Monday, March 3, 2008

Swedish Lutheranism on the Sacrifice of the Mass

I've hardly written anything on my blog so far about theology... well, to begin to make up for this, and in connexion with a new topic vis a vis the sacrifice of the Mass over at David Schütz's Sentire cum Ecclesia blog, here is an essay I wrote some years back as part of my studies for my B.Theol. This is only a return of thanks to him, who gave me some valuable help when I was first working on this.


The Liturgical Reformation in Sweden:
The Eucharist in Swedish Lutheranism of the Sixteenth Century


Of all the Lutheran bodies set up in the sixteenth century, the Swedish Church was the most conservative in matters of Eucharistic worship. Yet the Latin Catholic Mass had been replaced by a Swedish Evangelical Mass, and the Eucharistic faith that this encouraged (lex orandi lex credendi) was now different from that of the medieval Swedish heritage.

A survey of the history of this period, and the royal players in it, together with an account of the work of the chief Swedish Reformers, the brothers Petri, will be presented as the background to the spread of new ideas about the Sacrament through preaching and teaching and the gradual development of new forms of liturgical practice. The essentially conservative nature of the Swedish Reform will be shown to culminate in the abortive liturgical reforms under John III, which proved too close to the Catholic Mass and Faith for the majority of Swedish churchmen, and thus caused reversion to the by-then traditional Swedish liturgy of the Petri brothers and the adoption of the Confessio Augustana as the official ne plus ultra of conservative Lutheran belief in Sweden, between the Scylla of Catholicism (under John III and his son Sigismund) and the Charybdis of Calvinism (under Charles IX).

Historical Overview 1513-1593

In eighty years, Sweden was transformed from a Catholic part of the Union of Kalmar into an independent Lutheran kingdom. It is convenient to date this ‘short sixteenth century’ from the accession of Christian II to the Scandinavian throne in 1513 to the adoption at the Uppsala-möte (synod of Uppsala) of the Augsburg Confession as the official confession of the state church of Sweden.

Swedish history of the period began with a civil war between the Danish Christian II, acceding to the crown of Kalmar according to the Union of 1397, and what may be called the Swedish national party under Sten Sture, administrator of the kingdom of Sweden, by now already practically independent of Denmark, the senior partner in the union. In late 1520 Christian II defeated Sture and was crowned king of Sweden, but 4 days later he ordered the notorious “Stockholm Bloodbath” in which many nobles, two bishops, and other prominent opposition figures were butchered, to the number of about ninety. This precipitate act roused Sweden against Christian II, and a new revolt began under Gustavus Eriksson (Gustavus Vasa), whose father was among those slain. By 1523 he had prevailed, and was elected as the king of newly-independent Sweden by the Swedish Diet.

What makes this narration of importance in religious terms is that the Archbishop of Uppsala had seconded Christian II in his struggle against Sture, and the pretext for the Bloodbath had been opposition to him and to the privileged Swedish Church. As in the rest of Europe, the medieval Swedish Church had grown economically and politically powerful, and this bred resentment and anticlericalism. Foolishly enough as it seems in hindsight, the curia and the Pope antagonized Gustavus Vasa, leading to the breaking of ties with Rome in 1523. This facilitated his seizure of Church lands and gaining of supremacy over the Swedish Church. Meanwhile, Lutheran ideas came into Sweden from students and clergy returning from Germany.

The long reign of Gustavus Vasa (1523-1560) occasioned an ever-widening division between Catholicism and the new Swedish Evangelical system. In 1527 at Västerås the Diet of nobles was persuaded by the king to create a national Church, in which only the “pure word of God” was to be preached and taught in schools. This was code for the new Evangelical Lutheran doctrines. By threatening to abdicate, Gustavus obtained his goal of complete dominion over the Church: he would own all Church property, all ecclesiastical appointments would need his approval, and the civil law would apply to the clergy.

