ADORATION OF THE EUCHARIST. Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord’s Supper, in Christianity, ritual commemoration of Jesus ’ Last Supper with his disciples, at which (according to tradition) he gave them bread with the words, “This is my body,” and wine with the words, “This is my blood.”. It’s the source , because the Eucharist enables us to make present and offer anew Jesus Christ’s one redemptive sacrifice of Calvary, which began with his Passion (CCC 1362-68; 1341). Eucharist in the Catholic Church The institution of the Eucharist has been a key theme in the depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art, as in this 16th-century Juan de Juanes painting. Scripturally considered, the necessity of a special priesthood with the power of validly consecrating is derived from the fact that Christ did not address the words, “Do this”, to the whole mass of the laity, but exclusively to the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood; hence the latter alone can validly consecrate. Not only have the Fathers, and among them Chrysostom with special vigor, defended in theory the permanence of the Real Presence, but the constant practice of the Church has also established its truth. From the explanations of our liturgies to the most eminent Catholics who made Australia what it is, you will find it all here. haer., IV, xviii, 4), and Tertullian (De resurr. [27] They point out that Jesus "himself said, as he committed to the Apostles the Divine Eucharist during the Last Supper, 'This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins'. According to the teaching of the Roman Catechism, it is effected by the allaying of concupiscence, which is the chief source of deadly sin, particularly of impurity. Funk, “Der Kommunionritus” in his “Kirchengeschichtl. In the BCP, the whole service is entitled the Holy Eucharist. Though this opinion cannot be condemned as erroneous in faith, since it allows to the words of Institution their essential, though partial, consecratory value, it appears nevertheless to be intrinsically repugnant. According to the symbolical interpretation, corpus is supposed to designate the Church as the mystical Body and sanguis the New Testament. This third case would be in perfect accordance with the two foregoing, were we per impossibile permitted to imagine that Christ were present under the appearances of bread exactly as He is in heaven and that He had relinquished His natural mode of existence. On these days, a person is to attend Holy Mass and receive communion. The question may eventually be reduced to this, whether or not the sacramentality is to be sought for in the Eucharistic species or in the Body and Blood of Christ hidden beneath them. [note 1], §5. Suffice it to say that, besides the Didache (ix, x, xiv), the most ancient Fathers, as Ignatius (Ad. The Holy Eucharist is not merely a food, but a medicine as well. The disciples were unable to recognize him for who he was until "while he was at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. First of all, no intrinsic repugnance can be shown in the concept of multilocation. Were the Greeks justified in maintaining this position, the immediate result would be, that the Latins who have no such thing as the Epiklesis in their present Liturgy, would possess neither the true Sacrifice of the Mass nor the Holy Eucharist. Thus in the bosom of the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, by virtue of the eternal generation, communicates His Divine Nature to God the Son, “the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father” (John, i, 18), while the Son of God, by virtue of the hypostatic union, communicates in turn the Divine Nature received from His Father to His human nature formed in the womb of the Virgin Mary (John, i, 14), in order that thus as God-man, hidden under the Eucharistic Species, He might deliver Himself to His Church, who, as a tender mother, mystically cares for and nurtures in her own bosom this, her greatest treasure, and daily places it before her children as the spiritual food of their souls. Holy Communion is indeed the Bread of Life, a banquet overflowing with grace and richness: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (Jn 10:10) You can return to the main article on the Catholic Sacraments , or go to our home page to see the other articles about the Catholic … Fortunately, however, the Greeks can be shown the error of their ways from their own writings, since it can be proved, that they themselves formerly placed the form of Transubstantiation in the words of Institution. The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, then, refers to the process by which the bread and wine of the Eucharist become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Hence the chief effect of a worthy Communion is to a certain extent a foretaste of heaven, in fact the anticipation and pledge of our future union with God by love in the Beatific Vision. From this it follows conclusively that the Catholic dogma must be much older than the Eastern Schism under Photius. What does the Eucharist represent in the life of the Church? This much as regards the general notion of conversion. Neither of the two suppositions holds in the case of a priest who really intends to celebrate Mass. No doubt this last conclusion directs the attention of philosophical and scientific inquiry to a mode of existence peculiar to the Eucharistic Body, which is contrary to the ordinary laws of experience. The rigor of this law of the Church may be traced to the ancient custom of the Romans and Jews, who mixed water with the strong southern wines (see Prov., ix, 2), to the expression of calix mixtus found in Justin (Apol., I, lxv), Irenaeus (Adv. Hence the question is concerned, not with the validity, but with the liceity of administration. (Session XIII, chapter IV; cf. Zech 10:8-11). Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."[64]. And so the Communion of Saints is not merely an ideal union by faith and grace, but an eminently real union, mysteriously constituted, maintained, and guaranteed by partaking in common of one and the same Christ. It stands to reason that the essence of this union by love consists neither in a natural union with Jesus analogous to that between soul and body, nor in a hypostatic union of the soul with the Person of the Word, nor finally in a pantheistical deification of the communicant, but simply in a moral but wonderful union with Christ by the bond of the most ardent charity. the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor). Take, for instance, the Epiklesis of the Ethiopian Liturgy: “We implore and beseech Thee, O Lord, to send forth the Holy Spirit and His Power upon this Bread and Chalice and convert them into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Since this prayer always follows after the words of Institution have been pronounced, the theological question arises, as to how it may be made to harmonize with the words of Christ, which alone possess the consecratory power. (b) A second fruit of this union with Christ by love is an increase of sanctifying grace in the soul of the worthy communicant. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. It is only when viewed in this light that we can understand how the primitive Church, without going counter to the Divine command, withheld the Eucharist from certain sinners even on their deathbeds. There are also texts for celebrating, within Mass, Religious Profession, the Dedication of a Church and several other rites. The Catholic Church, in seeking to understand the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a doctrine delivered directly by our Lord and St. Paul, gradually developed an explanation as to the exact nature of this miraculous and mysterious transformation. (a) The first element is wheaten bread (pans triticeus), without which the “confection of the Sacrament does not take place” (Missale Romanum: De defectibus, §3). Eusebius, Hist. The term Eucharist is also used for the bread and wine when transubstantiated (their substance having been changed), according to Catholic teaching, into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. vi) and Innocent XI (February 12, 1679) had already emphasized the permissibility of even daily Communion. IV, xvii, §39). XIII, can. We cannot opt out or say to a brother or sister: "I do not need you. According to the Catholic Church doctrine receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is a sacrilege[57] and only those who are in a state of sanctifying grace - the absence of mortal sin (which deprives one of sanctifying grace)[58][59]- can receive it. Waiving the question whether the verb “to be” (Lat., esse, Gk., einai) of itself can ever be used as the “copula in a figurative relation” (Weiss) or express the “relation of identity in a metaphorical connection” (Heinrici), which most logicians deny, the fundamental principles of logic firmly establish this truth, that all propositions may be divided into two great categories, of which the first and most comprehensive denominates a thing as it is in itself (e.g. (c) The third and last question has to do with the multilocation of Christ in heaven and upon thousands of altars throughout the world. Many examples may be found in Renaudot, “Liturgiae orient.” (2nd ed., Frankfort, 1847); Assemani, “Codex liturg.” (13 vols., Rome, 1749-66); Denzinger, “Ritus Orientalium” (2 vols., Würzburg, 1864). §3. Other New Testament references to the Eucharist include: Early medieval block-printed Catholic prayer books or psalters contained many illustrations of pairings of prefigurings of the events of the New Testament in the Old Testament, a form known as biblical typology. Especially against the Monophysites, who based on the Eucharistic conversion an a pari argument in behalf of the supposed conversion of the Humanity of Christ into His Divinity, did the Fathers retort by concluding from the continuance of the unconverted Eucharistic accidents to the unconverted Human Nature of Christ. As has already been mentioned above, the deacons were accustomed in the Early Church to take the Blessed Sacrament to those who were absent from Divine service, as well as to present the Chalice to the laity during the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries (cf. All subsequent reference to the Communion bread and wine in the Eucharist is based on this injunction. In regard to the persons concerned, we distinguish between the minister of the Eucharist and its recipient or subject. The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Basic Questions and Answers. [91] They included readings from Scripture, a homily, prayer by all, a prayer by "the president of the brethren" over bread and wine mixed with water, to which all respond with "Amen", and then a distribution to those present of that over which thanks have been given, while "deacons" take portions to those who are absent. The second, so far as the text is concerned, might be considered as merely a different wording of the first, were it not that the history of the council shows that Wyclif had directly opposed the Scholastic doctrine of “accidents without a subject” as absurd and even heretical (cf. The claims of the learned work of the Anglican Dr. Pusey (The Doctrine of the Real Presence as contained in the Fathers, Oxford, 1855), who denied the cogency of the patristic argument for Transubstantiation, have been met and thoroughly answered by Cardinal Franzelin (De Euchar., Rome, 1887, thes. Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: their eyes were opened and they recognized Him." 293 sqq. catech., xxxvii), Chrysostom (Hom. Not many theologians, however, followed him in this regard, among the few being Ambrose Catharinus, Cheffontaines, and Hoppe, by far the greater number preferring to stand by the unanimous testimony of the Fathers. Only the baptized were permitted to receive the Eucharist, "But let no one eat or drink of your Thanksgiving (Eucharist), but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord" (Ch. Thus, Jesus declares at the Last Supper that his own blood, poured out in his Passion and made really present in the Eucharist, reestablishes the bond of kinship between God and man. It is the Church alone, “the pillar and ground of truth”, imbued with and directed by the Holy Spirit, that guarantees to her children through her infallible teaching the full and unadulterated revelation of God. In this matter the Church alone has the right to decide, and her regulations regarding the Communion rite may vary according to the circumstances of the times. In addition to this ritual for Passover night itself, Exodus prescribed a "perpetual institution" associated with the Passover that is celebrated by feasts of unleavened bread (Exodus 12:14–20). This, however, would be but one more marvel of God‘s omnipotence. Justin, Apol., I, n. 67), as well as to the martyrs, the incarcerated, and the infirm (cf. Two explanations have been suggested, which, however, can be merged in one. Descartes had already, in a letter to P. Mesland (ed. Ex., xxiv, 8; Heb., ix, 11 sqq.). Not only did such renowned Fathers as Justin (Apol., I, lxvi), Irenaeus (Adv. The practice of the laity giving themselves Holy Communion was formerly, and is today, allowed only in case of necessity. In the opinion of Loofs (“Dogmengeschichte”, 4th ed., Halle, 1906, p. 409), St. Augustine never gives the “reception of the true Body and Blood of Christ” a thought; and this view Ad. If, then, the natural, literal interpretation were false, the Scriptural record alone would have to be considered as the cause of a pernicious error in faith and of the grievous crime of rendering Divine homage to bread (artolatria)—a supposition little in harmony with the character of the four Sacred Writers or with the inspiration of the Sacred Text. iv; can. The historical roots of Catholic eucharistic theology begin with the same sources as do other Christian churches who express their faith in the "bread of life" found in the words of Jesus in Scripture. Diving Deeper. its full size, with its complete organization of integral members and limbs, is present within the diminutive limits of the Host and in each portion thereof. "[47], There is more to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist than the fact of transubstantiation. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God” (John, vi, 68 sqq.). All Roman Catholics are encouraged to receive communion at least once a week during Mass. In addition to this, uninterrupted tradition, whether it be the testimony of the Fathers or the practice of the Church, shows wheaten bread to have played such an essential part, that even Protestants would be loath to regard rye bread or barley bread as a proper element for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. According to a well-known principle of Christology, the same worship of latria (cultus latrioe) as is due to the Triune God is due also to the Divine Word, the God-man Christ, and in fact, by reason of the hypostatic union, to the Humanity of Christ and its individual component parts, as, e.g., His Sacred Heart. to the effects produced by a worthy Communion. In the Eucharist, in other words, we receive not only Christ, the head of the Body, but its members as well. Cyprian's Treatise On The Lord's Prayer, c. 250, identifies the Eucharist with the daily bread mentioned in The Lord's Prayer: "And we ask that this bread should be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not, by the interposition of some heinous sin, by being prevented, as withheld and not communicating, from partaking of the heavenly bread, be separated from Christ's body" (Par. Note that while the "realness" of this presence was defended, the purpose was not overlooked: to experience "the power of unity and of love," presumably in the body of Christians which was the Church. Consequently, together with His Body and Blood and Soul, His whole Humanity also, and, by virtue of the hypostatic union, His Divinity, i.e. After the Communion of the laity under the species