The Service of the Sacrament doesn’t stand alone, but as the most sacred aspect of the Divine Service, it follows the Service of the Word, which has prepared our hearts to receive the eternal gift of the Lord’s Supper through the proclamation of God’s Word just heard.
While the Service of the Word is a teaching service for anyone and everyone, the Service of the Sacrament is reserved only for baptized members of the Christian Church living in repentance. In ancient times, at this point of the Divine Service, those who didn’t yet know the fundamentals of Christianity and whose faith had not yet been made public were dismissed with special prayers. Today, those not yet confirmed in the Faith are encouraged to participate in the Service of the Sacrament, however, the pastor, as a steward of the mysteries of God, on behalf of the Church, instructs them to refrain from receiving the Lord’s Supper until they have learned the fundamentals of the Faith and believe what the Church believes, teaches, and confesses to be true. (1 Corinthians. 4:1, 1:10, 10:17, 11:27-29 & Romans 16:17)