those who quarrel over words, to fight about the moment and syllables. For we are commanded to believe that the Word of God is true; but we are not to investigate as to which moment or how they are true or fulfilled. (Martin Luther, Letter to Andreas Carlstadt [1528], quoted in Gaylin Schmeling, “The Theology of the Lord’s Supper,” Lutheran Synod Quarterly 28:4, pp. 27-28 [WA Br. IV, 366-388])

...our double-tongued sectarians...say: “Christ’s body and blood are truly in the Sacrament, but of course spiritually and not bodily.” They stay with their previous error, that there are only wine and bread in the Sacrament. ... When a faithful heart has knowledge of such wickedness and falsity in his pastor, or suspects him of it, what should he do? Do you really think that it is possible for his heart to be set at peace trusting such outrageously false words as: “Believe in the body, which Christ meant, and ask no further?” No, dear friend! He believed as much as that already before he came, even if he does not go to the Sacrament. The reason he comes and asks this question is because he wants to know whether he receives with his mouth only bread and wine. He does not ask what he should believe in his heart concerning Christ and his body, but only what is given to him by the hands [of the pastor] [Nicht fragt er, was er von Christo und seinen Leibe im Herzen glauben soll, sondern was man ihm reiche mit den Händen]. ... Therefore, this is my honest advice, for which before God I am held accountable both to you in Frankfurt and wherever else: whoever has public knowledge that his pastor teaches Zwinglianly, he should avoid him and rather go without the Sacrament all his life long rather than receive it from him – yes, even be ready to die on this account and suffer everything before that. If his pastor is one of the double-tongued sort who mouths it out that in the Sacrament the body and blood of Christ are present and true, and yet who prompts an uneasiness that he is selling something in a sack and means something other than what the words say, you should go to him, be free to inquire of him, and have him say quite plainly what it is he gives out to you with his hands and what you receive with your mouth [So gehe oder sende frei zu ihm, und lass dir deutlich heraus sagen, was das sei, das er dir mit seinen Händen reicht, und du mit deinem Munde empfähest]. What one believes or does not believe in the heart can wait for another time. One should put to him the straight question: “What is held here in hand and mouth?” (Martin Luther, An Open Letter to Those in Frankfurt on the Main [1533], Concordia Journal 16:4 [October 1990], pp. 337-38 [WA 30, III, 558-571]).

...those act incorrectly who want to deduce from the description in Luke that Christ gave the bread to the disciples in such a way that they either might not use it at all or use it in any manner they chose, but that nevertheless the truth would be added and remain, “This is My body.” For Matthew, Mark, and Paul relate that Christ first of all commanded in express words that they should use that bread which He was giving, and that He prescribed the manner in which they should use it, namely, “Take and eat,” and that then He added the words, “This is My body.” Mark says in the description of the second part: “And they all drank of that cup,” and He said to them, “This is My blood.” Nevertheless the meaning is not that the blessed bread which is divided, which is offered, and which the apostles received from the hand of Christ was not the body of Christ but becomes the body of Christ when the eating of it is begun. For the whole action of the institution hangs together, and the words, “This is My body,” belong to the entire action. Therefore it is concerning that bread which is blessed, which is broken or divided, which is offered, received, and eaten – I say, it is concerning that bread that Christ says, “This is My body.” And Paul says of this broken bread that it is “a participation in the body of Christ” (1 Cor. 10:16). Moreover, he says in the words of institution, “This is My body, which is broken for you,” that is, what is divided in the Supper is the body of Christ. Therefore Christ, God and man, is present in the total action of the Supper instituted by Him, and offers to those who eat it his body and blood. For it is He Himself who through the ministry blesses, who divides, who offers, who says, “Take, eat; this is My body.” (Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, Part II [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978], p. 248)

We grant, with Irenaeus, that after the blessing in the Eucharist the bread is no longer common bread but the Eucharist of the body of Christ, which now consists of two things – the earthly, that is, bread and wine, and the heavenly, that is, the body and blood of Christ. This is certainly a great, miraculous, and truly divine change, since before it was simply and only ordinary bread and common wine. What now, after the blessing, is truly and substantially present, offered, and received is truly the body and blood of Christ. Therefore we grant that a certain change has taken place, so that it can be truly said of the bread that it is the body of Christ. But we deny that it follows from this that we must therefore assert the kind of transubstantiation which the Papalists teach. (Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, Part II, pp. 257-58)

