The Sacraments of the Lutheran Church
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which one is initiated into the Christian faith. Lutherans teach that at Baptism, we receive God's promise of salvation. At the same time, we receive the faith we need to be open to God's grace. Lutherans baptize by sprinkling or pouring water on the head of the person (or infant) in the Name of the Father, Son (+), and Holy Spirit. Lutherans teach baptism to be necessary, but not absolutely necessary, for salvation. What that means is that although baptism is indeed necessary for salvation, it is, as Luther said, contempt for the sacraments that condemns, not lack of the sacraments. Therefore, one is not denied salvation merely because one may have never had the opportunity to be baptized (like the Thief on the Cross next to Jesus). This is what is meant by saying that baptism is necessary—but not absolutely necessary—to salvation. It does not mean that all mankind is not bound to be baptized for salvation. Jesus does not make Holy Baptism optional for conversion and salvation. Please contact Pastor Schultz for an appointment to be baptized. "Baptism is for you and your children" - "Baptism now saves you" - Epistles of Saint Peter.
The Sacrament of Holy Communion, or Eucharist (also called the Sacrament of the Altar, the Mass, the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, Communion, the Breaking of the Bread, and the Blessed Sacrament) is where communicants eat and drink the true Body and Blood of Christ Himself, "in, with and under the forms" of the consecrated bread and wine. This theology is known as the Real Presence. This Sacramental meal is pure gospel. All who partake receive the Body and Blood of the Lord, given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.
From Christ the King's Worship Folder:
THE SACRAMENTS OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH: Open Font, Closed Communion. At Christ the King Holy Baptism has always been offered to all people without discrimination of age. This blessed Sacrament is available for both adults and children upon request. We celebrate an open font at Christ the King!
Holy Communion is offered to those instructed in the Faith of the Church after Holy Baptism, to Christians able to examine themselves, & to the penitent. And since the Body of Christ is One, we ask that those who commune at this altar reflect that unity with sameness of doctrine and confession, such as we enjoy in our parish and Synod (WELS or ELS). We therefore celebrate closed communion, partaking of the gifts together with fellow Synod communicants only, in accordance with the Word of God.
To guests who wish to share in our blessed unity and become communicants at this altar, we extend this invitation of peace: the pastor will be most happy to make those arrangements with you in the future.
The rite of Private Confession is not universally observed as a sacrament in the Lutheran Church, primarily due to the consideration of lack of a visible element. The Sacrament of Holy Absolution has two forms: the General Confession (known as the Penitential Rite or Order of Confession of Sins) that is done at the beginning of the Divine Service. In this case, the entire congregation says the confession, as the pastor says the absolution.
Private Confession - done privately to a pastor, where the penitent confesses sins that trouble hi/her and pleads to God for mercy, and the pastor announces God's forgiveness to the person, as the sign of the cross is made. Private confession is subject to total confidentiality by the pastor.
In historic Lutheran practice, Holy Absolution is expected before partaking of Holy Communion. General confession, as well as Private Confession, are still contained in most Lutheran hymnals.
Two works which are part of the Book of Concord lend support to the belief that Holy Absolution is for Lutherans the third sacrament. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession acknowledges outright that Holy Absolution is a sacrament, referring to it as the sacrament of penitence. In the Large Catechism, Luther calls Holy Absolution the third sacrament.
Rites of the Church (non-Sacramental)
Confirmation is a public profession of faith prepared for by long and careful instruction. Confirmation teaches Baptized Christians from Martin Luther's Small Catechism about the 6 Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine: the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, The Keys and Confession/Absolution, and the Sacrament of the Altar. An average catechism class lasts about two years for youth and several months for adults.
Holy Matrimony is a union between a man and woman, acknowledging the grace of God in their life. Marriage is "holy" because God the Father created it and the family unit for the benefit of all mankind. Marriage does not offer the forgiveness of sins, thus is not a sacrament.
Lutherans, on the whole, reject the Roman Catholic teaching of Holy Orders because sacrdotalism is not supported by the Bible. Martin Luther (+1546) taught that each individual was expected to fulfill his God-appointed task in everyday life. The modern usage of the term vocation as a God-pleasing life-task was first employed by Martin Luther. In Luther's Small Catechism "holy orders" include, but are not limited to the following: bishops, pastors, preachers, governmental offices, citizens, husbands, wives, children, employees, employers, young people, and widows!
Anointing of the Sick
The Lutheran Church, like others, use James 5 as a biblical reference for Anointing of the Sick. The process of this rite consists of laying on of hands and/or anointing with oil while praying in the Name of Jesus, the Good Physician.
Adopted from the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord, 1580). These Teachings are in accordance with Sacred Scripture.
- The Holy Bible.
- Graebner, Augustus Lawrence (1910). Outlines Of Doctrinal Theology. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. p. 161.
- Article XIII: The Number and Use of the Sacraments, vv 3–4, Apology of Augsburg Confession, The Book of Concord, Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2000, 219 – 220.
- F.L. Cross, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, second edition, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974), 340 sub loco.
- Apology of the Augsburg Confession, article 24, paragraph 1. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Tappert,TG ed. "The Book of Concord". Fortess Press, 1959, pp. 221 & 445.
- Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Talcott Parsons, Ch.3, p. 79 & note 1.
- Luther's Small Catechism
- "FAQ". Anglo Lutheran Catholic Church. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- ELCA Anointing, Retrieved 9 November 2009
- LCMS Anointing, Retrieved 9 November 2009
- Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheran_sacraments#Baptism
- Christ the King Worship Folder, The Sacraments of the Lutheran Church
The Wisconsin Synod teaches all the above without reservation. More information can be gathered at www.WELS.net or by calling Christ the King Lutheran Church, 847-358-0230.