In defiance of continuing obstruction from Rome, the king pressed the Catholic Bishop of Västerås, Petrus Magni, to consecrate three other bishops without Papal mandate, and then installed the new Archbishop of Uppsala and the rest, rendering the Swedish Church, though technically still Catholic, independent of Rome (or in schism, as would have been said in those days by Rome). This situation paralleled that of so-called Henrician Catholicism under Henry VIII: bishops and the Mass were maintained, but gradual reforms and preaching conspired to change the ecclesiastical landscape.

Only in Stockholm was there popular support for the Reformation; it was by and large imposed from above, and uprisings opposed to protestantization and the despoliation of church estates were put down with firmness. By 1544, at the Diet of Västerås, Sweden was declared Protestant and Evangelical. Significantly, it was at the same assembly that the throne was made hereditary. As in England, so in Sweden: consolidation of royal power and dynastic establishment was accomplished in concert with the creation of a national church under the crown.

After Gustavus came his Calvinist-leaning son Eric XIV (1560-1568), whose bellicose tendencies embroiled Sweden in war with her neighbours; he was overthrown by his younger brother who ruled as John III (1568-1593). John was very Catholic in outlook, and hoped to reunite Sweden with Rome; his demands, however (for marriage of the clergy, Mass in the vernacular, and communion in both kinds) were rebuffed. Rome considered that, with the accession of his son Sigismund III, who had been raised a Catholic in Poland, which he had ruled as king since 1587, a return to Catholic unity was impending in Sweden.

However, fearing this fate, John III’s younger brother Duke Charles convened a church assembly in Uppsala in 1593. This strongly asserted the adhesion of all to the Evangelical faith as preached and disseminated by the chief Swedish Reformers, the Petri brothers, accepted the Augsburg Confession as the norm of Swedish belief, to which all, including the king, had to subscribe, and thus rejected Sigismund. (He later tried to invade in 1598 but failed, having to content himself with Poland, while his younger brother was finally crowned as king in 1604, having already ruled as de facto king since 1593.) The sixteenth century ended with Sweden having becoming wholly Lutheran.

The Petri Brothers

The two key figures in the Reformation in Sweden were the brothers Olaus Petri (Olof Petersson / Persson) (1493-1552) and Laurentius Petri (Lars Petersson / Persson) (1499-1573). The former was the chief promoter of Lutheranism in the kingdom of Sweden under the reign of Gustavus Vasa, while the latter was the first Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala (1531-1573), consecrated sans Papal mandate, and ecclesiastical leader of the Swedish Lutheran Church for 42 years. (Laurentius Petri is surnamed Nericus after his place of birth at Närke, to distinguish him from his eponymous son-in-law and successor Laurentius Petri Gothus.)

Olaus Petri studied at Wittenberg (1516-18), and on his return to Sweden he began to preach Luther’s new doctrines. He it was who masterminded the dissemination of Lutheran views through both the written and spoken word. He translated the New Testament into Swedish in 1527, and published most of the literature of the Reformation in Sweden (a hymnbook, a church manual, new liturgies, and many sermons and polemical works). At first a counsellor of the king, he fell from grace when he preached against his autocratic rule, and together with his brother was sentenced to death in 1540, although their sentence was remitted in consideration of a hefty fee, and he regained favour, ending as pastor of Stockholm cathedral.

His brother Laurentius, though less forceful, was likewise most influential. Like his brother, he had studied at Wittenberg. He was made Archbishop and Primate at 33, and governed the nascent Lutheran Church for four decades. The two most important works of his are the complete Swedish Bible of 1541, and the Swedish Church Order of 1571, the fruit of thirty years’ work.

Neither brother wished to formally unite the Swedish Church with German Lutheranism, and instead they always stressed gradual reform and the spread of the new ideas by preaching. The use in every parish of the Swedish Bible which they had together translated had incalculable effects, especially when read in agreement with the Lutheran ideas that were heard throughout the kingdom: the Scriptures would have been interpreted in line with the central doctrine of justification by faith, prescinding from works, and this would have undermined much of the late medieval system of piety.