The words of the Supper are known, plain, and clear in their natural and true sense. When I ask, “What is present in the Lord’s Supper and offered by the hand of the minister and received by the mouth of those who use it? Is it only bread and wine?” He, who is Truth itself, answers: “This is My body; this is My blood.” Thus Paul says, 1 Co 10:16, that a breaking and communion, that is, distribution and partaking or receiving takes place in the Lord’s Supper, and that it takes place by outward eating and drinking with the mouth, for he says, “Eat and drink.” Now, if I ask: “What is distributed and received when the bread is distributed and received in the Lord’s Supper?” Paul answers that it is koinonia, that is, distribution and reception of Christ’s body, etc. ... If, then, you want to know from Christ Himself, who instituted this Supper, who is Truth itself, and whom the Father commended to us from heaven to hear, what it is that is present in the Supper in, with, and under the bread and wine, and that is offered by the hand of the minister and received by the mouth of the body, He answers expressly, clearly, and plainly: This is My body, which is given for you; this is My blood, which is shed for you. (Martin Chemnitz, Ministry, Word, and Sacraments [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1981], pp. 123-24)

Christ did not institute this Sacrament in such a way that, even if no one uses it, or if it is changed into something else than He Himself commanded, it nevertheless is His body and blood, but in the very words of institution He prescribed the form of that which was commanded, how it is to be observed and used, and that not only for a time but to the end of the world, 1 Co 11:26. And use surely does not make a Sacrament, but the Word, ordinance, and institution of Christ. And there is a difference between the essence of a Sacrament and its use. But Christ so ordered and arranged the words of institution in the form of a testament, as He wanted this Sacrament to be an act in which bread and wine are taken, blessed, or consecrated, as they say, then offered, received, eaten, and drunk. And Christ says of that which is blessed, which is offered, received, eaten and drunk: This is My body; this is My blood. Therefore when the bread is indeed blessed but neither distributed nor received, but enclosed, shown, and carried about, it is surely clear that the whole word of institution is not added to the element, for this part is lacking: He gave [it] to them and said, Take and eat. And when the word of institution is incomplete there can be no complete Sacrament. In the same way it is also not true Baptism if the Word is indeed spoken over the water, but if there is no one who is baptized. (Martin Chemnitz, Ministry, Word, and Sacraments, p. 121)

...the mind should be so elevated and faith should so meditate that it recognizes that on this sacred table has been placed the Lamb of God with his body and blood. On this table we see the bread and the cup placed and dealt with by the external action of the priests. And when we receive a little from the external bread and the cup in the Supper, then at the same time faith, on the basis of the Word, recognizes that we also truly receive the body and blood of Christ which are present on the table. (Martin Chemnitz, The Lord’s Supper [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1979], p. 156)

...the fourth [Tridentine] canon adds that also after its use the body and blood of the Lord is in the Eucharist, i.e., in the bread and wine. We need to weigh what this means. Christ instituted that in the Lord’s Supper bread and wine should be means or instruments through which he wishes to offer and communicate His body and blood to those who eat, in order that He might be and remain in the believers not only through faith and Spirit but, as the ancients speak, also by natural or substantial participation and might thereafter be united with them more and more. Therefore after the use of the blessed bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper one ought not to dispute about the union of the bread and the body of Christ but there ought to be taught from the Word of God the sweetest consolation about the union of Christ, God and man, not with the bread which has just been eaten but with the soul and body of the believers, that He may bear, preserve, give life to, and rule us who have been inserted and as it were grafted into Him.
But this most useful teaching having been suppressed and buried, the gloss, De consecratione, dist. 2, Olim, teaches: “As quickly as the form is ground by the teeth, so quickly is the body of Christ snatched up into heaven,” namely, lest any consolation should remain from it for believers. The Tridentine fathers indeed do not now repeat the pleasant old song of the gloss, yet say nothing about the union of Christ, God and man, with believers after the use of the Supper, but argue that the body of Christ is in the bread also after the use. Perhaps they have looked back upon those shameful papalist precautions which institute an examination even into excrements. For if they can there distinguish the form in some way, they rave that the body of Christ is attached and clings there. Now I should think that by the words “after use” they would understand that which follows in Canon IV, namely, that the body of Christ remains in the consecrated particles which are left over after the Communion and reserved. But how can “after use” be said about those particles to which use has not yet come, that is, which have not been distributed, received, and eaten? (Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, Part II, pp. 251-52) the external ministry of the Word and Sacraments God is truly present in the church, working with us and effectually acting in us through these means. He is present even in the external signs in the use of the Sacraments, dispensing and communicating through these visible signs His invisible grace, according to His Word. But the signs themselves, by themselves, add nothing toward this grace. God is not present with them inseparably, but because of the covenant and according to the Word they are not Sacraments apart from their use. When these Sacraments have been completed, they either pass away, as Augustine says, or are separated from the Sacramental union. (Martin Chemnitz, The Two Natures in Christ [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971], p. 109)

