Skip to comments.Early Christians on the Holy Eucharist
Posted on 07/09/2002 4:40:01 PM PDT by JMJ333
Clement of Rome (80 A.D.) in Corinthians 36:1 refers to the Eucharist as the ``offering of the gift.'' St. Clement, bishop of Rome, 80 A.D., to the Corinthians, 40:
Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity.
Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (the Didache), 9:2; 14:1, circa 90 A.D.:
Regarding the Eucharist ... Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too, the saying of the Lord is applicable: Do not give to dogs what is sacred. On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations. [Mal 1:11,14].
Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 6, 110 A.D.:
Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God ... They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, 8:1, 110 A.D.:
Let that Eucharist be held valid which is offered by the bishop or by the one to whom the bishop has committed this charge. Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, 7, 110 A.D.:
I desire the Bread of God, the heavenly Bread, the Bread of Life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; I wish the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadephians, 4:1, 110 A.D.:
Be ye careful therefore to observe one eucharist (for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup unto union in His blood; there is one altar, as there is one bishop, together with the presbytery and the deacons my fellow-servants), that whatsoever ye do, ye may do it after God.
Justin Martyr, Apology, I.66-67, 2nd century:
Communion in the Body and Blood of Christ
It is allowed to no one else to participate in that food which we call Eucharist except the one who believes that the things taught by us are true, who has been cleansed in the washing unto rebirth and the forgiveness of sins and who is living according to the way Christ handed on to us. For we do not take these things as ordinary bread or ordinary drink. Just as our Savior Jesus Christ was made flesh by the word of God and took on flesh and blood for our salvation, so also were we taught that the food, for which thanksgiving has been made through the word of prayer instituted by him, and from which our blood and flesh are nourished after the change, is the flesh of that Jesus who was made flesh. Indeed, the Apostles, in the records left by them which are called gospels, handed on that it was commanded to them in this manner: Jesus, having taken bread and given thanks said, ``Do this in memory of me, this is my body.'' Likewise, having taken the cup and given thanks, he said, ``This is my blood'', and he gave it to them alone.
The Sunday Assembly
Furthermore, after this we always remind one another of these things. Those who have the means aid those who are needy, and we are always united. Over everything which we take to ourselves we bless the Creator of the universe through His Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
On the day called after the sun [Sunday] there is a meeting for which all those dwelling in the cities or in the countryside come together. The records of the Apostles or the writings of the prophets are read as long as time allows. When the reader has stopped, the one who is presiding admonishes and encourages us by a sermon to the imitation of those good examples.
Then we all stand up together and lift up our prayers and, as I said previously, when we have finished our prayer, bread is brought forth and wine and water. The one who is presiding offers up prayers and thanksgiving according to his ability and the people acclaim their assent with ``Amen.'' There is the distribution of and participation on the part of each one in the gifts for which thanks has been offered, and they are sent to those who are not present through the deacons.
We all come together on the day of the sun since it is the first day, on which God changed darkness and matter and made the world. On that day, Jesus Christ our Savior arose from the dead. They crucified him on the day preceding that of Saturn, and on the day of the sun he appeared to his Apostles and disciples and taught them these things which we have presented also to you for inspection.
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, [5,2,2] 180 A.D.:
If the body be not saved, then in fact, neither did the Lord redeem us with His Blood; and neither is the cup of the Eucharist the partaking of His Blood nor is the Bread which we break the partaking of His Body . . . He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be His own Blood, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, He has established as His own Body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 180 A.D., 4,17,5: Again, giving counsel to His disciples to offer to God the first-fruits from among His creatures, not as if He needed them, but so that they themselves might be neither unfruitful nor ungrateful, He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, ``This is My Body.'' The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, He confessed to be His Blood.
He taught the the new sacrifice of the New Covenant, of which Malachi, one of the twelve prophets, had signified beforehand: ```You do not do my will,' says the Lord Almighty, `and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. For from the rising of the sun to its setting My name is glorified among the gentiles, and in every place incense is offer to My name, and a pure sacrifice; for great is My name among the gentiles,' says the Lord Almighty.'' (Mal 1:11). By these words He makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; but that in every place sacrifice will be offered to Him, and indeed, a pure one; for His name is glorified among the gentiles.''
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4, 18, 2, 180 A.D.:
It is not oblations as such that have met with disapproval. There were oblations of old; there are oblations now. There were sacrifices among the people of Israel; there are sacrifices in the Church. Only the kind of oblation has been changed: now it is offered by freemen, not by slaves. There is one and the same Lord, but the character of an oblation made by slaves is distinctive, so too that of an oblation made by sons: their oblations bear the mark of freedom.
We must make oblation to God, and in all things be found pleasing to God the Creator, in sound teaching, in sincere faith, in firm hope, in ardent love, as we offer the firstfruits of the creatures that are his. The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator when it makes its offering to him from his creation, with thanksgiving.
We offer him what is his, and so we proclaim communion and unity and profess our belief in the resurrection of flesh and spirit. Just as bread from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread but the Eucharist, made up of two elements, one earthly and one heavenly, so also our bodies, in receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, for they have the hope of resurrection.
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, [5,2,2] 180 A.D.:
If the body be not saved, then in fact, neither did the Lord redeem us with His Blood; and neither is the cup of the Eucharist the partaking of His Blood nor is the Bread which we break the partaking of His Body . . . He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be His own Blood, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, He has established as His own Body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.
St. Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children [1,6,41,3] 202 A.D.:
When the loving and benevolent Father had rained down the Word, that Word then became the spiritual nourishment of those who have good sense. [42,1] O mystic wonder! the Father of all is indeed one, one also is the universal Word, and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere; and one is the Virgin Mother. I love to call her the Church. This Mother alone was without milk, because she alone did not become a wife. She is at once both Virgin and Mother: as Virgin, undefiled; as a Mother full of love.
Calling her children about her, she nourishes them with holy milk, that is with the Infant Word. . . . The Word is everything to a child: both the Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. `Eat My Flesh,' He says, `and drink My Blood.' the Lord supplies us with these intimate nutriments. He delivers over His Flesh, and pours out His Blood; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery!
St. Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children [2,2,19,4] 202 A.D.:
The Blood of the Lord, indeed, is twofold. There is His corporeal blood, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and His spiritual Blood, that with which we are anointed. That is to say, to drink the Blood of Jesus is to share in His Immortality. the strength of the Word is the Spirit, just as the blood is the strength of the body. [20,1] Similarly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. The one, the Watered Wine, nourishes in faith while the other, the Spirit, leads us on to immortality. The union of both, however, --of the drink and of the Word,--is called Eucharist, a praiseworthy and excellent gift. Those who partake of it in faith are sanctified in body and in soul. By the will of the Father, the divine mixture, man, is mystically united to the Spirit and to the Word.
Tertullian's The Resurrection of the Dead [8,2] A.D. 208-212:
The flesh, then, is washed, so that the soul may be made clean. The flesh is anointed, so that the soul may be dedicated to holiness. The flesh is signed, so that the soul too may be fortified. The flesh is shaded with the imposition of hands, so that the soul too may be illuminated by the Spirit. The flesh feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ, so that the soul too may fatten on God. They cannot, then, be separated in their reward, when they are united in their works.
Tertullian [ca. 200/206 AD] in his treaties on Prayer [6,2], quotes John 6 in connection with a spiritual understanding of the Lord's prayer "give us this day our daily bread." In a spiritual sense Christ is our daily Bread, presumably because of the practice of the daily reception of the Eucharist. Later in that same treatise [19,1] he writes;
Likewise, regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present at the sacrificial prayers, because their fast would be broken if they were to receive the Body of the Lord. Does the Eucharist, then, obviate a work devoted to God, or does it bind it more to god? Will not your fast be more solemn if, in addition, you have stood at God's altar? The body of the Lord having been received and reserved, each point is secured: both the participation in the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.
Regarding worship on the Lord's Day Tertullian also writes; [The Crown [3,4] AD 211]:
We take anxious care lest something of our Cup of Bread should fall upon the ground.
Origen, Contra Celsum, 8:57:
We are not people with ungrateful hearts; it is true, we do not sacrifice ... to such beings who, far from bestowing their benefits upon us, are our enemies; but to God who has bestowed upon us an abundance of benefits ... we fear being ungrateful. The sign of this gratitude towards God is the bread called Eucharist.
Origen Homilies on Exodus 13,3:
I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know, when you received the body of the Lord, you reverently exercised every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence. but if you observe such cation in keeping His Body, and properly so, how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting His Body?
St. Cyprian of Carthage, the Lord's Prayer, 252 A.D., chapter 18:
As the prayer proceeds, we ask and say: 'Give us this day our daily bread.' This can be understood both spiritually and simply, because either understanding is of profit in divine usefulness for salvation. For Christ is the bread of life and the bread here is of all, but is ours. And as we say 'Our Father,' because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so too we say 'our Bread,' because Christ is the bread of those of us who attain to His body. Moreover, we ask that this bread be given daily, lest we, who are in Christ and receive the Eucharist daily as food of salvation, with the intervention of some more grievous sin, while we are shut off and as non-communicants are kept from the heavenly bread, be separated from the body of Christ as He Himself declares, saying: 'I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. If any man eat of my bread he shall live forever. Moreover, the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.' Since then He says that, if anyone eats of His bread, he lives forever, as it is manifest that they live who attain to His body and receive the Eucharist by right of communion, so on the other hand we must fear and pray lest anyone, while he is cut off and separated from the body of Christ, remain apart from salvation, as He Himself threatens, saying: 'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.' And so we petition that our bread, that is Christ, be given us daily, so that we, who abide and live in Christ, may not withdraw from His sanctification and body.
St. Cyprian, Letter of Cyprian to a Certain Magnus, 6 (76), 5; 255 A.D.:
Finally, the sacrifices of the Lord proclaim the unity of Christians, bound together by the bond of a firm and inviolable charity. For when the Lord, in speaking of bread which is produced by the compacting of many grains of wheat, refers to it as His Body, He is describing our people whose unity He has sustained, and when He refers to wine pressed from many grapes and berries, as His Blood, He is speaking of our flock, formed by the fusing of many united together.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Mystagogic Catechesis 4,1, c. 350 A.D.:
`I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, etc. [1 Cor 11:23]'. This teaching of the Blessed Paul is alone sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, which when ye are vouchsafed, ye are of [Eph 3:6] and blood with Christ. For he has just distinctly said, [1 Cor 2:23-25] Since then He Himself has declared and said of the Bread, , who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has affirmed and said, , who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?
2. He once turned water into wine, in Cana of Galilee, at His own will, and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood? That wonderful work He miraculously wrought, when called to an earthly marriage; and shall He not much rather be acknowledged to have bestowed the fruition of His Body and Blood on the children of the bridechamber?
3. Therefore with fullest assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mightest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, [2 Peter 1:4]
4. Christ on a certain occasion discoursing with the Jews said, [1 John 6:53] They not receiving His saying spiritually were offended, and went backward, supposing that He was inviting them to eat flesh.
