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작성일 : 02-06-22 22:25
Abstract of LORD'S SUPPER: Spiritual Worship Acceptable to God(by Dong Ho Cho)
 글쓴이 : 조동호
조회 : 5,376  
Written by Dongho Cho


It is well-known fact through Biblical evidences and church tradition that the proclamation of the Word and the Lord's Supper were two poles of the Christian worship weekly observed. This tradition of Christian worship had been continued without major change until the fourth century since the early church "devoted ... to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers"(Acts 2:42)  from the Day of Pentecost  in  A.D. 30. The apostolic tradition of the Christian worship was continued at the time of A.D. 200 according to the witnesses of Hippolytus of Rome, Tertullian of North Africa, and the Canon of the Orthodox Church.


It was at the time of Constantine the Great who permitted religious freedom to the Christians to begin that the Roman Catholic Church added various cultural elements to the Christian worship. Since then, the worship began to go astray away from the original pattern and became outrageous at the time of Reformation. Latin Mass was kept regardless of native languages and regions of worshippers. The  worship was performed like a drama,  so that it became a seeing worship. The characteristics of hearing worship such as Word-proclaiming and Scripture-reading was disappeared in the worship. From the fifth century, Christians stopped taking bread and wine during worship service because of individual pious lives, indifference of believers, rigid penitent habits, and strong emphasis on the divinity of the Christ although they participated in the Mass every week or every day.


Meanwhile, Reformers, who tried to reform wrong traditional practices of the Roman Catholic Church, changed Mass-centered worship into sermon-centered one as they cut or shortened the liturgy. In this process, Zwingli, who gave great emphasis on piety, took no account of outward forms and liturgical elements. He did not accept Lord's Supper as a channel of grace. He did not think it necessary to the Christian worship, either. Thus Zwingli observed Lord's Supper four times a year in contradiction to the teaching of Martin Luther and John Calvin who wanted weekly observance of the Lord's Supper. It can be said that the Korean Protestant Church, which has thought piety as important in the worship, and which has disregarded liturgical elements, and which observed Lord's Supper two or three times a year, has been practicing Zwingli's pattern of worship without consciousness.


Churches in history did not keep balance between proclamation of the Word and the Lord's Supper. And they made mistake of being inclined to one side. The Roman Catholic Church had omitted proclamation of the Word, sermon freely proclaimed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Protestant Church, which inclined to the proclamation of the Word and the free working of the Holy Spirit, brought about individualism and opportunism. And she disregarded dynamics of early Christian worship taught by apostles, experienced, and incarnated in the lives through the message of the Lord's Supper. This distorted worship service has been continuously practiced all over the place in the world until now.


In spite of this distorted situation, efforts to restore the worship have been made in church history. For example, a movement, 'Back to the Early Church' broke out in the United States in 1804. This is called the Restoration Movement. Reformers like Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, and Barton W. Stone who advocated this movement had already understood that the original pattern of Christian worship was to practice both proclamation of the Word and weekly observance of Lord's Supper. They sought out Christian unity through the movement. And the Christian Church or the Church of Christ was born out of this movement.


There was another movement which began to spread far and wide to the Christendom in 1960s. The Roman Catholic Church has begun Worship Renewal Movement since the Second Vatican Council held from 1962 to 1965. From this time, the Roman Catholic Church revised their Mass-centered pattern of worship, began to preach the Word in the worship service, led the Mass with mother tongues, read the Bible and the Mass book translated into native languages, and allowed the Christian to take the elements of the Lord's Supper.


In the Protestant Church, some New Testament theologians such as H. Lietzmann, O. Cullmann, and J. J. von Allmen published their works of studies on the early church. Thanks to these men, churches all over the world began to give their attention to the balanced worship service with both proclamation of the Word and the Lord's Supper. In Korea, some practical theologians such as Keunwon Park, Yongsub Chung, Changbok Chung, and Eunkyu Park lead Korean Worship Renewal Movement. And the result of this movement helped important Lima Document and Lima Liturgy to be born by the Committee of Faith and Order of the World Church Council held in Lima, Peru in 1982.  The importance of this movement is the unity of the churches and missions, and the product of this unity movement is Lima Document and Lima Liturgy.