Since it is sufficient for a pious [Christian] to know from the Words of Institution that the bread which the minister offers to me [qui mihi a ministro exhibetur] is the true Body of Christ, of what use is it to dispute about the bread that lies on the paten or is left after the reception? (David Chytraeus, Letter to Johann Saliger [1569], quoted in Edward Frederick Peters, The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use,” p. 353)

Although now in this complete inseparable action of the Holy Supper which indeed is properly named the Sacrament of the Holy Supper, Christ is truly and essentially present, and distributes and delivers His true body and blood with the bread and wine, since the true presence of Christ’s body and blood is not to be denied before the reception [für der Niessung], but in this church confessed with customary and useful statements; nevertheless the following strange statements which are not customary in our church and which are doubtful, obscure and offensive should not be used in the schools and churches of this land. These statements are nowhere found in God’s Word or the writings of Dr. Luther but are very commonly used among the papists to confirm their magical blessing and the permanent inclusion of Christ’s body under the form of the bread before and after the reception [Niessung]. The following are such statements: that there is a Sacrament also before the use, sacramentum esse ante usum; again, when the blessing is spoken the bread is no longer an element; again, that in St. Paul’s words, “The bread which we break is a participation in the body of Christ,” the word “participation” is to be understood as the joining or unifying of the bread and body before the reception and not as referring to the eating by the communicants; again, that after the spoken blessing the bread and wine are a complete Sacrament also before the distribution [Austheilung] (which might not take place until several days or months later), and the opposite statement (which is held by no one in our church on the basis of the action) that the body and blood of Christ are not present in the Supper before the blessed bread and wine are touched with the lips or enclosed in the mouth; again, the body of Christ is not in the bread but in the eating, etc. “For we prescribe no moment or time to God,” says Luther, “but are satisfied thus, that we simply believe that what God says happens or occurs does certainly happen.” (Wismar Recess [authored chiefly by David Chytraeus] [1569], quoted in Gaylin Schmeling, “The Theology of the Lord’s Supper,” pp. 29-30)

Wherefore, just as in baptism the substance of the water is not changed but the grace of the Holy Spirit is present together with the water and acts to regenerate, so it also occurs in the Lord’s Supper. The substance of the bread and wine remains unchanged; but together with the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ are present and distributed not only to those who are worthy, but also to those who are unworthy. Indeed, in this manner it is done so that (as the Apostle witnesses) both receive the body and blood: the former, the worthy ones to salvation, while the latter, the unworthy ones to condemnation. In addition, it is indeed known by everyone that the Word of God receives His own body from the flesh and from the blood of the most blessed Virgin Mary. If, however, the bread should be changed into the body of Christ and the wine into the blood of Christ, the Lord might run the risk of having two bodies, the one received from the flesh and the blood of the Ever-Virgin and the other which was transubstantiated from bread and wine. Moreover, if such a change should happen to occur, it would follow from this that whatever might happen to the bread and the wine in the Holy Supper, it would be imperative that the same change might happen to occur in the body and blood of Christ.
Certainly in the same manner, as we say, if indeed a part of the bread which was sanctified should be thrown into the fire (which has been maliciously done by impious persons, as is witnessed by history), the body of Christ would be consumed by fire. However, if the wine should be poured out from the cup and swallowed up by the earth, the blood of Christ would be spilled [sacrilegiously] and swallowed up by the earth; and in either case it is an absurdity. Yet by expressing it in this manner, we in no way deny that the body and blood of Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. For in this, being supported by the Divine Word, we vehemently oppose those among us who speak against it. For we truly believe that the bread and wine are present together with the body and blood of the Lord and are distributed to all the communicants. For then, indeed, at that time the Lord’s body and blood are distributed when we conform to this commandment of Christ: “Eat ye, drink ye.” And when it is not eaten nor drunk, then we believe that the bread and the wine have not been united mystically with the body and blood of Christ, for without this utilization the bread and wine in themselves are not sacraments. (The Tübingen Theologians [including Jacob Andreae], The Second Reply to the Second Answer of Patriarch Jeremiah [1580], in George Mastrantonis, Augsburg and Constantinople [Brookline, Massachusetts: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1982], pp. 261-62)