Eucharistic Teaching of Olaus Petri

Olaus Petri based his Eucharistic teaching on that of the early Luther. Like him, he asserted that the Eucharist is itself primarily the proclamation of the Gospel of redemption, that Christ gave “his body and blood as a sign or pledge that we might receive them and thereby assure our conscience that our sins are indeed forgiven”. The Mass was “unspeakably good when used aright” but not when the sacrament was misused. The right use to make of it was to receive communion in remembrance of the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ on the Cross that appeased God’s wrath, and in remembrance of the precious blood shed to wash sins away: this partaking, as St Paul wrote, was the means whereby to preach and proclaim the death of the Lord (1 Cor 11:26).

The restoration of the chalice to the laity, and the rejection of the sacrificial idea in terms of a real oblation in the Mass of the one immolation of Christ, led to a focus on the reception of communion as the anamnetic element, rather than presenting it as linked with the consecration and oblation as in the Roman Canon, and overemphasising the notion of communion as the assurance of forgiveness of sins, thus making it a doublet of absolution. In his Little Book on the Sacraments (1528), he rejected the Eucharistic processions and exposition that had formerly occurred, as being “not by God’s command that the sacrament is set in a monstrance… Christ is not present in the sacrament in order that he may be carried hither and thither, but that he may come to us and help us when we receive his body and blood for a sign and pledge of the forgiveness of sins… then the sacrament is set in its true monstrance, for it is our heart that is in truth God’s temple…”.

He emphasises that in receiving Christ in Holy Communion one is made “partaker of his righteousness, and his faithfulness and goodness swallow up me and my sins, so that then I have naught else but righteousness” and that in receiving communion all who partake are united and share in each other’s goodness and in that of Christ and all his elect saints – this is the doctrine inculcated by Petri’s Easter homily, utilising some fine insights of Augustine.

Spread of Lutheranism through Preaching

Petri asserted in his Christian Exhortation to the Clergy that “without preaching sacraments are of little use, since then men understand not why they should use the sacraments, or how they help us… sacraments are indeed but an assurance and pledge, whereby we know that those benefits of which the sermon speaks are given to us…” To this end Olaus Petri prepared ‘postills’ or readymade sermons for the clergy to read out at Mass – his En nyttog postilla (1528). As with Luther after the tumult occasioned by Karlstadt, the Swedish Reformers proceeded very slowly in their inculcation of the new Evangelical ideas. For a long period (as in England under Henry VIII) the Latin Mass was retained, but the new ideas of Luther and his northern counterpart Olaus Petri were spread throughout Sweden, though primarily in the urban areas, by preaching. Ordinances, such as that of Skara (1529) enjoined preaching every Sunday and holy-day. Similarly the Council of Örebro (1529) called for preaching and teaching: in Cathedrals there was to be daily preaching with Bible reading, and the Lord’s Prayer, Creed, and Commandments were to be taught to the people (as in medieval injunctions).

Development of Lutheran Agendæ

The first Swedish Mass-formula was devised by Olaus Petri in 1531, to replace the early Low Mass at which communion was customarily administered. The Summa Missa remained in its age-old form for quite some time. What is of most importance is the replacement of the Canon of the Mass by an extended version of the Easter Preface that leads straight into the Institution Narrative. This arrangement – Præfatio plus Qui pridie – was Luther’s own, and interestingly returns the Eucharist to its earliest form, as a blessing of God over food (as in Judaism) which leads into the proclamation of the New Testament in Christ’s Body and Blood, formed out of the bread and wine so blessed. The typically Lutheran formulæ of Petri’s consecratory preface well express the anamnesis of the Eucharist, that is, the recalling of the saving work of Christ in his Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection, which alone freed the human race from death and ruin:

It is verily meet, right, and blessed that we should in all places give thanks unto thee, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, for all thy benefits, and especially for that which thou didst unto us, when we all for our sins’ sake were in so evil a case that naught but damnation and eternal death awaited us, and no creature either in heaven or on earth could help us; then thou didst send forth thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, who was of one divine nature with thyself, to become man for our sake, didst lay our sins upon him, and let him undergo death for us that we might not die eternally; and as he overcame death and rose again unto life, and now dieth no more, so likewise shall all they who put their trust therein overcome sins and death, and through him attain to everlasting life; and for our admonition, that we should keep in mind and never forget this his benefit, in the night that he was betrayed…

New editions of the Evangelical Mass were successively published (in 1535 and 1537), and attempts were made to encourage more frequent communion, though as everywhere in Europe, Catholic and Protestant, the general practice of abstention from communicating was very difficult to break. The liturgical year, though simplified, was retained, and music and singing introduced in the vernacular.