Thanks to this movement, many churches began to accept the importance of balance between sermon and Lord's Supper. They began to give attention to the restoration of the worship. Christ's work of salvation was proclaimed through the sermon. And Christ's work of salvation was incarnated through the Lord' Supper. In fact, Christian worship is to reenact the great liturgical lives of Jesus: the work of Galilee; the work of Jerusalem. The work of Galilee is presented in the worship of the Word, and the work of Jerusalem is presented in the worship of communion. As Martin K hler said that the Gospels were the passion narratives which had a long introduction, the work of Jesus reaches at peak in Jerusalem. However, the work of Jesus in Jerusalem has meaning when the work of Jesus in Galilee precedes. And the work of Galilee is brought to perfection by the work of Jerusalem. This shows how the meaning of incarnation was presented in the lives of Jesus and how the Christian worship should be. Because of this reason, the Roman Catholic Church restored the worship of Word, and the Protestant Church tries to restore the worship of communion.


The Korean Protestant Church does not frequently observe the Lord's Supper due to some reasons. There are persons who believe that the worship of the Protestant Church must be free from formality. And she must be open progressive spontaneous in expectation of the moving of the Holy Spirit. They have a fear that the worship of the Protestant Church should become formality. There are still other persons who view with suspicious eyes churches which observe the Lord's Supper frequently. They think that frequent observance of the Lord's Supper reduces its spiritual meaning. And they try to find some reasons of frequent observance of the early church in its life situation such as persistent persecution, strong work of the Holy Spirit, and rapid growth and spiritual revival.


Most of churches do not have prayers available to the church calendar, or avoidable of repetitious usage of the same liturgy because of their worship tradition observed the Lord's Supper two or three times a year. There are not many liturgies available in the churches, either. In addition to this, the present liturgies are too long and traditional to use frequently for fear that those should take great deal of time and make worship delayed. That is why many churches do not have communion worship. The Protestant Church have used some shortened liturgies since Reformation.  So  the Protestant Church can not use the liturgy-centered Mass book of the Roman Catholic Church, or the Prayer book of the Anglican Church without amendment. This is the present situation of the Protestant Church.


Meanwhile, churches, which weekly observe the Lord's Supper with a song- singing, a Scripture-reading, a short message, a prayer,  are apt to become mannerism, to block a flow of worship, and to disregard  accumulated worship tradition of two thousand years. It is not right to say as much the restoration of traditional worship is the only way of worship renewal as the worship has to be always renewed without reference to tradition. For we can find out who we are,  where we came from,  and where we go through  the worship tradition. And we can obtain necessary information from it for worship renewal.


Today's worship has problem in both formality and spirituality. If it inclines to formality, it lacks of spirituality. If it inclines to spirituality, then it lacks of formality. Therefore, our urgent task is to study and develop liturgies of the Lord's Supper including both formality and spirituality. And a development of brief communion messages with theological meaning and teaching of the Lord's Supper and communion prayers according to church calendar are to meet the needs of the times. And a study of the Lord's Supper according to church tradition is positively necessary in order to make this project possible.


Based upon these understandings, this book aims at  promotion of understanding of the Lord's Supper according to church tradition, collection and analysis of eucharistic prayers and meditation resources,  and presentation of much more resources for the development of communion liturgies, so that the individual church may choose and use them in the worship service according to her situation and circumstances. And  this book also aims at simultaneous presentation of both theoretical and practical materials and the possibility of weekly observance of the Lord's Supper, activation of  balanced worship with the proclamation of the Word and the Lord's Supper, and pursuit of the change of consciousness and action of the Christian to the way of lives manifested in the doctrine of cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ through activation of the Lord's Supper.


This book was divided into two parts: (1)'Understanding of the Lord's Supper According to Church Tradition'; (2)'An Analysis of Eucharistic Prayers and Meditation Resources According to Church Tradition'. In the first part, to emphasize necessity of the restoration of the communion worship(chapter 6), biblical origin(chapter 2), church tradition of liturgies and prayers(chapter 3), theological meaning(chapter 4), frequency(chapter 5), and solidarity through eating and drinking(chapter 7) were examined.


