Skip to comments.Auxiliary Bishop Says Communion In the Hand is a Calvinist Novelty [Ecumenical]
Posted on 11/21/2011 11:50:12 AM PST by Pyro7480
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And I really can't tell from the photo:
Not necessarily. I'm an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and I've given the Body of Christ to communicants in both ways. There are some who receive in the hand who seem oblivious to the great Gift they have, but most receive in a very reverent manner.
The unusual event of the foot washing is recorded only in the last Gospel written—which means that unless the first three writers had consulted with John and asked him to cover for them when he got around to writing his Gospel then they were content to omit mentioning at least some of the unusual occurrences. As John writes his Gospel with a view to bringing out theological truths and not a Ripley’s Believe-it-or-not I don’t think one may state with any confidence that he exhaustively lists all unusual practices.
All that said, given that the last Supper is, among other things, an ordination Mass with the apostles as ordinandi, I don’t think that whatever happened to the apostles here is normative for the faithful in all of the details.
IOW, there is no biblical evidence Jesus fed them by hand like is done in modern Catholic practice. I agree.
AND there is no evidence for any other way either.
Private revelation can be an “ify” area.
Those who are wise pray for the gift of discernment and work on seeking Christ’s will in the present moment.
...which means, in the real world, we take the standard practice of the time and culture to be the norm. Which means they put the bread in their own mouths.
Happens a lot. You don’t see renderings of a long-haired Jesus until the Gothic period. Short hair was the fashion of Jesus time as evidenced by the many renderings of daily life and common people of the time. During the Gothic period during Europe’s early development, long hair was considered the mark of royalty so now everyone thinks Jesus had long hair.
I think you may. Interesting take on Passover and Last Supper here: http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/jesus-of-nazareth/excerpts.htm#last-supper
Nevertheless, no evidence exists Jesus went around feeding the disciples one by one. :-)
Scripture is silent on this detail.
I haven't. When/where has this happened?
I see a prediction of coming monarchy, but no "calling for" it.
"A LIBERTARIAN CASE FOR MONARCHY" - no mention of Catholicism in this post.
"This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement".
If one reads the whole of #9, one sees that the author calls not for "the bloodthirsty tribunals of myth" but for identification of de facto heretics in the clergy.
Nor was there any evidence in any of those links for the claimed "increasing number".
Every time the subject of the last supper comes up during an exorcism, the demons (while forced to tell the truth under the rite of exorcism) state that Jesus placed the bread directly on the tongues of the apostles.
I am not quite sure how you know what standard practice was in the culture when the Son of God in the flesh gives his body, blood, soul, and divinity to you the night before He dies. It strikes me as a one-time event where the rules of standard practice do not come into play. You have not answered the argument the omission of the washing of the feet from the synoptics destroys the argument that the evangelists would note any unusual practice. Three-quarters omitted this—who is to say that John included everything. He, in turn, leaves out the institution narrative, which was probably not standard supper language at the time. Yes, the synoptics include it, but only by faith in nothing in particular can one hold that the four Gospels were meant to be, among other things, an exhaustive sacramentary.
What brings you to FR today, and to posting on this thread in particular?
I think it is obvious we both agree there is no biblical evidence for the practice Catholics now perform. We can choose to believe the common sense belief that the normal dinner practice was followed or we can choose to believe a non-common sense belief.
I’ll side with the former.
Not as obvious as the fact that there is no Biblical evidence to support any contention that all evidence must be Biblical.
Well, I’ll concede normal cultural practice as understood historically ought to be allowed unless there is good reason not to admit the same. :)
But at least we can agree there is no biblical evidence Jesus hand-fed his apostles.