The Holy Supper is the special ordinance, institution, and testament of Christ which is to be celebrated, distributed, and received in His Christian churches and among their members as He has commanded until His return in the last days. That means that when the consecrated bread is distributed and received in agreement with the Word of Christ, then also likewise the body of the Lord Christ, which was given for us, that is, His true, real human body, is distributed and received or eaten; and when the consecrated cup or wine is distributed and received in agreement with the Word of Christ, then also in like manner the blood of the Lord Christ, which was shed for our sins, that is, His true, real human blood, is distributed and received or drunk. These are and are called an institution and testament of the Lord Christ, as the words say, Take, eat, this is My body, which is given for you; Take, drink, this is My blood, which is shed for you. He who has ears, of course hears what Christ says and what he should take, eat, and drink, namely, bread and body, wine and blood. (Nicolaus Selnecker, Vom Heiligen Abendmal [1590/1591], quoted in Seth Erlandsson, “The Biblical and Lutheran Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper,” Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 74:2 [April 1977], p. 105)

An objection is urged by [K. F. A.] Kahnis, that, “according to the Lutheran doctrine, there is but bread and wine, not the body and blood of Christ, before the eating and drinking,” and therefore were that doctrine true, Christ would not have said, This is my body, “but you would have to say, this is going to be my body when you eat it.” Were the point made by Kahnis correctly made, the inference justified would not be that the doctrine of the true presence is untenable, but that there ought not to be a limitation of the presence to the act of eating and drinking. But the point is not correctly made. The very opposite is the doctrine of the Lutheran Church. The Augsburg confession says, “The body and blood of Christ are present in the Supper, and there communicated and received.” The distinction is made between the generic presence which is “in the Supper,” and the specific participation made by the reception of the sacrament imparted. From the beginning of the Supper, strictly defined, (that is, from the time when Christ’s consecrating words are uttered in His name by His authority,) to its end, (that is, until the last communicant has received the elements,) or, in other words, from the first time to the last “in the Supper” in which, by Christ’s authority, it is declared, “This is Christ’s body, This is Christ’s blood,” that of which this affirmation is made, is His body, and is His blood. When He said, Take, eat, this is My body, undoubtedly He meant, Take, eat, because it is My body. The presence of the body in the order of thought precedes the command to Take, eat, though in point of time they are absolutely simultaneous. He imparts His presence that there may be a reason for the sacramental eating. But He imparts it with His word, by whose omnipotent force the element becomes a sacrament. Therefore, when He speaks, we know it is done. The mathematical moment need not concern us. We know the sacramental moment. But the presence of the body is not mechanical, but voluntary; it is conditioned on the strict observation of the essentials of the institution. The body is present for sacramental impartation, and if the object of the external act of consecration precludes the communion, if the elements are merely to be reserved or carried about in procession for worship, there is no reason to believe that there is any sacramental presence of Christ’s body whatever. Hence the emphasis of the Confession, “in the Supper,” cutting off in one direction an objection like that of Kahnis, and in another the Romish abuse of the reservation, procession, and worship associated with the elements.
In the Formula of Concord the error of the Romish Church is defined as this: “They feign that the body of Christ is present under the species of bread, even outside of the conducting of the Supper (to wit, when the bread is shut up in the pyx, or carried about as a show and object of worship). For nothing has the character of the sacrament outside of God’s command, and the use to which it has been appointed by Christ.” This implies that within the entire conducting of the Supper, properly so called, as distinct from the mere preliminaries, or the things following it, the body of Christ is sacramentally present; and the principle that nothing has a sacramental character apart from the divine command and use, is properly limited by its antithesis to the abuses of the Romish Church. The doctrine of the Lutheran Church is, that the sacramental presence of the body and blood of Christ begins with the beginning of the Supper, and ends with the end of the Supper. The presence does not depend upon the individual eating; the eating simply actualizes a presence existing; that presence is vouchsafed on condition that the divine essentials of the institution be observed. “As to the consecration, we believe, teach, and confess, that the presence of the body and blood is to be ascribed solely to the Almighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ... The words of the institution are by no means to be omitted... The blessing (1 Cor. x. 16) takes place through the repetition of the words of Christ” [Formula of Concord]. “The true presence is produced, not by the eating, or the faith of the communicants, but simply and solely by the power of Almighty God, and the word, institution, and ordination of our Lord Jesus Christ. For those most true and omnipotent words of Jesus Christ, which He spake at the original institution, were not only efficacious in that first Supper, but their power, virtue, and efficacy abide through all time; so that in all places where the Lord’s Supper is celebrated in accordance with Christ’s institution, by virtue of and in the power of those words which Christ spake at the first Supper, His body and blood are truly present, communicated and received” [Formula of Concord]. Luther says, “When (wenn – quando), according to His command and institution in the administration of the Lord’s Supper, we say, ‘This is My body,’ then (so – tum) it is His body” [quoted in the Formula of Concord]. “Melancthon defines the sacramental action relatively to what is without, that is[,] over against the inclusion and carrying about out of the Sacrament; he does not divide it against itself, nor define it against itself” [Luther]. In a word, unless the sacramental action is entire, as Christ ordained it, His sacramental presence will not be vouchsafed at all; if it be entire, His presence is given from its beginning to its end. If it be argued, in a little sophistical spirit, that we cannot tell till the distribution whether the action will be complete, it is enough to reply that we have all the assurance that we have in any case of moral certainty. Christ himself knows the end from the beginning. At the beginning, middle, and end of the Supper, the minister need not fear to assert, nor the people to believe, the very words of Christ, in their simplest literal force. It is not going to be but is, when Christ says it is. (Charles Porterfield Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology [Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1871], pp. 822-24)

