It is alleged unjustly against us, that we have abolished the mass. For it is well known that the mass is, without boasting, celebrated with greater devotion and sincerity among us, than among our adversaries. So the people also are repeatedly instructed with diligence concerning the holy Eucharist, with regard to the purpose for which it was instituted, and the manner in which it is to be used, namely, to comfort alarmed consciences, by means of which the people are drawn to communion and mass. Besides, instruction is also given against wrong doctrines concerning the Sacrament. Nor has any perceptible change taken place in the public ceremonies of the mass, except that at several places German hymns, for the instruction and exercise of the people, are sung with the Latin hymns; especially as all ceremonies should serve the purpose of teaching the people what is necessary for them to know concerning Christ.

But as the mass, prior to this time, was abused in various ways; as it is clear, that an annual traffic was made out of it, that it was bought and sold, and that it was celebrated for the most part in all churches for the sake of money, such abuse had been repeatedly censured, even before this time, by individuals of learning and piety. Now, as the ministers among us have preached concerning this thing, and the priests have been reminded of the terrible menaces which should justly move every Christian, that whoever partakes of the Sacrament unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of Christ, 1 Cor. 11, 27, in consequence of this, these sordid and solitary masses, which hitherto have been celebrated out of compulsion, for the sake of money and preferments, have ceased in our churches.

Besides, the abominable error that Christ our Lord by his death has atoned for original sin only, and that he has instituted the mass as a propitiation for other sins, is also censured. And thus the mass was converted into an oblation for the living and the dead, in order to take away sins, and to reconcile God. From this it followed as a further consequence, that it was made a question whether a mass held for many, merits as much as if a particular one is held for each individual. Thence originated a great diversity of masses as men wished by that work to obtain from God all that they needed, and consequently faith in Christ and the true divine service were neglected.

Wherefore instruction is given on this subject, as necessity undoubtedly requires, in order that it may be known how the Sacrament should be rightly used. And first, the Scripture testifies in many places, that there is no sacrifice for original sin or for other sins, but the death of Christ. For thus it is written, Heb. 9, 26-28, and chap. 10, 10-14: “For by one offering Christ hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” It is an unparalleled innovation, to teach in the church that the death of Christ atoned only for original sin, and not for other sins also; hope is therefore entertained, that it will be generally perceived that such error was not unjustly censured.

Secondly, St. Paul teaches, Rom. 3, 25, that we obtain grace before God, through faith, and not by works. Such abuse of the mass is evidently opposed to this doctrine if by that means we expect to obtain grace; as it is well known that the mass has been used for the purpose of removing sins, and of obtaining grace and favor before God, not only in behalf of the priest for himself, but also for the whole world, for the living and the dead.

Thirdly, this holy sacrament was instituted, not for the purpose of making a sacrifice for sins, (for the sacrifice has already been made,) but for the purpose of exciting our faith, and of consoling the consciences, which are admonished through the Sacrament that grace and the forgiveness of sins are promised to them by Christ. Wherefore this sacrament requires faith, and without faith it is used in vain.

Since, then, the mass is not a sacrifice for others, living or dead, to take away their sins, and since it should be a communion, in which the priest and others receive the Sacrament for themselves, the following custom is observed among us, that on holidays (and also at other seasons when communicants are present) mass is celebrated, and unto those who desire it the Sacrament is administered. Thus the mass continues among us in its proper application, as it was observed originally in the church, as may be shown from St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11, 33, and likewise from many writings of the Fathers. For Chrysostom mentions how the priest stands daily, requesting some to come to communion, and forbidding others to approach. The ancient canons also show, that one officiated, and the other priests and deacons communed. For thus read the words of the canon of Nice: “The deacons in order after the priests, should receive the Sacrament from the bishop or the priest.”

Now, since no innovation has been introduced, inconsistent with the custom of the primitive church, and no perceptible change has taken place in the public ceremonies of the mass, except that the unnecessary masses, celebrated perhaps through abuse, together with the private or priest’s masses, have discontinued, it would therefore be unjust to condemn this manner of holding mass as unchristian and heretical. For in times past, even when great numbers of people had assembled in large churches, the mass was not celebrated every day, as the Historia Tripartita, lib. 9, cap. XXXVIII., testifies. Again, in Alexandria the Scriptures were read and explained, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and all other divine services were held without the mass.