Luther's understanding of the sacraments, deriving from his concept of salvation through faith in God's Word of promise, had in it the seeds of destruction for the whole ecclesiastical structure of the Roman church. The opponents who rightly perceived this goaded him into making a forthright statement of his views, which took the form of a little "prelude." In it Luther struck the clear note which was to be elaborated immediately into a major theme. Six major movements of the resultant symphony are included in this volume, all dealing with the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. While offering practical suggestions on frequency of communing, communion for the sick and dying, touching of the wafer with the hands, adoration of the host, self-communion by the officiant, Luther clarifies and exalts the testamental nature of the sacrament as a promise from God to be received by faith.
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