[quote="ajcstr, post:1, topic:195642"]
Can someone compare the beliefs of these two denominations with respect to:
1) purpose of baptism
2) the Eucharist
3) prayers for the dead
4) salvation by faith alone
5) confession of sins
6) any special reverence for Mary
Also could these beliefs vary widely between congregations?
This can be difficult to do, aj. Anglicans cannot be put into a box on their beliefs. The only definitive statement is the 39 Articles and the prayerbook, but not all Anglicans hold to these. Some pick and choose, etc. But I will try to compare the 39 Articles with the Lutheran Confessions.
1) Baptism - 39 Articles: Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed, Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.
The Augsburg Confession: Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God's grace. They condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism.
2) The Eucharist - 39 Articles: The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ. Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
The Augsburg Confession: Of the Supper of the Lord they teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord; and they reject those that teach otherwise.
3) Prayers for the dead were retained in Lutheran liturgy. I am thinking here of the Sarum Missal, specifically. Lutherans do not deny praying for the repose of the faithful departed. We do, however, argue against prayers that address the dead in invocation.
The 39 Articles condemn the veneration and invocation of saints in Article 22
4) Justification by Faith Alone - 39 Articles: We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
Augsburg Confession: Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.
I do not believe the 39 Articles directly addresses private confession and absolution. I believe the prayerbook does. However, the Augsburg Confession states: Of Confession they teach that Private Absolution ought to be retained in the churches, although in confession an enumeration of all sins is not necessary. For it is impossible according to the Psalm: Who can understand his errors? Ps. 19:12.
The Lutheran Confessions do not address Mary beyond stating that she is the Virgin mother of God. The Articles do the same.