5. Even under the Old Testament there was showbread; but this as it belonged to the Old Testament, came to an end; but in the New Testament there is the Bread of Heaven, and the Cup of Salvation [cf. Ps 116:13], sanctifying soul and body; for as the Bread has respect to our body, so is the Word appropriate to our soul.
6. Contemplate therefore the Bread and Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for though sense suggests this to thee, let faith establish thee. Judge not the matter from taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that thou hast been vouchsafed the Body and Blood of Christ.
7. The blessed David also shall advise thee at the meaning of this, saying, [Ps 23:5] What he says, is to this effect. Before Thy coming, evil spirits prepared a table for men, foul and polluted and full of all devilish influence; but since Thy coming, O Lord, When the man says to God, , what other does he mean but that mystical and spiritual Table, which God hath prepared , that is, contrary and in opposition to the evil spirits? And very truly; for that had fellowship with devils, but this, with God. . . .
9. These things having learnt, and being fully persuaded that what seems bread is not bread, though bread by taste, but the Body of Christ; and that what seems wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, [Ps. 104:15], `strengthen thine heart', partaking thereof as spiritual, and `make the face of thy soul to shine'. And so having it unveiled by a pure conscience, mayest thou , and proceed from [2 Cor 3:18], in Christ Jesus our Lord:--To whom be honour, and might, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catecheses, 23 (Myst. 5), 8-18; 350 A.D:
After the Spiritual Sacrifice, the unbloody act of worship has been completed. Bending over this propitiatory offering we beg God to grant peace to all the Churches, to give harmony to the whole world, to bless our rulers, our soldiers, and our companions, to aid the sick and afflicted, and in general to assist all who stand in need; and then we offer the Victim also for our deceased holy ancestors and bishops for all our dead. As we do this, we are filled with the conviction that this Sacrifice will be of the greatest help to those souls for whom prayers are being offered in the very presence of our holy and awesome Victim. . . In the same fashion, when we offer our prayers to God for the dead, even though they be sinners, we weave no crown, but instead we offer Christ slaughtered for our sins, beseeching our merciful God to take pity both on them and on ourselves.
St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians circa 258 A.D:
The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father.
Pope St. Gregory the Great, Dial. IV,58: Although He (Christ) who rose from the dead shall die no more - death no longer has power over Him - still, although He is immortal and His living form incorruptible, He is being slaughtered for us in this mysterium of the holy sacrifice. Because there His body provides nourishment, His flesh being divided up, His blood pours out - no longer into the hands of non-believers, but into the mouths of believers.
St. Ephraim Homilies [4,4] AD 338-373
Our Lord Jesus took in His hands what in the beginning was only bread; and He blessed it, signed it, and made it holy in the name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit; and broke it and in His gracious kindness He distributed it to all His disciples one by one. He called the bread His living Body, and did Himself fill it with Himself and the Spirit.
St. Ephraim Homilies [4,6] A.D. 338-373:
After the disciples had eaten the new and holy Bread, and when they understood by faith they had eaten of Christ's body, Christ went on to explain and to give them the whole Sacrament. He took and mixed a cup of wine. Then He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy, declaring that it was His own Blood, which was about to be poured out . . . Christ commanded them to drink, and He explained to them that the cup which they were drinking was His own Blood: `This is truly My Blood, which is shed for all of you. Take, all of you, drink of this, because it is a new covenant in My Blood. As you have seen me do, do you also in My memory. whenever you gather together in My name in Churches everywhere, do what I have done, in memory of Me. Eat My body, and drink My Blood.'
St. Hilary of Poitiers, The Trinity [8,14] A.D. 356-359:
When we speak of the reality of Christ's nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously--had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: `My Flesh is truly food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in him [John 6:56-57].' As to the reality of His flesh and blood, there is little room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly Flesh and truly Blood. And these Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Is it not true? Let those who deny that Jesus christ is true God be free to find these things untrue. But He Himself is in us through the flesh and we are in Him, while that which we are with Him is in God.
St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, 82, 4, 370 A.D.:
Let us submit to God in all things and not contradict Him, even if what He says seems contrary to our reason and intellect; rather let His words prevail over our reason and intellect. Let us act in this way with regard to the (eucharistic) mysteries, looking not only at what falls under our senses but holding on to His words. For His word cannot lead us astray. . . When the word says, `This is My Body', be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. . . How many now say, `I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.' Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him!
St. John Chrysostom, "Homilies on the Second Epistle to Timothy," 2,4, c. 397 A.D.:
I wish to add something that is plainly awe-inspiring, but do not be astonished or upset. This Sacrifice, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul, is always the same as that which Christ gave His disciples and which priests now offer: The offering of today is in no way inferior to that which Christ offered, because it is not men who sanctify the offering of today; it is the same Christ who sanctified His own. For just as the words which God spoke are the very same as those which the priest now speaks, so too the oblation is the very same.
St. John Chrysostom, "Homilies on the Treachery of Judas" 1,6; d. 407 A.D.:
It is not the power of man which makes what is put before us the Body and Blood of Christ, but the power of Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words but their power and grace are from God. 'This is My Body,' he says, and these words transform what lies before him.
St. John Chrysostom:
Why does (the Apostle) say, `The bread which we break'? (1 Cor. 10.17). We can see this during the Eucharist, but not at the cross. Yet what He has suffered on the cross, He is suffering for you at this Sacrifice. He allows himself to be divided, so as to nourish all (participants in the sacrifice of the Mass.)