The final stage in the implementation of liturgical changes was that brought about by the deletion the canon of the Mass in favour of the Verba (the efficacious words of Our Lord in the Last Supper narratives as harmonized by Luther) and the general conforming the old Latin service to the new Evangelical one. This development, however, is very difficult to date; it seems to have happened around 1540. By this it may be believed that the preceding decade or two of Lutheran preaching and introduction of the Swedish Eucharistic service side-by-side with the Latin Mass had led to people being comfortable with the latter being approximated to the former.

The Eucharistic Sacrifice according to Laurentius Petri

Laurentius Petri saw there to be a true sacrifice in the Eucharist. Indeed, he enumerated three: a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving (cf. Heb 13:15), a self-oblation of those present (cf. Rom 12:1), and the Eucharist itself as signifying and representing the one sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, though not to be spoken of as offered by the priest, but rather, set by the priest and people between their sins and God’s righteous anger. This is the doctrine he asserts in his Dialogue concerning the Changes in the Mass (written 1542, published 1587).

King John III and the Red Book of 1576

King John III hoped to achieve a rapprochement with the Holy See, and to this end applied for various doctrinal and practical compromises to be granted by the Pope. Unsurprisingly he was given a negative answer. At the same time, this theologically-alert monarch drew up his own dream liturgy, the Liturgia Svecanæ Ecclesiæ, the Röda boken or Red Book (so-called from its handsome leather binding) of 1576, which is unique among Lutheran formulæ of the period in its reliance on Patristic models (for example, one line in the Eucharistic Prayer derives from the liturgy of St John Chysostom). The king made it obligatory throughout the land, and justified it by appeal to the ancient liturgies and Fathers of the Church.

It was especially daring in that, not merely were various ritual observances restored , an epicletic prayer inserted (as in the Pfalz-Neuberg agenda of 1543) and many private prayers of the priest proposed for use again, but a Eucharistic Prayer was provided. No other Lutheran formula had kept such (as opposed to merely intercessory prayers after the Sanctus), and this one even dared use the formula “to offer”. (The text is quite beautiful, and it is given in full as an appendix to this essay, since it is most difficult to find.)

The core of the Eucharistic Prayer, and its most contentious part, was the anamnesis:

Therefore we also remember, O Lord God, this salutary command and the same your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s holy passion and death, his resurrection and ascension. And this your Son you have in your boundless mercy sent and given to us, that he might be a sacrifice for our sins, and by his one oblation on the cross pay the price of our redemption, fulfil your justice and make perfect such a sacrifice as might serve for the welfare of the elect until the end of the world. The same your Son, the same sacrifice which is a pure, holy and undefiled sacrifice, set before us for our reconciliation, our shield, defence, and shelter against your wrath, against the terror of sins and of death, we take and receive with faith and offer before your glorious majesty with our humble supplications. For these your great benefits we give you fervent thanks with heart and mouth, yet not as we ought but as we are able.

The formula is taken from the Unde et memores of the Roman Canon, but reworked, with the opening phrase from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, and the last phrase from the Clementine Liturgy of the Apostolic Constitutions in the version of Pamelius. King John III attempted to express an Evangelical oblation, as it were, of Christ once sacrificed to the Father, in the sense of presenting to God what his Son has done so as to appeal to it as the basis for sinful mankind’s access to him, that the prayers of sinners may be heard. It is the atoning sacrifice of Christ, not the Eucharistic elements, that is thus offered. But John II wrote that “the true body and blood of Christ, which are given and received in the eucharist, which were once for all a sacrifice for us… ever retain the name which they then received”. The Catholic theologian Bouyer interprets this prayer as signifying that in the Eucharist a sacramental encounter takes place wherein the Cross is grasped in faith, “since the dead and risen Christ is objectively ‘proposed’ to it, with the result that we become associated with his one offering in the prayer which grasps this heavenly gift”. Thus the doctrine of sacrifice in the Red Book came close – many thought too close – to the doctrines of Trent.