The discussion of Article 10 [of the Augsburg Confession] was continued and the words, “and are there distributed and received” were noted. With these words the real presence of the body and blood of Christ is expressed yet more clearly than through the previous words that they are “truly present.” Here it is expressly declared that they [the body and blood of Christ] are present just as much in the hands of the minister as in the mouth of the communicant and, even, as the Latin text shows through the word vescentibus (the body and blood are distributed to those eating) no matter whether one is believing or unbelieving [Hier werde nämlich bezeugt, dass sie auch sowohl in den Händen des Administranten als im Munde der Communicanten gegenwärtig seien und zwar wie der latein. Text durch das Wort vescentibus (Leib und Blut werde ausgetheilt den Essenden) ergebe, gleichviel ob dieselben gläubig oder ungläubig seien]. (Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Evangelical-Lutheran Free Conference [1857], in Der Lutheraner 14:11 [January 12, 1858], p. 84)

In the year 1536, after much correspondence between Wittenberg and southwestern Germany, a colloquy took place in Wittenberg to attempt to bring together the Saxon theologians and the theologians of Strasbourg and the surrounding area. The major issue, as far as the Sacrament of the Altar was concerned, was the question: Do all those who receive the Sacrament, both worthy and unworthy, actually receive the true, substantial Body and Blood of Christ? ... It is at the Wittenberg colloquy that the rule “outside of the use there is no Sacrament” first occurs in Lutheran theology. ... There is little doubt that the idea stems not from [Philip] Melanchthon, and certainly not from [Martin] Luther, but rather from Martin Bucer. the Wittenberg Colloquy of 1536, there was no recorded opposition to Bucer’s opinion that “outside of the use there is no Sacrament.” But it is also important to know, as far as is possible, how the Lutherans at Wittenberg understood this principle. ...John Bernard reports a conversation at the colloquy in which Luther insisted that the South Germans must “freely confess, that the bread in the Supper is the Body of Christ and is given in the hand [of the priest] and received in the mouth [of the communicant], to the impious and godly alike.” ... And Frederick Myconius also reports Luther’s words: “You must also confess...that also in the hand of an unworthy minister and also in the mouth of an unworthy [communicant], there truly is what Christ says, namely His Body and Blood.” ... [Wolfgang] Musculus also reports that at another point in the colloquy [John] Bugenhagen whispered into Luther’s ear “concerning the left-over bread and wine of the Supper adding that in certain [South German] churches the left-over bread was mixed with common pieces of bread as if it itself were common. [The Wittenbergers] set forth that they counted the people who were coming [to the Sacrament] before the Supper, so that this would not happen in their churches, and in order that they might take Hosts equal in number to those who approached. Bucer responded: ‘We do not consider bread that is left over a Sacrament, and that therefore, we place the left-over bread into a little box but with due reverence.’” (Edward Frederick Peters, The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use,” pp. 14,22-23,25)