St. John Chrysostom (PG 59:261)
This blood is the salvation of our soul; it cleanses our souls, it beautifies our soul; ... it makes it shine even more than gold. Through the pouring out of this blood, it becomes possible to walk the path of heaven.
St. Ambrose of Milan, "On the Mysteries" 9, 50-52, 58; 391 A.D.:
Let us be assured that this is not what nature formed, but what the blessing consecrated, and that greater efficacy resides in the blessing than in nature, for by the blessing nature is changed. . . . Surely the word of Christ, which could make out of nothing that which did not exist, can change things already in existence into what they were not. For it is no less extraordinary to give things new natures than to change their natures. . . . Christ is in that Sacrament, because it is the Body of Christ; yet, it is not on that account corporeal food, but spiritual. Whence also His Apostle says of the type: `For our fathers ate spiritual food and drink spiritual drink.' [1 Cor 10:2-4] For the body of God is a spiritual body.
St. Ambrose, De Sacrametis:
Whenever the blood of Christ is being poured out, it flows for the forgiveness of sins.
St. Augustine, Sermons,  A.D. 391-430: ... I promised you, who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the Sacrament of the Lord's Table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ. Through that bread and wine the Lord Christ willed to commend His Body and Blood, which He poured out for us unto the forgiveness of sins. If you receive worthily, you are what you have received.
St. Augustine, Sermons,  A.D. 391-430: What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ. ... How is the bread His Body? And the chalice, or what is in the chalice, how is it His Blood? Those elements, brethren, are called Sacraments, because in them one thing is seen, but another is understood. What is seen is the corporeal species, but what is understood is the spiritual fruit. ... `You, however, are the Body of Christ and His members.' If, therefore, you are the Body of Christ and His members, your mystery is presented at the table of the Lord, you receive your mystery. To that which you are, you answer: `Amen'; and by answering, you subscribe to it. For you hear: `The Body of Christ!' and you answer: `Amen!' Be a member of Christ's Body, so that your `Amen' may be the truth.
St. Augustine, Explanations on the Psalms, [33, 1, 10] A.D. 392-418:
`And he was carried in his own hands [3 Kgs 20:13 LXX? corrupted].' But, brethren, how is it possible for a man to do this? Who can understand it? Who is it that is carried in his own hands? A man can be carried in the hands of another; but no one can be carried in his own hands. How this should be understood literally of David, we cannot discover; but we can discover how it was meant of Christ. For Christ was carried in His own hands, when, referring to His own Body, He said: `This is My Body.' For He carried that Body in His hands.
St. Augustine, Explanations on the Psalms, [98, 9] A.D. 392-418:
And adore the footstool of His feet, because it is holy [Psalm 98:9, LXX 99:9]. . .In another place in the Scripture it says: `The heavens are my throne, but the earth is the footstool of My feet' [Isa 66:1] Is it the earth, then, that He commands us to adore, since in this other place the earth is called the footstool of God's feet? . . . I am put in jeopardy by such a dilemma (Anceps factus sum): I am afraid to adore the earth lest He that made heaven and earth condemn me; again, I am afraid not to adore the footstool of My Lord's feet, but because the Psalm does say to me: `Adore the footstool of My feet.' I ask what the footstool of His feet is; and Scripture tells me: `The earth is the footstool of my feet.' Perplexed, I turn to Christ, because it is He whom I seek here; and I discover how the earth is adored without impiety, how without impiety the footstool of His feet is adored. For He received earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He took flesh from the flesh of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless he adores it ; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord's feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring.
St. Augustine, Explanations on the Psalms, A.D. 392-418, [98, 9]: `Unless he shall have eaten My flesh he shall not have eternal life. [John 6:54-55]' [Some] understood this foolishly, and thought of it carnally, and supposed that the Lord was going to cut off some parts of His Body to give them ... But He instructed them, and said to them: `It is the spirit that gives life; but the flesh profits nothing: the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life' [John 6:64]. Understand spiritually what I said. You are not to eat this Body which you see, nor to drink that Blood which which will be poured out by those who will crucify Me. I have commended to you a certain Sacrament; spiritually understood, it will give you life. And even if it is necessary that this be celebrated visibly, it must still be understood invisibly.
St. Augustine, The Trinity, [3, 4, 10] A.D. 400-416:
Paul was able to preach the Lord Jesus Christ by means of signs, in one way by his letters, in another way by the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood; for when we speak of the Body of Christ and of His Blood, certainly we do not mean Paul's speaking, nor his parchments nor his ink, nor the meaning of the sounds issuing from his tongue, nor the signs of letters written on skins. By the Body and Blood of Christ we refer only to that which has been received from the fruits of the earth and has been consecrated by the mystical prayer, and has been ritually taken for our spiritual health in memory of what the Lord suffered for us.
For the whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prayers for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them on their behalf.
Today's sacrifice is like that offered once by the Once-begotten Incarnate Word; it is offered by him (now as then), since it is one and the same sacrifice.
Council of Trent:
In the sacrifice of the mass, Christ's sacrifice on the cross is made present, its memory is celebrated, and its saving power is applied.
1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord's command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: "He took bread...." "He took the cup filled with wine...." The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, fruit of the "work of human hands," but above all as "fruit of the earth" and "of the vine" - gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who "brought out bread and wine," a prefiguring of her own offering.
1334 In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the earth as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator. But they also received a new significance in the context of the Exodus: the unleavened bread that Israel eats every year at Passover commemorates the haste of the departure that liberated them from Egypt; the remembrance of the manna in the desert will always recall to Israel that it lives by the bread of the Word of God; their daily bread is the fruit of the promised land, the pledge of God's faithfulness to his promises.