I think that we can agree that no one on this forum has bothered to wade into the Greek or the Mathean Hebrew which is where striving for precise interpretation ought to be done. Do all of the gospels use the same verb and how is this verb or these verbs correspond to the Hebrew through the Septuagint? What verbs are present in the other references to the Mass in the New Testament? Are they the same as the ones used in the Synoptics? What of the multiplication of the loaves which are NT types of the Blessed Sacrament? All this would be interesting, but given that the Catholic understanding is that the Apostles have just been made proto-Bishops (who, so far as I have know, never in the Catholic tradition received while kneeling), a moderate to large expenditure of time depending on your command of the relevant languages and the tools at hand. I have Bibleworks, Hatch and Redpath, and Shem Tov’s Hebrew Matthew on hand, and I have an ok knowledge of Greek and a knowledge of Hebrew that will suffice with a fair bit of effort, so I am probably better equipped than most, but given the proto-Bishop side of things, I think it not worth the four to six hours to just do the Gospels well. What would need to be done to reach any useful conclusion would probably take me a good 20 hours and include some early patristic material as well. It also wouldn’t hurt to actually document what we know about “normal cultural practice.” If you care to do all this and present this leg work, I will eagerly read your argument and your conclusion. As it stands, I am not in a position to agree to much of anything, and will content myself by asking that the Martyrs of Gorkum intercede for us all.
You take a great deal of time to say basically it isn’t that important to you. Fine.
I am content with my position, the common sense position.
Interesting catch. I think I found the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P96ft5yIICM A bit of searching also dug up a description of the traditional Chaldean practice:
This is how it was done:
First, the person comes up to the front and places his hands on top of the incense bowl without touching the bowl, but just a little above the bowl so as to allow the smoke of the incense to purify the palms of one’s hands. Then the person goes to the priest with hands purified and the priest places the Eucharist/Qurbana in the person’s hands. Without picking up the Eucharist with the fingers or raising the Eucharist to one’s mouth, the person bows down before the Eucharist and picks up the Eucharist with his tongue.
No—I teach theology, including a class on Liturgy. I draw distinctions between things that I am absolutely certain of, morally certain of, strongly inclined to hold, weakly inclined to hold, and have little reason to lean one way or another. Not only do I need to distinguish between these degrees, I need to be capable to articulate my reasons both for a position and for placing a position in a particular range of certainty.
I am morally certain of the following six points:
It has been the custom in the Catholic Church in the west (i.e. west of Greece) for the faithful to receive communion kneeling and on the tongue from time immemorial to some time after Vatican II. By time immemorial I do not mean forever, but that no one is able to point to a time when it began or became dominant.
The patristic testimony from the Greek-speaking areas indicates that while certain exceptions might be made, or at least existed within living memory of the Fathers, there is no patristic evidence from this area indicating the practice of the faithful communicating by their own hand has ever been common within the time of documented memory.
Moving east of Greek-speaking areas into Syria and points east, a text attributed to St. Cyril of Jerusalem does indicate the practice as present in Jerusalem, but practiced in an elaborately regulated ritual. One should also note that the practice in Jerusalem should not be given huge weight as reflecting an unbroken tradition, as the city had been purged of inhabitants following the Jewish rebellion and Roman policy only allowed non-Jews to live there fore a good while. Further east one may find Assyrian Catholics who still have a time-immemorial ritual, which is outlined in a post of mine that precedes this one. The east is also worthy of further study as it is home to many (as in dozens) of small traditional groups.
No one has preserved a tradition or even a record of a tradition of treating the Blessed Sacrament as ordinary food. What has commonly been adopted in the west over the past three decades is, insofar as its inherit symbolism goes, ritually poorer than anything detailed in the historical record.
From apostolic times certain designated members have presided over the eucharistic assembly. These, from time immemorial, have communicated in a manner different from that of the faithful—namely, taking our Lord into their own hands, and using their own hands, rather than receiving Him through the hands of someone else.
I am strongly inclined to hold:
Given the above point (which, in its second half, is my fifth morally certain point) even if one could determine how the apostles received at the last supper, it cannot be taken as indicative of how the faithful received subsequent to the Last Supper, especially as it would be evident that what was being celebrated and received far surpassed the passover lamb.
Widespread practice, especially before modern communication, usually does not spring up out of nowhere, so what we know of the fourth century may be taken as indicative of at least a strong trend in the preceding centuries.
I am weakly inclined to hold:
That the New Testament record and the early Church literary record is capable of shedding virtually no light on the question of how the faithful communicated. I am willing to entertain the possibility of some light through vigorous text analysis, following the methods outlined in my previous post, but am keenly aware that liturgical ëxperts” often read too much into too little. Far from saying that the issue is not important to me, I am saying that I demand an appropriate degree of academic rigor.
All that said, I am strongly inclined to hold that even if some practice were capable of being documented in the first three centuries, organic development has universally been in the direction of external signs of reverence, and the recent practice in the west is a direct break with this organic development.
