Karl Barth’s Order of Worship

This is precisely what we lack today: the sacrament every Sunday. The order of worship should be as follows: at the beginning of the service, public baptism; at the end, the Lord’s Supper; between the two sacraments, the sermon, which in this way would be given its full significance…It is idle to oppose sacrament to preaching; they cannot be separated, since they are two aspects of the same thing.” –Karl Barth, 1961, The Preaching of the Gospel.

Karth has my undivided attention here: “It is idle to oppose sacrament to preaching; they cannot be separated, since they are two aspects of the same thing.”

All this only makes sense when we understand the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the gospel made visible.

And yes to the sacraments every Sunday, though they’re not the norm in most of our churches.

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5 Responses to Karl Barth’s Order of Worship

  1. Jon Hughes says:

    TC,

    Do you sense that there is an awakening among evangelicals at the present time of the significance of the sacraments?

    • TC says:

      Yes indeed. And we need denominational leaders thinking ad fontes and not simply their particular traditions, especially my own Baptists kindred.

  2. Kevin Sam says:

    Hey TC, great to see you back brother. I’ve been out of it for a while.
    Communion and Baptism are important sacraments (ordinances), yes. But where do place the preaching of the word in relation to these two sacraments?

  3. Reblogged this on Evangelical and Reformed Theology Revisited and commented:
    Barth here discusses the relation of preaching and the sacraments though in practice baptism too usually comes after a call to worship and scripture reading ….

  4. TC says:

    Kevin: great to see you back as well. Sometimes, for some, that break is necessary. Barth places preaching between baptism and communion, with preaching itself a sacrament.

    Chuck: Thanks for the reblogging. Yeah, I believe you’re correct about where the preaching falls.

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