The "cup of blessing" at the end of the Jewish Passover meal adds to the festive joy of wine an eschatological dimension: the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, he gave a new and definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup.
1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist. The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus' glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father's kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.
1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. "Will you also go away?": the Lord's question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has "the words of eternal life" and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.
1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love. In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; "thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament."
1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven.
1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it...." They went ... and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.".... And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood."
1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus' passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom.
1341 The command of Jesus to repeat his actions and words "until he comes" does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did. It is directed at the liturgical celebration, by the apostles and their successors, of the memorial of Christ, of his life, of his death, of his Resurrection, and of his intercession in the presence of the Father.
1342 From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord's command. Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written:
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.... Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.
1343 It was above all on "the first day of the week," Sunday, the day of Jesus' resurrection, that the Christians met "to break bread." From that time on down to our own day the celebration of the Eucharist has been continued so that today we encounter it everywhere in the Church with the same fundamental structure. It remains the center of the Church's life.
1344 Thus from celebration to celebration, as they proclaim the Paschal mystery of Jesus "until he comes," the pilgrim People of God advances, "following the narrow way of the cross," toward the heavenly banquet, when all the elect will be seated at the table of the kingdom.
The Bible is not a catechism or a full-scale theological treatise. If look at the 27 books of the New Testament, you wont find one that spells out the elements of the faith the way catechisms do or even the way the ancient creeds did. Those 27 books were written for the most part (except the Gospels and the general epistles such as James and, 1 and 2 Peter) as provisional documents addressed to particular audiences for particular purposes.
1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."
1325 "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."
1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.
1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."
1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called: Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.
1329 The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,l above all at the Last Supper. It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection, and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies; by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.
1330 The memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection.
The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, "sacrifice of praise," spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.
The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church's whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.
1331 Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body. We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta) - the first meaning of the phrase "communion of saints" in the Apostles' Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality, viaticum....
1332 Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God's will in their daily lives.
1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:
On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.
The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.
When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.
Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.
When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.
Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.
He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.
When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'
When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.
1346 The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:
- the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;
- the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.
The liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist together form "one single act of worship"; the Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord.
1347 Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table "he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them."
1348 All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose "Amen" manifests their participation.
1349 The Liturgy of the Word includes "the writings of the prophets," that is, the Old Testament, and "the memoirs of the apostles" (their letters and the Gospels). After the homily, which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is, the Word of God, and to put it into practice, come the intercessions for all men, according to the Apostle's words: "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in high positions."
1350 The presentation of the offerings (the Offertory). Then, sometimes in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood. It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper - "taking the bread and a cup." "The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving." The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator's gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices.
1351 From the very beginning Christians have brought, along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist, gifts to share with those in need. This custom of the collection, ever appropriate, is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich:
Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses. What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need.
1352 The anaphora: with the Eucharistic Prayer - the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration - we come to the heart and summit of the celebration:
In the preface, the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all his works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the thrice-holy God.
1353 In the epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis).
In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ's body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.
1354 In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus; she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him.
In the intercessions, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches.
1355 In the communion, preceded by the Lord's prayer and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive "the bread of heaven" and "the cup of salvation," the body and blood of Christ who offered himself "for the life of the world":
Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist ("eucharisted," according to an ancient expression), "we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught."
1356 If from the beginning Christians have celebrated the Eucharist and in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of times and liturgies, it is because we know ourselves to be bound by the command the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: "Do this in remembrance of me."
1357 We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.
1358 We must therefore consider the Eucharist as: - thanksgiving and praise to the Father;
- the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;
- the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.
1359 The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity.
1360 The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all "thanksgiving."
1361 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of praise by which the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation. This sacrifice of praise is possible only through Christ: he unites the faithful to his person, to his praise, and to his intercession, so that the sacrifice of praise to the Father is offered through Christ and with him, to be accepted in him.
1362 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body. In all the Eucharistic Prayers we find after the words of institution a prayer called the anamnesis or memorial.
1363 In the sense of Sacred Scripture the memorial is not merely the recollection of past events but the proclamation of the mighty works wrought by God for men. In the liturgical celebration of these events, they become in a certain way present and real. This is how Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them.
1364 In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. 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. "As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which 'Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed' is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out."
1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: "This is my body which is given for you" and "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood." In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:
[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.
1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner."
1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ's sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.
In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in prayer, arms outstretched in the praying position. Like Christ who stretched out his arms on the cross, through him, with him, and in him, she offers herself and intercedes for all men.
1369 The whole Church is united with the offering and intercession of Christ. Since he has the ministry of Peter in the Church, the Pope is associated with every celebration of the Eucharist, wherein he is named as the sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church. The bishop of the place is always responsible for the Eucharist, even when a priest presides; the bishop's name is mentioned to signify his presidency over the particular Church, in the midst of his presbyterium and with the assistance of deacons. The community intercedes also for all ministers who, for it and with it, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice:
Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under [the presidency of] the bishop or him to whom he has entrusted it.
Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests' hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes.
1370 To the offering of Christ are united not only the members still here on earth, but also those already in the glory of heaven. In communion with and commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ.
1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified," so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:
Put this body anywhere! Don't trouble yourselves about it! I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord's altar wherever you are.
Then, we pray [in the anaphora] for the holy fathers and bishops who have fallen asleep, and in general for all who have fallen asleep before us, in the belief that it is a great benefit to the souls on whose behalf the supplication is offered, while the holy and tremendous Victim is present.... By offering to God our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, if they have sinned, we . . . offer Christ sacrificed for the sins of all, and so render favorable, for them and for us, the God who loves man.