Luther’s readiness to be satisfied with a mild formulation of the Real Presence was the greatest help in all these negotiations, though he was inexorable when he suspected that something was read into his words which would make it possible to deny the Real Presence which he had defended at Marburg. When, during the last days of 1534, negotiations were held in Kassel at the request of the Landgrave, Luther gave Melanchthon some instructions which could not leave the slightest doubt as to what for him remained as the minimum requirement for a possible agreement: “Our opinion is that the body is in such a way with or in the bread that it is truly received with the bread. Whatever the bread suffers or does is also true of the body. Thus, it is rightly said of the body of Christ that it is carried, given, received, eaten, when the bread is carried, given, received, eaten. That is the meaning of ‘This is my body’.” This, and nothing else, was Luther’s understanding of the unio sacramentalis which he never could give up. Where this was admitted, however, he was always prepared to establish church-fellowship. He never made the how of the Real Presence a dogma of the church... The Wittenberg Concord is to be understood on the basis of these facts. It is no misunderstanding that this document was incorporated into the Formula of Concord as one of many Lutheran confessions on the Lord’s Supper. It is a Lutheran confession... (Hermann Sasse, This Is My Body [Revised Edition] [Adelaide, S.A.: Lutheran Publishing House, 1977], pp. 249-50)

...the ELS [Evangelical Lutheran Synod] has concerns about occasional reports which it hears about individuals in the WELS [Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod]. The ELS Doctrine Committee, for example, has heard that there are WELS pastors who celebrate the Lord’s Supper without using the verba. The CICR [Commission on Inter-Church Relations] does not know of any such incidents. If such a practice occurs, it is, of course, clearly contrary to the Formula of Concord. The Formula of Concord (SD VII, 79) states unequivocally: “In the administration of the Holy Supper the words of institution are to be publicly spoken or sung before the congregation distinctly and clearly, and should in no way be omitted [and this for very many and the most important reasons. First,] in order that obedience may be rendered to the command of Christ: This do ... and [secondly] that the faith of the hearers concerning the nature and fruit of this Sacrament ... may be excited, strengthened, and confirmed by Christ’s Word, and [besides] that the elements of bread and wine may be consecrated or blessed for this holy use, in order that the body and blood of Christ may therewith be administered to us to be eaten and to be drunk.”
The ELS Doctrine Committee has been concerned to hear that the verba are sometimes not repeated in WELS churches when additional elements are brought out during distribution. WELS pastors do well to remember what is written in Shepherd under Christ: “Should the supply of either element be exhausted and replenishment be provided, consecrating the new supply will avoid any doubts about the continuing validity of the sacrament” (p 91). Our professors at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary teach that it is wise to consecrate the new supply, and encouragement can here be given to all WELS pastors to follow this advice.
Finally the Doctrine Committee has expressed concern that some WELS pastors do not look upon the verba as consecratory. There is fear that some WELS pastors are reluctant to say that the Words of Institution effect the real presence. It can be stated, however, that the CICR has never objected to this sentence in the ELS doctrinal statement: “The words of consecration repeated by the minister in a proper celebration of the Sacrament are the effective means by which the real presence of Christ’s body and blood is brought into being.” Our WELS CICR statement says, “The real presence is effected solely by the original words of institution spoken by our Lord (causa efficiens) and repeated by the officiant at his command (causa instrumentalis).” WELS pastors can be reminded that it is in keeping with the Formula of Concord (SD VII, 75-82) to say that the elements are “consecrated or blessed” as the pastor repeats Christ’s words of institution. (Thomas Nass, “The ELS Lord’s Supper Statement,” Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 94:3 [Summer 1997], pp. 127-28)