The Red Book at once caused an uproar, and surviving copies have abusive comments written in their margins. Perhaps the worst feature of the Eucharistic liturgy provided was the way it took the text of the Roman Canon and very skilfully reordered and reworded it, since this made it appear to be a disingenuous attempt to reintroduce the old Canon, famously eschewed by Luther as stinking of oblation, into the Evangelical Mass. The doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice expressed in the Eucharistic Prayer seemed not merely ambiguous, but designed to be accepted by Lutherans in a Lutheran sense while actually expressing in veiled terms a Catholic concept which would in time influence worshippers to accept a more overtly Roman view. It is well to note that Louis Bouyer considers the prayer to do the opposite – appear Catholic and actually be Lutheran! The king wished to return to ancient tradition, while retaining positive elements of the Evangelical faith.

Uppsala-möte 1593

In reaction to the crypto-Catholic tendencies of the late king John III and the blatant Catholicism, avec les Peres Jesuites, of his son Sigismund, already king of Poland, the Swedish nobles, clergy and gentry turned to Duke Charles, third son of Gustavus Vasa. He was a Calvinist, but this pleased Lutheran Swedes more than a Counter-Reformation Catholic did. Sigismund was forced out, and the Duke his uncle succeeded him as King Charles IX. The Swedish Church, by now Lutheran for more than 50 years, met in synod under the new king, and asserted its authority by keeping many remaining adiaphora (surplices, sacring bells, the elevation) that the majority at first sought to lay aside, but decided to retain when their Calvinist monarch suggested even more changes. This would seem to be an application of Melanchthon’s axiom that “In a time of confession nothing is an adiaphoron”.

The Confessio Augustana, most irenic and Catholic of Lutheran symbols, was adopted as the confession of the Ecclesia Suecana, and the Red Book of 1576 was suppressed in favour of the liturgy devised by the Petri brothers, “our old printed mass-book and the Church order sanctioned in ’72”, which by this time was hallowed by long use in the eyes of many. “Thus Sweden is as one man, and we all have one faith!” – as one of the synod fathers exclaimed.


An examination of the Lutheran Eucharistic liturgies successively implemented in Sweden leads to the conclusion that they were among the best of those devised among the Evangelicals, retaining many traditional rituals and forms that preserved as much of the medieval heritage and Eucharistic faith as was possible given the radical change in faith occasioned by the Reformation. The attempt by John III to impose an overly archaizing Eucharistic service as a via media between Catholicism and Lutheranism failed. The Lutheran Church of Sweden returned to the 1571 service, which in essentials has perdured to this day.


Bouyer, Louis. Eucharist. Theology and Spirituality of the Eucharistic Prayer. C.H. Quinn, trans. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968.

Brilioth, Yngve. Eucharistic Faith and Practice Evangelical and Catholic. A.G. Hebert, trans. London: S.P.C.K., 1961.

Gritsch, Eric W. A History of Lutheranism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

Pahl, Irmgard. (ed.) Cœna Domini I. Die Abendmahlsliturgie der Reformations-kirchen im 16./17. Jahrhundert. Spicilegium Friburgense 29. Freiburg: Universitätslag Freiburg Schweiz, 1983.

Senn, Frank C. Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.

The Scandinavian Countries and the Reformation. Retrieved via Internet 6th May 2005 from

Appendix: the Offertory Prayers, Preface & Eucharistic Prayer of the Red Book

(Cf. Frank C. Senn, Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997) 431-439; Irmgard Pahl, ed., Cœna Domini I. Die Abendmahlsliturgie der Reformations-kirchen im 16./17. Jahrhundert. Spicilegium Friburgense 29 (Freiburg: Universitätslag Freiburg Schweiz, 1983) 114-5,122-142.)