1372 St. Augustine admirably summed up this doctrine that moves us to an ever more complete participation in our Redeemer's sacrifice which we celebrate in the Eucharist:
This wholly redeemed city, the assembly and society of the saints, is offered to God as a universal sacrifice by the high priest who in the form of a slave went so far as to offer himself for us in his Passion, to make us the Body of so great a head.... Such is the sacrifice of Christians: "we who are many are one Body in Christ" The Church continues to reproduce this sacrifice in the sacrament of the altar so well-known to believers wherein it is evident to them that in what she offers she herself is offered.
1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name," in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."
1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."
1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:
It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:
Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed.... Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."
1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."
1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us "to the end," even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:
The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.
1381 "That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'"
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more, See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord's body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us.
1383 The altar, around which the Church is gathered in the celebration of the Eucharist, represents the two aspects of the same mystery: the altar of the sacrifice and the table of the Lord. This is all the more so since the Christian altar is the symbol of Christ himself, present in the midst of the assembly of his faithful, both as the victim offered for our reconciliation and as food from heaven who is giving himself to us. "For what is the altar of Christ if not the image of the Body of Christ?" asks St. Ambrose. He says elsewhere, "The altar represents the body [of Christ] and the Body of Christ is on the altar." The liturgy expresses this unity of sacrifice and communion in many prayers. Thus the Roman Church prays in its anaphora:
We entreat you, almighty God, that by the hands of your holy Angel this offering may be borne to your altar in heaven in the sight of your divine majesty, so that as we receive in communion at this altar the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, we may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grace.
"Take this and eat it, all of you": communion
1384 The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."
1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself." Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.
1386 Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion: "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea" ("Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed."). And in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom the faithful pray in the same spirit:
O Son of God, bring me into communion today with your mystical supper. I shall not tell your enemies the secret, nor kiss you with Judas' kiss. But like the good thief I cry, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.
1388 It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions, receive communion each time they participate in the Mass. As the Second Vatican Council says: "That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest's communion, receive the Lord's Body from the same sacrifice, is warmly recommended."
1389 The Church obliges the faithful "to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days" and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season. But the Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.
1390 Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But "the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly." This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites.
1391 Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."
On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ.
1392 What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh "given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit," preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.
1393 Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the blood we drink "shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins." For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins: For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord's death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.
1394 As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins. By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:
Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world.... Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God.
1395 By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins - that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church.
1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body. The Eucharist fulfills this call: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:"
If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are you respond "Amen" ("yes, it is true!") and by responding to it you assent to it. For you hear the words, "the Body of Christ" and respond "Amen." Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.
1397 The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren:
You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother,.... You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal.... God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful.
1398 The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, "O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!" The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in him may return.
1399 The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."
1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, "have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders." It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible for the Catholic Church. However these ecclesial communities, "when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory."
1401 When, in the Ordinary's judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions.
