Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What are the people in the photo doing?

What do you think is happening in the photo?

A  Runners are receiving refreshment in their race...

B  People are standing around talking and eating and drinking...

C  YAVs at the LCMS National Youth Gathering are answering a youth's question...

D  LCMS Convention Eucharist is being distributed...

E  Roman Catholic Youth at the World Youth Day in Rio are communing...

If you selected E, you were correct.  Yes, those are plastic cups serving as the ciboria for this Mass.  In case you were wondering, the National Youth Gathering and the LCMS Convention used ceramic vessels crafted for the event [and, in the case of the Convention, then given to mission congregations].  That should not make you feel much better.  We have our own open sores with respect to the means of distributing the Holy Supper.  Mass events tend to bring out the worst in us.  We treat the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ as if it were merely the hawking of food in the food court of a local carnival.  Get your elephant ears, fried Twinkies, and Body and Blood of Jesus here... step right up!  What is most disconcerting is how this casual treatment of that which is the most precious food of all has ended up in the Roman Church.  Some will sigh with relief that at least the photo was not of us and our screw up but I maintain that it should not comfort us one bit that it was Rio and the World Youth Day.  Such disrespect erodes the confidence of the people that it is what the Lord in His Word says it is.  For if it is indeed the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, it deserves nothing less than our best vessels for sacred use and the deepest honor of our hearts.  Anything less and we make common what is holy, one of the definitions of blasphemy. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Some will sigh with relief that at least the photo was not of us and our screw up...."


If this were to happen as part of an LCMS activity sanctioned nationally, at the district level, or by a congregation, LCMS Lutherans would jump on numerous blogs and howl. As long as noisy protests lead to change, then that is a good thing.

Among Roman Catholics, on the other hand.... there is silence. Where are the protests? In Brazil, the Roman Catholic cathedrals are emptying out; the Evangelical mega-churches are filling up with former Roman Catholics. Perhaps roadside communion is a "missional," "Church Growth" strategy used by Rome in order to counter Evangelical mega-church mission efforts.

Dr.D said...

Ugh!! That is really sad and shows no respect at all.

Fr. D+
Anglican Priestn

Jonathan Mayer said...

When I was in graduate school, I had an agnostic professor who was generally very respectful of people's faith. But one day in class he showed us something that a Catholic friend had given him: it was a tiny plastic cup, looking a lot like a coffee creamer, with a small wafer sealed over the foil on the top, and a small inscription saying that it was the true body and blood of Christ. They bless entire warehouses of wine and wafers to make these little "McEucharist" kits. Even non-believers scoff at the manner in which we administer the Sacrament!

Janis Williams said...

As we were making the journey to Lutheranism, we attended another Lutheran church (another synod). Even growing up Baptist, I knew what Lutherans believed about the Eucharist.

I was appalled as communicants all drank from individual cups, then casually dropped them in baskets lined with napkins. I assumed the "leftovers" were simply tossed in the waste. I must suppose they either didn't realize what it looked like, or they were receptionists.

Even in the Baptist church (which believes firmly in the real absence) there is respect at least in the service. They may throw the remains in the trash in the back (they have no sacristy, as a rule-they don't need it), but at least they don't do it publicly.