John Calvin on the Mass

1427661_23826496We loudly maintain that the sacrifice of the Mass is nothing else than an impious profanation of the Lord’s Supper.  This we make plain by the clear words of our Lord.  For in instituting the sacred Supper, he does not enjoin us to sacrifice, but invites us to partake of the sacrifice which he himself once offered.  He commands distribution to be made, and orders all alike to communicate in both symbols.  And there is no obscurity in the words; Take, distribute among yourselves; drink ye all of this cup.  What resemblance is there between the observance which corresponds to our Lord’s command and the Papal Mass, in which they pretend that Christ offers himself to the Father to expiate the sins of the world by the sacrifice of himself, and not only so, but also to obtain redemption for the dead – in which no invitation is given to partake, but one individual sets himself apart from the whole flock – and where, if any one comes forward to partake, the half is withheld from him?

John Calvin, Canons and decrees of the Council of Trent, with the antidote (1547) in John Calvin: tracts and letters, trans. and ed. Henry Beveridge (7 vols, Edinburgh, 1851), iii, 59.