Omnipotens æterne Deus Pater cælestis, qui nobis Spiritum gratiæ et precum promisisti, largire nobis quæsumus, ut te ad mandatum et promissionem tuam in spiritu et veritate invocemus: dirigat corda nostra tuæ miserationis operatio, quia tibi sine te placere non possumus.

Let us pray.

Almighty eternal God, [who have promised us the Spirit of grace and prayer, we beseech you to grant him to us,] that we according to your commandment and promise may call upon you in spirit and in truth: let your Holy Spirit [sic; lege merciful power] rule our hearts, for without you we cannot be pleasing to you.

Te igitur clementissime Pater per Jesum Christum Filium tuum Dominum nostrum supplices rogamus ac petimus, ut preces nostras acceptas habere, easque exaudire digneris, in primis quas tibi offerimus pro Ecclesia tua sancta catholica, quam pacificare, custodire, adunare, et regere digneris toto orbe terrarum, una cum omni magistratu ecclesiastico et politico, cujuscunque dignitatis præeminentiæ et nominis sint, et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholicæ et Apostolicæ fidei cultoribus.

You, therefore, O most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, do we supplicants beg and entreat that you will regard our prayers as acceptable and you will deign to hear them, in particular these which we are offering to you on behalf of your holy catholic Church: which may you deign to reconcile, protect, unite and guide over the whole orb of the earth: together with all government ecclesiastical and political, of whosoever be of preeminent dignity and name, and all the orthodox in belief and the cultivators of the catholic and apostolic faith.

Domine Deus qui voluisti misericordiæ tuæ erga nos certissimum pignus esse sacrosanctam et venerandam Filii tui Cænam: excita nostras mentes, qui hanc ipsius Cænam celebramus, ad salutarem tuorum beneficiorum recordationem, ad veram et perpetuam gratitudinem, ad gloriam et laudem nominis tui:

O Lord God, who will that your Son’s holy and most worthy Supper should be unto us a pledge and assurance of your mercy: awaken our heart, that we who celebrate the same his Supper may have a salutary remembrance of your benefits, and humbly give you true and beholden thanks, glory, honour, and praise for evermore.

Juvato nos tuos ministros et tuum populum, ut memores sanctæ illius, puræ, immaculatæ et salutaris Filii tui hostiæ, pro nobis in ara crucis peractæ, tantum novi Testamenti et æterni fœderis mysterium digne peragamus.

Help us your servants and your people that we may hereby remember the holy, pure, stainless, and blessed offering of your Son, which he made upon the cross for us, and worthily celebrate the mystery of the new testament and eternal covenant.

Benedic et sanctifica Spiritus tui sancti virtute proposita et sacro usui destinata, panem et vinum, ut in vero usu nobis sint corpus et sanguis dilectissimi Filii tui, alimenta æternæ vitæ, quæ summo desiderio expetamus et quæramus. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Bless and sanctify with the power of your Holy Spirit that which is prepared and set apart for this holy use, bread and wine, that rightly used it may be unto us the body and blood of your Son, the food of eternal life, which we may desire and seek with greatest longing. Through the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns in one Godhead from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
V. Sursum corda.
R. Habemus ad Dominum.
V. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et justum est.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and right.

[PREFACE OF OLAUS PETRI (1551) — the English is a translation of the Swedish — & SWEDISH RED BOOK (1576) — after * it is my translation of the Latin.]

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare. Nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis, Et potissumum, quia cum per peccatum eo redacti essemus, ut nos præter interitum et æternam mortem nihil maneret, nec creatura ulla vel in cælo vel in terra nobis subvenire posset: emisisti unigenitum Filium tuum, Jesum Christum, ejusdem divinæ tecum naturæ, ut pro nobis homo factus peccata nostra lucret, mortemque subiret ubi nobis æternum moriendum erat. Qui quidem ut evicta morte, in vitam resurrexit, nec posthac amplius unquam morietur: Ita omnes in ipsum credentes, constituti victores peccati et mortis, et hæredes vitæ æternæ per eum.