It should perhaps be mentioned also that some of our Lutheran teachers limited the real presence to the moment of eating and drinking. This, too, goes beyond the specific words of Christ. Careful reading of the text indicates that Christ was referring to what he was offering his disciples and inviting them to take when he said, “This is my body ... This is my blood.” (Wilbert R. Gawrisch, review of The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Martin Chemnitz, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 84:2 [Spring 1987], p. 155)

Although it can hardly be proved that [Philip] Melanchthon ever rejected the position of the Lutheran Confessions, it seems clear that he became discouraged by the attacks of the Gnesio-Lutherans, so that he became more and more ambiguous in his formulations. The worst example of the attempts of the aged reformer to avoid confronting the issues is his opinion regarding the Reformation of the Palatinate, which helped Elector Frederick III to decide to expel the Lutherans and introduce a form of Calvinism. This was late in 1559, a few months before Melanchthon’s death. It did irreparable damage to the image of Melanchthon in the immediate and distant future. ... [Martin] Luther did not feel that Melanchthon’s position differed greatly from his own. Yet there were important differences in emphasis. ... Luther regarded the Roman Catholic position as improper as to action, but valid (body and blood received), and the Reformed sacrament as both improper and invalid (body and blood not received); Melanchthon tried to compromise with the position of [John] Calvin while maintaining a relationship with the Erasmian group among the Roman Catholics. Neither reformer regarded the Altered Augsburg Confession of 1540 as a substantive departure from the original form of 1530. In the Loci theologici of 1559 Melanchthon insisted that Christ was present “not merely in efficacy, but also in substance” (CR 21, 863), a formulation that seems to place him plainly within the Lutheran camp. (Lowell C. Green, “Article VII: The Holy Supper,” A Contemporary Look at the Formula of Concord [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978], p. 210)

When the Palatinate under Elector Frederick III became Calvinist, this had a disturbing impact on the neighboring territory of Wuerttemberg. As a result Duke Christoph convoked a synod of the Wuerttemberg clergy at Stuttgart [1559]. At this synod Bartholomew Hagen, who was known from his sermons as a Calvinist, was required to debate the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper with Jacob Andreae. Forced to admit defeat, Hagen declared himself willing to return to orthodox Lutheran teaching. Duke Christoph then insisted that the synod draw up a confession of faith. Without a dissenting vote it adopted a statement prepared by [Johannes] Brenz entitled Confession and Report of the Theologians in Wuerttemberg Concerning the True Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Supper.
This Confession asserted: “That in the Lord’s Supper the true body and the true blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by virtue of the word or institution of Christ are truly and substantially given with the bread and wine to all who partake of the Lord’s Supper, so that, just as they are given by the hand of the minister, in the same way they are received with the mouth of the one who eats and drinks.” It went on to say: “But when we affirm this true presence of the true body and blood of Christ, we do not assert any mixture of his body and blood with the bread and wine, nor any local inclusion in the bread, but we teach such a presence by a sacramental union, which is defined by the word of Christ.”
Then, addressing itself to the Zwinglian and Calvinistic claim that it was impossible for the body of Christ to be present in the Supper because it was in heaven, the Confession states: “But because the article of faith concerning Christ’s ascent into heaven and his sitting on the right hand of God the Father is cited in opposition by those who deny the true presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper, so that it is denied that he is present in the Supper since he is in heaven: we explain this article of faith as simply as possible not with our words but with the words of the apostle where he writes, ‘He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things’ (Eph. 1:21). And so we do not imagine any diffusion of the human nature or expansion of the members of Christ, but we explain the majesty of the man Christ by which he, being placed at the right hand of God, fills all things not only with his divinity but also as the man Christ, in a celestial manner and in a way that human reason is past finding out, by virtue of which majesty his presence in the Supper is not abolished, but confirmed.”
[G. Friedrich] Bente’s observation is undoubtedly correct: “Thus, without employing the term ‘ubiquity,’ this Confession prepared by Brenz restored, in substance, the doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper and the person of Christ which Luther had maintained over against Zwingli, Carlstadt, and the Sacramentarians generally.” (Wilbert R. Gawrisch, “On Christology, Brenz and the Question of Ubiquity,” No Other Gospel [Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1980], pp. 236-37)

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