Papist Orthodoxy

September 20, 2009

The Holy Eucharist: Part 2, A Roman Orthodox & Catholic Presentation

Filed under: Doctrine, Liturgy, Sacred Scripture and Theology — Tags: , , , , , — Antiochian-Thomist @ 12:58 am

From the “Original Catholic Encyclopedia”.

Name given to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar under its twofold aspect of sacrament and Sacrifice of the Mass

Eucharist (Gr. eucharistia, thanksgiving), the name given to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar under its twofold aspect of sacrament and Sacrifice of the Mass, and in which, whether as sacrament or sacrifice, Jesus Christ is truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. Other titles are used, such as the “Lord’s Supper” (Coena Domini), “Table of the Lord” (Mensa Domini), the “Lord’s Body” (Corpus Domini), and the “Holy of Holies” (Sanctissimum), to which may be added the following expressions, now obsolete and somewhat altered from their primitive meaning: “Agape” (Love-Feast), “Eulogia” (Blessing), “Breaking of Bread”, “Synaxis” (Assembly), etc.; but the ancient title “Eucharistia”, appearing in writers as early as Ignatius, Justin, and Irenaeus, has taken precedence in the technical terminology of the Church and her theologians. The expression “Blessed Sacrament of the Altar”, introduced by Augustine, is at the present day almost entirely restricted to catechetical and popular treatises. This extensive nomenclature, describing the great mystery from such different points of view, is in itself sufficient proof of the central position the Eucharist has occupied from the earliest ages, both in the Divine worship and services of the Church and in the life of faith and devotion which animates her members.

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September 19, 2009

History of Eucharistic Bread: Part 1

Filed under: Doctrine, Liturgy — Tags: , , , — Antiochian-Thomist @ 11:22 pm

From the “Original Catholic Encyclopedia”.

Liturgical Use of Bread

In the Christian liturgy bread is used principally as one of the elements of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

Bread, LITURGICAL USE OF.—In the Christian liturgy bread is used principally as one of the elements of the Eucharistic sacrifice. Our Divine Lord consecrated bread and wine at the Last Supper, and commanded His disciples to do the same in commemoration of Him, and thus ever since bread made of wheaten flour has been offered at the altar for the officiating priest to consecrate into the Body of the Lord. It is a debated question whether Christ used leavened or unleavened bread at the institution of the Holy Eucharist, since different conclusions may be drawn, on the one hand, from the Gospel of St. John and from the synoptic Gospels on the other. History does not establish conclusively what the practice of the Apostles and their early successors was, but it may be asserted with some probability that they made use of whatever bread was at hand, whether azymous or fermented. Different customs gradually began to grow up in different localities, and then became traditional and fixed. The Eastern Churches for the most part made use of leavened bread, as they still do, while the Western Churches declared their preference for unleavened bread. At the time of the schism this difference of practice gave rise to much discussion of the value of their respective claims in following the example of Christ, and fomented bitter controversy even in recent years. Either kind of bread is, of course, valid matter for the sacrifice, so the difference of usage should be of little dogmatic importance. (See Azymes).

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