Luther and the Canon of the Mass

Bryan D Spinks

Rather than taking a pruning knife to the Canon of the Mass, the author shows that the Canon or 'Office' as in Formula Missae and the Deutsche Messe is an expression of the conviction regarding justification by faith and an avoidance of any sense of sacrifice which suggests that salvation can be achieved through human agency. This is developed by reference to Luther's own analysis of the existing Canon and the author's commentary on the new Canon which replaced it, albeit with some of the original elements. He concludes, 'In doing this, Luther believed that he had replaced the Canon with the Gospel; the Canon had given up its place to Christ as its master. Far from being a conservative and unimaginative liturgiologist, Luther was in fact giving positive liturgical expression to Justification.

Volume 03, Number 01, May 1973, p34
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