Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Catechization The Lord's Supper

Christmas Catechization

God With Us in the Holy Manger

God With Us Now in His Holy Supper

Opening Prayer (Pastor)

Entrance: Hymn 109

Hark, the glad sound! the Savior comes,
The Savior promised long;
Let every heart prepare a throne,
And every voice a song.

He comes the prisoners to release,
In Satan’s bondage held;
The gates of brass before Him burst,
The iron fetters yield.

He comes the broken heart to bind,
The bleeding soul to cure;
And with the treasures of His grace
To enrich the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim;
And Heav’n’s eternal arches ring
With Thy belovèd Name.


This Christmas Catechization focuses on the how Christ comes to us today. We learn from the Bible that the Son of God chose to be born in Bethlehem to be our substitute. All our sin and shame was laid upon Him. By being born into this world He made Himself subject to the Law, fulfilled it perfectly, and took the punishment we deserved:


O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

Galatians 4:3-7

3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.6And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

For Christ is born of Mary,
and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together,
proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth!


The same Lord Christ, who once came and lay in swaddling clothes in the manger to win life for us, comes in His Means of Grace to our hearts and gives us life. Through His Word and Sacraments, that is: through Baptism, the Absolution, and the Lord's Supper Christ causes us to be born in Him, to live in Him, and to inherit eternal life.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of His heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming,
but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel!


Christ came to us born of the Virgin Mary. He comes to us now with His body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. We are sinners who do not deserve His grace.

318 Why should we be concerned about communing in a worthy manner?

We should be concerned about communing in a worthy manner because the Lord expressly instructs us to examine ourselves before partaking of the Sacrament in order that we may receive it with blessing. St. Paul writes I Corinthians 11:28-29 “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup, for he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.


Thy little ones, dear Lord, are we,
And come Thy lowly bed to see;
Enlighten ev'ry soul and mind,
That we the way to Thee may find.

With songs we hasten Thee to greet
And kiss the dust before Thy feet;
O blessed hour, O sweetest night,
That gave Thee birth, our soul's delight.

Now welcome! From Thy heav'nly home
Thou to our vale of tears art come;
Man hath no off'ring for Thee save
The stable, manger, cross, and grave.

Confession of Sin

Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto You that we are by nature sinful and unclean, and that we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Therefore we flee for refuge to Your infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Your grace for the sake of the Christ Child, born on Christmas night.

Jesus, alas! How can it be
So few bestow a thought on Thee
Or on the love, so wondrous great,
That drew Thee down to our estate?

O draw us wholly to Thee, Lord,
Do Thou to us Thy grace accord,
True faith and love to us impart,
That we may hold Thee in our Heart.


Keep us, how'er the world may lure,
In our baptismal cov'nant pure;
That ev'ry yearning thought may be
Directed only unto Thee.

Until at last we, too, proclaim,
With all Thy saints, Thy glorious name;
In Paradise our songs renew,
And praise Thee as the angels do.

We gather round Thee, Jesus dear,
So happy in Thy presence here;
Grant us, our Savior, ev'ry one,
To stand in heav'n before Thy throne.


The Nature of the Sacrament of the Altar

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

The Sacrament of the Altar is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself, for us Christians to eat and to drink.

Where is this written?

The holy evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke, together with S. Paul, write thus: "Our lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.' In the same way also He took the cup after supper, gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you; this cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'"

Old Testament Lessons

Genesis 3:22-24

Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:14-15

So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

306. What does Jesus give us in the Sacrament under the earthly elements of bread and wine?

Under the earthly elements of bread and wine Jesus gives us His true body and blood which He delivered up for us on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

Gospel Lessons

Luke 2: 1-7

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And She brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Angels We Have Heard On High

Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains.
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo;
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heav'nly song?
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo;
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo.

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo;
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo.

See, within a manger laid,
Jesus, Lord of heav'n and earth,
Lend your voices, lend your aid
To procailm the Savior's birth!
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo;
Glo—ria in excelsis Deo.

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Benefit of the Sacrament of the Altar

What benefit do we receive from such eating and drinking?

The benefit we receive from such eating and drinking is shown us by these words: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins," namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th' angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail th' incarnate Deity!
Pleased as Man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Immanuel!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail, the heav'nly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild, He leaves His throne on high,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Come, Desire of Nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman's conqu'ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.
Adam's likeness, Lord, efface;
Print Thine image in its place;
O to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"


What Child is this, who laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come, peasant, king, to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

The Power of the Sacrament of the Altar

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?

It is not the eating and drinking that does this, but the words here written: "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." These words, along with the eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament; and whoever believes these words has exactly what they say, namely, the forgiveness of sins.


Lord's Prayer

Luke 2:8-16

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Hymn 127 I am so Glad

I am so glad when Christmas comes,
The night of Jesus’ birth!
When Bethl'em's Star shone as the sun,
And angels sang with mirth.

Jeg er saa glad hver julekveld
Ti da blev Jesus født,
Da lyste stjernen som en sol,
Og engler sang saa sødt

I am so glad when Christmas comes:
Let anthem's fill the air!
He opens wide for every child
His paradise so fair.

Jeg er saa glad hver julekveld
Da synger vi hans pris
Da aapner han for alle smaa
Sit søde paradis

Luke 2: 17-20

Now when the shepherds had seen Him, they made widely know the saying which was told them concerning this And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
The Little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care;
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.

The Proper Reception of the Sacrament of the Altar

Who then receives this Sacrament worthily?

Fasting and bodily preparation are indeed a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words, "Given and shed for you for the remission of sins." But he who does not believe these words, or doubts them, is unworthy and unprepared; for the words "for you" require truly believing hearts.

307. Are the bread and wine merely signs or symbols of the body and blood of Jesus?

Jesus does not say that the bread and wine are merely signs or symbols of His body and blood, but that they are His body and blood.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

A great and mighty wonder,
a full and holy cure:
The virgin bears the Infant
with virgin honor pure!
Repeat the hymn again:
“To God on high be glory
And peace on earth to men!”

The Word becomes incarnate
and yet remains on high,
And cherubim sing anthems
to shepherds from the sky.
Repeat the hymn again:
“To God on high be glory
And peace on earth to men!”

Closing Prayer

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy Night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heav'nly hosts sing, "Alleluia;
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is Born!"

Silent night! Holy Night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night! Holy Night!
Wondrous star, lend they light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is Born.