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Sacraments: The Eucharist Steve Surprenant, MBA, STB/MA Senior Vice President & COO Mercy Community Health, CT February 3, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Sacraments: The Eucharist Steve Surprenant, MBA, STB/MA Senior Vice President & COO Mercy Community Health, CT February 3, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sacraments: The Eucharist Steve Surprenant, MBA, STB/MA Senior Vice President & COO Mercy Community Health, CT February 3, 2009

2 Objectives Understand the biblical foundations of the Catholic Sacrament of The Eucharist Understand the biblical foundations of the Catholic Sacrament of The Eucharist Understand the impact of historical changes on the Sacrament of The Eucharist Understand the impact of historical changes on the Sacrament of The Eucharist Understand the current sacramental theology of the Sacrament of The Eucharist Understand the current sacramental theology of the Sacrament of The Eucharist

3 Today’s Agenda Introduction Introduction Sacraments of The Eucharist Sacraments of The Eucharist New Testament and in the early Christian communities New Testament and in the early Christian communities The evolution of Catholic interpretation The evolution of Catholic interpretation The Middle Ages and The Council of Trent The Middle Ages and The Council of Trent The contemporary theology of the Sacrament of The Eucharist The contemporary theology of the Sacrament of The Eucharist Following Vatican II Following Vatican II

4 Introduction Catholic Church Catholic Church Also called Roman Catholic Church Also called Roman Catholic Church “catholic” from Greek for “universal” “catholic” from Greek for “universal” All come under the jurisdiction of the Pope, successor of Saint Peter, Bishop of Rome All come under the jurisdiction of the Pope, successor of Saint Peter, Bishop of Rome Western Rite (Latin Rite) Western Rite (Latin Rite) Eastern Catholic Churches (comprised of 22 rites) Eastern Catholic Churches (comprised of 22 rites) Byzantine, Coptic, Armenian, Maronite, Syriac and Chaldean Byzantine, Coptic, Armenian, Maronite, Syriac and Chaldean Scope of Discussion Scope of Discussion

5 What is a Sacrament? The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions. (#1131) The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions. (#1131) A sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols. Their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ. (#1145) A sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols. Their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ. (#1145) Signs taken up by Christ. In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant, above all to the Exodus and the Passover, for he himself is the meaning of all these signs. (#1151) Signs taken up by Christ. In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant, above all to the Exodus and the Passover, for he himself is the meaning of all these signs. (#1151)

6 The Holy Eucharist "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.‘” (#1323) "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.‘” (#1323) "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.” (#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.” (#1325)

7 Signs and Symbols The Passover Meal The Passover Meal Early Christians viewed the Last Supper from the viewpoint of the Passover meal Early Christians viewed the Last Supper from the viewpoint of the Passover meal The apostles would have seen a short- legged table surrounded by cushions where they would sit The apostles would have seen a short- legged table surrounded by cushions where they would sit On the table was a bowl of saltwater and dish of bitter herbs On the table was a bowl of saltwater and dish of bitter herbs A container of mashed apples, raisins and plums coated with cinnamon looked like the bricks they made A container of mashed apples, raisins and plums coated with cinnamon looked like the bricks they made

8 The Passover Meal Platters of unleavened bread stood next to the large Cup of Blessing filled with wine Platters of unleavened bread stood next to the large Cup of Blessing filled with wine A roasted lamb symbolized the sacrificial quality of the meal and recalled the blood of a lamb on their doorposts that saved them A roasted lamb symbolized the sacrificial quality of the meal and recalled the blood of a lamb on their doorposts that saved them Psalms and prayers were recited to recall the ancient event when God saved the people of Israel from Egypt Psalms and prayers were recited to recall the ancient event when God saved the people of Israel from Egypt

9 The Last Supper Jesus opened the meal with a psalm that praised God for his mighty deeds of salvation in the Exodus. Jesus opened the meal with a psalm that praised God for his mighty deeds of salvation in the Exodus. Then he took the bread, gave thanks for it and, breaking tradition, followed this with new words: “Take and eat. This is my body that will be given up for you.” Then he took the bread, gave thanks for it and, breaking tradition, followed this with new words: “Take and eat. This is my body that will be given up for you.” This bread was now his body. It would be given up, that is offered on the cross. This bread was now his body. It would be given up, that is offered on the cross.

10 The Last Supper At the end of the meal, Jesus took the Cup of Blessing filled with wine and again broke tradition and said, “Take and drink...This is my blood... It will be shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins.” At the end of the meal, Jesus took the Cup of Blessing filled with wine and again broke tradition and said, “Take and drink...This is my blood... It will be shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins.” Once more Christ referred to his forth- coming passion where he would shed his blood Once more Christ referred to his forth- coming passion where he would shed his blood As they drank of the one cup and ate of the one bread, they experienced their unity in Christ As they drank of the one cup and ate of the one bread, they experienced their unity in Christ

11 The Last Supper Finally, Christ gave them and their successors the power to celebrate Eucharist: “Do this in memory of me.” Finally, Christ gave them and their successors the power to celebrate Eucharist: “Do this in memory of me.” They all sang a psalm and Jesus went forth to his saving death and resurrection They all sang a psalm and Jesus went forth to his saving death and resurrection In this event Jesus gave us the sacrament of the Eucharist and the ordained priesthood In this event Jesus gave us the sacrament of the Eucharist and the ordained priesthood