In the second part, an analysis of necessary materials for the Lord's Supper was mainly concerned on a basis of strong awareness of necessity of the restoration of the communion worship and of strong demand  of materials for it. The results of these works were 'Materials for Communion Prayers'(chapter 8), 'Materials for Communion Meditations'(chapter 9), and 'Samples of Liturgies'(chapter 10). In the 'Samples of Liturgies,' an explanation of liturgies was given, and four short samples of liturgies and traditional liturgies of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, and Lima Liturgy were introduced.


The first chapter, 'Introduction', was written on problems, purpose of this dissertation and project, methods of study, and constitution of this paper. And the content of each chapter was briefly summarized.


The second chapter, 'Biblical Origin of the Lord's Supper', aimed at seeking what the apostolic tradition of the Lord's Supper was. To do this, six questions were asked, and the answers were pursued. Questions are as follows: (1)Does the report on the Last Supper of Jesus have the historical authenticity? (2)Is the early pattern of communion liturgy found in the Bible? (3)What are the circumstantial evidences of early communion liturgy? (4)What are the theological meanings of early pattern of communion liturgy? (5)Is the early pattern of communion messages found in the Bible? (6)Is the early pattern of communion prayers found in the Bible?


Chapter three to five aimed at seeking materials necessary for the contemporary Christian worship renewal in pursuit of distorted history of how apostolic worship tradition was developed and changed. To accomplish this purpose, a process of historical changes of communion liturgies and prayers was examined.


The Christianity had well kept apostolic worship tradition until the fourth century. The believers' prayer and sermon in the worship were existed by the time of Gregory the Great. But the worship of medieval church after Gregory the Great gradually became superstitious due to the doctrine of transubstantiation. From this time, weekly communion worship participated by believers was disappeared in the worship. And the worship became a seeing Mass performed as a drama to block believers' real participation. The prominent characteristics of this time were persistence of Latin Mass which participants did not understand, believers' avoidance of reception of the elements of communion, worship to the elements of communion, worship to the saints and Mary, and omission of believers' prayer and sermon in the worship.


The Reformers, who tried to reform medieval distorted worship tradition and to go back to the apostolic worship tradition, omitted superstitious elements in the Mass, and introduced mother language worship and mother language songs. However, they failed to restore double-structure of worship, the proclamation of the Word and the Lord's Supper. They made worship from a seeing worship to a hearing and word-centered one without communion.


But it became clear that this was not biblical worship pattern. The reason for the medieval church to excessively become liturgical was to keep orthodox theology from heresy and to help believers, who did not know Latin, understand through the dramatic presentation of the Mass. But this was not original pattern of the liturgy. It also became clear through the writings of  early fathers that the early church worship was not antiliturgical pattern like Zwingli's thought. Christian worship was not excessive liturgy-centered worship of sacrificial pattern. It was not excessively shortened worship, either.


The early pattern of today's communion prayer was found in Hippolytus' Prayer. The first part of Hippolytus' Prayer consists of 'Sursum Corda' and 'Preface'. Its second part consists of 'Narrative of Institution', 'Statement of Offering', 'Epiclesis', and 'Doxology'. Hippolytus' Prayer was an original pattern of the prayers of the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. This pattern is found in the Lima liturgy as well and even in the liturgies of Reformers who tried to renew medieval superstitious worship.


Liturgical history tells us that communion prayers are traditionally only a few, and that 'Preface' along with 'Offertory Prayer', 'Songs of Elements  Taking', and 'Prayers of Thanksgiving' after communion had been developed in various forms according to the church calendar. In this context, the Protestant Church can make various forms of prayers according to the church calendar and make use of them along with several communion prayers. It is possible to have balanced development of the Protestant worship if the Protestant Church may revise and shorten the present prayers to fit to the situation and theology of Protestant Church as the Anglican Church did.


