What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.
Where is this written?
The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul, write thus:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.
After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Take, drink ye all of it. This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
Together with bread and wine we receive the true body and blood of Jesus. Christ took bread and gave it to His disciples, and they actually ate bread. But at the same time He informs them, “This is my body, which is given for you”. The disciples ate, together with the bread, the body of Christ; the same is true of the wine and the blood. Four things then are really and truly present and received by all communicants; bread, body, wine and blood. While we can understand the meaning of Christ’s words, we cannot comprehend it, but are to believe that Christ by His almighty power joins His body and blood to the bread and wine in the Sacrament.
It is the Word that spake it,
He took the bread and brake it,
And what the Word doth make it
That I believe and take it.
Essence of the Lord’s Supper, Luther’s Small Catechism annotated by Edward Koehler Annotations Copyright © 1981 by Concordia Theological Seminary Press
Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld ©WELS