Verily it is meet and right that we should in all places give thanks and praise to you, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, for all your benefits and especially for that one that you did unto us, when we all by reason of sins were in so bad a case that nothing but damnation and eternal death awaited us, and no creature in heaven or earth could help us, then you did send forth your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, who was of the same divine nature as yourself, did suffer him to become a man for our sake, did lay our sins upon him, and did suffer him to undergo death in stead of our all dying eternally, and as he hath overcome death and risen again into life, and now dies nevermore, so likewise shall all they who put their trust therein overcome sins and death and through him attain to everlasting life.

Qui et ne unquam beneficiorum ipsius oblivisceremur, In ea nocte qua tradebatur,dumque cænaret, accepit panem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas, respexit in cælum ad te sancte Pater, omnipotens æterne Deus, tibi gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, dedit discipulis suis dicens: Accipite et comedite, Hoc est corpus meum, quod pro vobis traditur. Hoc facite in mei commemorationem.

*Who also that we should never forget his benefits, in the night that he was betrayed, and while he supped, he took the bread in his holy and venerable hands, he looked into heaven to you, holy Father, almighty eternal God, giving thanks to you, he blessed, he broke, he gave to his disciples saying: Take and eat, This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

(Elevatio fit.)

(Let the elevation be made.)

Simili modo postquam cænatum est, accepit calicem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas, respexit in cælum ad te sancte Pater, omnipotens æterne Deus, tibi gratias agens, benedixit, dedit discipulis suis dicens: Accipite et bibite ex hoc omnes. Hic est enim sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effunditur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite quotiescunque biberitis in mei commemorationem.

Likewise after he had supped, he took the cup in his holy and venerable hands, he looked into heaven to you, holy Father, almighty eternal God, giving thanks to you, he blessed, he gave to his disciples saying: Take and drink from this all of you. For this is my blood of the new testament, which for you and for many is poured out for the remission of sins. Do this whenever you shall drink it in remembrance of me.

(Elevatio fit.)

(Let the elevation be made.)

Quapropter per eundem Filium tuum Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum, majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Cæli cælorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim socia exultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes.

And therefore through the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, the Angels praise your majesty, the Dominations adore it, the Powers tremble. The heavens and the Virtues of heaven, and the blessed Seraphim celebrate it with united joy. With these we pray you join our voices also, while we say in humble praise:

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Zebaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra gloria tua. Osianna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Osianna in excelsis.

Holy, holy, holy Lord God Sabaoth. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Grant salvation from on high. Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Grant salvation from on high.

[SWEDISH RED BOOK (1576) — Parallel Latin and Swedish texts, the latter in English translation.]

Memores igitur et nos, Domine, salutaris hujus mandati, et tam beatæ passionis et mortis nec non ex mortuis resurrectionis, sed et in cælos ascensionis ejusdem Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Quem immensa tua misericordia nobis donasti ac dedisti, ut victima pro peccatis nostris fieret, et una sui oblatione in cruce, solveret tibi pro nobis pretium redemptionis nostræ, et justitiæ tuæ satisfaceret, et impleret Sacrificium profuturum electis ad finem usque mundi. Eundem Filium tuum, ejusdem mortem et oblationem, hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam, propitiationem, scutum et umbraculum nostrum contra iram tuam, contra terrorem peccati et mortis, nobis propositum fide amplectimur, tuæque præclaræ Majestati humillimus nostris precibus offerimus. Pro tantis tuis beneficiis pio cordis affectu, et clara voce, gratias agentes, non quantum debemus sed quantum possumus.

