Our churches are falsely accused of abolishing the Mass. The Mass is held among us and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved, except that the parts sung in Latin are interspersed here and there with German hymns. These have been added to teach the people. For ceremonies are needed for this reason alone, that the uneducated be taught . Not only has Paul commanded that a language understood by the people be used in church (1 Corinthians 14:2, 9), but human law also commands it. All those able to do so partake of the Sacrament together. This also increases the reverence and devotion of public worship. No one is admitted to the Sacrament without first being examined. The people are also advised about the dignity and use of the Sacrament, about how it brings great consolation to anxious consciences, so that they too may learn to believe God and to expect and ask from Him all that is good. This worship pleases God [Colossians 1:9,10]. Such use of the Sacrament nourishes true devotion toward God... Scripture teaches that we are justified before God, through faith in Christ, when we believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ's sake. Now if the Mass takes away the sins simply by performing it, justification comes by doing Masses, and not of faith. Scripture does not allow this. (paragraphs 1-8, 28-29)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.