Finally, as to whether the Catholic and Calvinists hold the same position with regards to the Blessed Sacrament, at least as of 1572, fervent Calvinists were of the opionion that the Catholic position differed sufficiently from the Calvinist that they were willing to kill Catholics who did not abjure, and Catholics were fervent enough to be killed. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06651c.htm
I went to Divine Liturgy in the Southfield eparchy, now Detroit, and they gave communion in hand to my chagrin.
It’s an interesting custom. The Melkites for whatever reason gave up the spoon and do it by dipping the host in the chalice the same way the Syriac Orthodox do.
I might add as far as the Western rite is concerned, intinction is the norm in the Anglican use. Or at least as it was used by the Anglican use priest whose Mass I attended.
Yes, letting the Bible speak is better than reliance upon tradition, however widespread. Although in the next breath you appear to negate Scripture in favor of ecclesiastical authority.
I'll stick with Scripture, while allowing for other "supra-Scriptural" practices. (As long as they aren't ANTI-scriptural.)
Yes, letting the Bible speak is better than reliance upon tradition, however widespread. Although in the next breath you appear to negate Scripture in favor of ecclesiastical authority.
I’ll stick with Scripture, while allowing for other “supra-Scriptural” practices. (As long as they aren’t ANTI-scriptural.)
The weight that one would need to place upon a specific interpretation of the Greek verbs in question inorder to use them in this argument is too much for them to carry without a solid accompanying analysis. Matt 26:26, Mark and Luke 22:19 both employ a form of didwmi to describe what are Lord did in to transfer (aorist participle in Matt., aorist 3S in Lk) The form Mark employed is not clear as there are some variations in manuscript. This verb is typically translated as equivalent to “give” but it is capable of many interpretations, and occurs over 400 times in the New Testament and around 2000 times in the Greek translation of the OT—where it is used to translate over 40 different Hebrew verbs (which gives you an idea of the various ways that it might be interpreted). With such a vast field to work with, I suspect that one could cherry-pick one’s way to whatever conclusion one wanted to, within reason, if no one was checking one’s scholarship.
The Shem-Tob Greek Matthew uses a form of ntn, commonly translated as give, which occurs about 2000 times in the OT and is translated in the septuagint using no fewer than 80 different Greek verbs.
On the reception end, Mark and Matthew in the Greek both use the same form of lambanw, which is commonly translated as either take or receive, but also is open to other possibilities. It occurs over 250 times in the NT and and about 1200 times in the Septuagint—it is used to translate 30 different Hebrew verbs. The verb in the Matthean Hebrew has just shy of a 1000 OT occurrences and has about 60 different Greek verbs that are used to translate it.
Luke doesn’t use a verb on the reception end and St. Paul, in I Cor. 11:24, doesn’t use verbs on either the giving or receiving end. There are no helpful nouns anywhere. If one accepts the likely proto-texts of Matthew and Mark (i.e. the Matthean Hebrew and St. Peter’s speeches) as earlier than Luke and I Corinthians, the relative silence of Luke and complete silence of St. Paul might be read as choosing to not draw attention to an area where Church discipline had developed as the Church recognized that in something surpassing the OT passover, passover ritual did not suffice. That seems to me the strongest argument that might be made without a tremendous amount of work. It does not seem to rise above the realm of probable, and that is arguably being generous. I also am doubtful that even after a tremendous amount of work one could draw any conclusion other than “the text doesn’t say in any clear way how they received.”
Ecclesiastical authority has not spoken defining how the Blessed Sacrament was received at the Last Supper—it has spoken at various times about what might show appropriate reverence in receiving at a particular time and culture. Given the vagueness of the text to begin with and that nothing in it indicates that it is meant to be normative in the manner of reception, I do not see how anyone on anyside of this discussion can be said to be negating scripture.
, Mark 14:22
So then we stick with the common sense position that accompanies most hosted meals. The people fed themselves. Thanks.
“I am not sure” is actually the common sense position when one does not have grounds to be sure. Most hosted meals at the time involved eating from a reclining position, and this would certainly hinder everyone from getting up and helping themselves to a specific loaf.
Indeed, given the reclining nature, and the verb “didwmi” the image of “the people fed themselves,” which to me is “the people helped themselves” fails. There is Jesus—he is right between the potatoes and the lamb, be sure to get some because he is really good. And get some mint jelly on the lamb while you are at it.
