The modern penchant for tolerance was not always seen as the virtue it is accorded today. Lets fact it. Most churches, even Lutheran, have become a permissive community where little attention is given to confession and where there is a great divide between even basic beliefs and conduct. The language of sin is as far removed from liturgical text and preaching as it is the common conversation of the members. As such, most modern forms of Protestantism bear only a passing resemblance to their Reformation forebears.
Lutherans also struggle mightily in this area. Comfort is the byword of the day -- comfort pervades the people and the witness. Who wants to go to church to be convicted? Who wants a pastor who holds you accountable? No, we seek affirmation and the cheap grace of an affordable Gospel. Indeed, there is not much that would compel a person to join, or after joining, to attend church. Statistics seem to support this.
In March of 1525, Pastor Nicholas Hausmann, rector of St. Mary's of Zwickau, sought an orderly reform of the mass and the approval of Luther for his draft of such an evangelical reform. In his reply, Luther suggested ditching the preface for an "Exhortation to Communicants" (LW 51, p. 104). It was not without precedent. The year before Osiander had already inserted one prior to communion. Luther's exhortation was nothing if not blunt and showed a flair for the dramatic. It warns against taking consolation from the Sacrament for those who are unrepentant or who refuse to attempt amendment of their sinful lives.
Later church orders (especially the two most influential -- the Bugenhagen and Brandenburg/Nuremberg) took this innovation to heart and influenced a whole history of Lutheran liturgies. Although I am in no way in favor of Luther's drastic innovation of ditching the preface and substituting such an exhortation, I will admit it is thoroughly consistent with the time and the ordinary approach to confession and communion.
What strikes me, however, is that if and when we might repeat Luther's words today, they would be seen as completely unevangelical and at odds with the very nature of the Eucharist as welcoming meal (as presently understood). In fact, the Pastor who would read Luther's exhortation might very well stir up a list of enemies both within the parish and in the District Office. Such blunt language about sin and repentance and unworthy communion is hardly commonplace among us anymore -- to our loss. I am not so sure that the discomfort with the exhortation would be due to the liturgical abruptness of its insertion to the canon of the mass but because we no longer see the center of the Eucharist within the framework of sin and forgiveness. Grace has come to mean silencing all mention of the Law and sin. The only kind of repentance typically addressed today is our failure to be truly human, to deal honestly with our desire, to advocate for the oppressed, and to live with the smallest imprint upon creation. This is not the lament of guilt which the commandments occasion as the mirror of our sinfulness.