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The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 30


80   Q.    How does the Lord's Supper differ from the Roman Catholic Mass?*


       A.    The Lord's Supper declares to us

that our sins have been completely forgiven

through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ

which he himself finished on the cross once for all.1

It also declares to us

that the Holy Spirit grafts us into Christ,2

who with his very body

is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father3

where he wants us to worship him.4


But the Mass teaches

that the living and the dead

do not have their sins forgiven

through the suffering of Christ

unless Christ is still offered for them daily by the priests.

It also teaches

that Christ is bodily present

in the form of bread and wine

where Christ is therefore to be worshiped.

Thus the Mass is basically

nothing but a denial

of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ

and a condemnable idolatry.


1 John 19:30; Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 25-26; 10:10-18

2 1 Cor. 6:17; 10:16-17

3 Acts 7:55-56; Heb. 1:3; 8:1

4 Matt. 6:20-21; John 4:21-24; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:1-3

* Question and answer 80 were altogether absent from the first edition of the

Catechism, and were present in a shortened form in the second edition. The

translation here given is of the text of the third edition.


81   Q.    Who are to come to the Lord's table?


       A.    Those who are displeased with themselves

     because of their sins,

but who nevertheless trust

that their sins are pardoned

and that their continuing weakness is covered

          by the suffering and death of Christ,

and who also desire more and more

to strengthen their faith

and to lead a better life.


Hypocrites and those who are unrepentant, however,

eat and drink judgment on themselves.1


1 1 Cor. 10:19-22; 11:26-32


82   Q.    Are those to be admitted to the Lord's Supper who show by what they say and do that they are unbelieving and ungodly?


       A.    No, that would dishonour God's covenant

and bring down God's anger upon the entire congregation.1

Therefore, according to the instruction of Christ

and his apostles,

     the Christian church is duty-bound to exclude such people,

          by the official use of the keys of the kingdom,

until they reform their lives.


1 1 Cor. 11:17-32; Ps. 50:14-16; Isa. 1:11-17



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