As to what the Apostles did, it does not matter to me too much on a daily basis. On a daily basis, it does matter to me what I do, and it seems to me that the common sense position when receiving my very God under the form of food is not to adopt the manners proper to a buffet but to express adoration both interiorly and exteriorly as profoundly as possible and to recognize that God is active and I am passive, so it seems to me that the common sense thing is to kneel and receive on the tongue. I can accept as possible that in some cultures some other symbolism might work better.
I am confident of my position, as it is the common sense position. I do not denigrate those who practice the traditional Catholic way, but think the common sense way, the most likely way the first “remembrance” dinner was done, and a common Protestant practice, ought to be respected too.
Sorry for the run-on sentence. I think you get my point.
I do not automatically assume that the most likely way the first remembrance dinner was done is a common Protestant practice.
Indeed, I think the movement that ought to get the most points in this area would be the neo-Catechumanate Way, a Catholic movement that has been slapped down hard because of its liturgical practices.
To begin with, everyone ought to be reclining on couches. Not certain, but most likely. There also ought to be a roasted lamb and lots of wine served. What is common sense from there on out is debatable. I don’t see the evidence pointing so strongly in any direction as to claim that there is a common-sense position. It is like having a common sense position on the AFC champion in 2030—not enough evidence to have one.
As to respecting positions, I think that the Neo-Cats are probably more faithful to the original meal than anyone else, and applause to them for this in terms of theatre, but St. Paul himself indicates that the last supper is in any ways not meant to be the model for the Mass when he tells everyone to eat at home (I Cor. 11:20-22)—the Corinthian liturgical practice seems to have been stuck in the 0030’s and the practice of the Church had developed. I hope that Protestants do their best with whatever insights to the truth they may have, but following in the tradition of St. Paul I will not concern myself with the Last Supper as liturgically normative. The essentials, yes, but the trappings were suited to the old passover, and the New Passover deserves the trappings proper to itself.
LOL. Yes, the reclining is essential. I agree.
Also, congregants should wear robes or tunics.
And a donkey should be hitched up outside the church.
If one wants to come to the most “common sense” replication of the physical posture for receiving communion, taking reclining into account is essential, as is the likely probability that, for the meal, Our Lord was at the head of a horse-shoe shaped table with everyone around the outside edge facing in and the couches would be sticking out like spokes from the table. Allowing himself to be passed around is neither dignified nor in conformance with the strongest reading of didwmi (he gave). Walking around the outside from person to person is rather awkward because one has to go in and out of all the couches (the head is closest to the table). I rather picture Him getting up, walking to the open space in the horse-shoe, speaking from there, and then going around giving Himself with His own hand from the inside of the horse-shoe, which both allows access to peoples hands and heads, and avoids trapsing around and over all of the furniture. I also picture that it would be most natural when the Apostles realized how their Lord was serving them for them to roll off of their couches and onto their knees into the spaces between the couches, with the table then functioning as a proto-communion rail. If, as an earlier poster had indicated, feeding directly into the mouth is a profound sign in this culture, that would be appropriate as well.
It could be done some other way—the text is rather terse on relevant details—but if you want to speculate based on what might be natural, it seems to me that the common sense position based upon what the best guesses are on dining arrangements, is the above.
Clothing, donkeys, and second floor are known details that do not add much to the question at hand (though a Mason might disagree re: the second floor).
Nah, that seems a bit contrived. But the reclining works. Hosts just don’t go round popping bread in guest’s mouths. This was dinner, not a worship service.
Ummm—first of all, it’s not bread. Secondly, this is Jerusalem in 33, not the U.S. midwest in 2011, so what we think of as normal can be tossed. Thirdly, Our Lord is literally feeding them Himself—the “host” is not normally part of the menu, so one has left the realm of “normality.” Finally, even if one is to ignore the whole last supper thingy, one has the Passover meal to work from, which IS a worship service.
I’ll grant the last point. I guess the Passover MEAL is a worship service after a method.
But yeah, it is unleavened bread. And the setting is a meal, regardless of the time and place.
Your third point, as I’m sure you know, is a point of debate.
So my statement stands virtually unamended.
BTTT for an anonymous FReeper
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