Article 74 — Announcements during the procedure
In the first public announcement the name of the sinner shall not be mentioned. In the second public announcement, which shall be made only after the advice of classis has been obtained, the name and address of the sinner shall be mentioned. In the third public announcement a date shall be set at which the excommunication of the sinner shall take place in accordance with the adopted Form. The time interval between the various announcements shall be determined by the consistory.
This article explains what must be done between the first and the ‘last’ disciplinary action.
The Form our churches have adopted for this purpose covers in its respective parts all the stipulations made here, whereby information is given about the above mentioned attempts, the denial of admission to the Table of the Lord, and the many admonitions.
Three public announcements are to be made:
1. The first announcement does not include the name of the sinner, in order to spare him/her.
The element of patience and long-suffering and the desire that the sinner may repent as yet may be apparent.
2. The second announcement includes this name. But it shall be made after consent has been given by the classis.
3. The third announcement informs the congregation about the imminent excommunication.
From the first announcement the congregation is urged to pray for the sinner. From the second they are asked to admonish him/her.
By making these announcements – the time lapses between them is determined by the consistory – the silent consent of the congregation is obtained: Excommunication is a matter of the whole congregation, for its own holiness is at stake!