1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: "O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us." If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled "with every heavenly blessing and grace," then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory.
1403 At the Last Supper the Lord himself directed his disciples' attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: "I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze "to him who is to come." In her prayer she calls for his coming: "Marana tha!" "Come, Lord Jesus!" "May your grace come and this world pass away!"
1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ," asking "to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord."
1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells," than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."
1406 Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).
1407 The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church's life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.
1408 The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.
1409 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.
1410 It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.
1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.
1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you.... This is the cup of my blood...."
1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).
1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.
1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.
1416 Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.
1417 The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion each time they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.
1418 Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord" (Paul VI, MF 66).
1419 Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.
ENDNOTES 1 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 65, 1. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 65, 3. 3 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Divinae consortium naturae: AAS 63 (1971) 657; cf. RCIA Introduction 1-2. 4 Cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314: vitae spiritualis ianua. 5 Roman Catechism II, 2, 5; Cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314; CIC, cann. 204 # 1; 849; CCEO, can. 675 # 1. 6 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Cf. Rom 6:34; Col 2:12. 7 Titus 3:5; Jn 3:5. 8 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 61, 12: PG 6, 421. 9 Jn 1:9; 1 Thess 5:5; Heb 10:32; Eph 5:8. 10 St. Gregory Of Nazianzus, Oratio 40, 3-4: PG 36, 361C. 11 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water. 12 Cf. Gen 1:2. 13 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water. 14 1 Pet 3:20. 15 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water. 16 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water: "Abrahae filios per mare Rubrum sicco vestigio transire fecisti, ut plebs, a Pharaonis servitute liberata, populum baptizatorum praefiguraret." 17 Cf. Mt 3:13. 18 Mt 28:19-20; cf. Mk 16:15-16. 19 Mt 3:15. 20 Cf. Phil 2:7. 21 Mt 3:16-17. 22 Mk 10:38; cf. Lk 12:50. 23 Cf. Jn 19:34; 1 Jn 5:6-8. 24 Cf. Jn 3:5. 25 St. Ambrose, De sacr. 2, 2, 6: PL 16, 444; cf. Jn 3:5. 26 Acts 2:38. 27 Cf. Acts 2:41; 8:12-13; 10:48; 16:15. 28 Acts 16:31-33. 29 Rom 6:3-4; cf. Col 2:12. 30 Gal 3:27. 31 CE 1 Cor 6:11; 12:13. 32 1 Pet 1:23; cf. Eph 5:26. 33 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 80, 3: PL 35, 1840. 34 SC 64. 35 Cf. RCIA (1972). 36 SC 65; cf. SC 37-40. 37 Cf. AG 14; CIC, cann. 851; 865; 866. 38 Cf. CIC, cann. 851, 20; 868. 39 Cf. Rom 6:17. 40 Jn 3:5. 41 Cf. RBC 62. 42 Gal 3:27. 43 Mt 5:14; cf. Phil 2:15. 44 Rev 19:9. 45 Mk 10 14. 46 CIC, can. 864; cf. CCEO, can. 679. 47 AG 14; cf. RCIA 19; 98. 48 AG 14 # 5. 49 LG 14 # 3; cf. CIC, cann. 206; 788 # 3. 50 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1514; cf. Col 1:12-14. 51 Cf. CIC, can. 867; CCEO, cann. 681; 686, 1. 52 Cf. LG 11; 41; GS 48; CIC, can. 868. 53 Cf. Acts 16:15, 33; 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16; CDF, instruction, Pastoralis actio: AAS 72 (1980) 1137-1156. 54 Cf. Mk 16:16. 55 Cf. CIC, cann. 872-874. 56 Cf. SC 67. 57 Cf. CIC, can. 861 # 1; CCEO, can. 677 # 1. 58 Cf. 1 Tim 2:4. 59 Cf. Jn 3:5. 60 Cf. Mt 28:19-20; cf. Council of Trent (1547) DS 1618; LG 14; AG 5. 61 Cf. Mk 16:16. 62 GS 22 # 5; cf. LG 16; AG 7. 63 Mk 10 14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4. 64 Cf. Acts 2:38; Jn 3:5. 65 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1316. 66 Council of Trent (1546): DS 1515. 67 2 Tim 2:5. 68 2 Cor 5:17; 2 Pet 1:4; cf. Gal 4:5-7. 69 Cf. l Cor 6:15; 12:27; Rom 8:17. 70 Cf. l Cor 6:19. 71 Eph 4:25. 72 1 Cor 12:13. 73 1 Pet 2:5. 74 1 Pet 2:9. 75 Cf. 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 5:15. 76 Heb 13:17. 77 Cf. Eph 5:21; 1 Cor 16:15-16; 1 Thess 5:12-13; Jn 13:12-15. 78 Cf. LG 37; CIC, cann. 208 223; CCEO, can. 675:2. 79 LG 11; cf. LG 17; AG 7; 23. 80 UR 3. 81 UR 22 # 2. 82 Cf. Rom 8:29; Council of Trent (1547): DS 1609-1619. 83 Cf. LG 11. 84 Cf. LG 10. 85 St. Augustine, Ep. 98, 5: PL 33, 362; Eph 4:30; cf. 1:13-14; 2 Cor 1:21-22. 86 St. Irenaeus, Dem ap. 3: SCh 62, 32. 87 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 97. 88 Cf. Roman Ritual, Rite of Confirmation (OC), Introduction 1. 89 LG 11; Cf. OC, Introduction 2. 90 Cf. Isa 11:2; 61:1; Lk 4:16-22. 91 Cf. Mt 3:13-17; Jn 1:33-34. 92 Jn 3:34. 93 Cf. Ezek 36:25-27; Joel 3:1-2. 94 Cf. Lk 12:12; Jn 3:5-8; 7:37-39; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8. 95 Cf. Jn 20:22; Acts 2:1-14. 96 Acts 2:11; Cf. 2:17-18. 97 Cf. Acts 2:38. 98 Paul VI, Divinae consortium naturae, 659; Cf. Acts 8:15-17; 19:5-6; Heb 6:2. 99 Acts 10:38. 100 Cf. CCEO, Can. 695 # 1; 696 # 1. 101 Cf. St. Hippolytus, Trad. Ap. 21 SCh 11, 80-95. 102 Cf. Deut 11:14; Pss 23:5; 104:15. 103 Cf. Isa 1:6; Lk 1034. 104 2 Cor 2:15. 105 Cf Gen 38:18; 41:42; Deut 32:34; CT 8:6. 106 Cf. 1 Kings 21:8; Jer 32:10; Isa 29:11. 107 Cf. Jn 6:27. 108 2 Cor 1:21-22; cf. Eph 1:13; 4, 30. 109 Cf. Rev 7:2-3; 9:4; Ezek 9:4-6. 110 Cf. SC 71. 111 Cf. CIC, can. 866. 112 OC 25. 113 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Divinae consortium naturae, 663. 114 Cf. St. Hippolytus, Trad. Ap. 21 SCh 11, 80-95. 115 Rom 8:15. 116 Cf. LG 11. 117 Cf. Council Of Florence (1439) DS 1319; LG 11; 12. 118 SL Ambrose, De myst. 7, 42 PL 16, 402-403. 