of wine had been abolished, the deacon’s powers were more and more restricted. The Scriptures contain testimony from the early Christians. XIII, c. iii), between the meanings of the words ex vi verborum and per concomitantiam. A second group of Sacramentarians, with Ecolampadius, shifted the diligently sought for metaphor to the concept contained in the predicate corpus, giving to the latter the sense of “signum corporis”, so that the words of Institution were to be rendered: “This is a sign [symbol, image, type] of my Body”. With the true instinct of justice, jurists prescribe that in all debatable points the words of a will must be taken in their natural, literal sense; for they are led by the correct conviction, that every testator of sound mind, in drawing up his last will and testament, is deeply concerned to have it done in language at once clear and unencumbered by meaningless metaphors. 10) ascribed this ordinance chiefly to the “reign of impiety and the growing cold of charity”. Every sacrament may be considered either in itself or with reference to the persons whom it concerns. In ancient Christian times it was customary for the faithful to take the Blessed Sacrament to their homes and Communicate privately, a practice (Tertullian, Ad uxor., II, v), to which, even as late as the fourth century, St. Denzinger, Enchirid., Freiburg, 1908, no. On this basis, the geometrician Varignon suggested a true multiplication of the Eucharistic Bodies upon earth, which were supposed to be most faithful, though greatly reduced, miniature copies of the prototype, the Heavenly Body of Christ. We learn from the writings of Justin, Origen, Cyprian, Augustine, and others, as well as from the most ancient Liturgies, that it was always the bishops and priests, and they alone, who appeared as the properly constituted celebrants of the Eucharistic Mysteries, and that the deacons merely acted as assistants in these functions, while the faithful participated passively therein. In the Old Testament, Melchizedek, who was both a priest and king (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:1-4), offered a sacrifice of bread and wine. For, the sacrifices of the Old Law contained only in figure that true sacrifice of Christ's Passion, according to Hebrews 10:1: 'For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things'" (III 75 1). This is my body”, the Apostles received from the hand of the Lord His Sacred Body, which was already objectively present and did not first become so in the act of partaking. Catholic Dictionary. When did Christ institute the Holy Eucharist? pro Armenis: adunatio ad Christum), which union as such does not consist in the sacramental reception of the Host, but in the spiritual and mystical union with Jesus by the theological virtue of love. The Catholic Church approves private, devotional adoration of the Eucharistic Christ,[13] individually or in groups, for a brief "visit to the Blessed Sacrament", a Holy Hour, the Forty Hours' Devotion or other Catholic devotions. The species undoubtedly belong to the essence of the sacrament, since it is by means of them, and not by means of the invisible Body of Christ, that the Eucharist possesses the outward sign of the sacrament. Both ideas are often verified in one and the same effect of Holy Communion. The most that may be said is, that from the Eucharistic Body proceeds a miraculous sustaining power, which supports the appearances bereft of their natural substances and preserves them from collapse. The only minister of the Eucharist (someone who can consecrate the Eucharist) is a validly ordained priest[50] (bishop or presbyter). When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. In our perspective sacraments are symbols arising from the ministry of Christ and continued in and through the Church, which when received in faith, are encounters with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last … xcviii, n. 9). The Church maintains an easier position in the controversy respecting the use of fermented or unfermented bread. It is true, that Pope Innocent III (De Sacro altaris myst., IV, vi) before his elevation to the pontificate did hold the opinion, which later theologians branded as “temerarious”, that Christ consecrated without words by means of the mere “benediction”. The Church‘s Magna Charta, however, are the words of Institution, “This is my body—this is my blood”, whose literal meaning she has uninterruptedly adhered to from the earliest times. (Luke 24:30–31)" After this they returned to Jerusalem, where "the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. In all the languages of the world the expression “my body” designates a person’s natural body, not the mere sign or symbol of that body. 1), that the idea is to be rejected as unbecoming, as though the Body of Christ, in addition to its own accidents, should also assume those of bread and wine. XIII, can. The Mass of the Early Christians. Eucharist in the Catholic Church refers to both the celebration of the Mass, that is, the Eucharist liturgy, and the bread and wine which after the consecration are transubstantiated (changed in substance) into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, Lord and God. The Catholic Church is aware of no other tradition and in this respect she has ever been one with the Greeks. 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