The Delicate Dance between Ye and You

What to do when you are completely wrong?  I didn’t realize this till the two comments below.  I could just remove this post, but the damage may have already been done.  If you haven’t read this post, just skip to the comments.  They are right.  I am wrong.  In the Greek it’s always you drink (plural), and literally it’s “you drink out of it all.”  It turns our my delicate dance is a polka or perhaps a mosh pit.

  I realize that thees and thous have as much chance of coming back where they’ve been lost as fins on cars do, but where they are let them remain particularly in the Divine Service.  As there is a rhythm in the versicles and responses, so there is a dance between ye and you.

The Lord proclaims to us in the Verba, “Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you.”  It’s given for us all, every single one of us, even those not present or caring.  But with the dominical command regarding the Cup it’s, “Drink ye all of it.”

If you’re individually going to participate in the Supper of the Lord, if you’re going to take part in the Body He gave on the cross and the Blood He shed there, ye can only do it individually and that orally.  There is no communing with the eyes as the Medieval Church thought.  Sure you are sprinkled with that same Blood in Baptism (I Peter 1:2-3) and you are joined to that same Body by Baptism (Romans 6:4), and the Word of Absolution surely paints over your door the Blood of Christ and presents His Body as the Bread of your life.  But if ye want to eat His Body and drink His Blood you can only do that orally and individually, hence the command, “Drink ye all of it.”

But then the ye gives way to a you.  “This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me,” gives way to “The peace of the Lord be with you always!”  And the Church that keeps Her Lord’s Communion Table closed, opens the door wide to His peace.

Luther regarded The Pax Domini as an absolution.  Even though we may not commune you at our altar, we don’t deny that the forgiveness of sins Jesus won on the cross is for you too.  The peace of the Lord is for everyone, and it is our wish, desire, hope that you have it.  “The peace of the Lord be with you always!” 

There is a delicate dance going on, a point – counterpoint, of ye and you in the Divine Service.  Dropping them doesn’t mean the theology is no longer there; it’s just hidden.  If you’re a critic of continuing to use archaic language, you probably would say it hides the theology, but ye would be wrong, and so would you who would agree with him.

About Rev. Paul R. Harris

As of June 2019, Pastor Harris is an independent confessional Lutheran clergyman shepherding an independent confessional Lutheran church.
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2 Responses to The Delicate Dance between Ye and You

  1. Xan says:

    Pastor,

    It’s a shame that “you”/”your” have swallowed up so many other pronouns that they comprise our entire second person vocabulary. Compare Exodus 4:15 or Luke 22:31-32 between the KJV and the NIV for some examples of meaning being lost.

    But I’m not following what you’re saying about “ye” and “you” here. Isn’t “ye” the nominative, and “you” the objective? Like “I” and “me”, “we” and “us”, “thou” and “thee”, etc?

    Nominative: “Drink ye all of it”, “as oft as ye drink it”

    Objective: “for you”, “with you”

    I have always been curious whether “drink ye all of it” means “ye all drink of it” or “ye drink all of it”. I suppose it’s the first one. Or maybe both, since it’s ambiguous, although I’m not sure that it’s ambiguous in the Greek.

  2. Bart Goddard says:

    Maybe I’m not following, but if I am, I have to disagree. The distinction between ye and you is not plural/collective
    vs. plural/group of individuals, but nominative vs.
    accusative/dative. If there’s a dance going on it’s seems
    more likely that we see “ye” (nominative) in a command and
    “you” (objective) when we’re the receivers of a gift.

    I’m for retaining the ye’s, but dance I hear is you=Gospel,
    ye=Law.

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