119 Cf. Council Of Trent (1547) DS 1609; Lk 24:48-49. 120 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 72, 5, ad 2. 121 Cf. CIC, can. 889 # 1. 122 CIC, can. 890. 123 Cf. CIC, cann. 891; 883, 3. 124 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 72, 8, ad 2; Cf. Wis 4:8. 125 Cf. OC Introduction 3. 126 Cf. Acts 1:14. 127 Cf. OC Introduction 5; 6; CIC, Can. 893 ## 1- 2. 128 Cf. LG 26. 129 Cf. CIC, Can. 883 # 2. 130 Cf. CIC, Can. 882. 131 Cf. CIC, Can. 884 # 2. 132 Cf. CIC, Can. 883 # 3. 133 SC 47. 134 LG 11. 135 PO 5. 136 Congregation of Rites, instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, 6. 137 Cf. 1 Cor 15:28. 138 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 18, 5: PG 7/l, 1028. 139 Cf. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24. 140 Cf. Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22. 141 Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9. 142 Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19. 143 Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24. 144 Cf. Lk 24:13-35. 145 Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 11. 146 Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17. 147 Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34. 148 Heb 13:15; cf. 1 Pet 25; Ps 116:13, 17; Mal 1:11. 149 Cf. 1 Cor 1016-17. 150 Apostolic Constitutions 8, 13,12 PG 1,1108; Didache 9, 5; 10:6: SCh: 248,176- 178. 151 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2 SCh 10, 76. 152 Cf. Ps 104:13-15. 153 Gen 14:18; cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 95. 154 Cf. Deut 8:3. 155 1 Cor 10:16. 156 Cf. Mt 14:13-21; 15:32-39. 157 Cf. Jn 2:11; Mk 14:25. 158 Jn 6:60. 159 Jn 6:67. 160 In 6:68. 161 Cf. Jn 13:1-17; 34-35. 162 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740. 163 Cf. Jn 6. 164 Lk 22:7-20; Cf. Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; 1 Cor 11:23-26. 165 Cf. 2 Cor 11:26. 166 Acts 2:42, 46. 167 Acts 20:7. 168 AG 1; cf. 1 Cor 11:26. 169 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65-67: PG 6, 428-429; the text before the asterisk (*) is from chap. 67. 170 SC 56. 171 Cf. DV 21. 172 Cf. Lk 24:13-35. 173 Cf. 1 Thess 2:13. 174 1 Tim 2:1-2. 175 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 18, 4: PG 7/1, 1027; cf. Mal 1:11. 176 Cf. 1 Cor 16:1; 2 Cor 8:9. 177 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 67: PG 6, 429. 178 Cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 90. 179 Jn 6:51. 180 St. Justin, Apol. 1, 66,1-2: PG 6, 428. 181 1 Cor 11:24-25. 182 Cf. Ex 13:3. 183 Cf. Heb 7:25-27. 184 LG 3; cf. 1 Cor 5:7. 185 Lk 22:19-20. 186 Mt 26:28. 187 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740; cf. 1 Cor 11:23; Heb 7:24, 27. 188 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743; cf. Heb 9:14, 27. 189 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Smyrn. 8:1; SCh 10, 138. 190 PO 2 # 4. 191 Council of Trent (1562) DS 1743. 192 St. Monica, before her death, to her sons, St. Augustine and his brother; Conf. 9, 11, 27: PL 32, 775. 193 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 5, 9. 10 PG 33, 1116-1117. 194 St. Augustine, De civ Dei, 10, 6: PL 41, 283; cf. Rom 12:5. 195 Rom 8:34; cf. LG 48. 196 Mt 18:20. 197 Cf. Mt 25:31-46. 198 SC 7. 199 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 73, 3c. 200 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651. 201 Paul VI, MF 39. 202 St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6: PG 49, 380. 203 St. Ambrose, De myst. 9, 50; 52: PL 16, 405-407. 204 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Mt 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Lk 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor 11:24 ff. 205 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641. 206 Paul VI, MF 56. 207 Jn 13:1. 208 Cf. Gal 2:20. 209 John Paul II, Dominicae cenae, 3. 210 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 75, 1; cf. Paul VI, MF 18; St. Cyril of Alexandria, In Luc. 22, 19: PG 72, 912; cf. Paul VI, MF 18. 211 St. Thomas Aquinas (attr.), Adoro te devote; tr. Gerard Manley Hopkins. 212 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 5, 2, 7: PL 16, 447C. 213 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4, 2, 7: PL 16, 437D. 214 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube haec perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis tuae: ut, quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur. 215 Jn 6:53. 216 1 Cor 11:27-29. 217 Roman Missal, response to the invitation to communion; cf. Mt 8:8. 218 Cf. CIC, can. 919. 219 Cf. CIC, can. 917; AAS 76 (1984) 746-747. 220 SC 55. 221 OE 15; CIC, can. 920. 222 GIRM 240. 223 Jn 6:56. 224 Jn 6:57. 225 Fanqith, Syriac Office of Antioch, Vol. 1, Commun., 237 a-b. 226 PO 5. 227 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4, 6, 28: PL 16, 446; cf. 1 Cor 11:26. 228 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638. 229 St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Contra Fab. 28, 16-19: CCL 19A, 813-814. 230 Cf. 1 Cor 12:13. 231 1 Cor 10:16-17. 232 St. Augustine, Sermo 272: PL 38, 1247. 233 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 27, 4: PG 61, 229-230; cf. Mt 25:40. 234 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 26, 13: PL 35, 1613; cf. SC 47. 235 UR 15 # 2; cf. CIC, can. 844 # 3. 236 UR 22 # 3. 237 UR 22 # 3. 238 Cf. CIC, can. 844 # 4. 239 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus. 240 Mt 26:29; cf. Lk 22:18; Mk 14 25. 241 Rev 1:4; 22 20; 1 Cor 16 22. 242 Didache 10, 6: SCh 248,180. 243 Roman Missal 126, embolism after the Our Father: expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi; cf. Titus 2:13. 244 EP III 116: prayer for the dead. 245 2 Pet 3:13. 246 LG 3; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2: SCh 10, 76.
I remember Steffie and Jennifer in my prayers also, along with the rest of your lovely family!
I recently read "The Mass of the Early Christians" by Mike Aquilina, Joseph C. Linck and Scott Hahn. It draws on most of the material you and salvation posted, the Bible and paintings and words/phrases in the earliest Christian catacombs. It is fascinating and, IMO, should be in every sacramental Christian's library.
Since Christ Himself has said, "This is My Body" who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?
-- St Cyril of Jerusalem
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