The fourth chapter, 'Theological Meaning of the Lord's Supper and Church Tradition', aimed at research on the matter of explanation of nature of communion worship and on the matter of way of real presence on the bread and wine. Adverse reactions of medieval sacrifice worship and transubstantiation were examined. The reason of early development of transubstantiation was because of Gnosticism and the reason of sacrifice theology was because of sacrifice culture of Jews and Gentiles. Gnostics viewed the Lord's Supper as useless because they denied incarnation of Son of God. Jews and Gentiles who had sacrifice worship were apt to view the Christian worship as atheistic because the Christianity did not have temple and sacrifices.


The Reformers denied the doctrines of transubstantiation, sacrifice worship, and concomitance, but they agreed upon divine institution and continuity of the Lord's Supper, spiritual presence of the Christ, celebrating and anamnestic characteristics of redemptive sacrifice of the Christ, the importance of high leveled worship and spiritual fellowship with Christ, and special grace given to participants. And Lima Document summarized the characteristics of the Lord's Supper as follows: Eucharistia, Anamnesis, Epiklesis, Koinonia, and Anticipation.


The fifth chapter, 'Frequency of the Lord's  Supper and Church  Tradition', aimed at research of how the apostolic worship tradition changed and what kind of process of efforts had been made of restoration in the progression of history.


The sixth chapter, 'Necessity of Restoration of the Lord's Supper', can be understood as a conclusion of the first part of this paper, 'Understanding of the Lord's Supper According to Church Tradition'. The conclusion is that worship without communion is imperfect and handicapped worship. This conclusion is made after serious study about biblical origin and church traditions of the Lord's Supper.


Worship becomes a living sacrifice as the word becomes incarnated. Only the plentiful words of preacher can not experience incarnated way of lives which is God's way of existence. Sermon is spiritual, but communion is physical. Thus the relationship between sermon and the Lord's Supper is harmony between spiritual thing and physical one,  mystical harmony which the word becomes flesh. The relationship between sermon and the Lord's Supper is the relationship between God's promise proclaimed by the prophets and fulfillment through the passion and resurrection of Jesus, that is, the relationship between promise and fulfillment. If sermon is done by speech, the Lord's Supper is done by action. If sermon appeals to reason of man through the sense of hearing, the Lord's Supper appeals to the mind of man through the sense of sight, taste, smell, and touch. If sermon prepares world for becoming the people of God, the Lord's Supper prepares the church for serving the world.


Therefore, the worship without sermon or communion is handicapped and imperfect worship. Catholic Mass without sermon is lame worship. Protestant worship without communion is unaccomplished worship. Mass without sermon is nothing but omission of sermon from the worship of word, but worship without communion is handicapped worship omitted half of the worship. Medieval worship tried to give message through dramatic presentation. So the problem of the Mass is to add superstitious elements to worship. But the problem of Protestant worship is to omit half of worship. Here we feel the necessity of restoration of the Lord's Supper. And to make necessity clear, biblical aspect, historical aspect, theological aspect, and practical aspect of the Korean Protestant communion worship were examined.


The seventh chapter,'Importance of Lord's Supper Viewed by Solidarity Through Eating and Drinking' aimed at introduction to solidarity through eating and drinking of ancient Near East, Israel(Old Testament times), Greco-Roman times, and Korea.

The eighth chapter, 'Materials for Communion Prayers', aimed at making four sample patterns of liturgies on a basis of church tradition, Reformers' tradition, and the items which writer was interested. Prayers, which were necessary to those items, were collected, revised, and redacted or written in person.


The ninth chapter, 'Materials for Meditation', were written in person. These meditation materials are short messages for ministerial, contemporary, and doctrinal precepts. These materials are to teach Christians with the spirit of Christ's cross, to lead worship into spiritual, holy, and inspirational through the existential meaning of lives, and to help them experience deep fellowship with God the Trinity and remission of sins through the Lord's Supper. This chapter was divided into two parts: (1)'52 Communion Meditations' along with Scriptural references; (2)'Communion Meditations According to Special Seasons'.


The tenth chapter, 'Samples of Liturgies', aimed at development of four short brief liturgies which took about ten minutes at Protestant word-centered worship service. Very brief four pattern of liturgies were presented. And traditional communion liturgies were introduced at the second part of this chapter.


In the eleventh chapter, 'Conclusion', some  expected effects, comments and others were briefly described.