Martin Luther's house church

"However, a third kind of service was needed – a "truly evangelical" one. It would be held privately for those "who want to be Christians in earnest and who profess the Gospel with hand and mouth." Luther describes such a gathering:

[They] should sign their names and meet alone in a house somewhere to pray, to read, to baptize, to receive the sacrament, and to do other Christian works. According to this order, those who do not lead Christian lives could be known, reproved, corrected, cast out, or excommunicated, according to the rule of Christ (Matthew 18). Here one could also solicit benevolent gifts to be willingly given and distributed to the poor, according to St. Paul’s example (2 Corinthians 9). Here would be no need of much and elaborate singing. Here one could set out a brief and neat order for baptism and the sacrament and center everything on the Word, prayer, and love (cf. Ulrich S. Leupold, Liturgy and Hymns, Vol.53 of Luther’s Works, ed. Helmut T. Lehman [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1965] pp.53ff)."


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