Therefore we also remember, O Lord God, this salutary command and the same your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s holy passion and death, his resurrection and ascension. And this your Son you have in your boundless mercy sent and given to us, that he might be a sacrifice for our sins, and by his one oblation on the cross pay the price of our redemption, fulfil your justice and make perfect such a sacrifice as might serve for the welfare of the elect until the end of the world. The same your Son, the same sacrifice which is a pure, holy and undefiled sacrifice, set before us for our reconciliation, our shield, defence, and shelter against your wrath, against the terror of sins and of death, we take and receive with faith and offer before your glorious majesty with our humble supplications. For these your great benefits we give you fervent thanks with heart and mouth, yet not as we ought but as we are able.

Et supplices te per eumdem Filium tuum unicum intercessorem nostrum in arcano consilio divinitatis a te constitutum, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum rogantes, ut propitio ac sereno vultu ad nos nostrasque preces respicere digneris, easque in cæleste altare tuum in conspectu divinæ majestatis tuæ suscipias, gratas et accepta clementer habeas, faciasque ut quotquot ex hac altaris participatione benedictum et sanctificatum cibum et potum, panem sanctum vitæ æternæ, et calicem salutis perpetuæ, sacrosanctum Filii tui corpus et pretiosum ejus sanguinem sumpserimus omni benedictione cælesti et gratia repleamur.

And we humbly beseech you through the same your Son, whom in your Godly and secret counsel you have set before us as our only Mediator, [praying our Lord Jesus Christ,] that you would look upon us and our prayers with mercy and pitying eye, and to let them come to your heavenly altar before your Divine Majesty and be pleasing to you, that all we who are partakers at this altar of the blessed and holy food and drink, the holy bread of eternal life and the cup of eternal salvation, which is the holy body and precious blood of your Son, may also be filled with all heavenly benediction and grace.

Nobis quoque peccatoribus de multitudine miserationum tuarum sperantibus, partem aliquam et societatem donare digneris cum tuis sanctis Apostolis et Martyribus, et omnibus sanctis tuis. Intra quorum nos consortium non aestimator meriti, sed veniæ quæsumus largitor admitte, Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

We likewise beseech you, O Lord God, that you would give us, poor sinful mortals who trust in your manifold mercies, that we may be received among your holy Apostles, Martyrs and all your saints, into whose number admit us, not through our merit, but by your mercy which forgives our sins and failings. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Per quem, Domine, omnia bona semper creas, sanctificas, vivificas, benedicis, et præstas nobis. Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso sit tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti in unitate Spiritus Sancti omnis honor et gloria. Per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Through whom, O Lord, you do ever create, sanctify, quicken, bless and grant us every good thing. Through him, with him, and in him, be all honour, glory and praise, to you, almighty God, Father, and to [sic; lege in the unity of] the Holy Spirit, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.


minas said...

Thank you so very much for putting the translations of the Ordo Missae of the Red Book, 1576, on your site. Any plans to put the complete Ordo in Latin and Swedish on the site? It would be fascinating to see the entire Ordo. +Gary Carson, Aguascalientes, Mexico

Joshua said...

No, I no longer have access to the books I'd need...


The Society for the Preservation of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy said...

Thank you for posting this! It truly is an evangelical catholic rendering of the Roman Canon. It is realkly a shame that this did not become a model for all Lutheran kirchenordinungen. Sadly, the Gensio-Lutherans raged against the Red Book of 1576 and it was ultimately replaced. Consecration using the "bare Verba" remained the norm. It wasn't until the 20th Century that the Eucharistic prayer slowly made it's way back into Lutheran liturgies--and even now, the Gensio Lutherans are still fighting it! Had the Red Book not beem associated with the Swedish king's desire for rapproachment with the See of Roman, things may have turned out very differently for the history of the Lutheran liturgy.
Pax tecum--Pastor Jack

minas said...

I have the entire Ordo Missae from the Redbook in English, (and a hard copy of the Latin text). If anyone would like a copy, please contact me.

In CHrist,

+Gary Carson
Mision Vetero-Catolica
Aguascalientes, Mexico

minas said...

"The Mass in Sweden" by E. E. Yelverton contains the complete text in latin and English of the Mass of the Redbook, 1576, along with toher liturgies of the Swedish Church.