12 The Early Church Early Church followed command of Jesus and “broke bread” in His Memory Early Church followed command of Jesus and “broke bread” in His Memory Over time, the apostles and their successors developed the Eucharistic celebration into the structure that endures to this day Over time, the apostles and their successors developed the Eucharistic celebration into the structure that endures to this day First named it the “Breaking of the Bread” First named it the “Breaking of the Bread” Soon the need to separate the rite from a meal, both because of abuses at meals (1 Cor 11:17-22) and because they wanted a more prayerful setting for this act of worship Soon the need to separate the rite from a meal, both because of abuses at meals (1 Cor 11:17-22) and because they wanted a more prayerful setting for this act of worship

13 The Early Church Eucharist was moved to Sunday in memory of Christ’s resurrection Eucharist was moved to Sunday in memory of Christ’s resurrection In place of the meal the early Christians created a Liturgy of the Word In place of the meal the early Christians created a Liturgy of the Word Modeled after synagogue prayer Modeled after synagogue prayer Included readings from Scripture, singing of psalms and an instruction Included readings from Scripture, singing of psalms and an instruction Around the words of Jesus, they added prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession (eucharistein = thanksgiving) Around the words of Jesus, they added prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession (eucharistein = thanksgiving)

14 The Early Church By year 150, the basic structure of the Mass was already in place By year 150, the basic structure of the Mass was already in place Held in people’s homes Held in people’s homes As communities grew, became more difficult As communities grew, became more difficult 2 nd and 3 rd Centuries 2 nd and 3 rd Centuries Absent the Apostles, began to reflect upon the writings of 1 st generation leaders – Paul Absent the Apostles, began to reflect upon the writings of 1 st generation leaders – Paul When Jewish-Christians were no longer welcome at the synagogue service, they added its prayers, singing, chanting, and homily to the Eucharistic liturgy When Jewish-Christians were no longer welcome at the synagogue service, they added its prayers, singing, chanting, and homily to the Eucharistic liturgy

15 The Early Church Liturgy of the Word on Sunday Liturgy of the Word on Sunday Two readings by a lector Two readings by a lector Homily by the priest Homily by the priest Eucharistic Prayer and Communion Eucharistic Prayer and Communion A collection for widows, orphans and needy! A collection for widows, orphans and needy! Celebrant had considerable freedom in the creation of prayers Celebrant had considerable freedom in the creation of prayers Over time, became more standardized Over time, became more standardized Second Eucharistic Prayer from Hippolytus of Rome in 215 was incorporated by many communities Second Eucharistic Prayer from Hippolytus of Rome in 215 was incorporated by many communities

16 Changes in the Celebration Year 313 was a turning point Year 313 was a turning point Persecutions suddenly ended and Constantine gave freedom to Christians Persecutions suddenly ended and Constantine gave freedom to Christians Used basilicas for Eucharistic worship so modest house churches gradually ceased Used basilicas for Eucharistic worship so modest house churches gradually ceased Stately ceremonies suitable in a huge church emerged. Processions, courtly movement in the sanctuary, metered chant (composed by St. Ambrose) and sung litanies Stately ceremonies suitable in a huge church emerged. Processions, courtly movement in the sanctuary, metered chant (composed by St. Ambrose) and sung litanies

17 Changes in the Celebration Latin became the language of the celebrations Latin became the language of the celebrations Incense and bells, kissing sacred objects and the use of genuflections began to accompany the ancient structure of the Eucharist Incense and bells, kissing sacred objects and the use of genuflections began to accompany the ancient structure of the Eucharist The celebrants wore vestments, clothes worthy of a Roman senator The celebrants wore vestments, clothes worthy of a Roman senator Simple plates and cups of house worship became elaborate chalices and patens Simple plates and cups of house worship became elaborate chalices and patens

18 Changes in the Celebration 7 th C, Pope Gregory the Great declared that the Latin Mass in Rome was the standard for the Western church 7 th C, Pope Gregory the Great declared that the Latin Mass in Rome was the standard for the Western church Pope Gregory's decree, with some changes made by Pope Pius V in 1570, gave the Roman rite its basic form until the reforms of Vatican II Pope Gregory's decree, with some changes made by Pope Pius V in 1570, gave the Roman rite its basic form until the reforms of Vatican II An inevitable evolution due to social acceptance, organizing an empire-size Church and, indeed, ecclesial prosperity An inevitable evolution due to social acceptance, organizing an empire-size Church and, indeed, ecclesial prosperity

19 Changes in the Celebration This era witnessed the rise of extraordinary bishops, known now as Church Fathers, such as Augustine and Chrysostom, whose homilies were rich in theology and pastoral in application This era witnessed the rise of extraordinary bishops, known now as Church Fathers, such as Augustine and Chrysostom, whose homilies were rich in theology and pastoral in application Their theme was “The Body of Christ [Eucharist] builds the Body of Christ [Church].“ Their theme was “The Body of Christ [Eucharist] builds the Body of Christ [Church].“ “Become that which you receive.” “Become that which you receive.”

20 Changes in the Celebration The sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist grew in importance while the meal symbolism faded into the background The sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist grew in importance while the meal symbolism faded into the background The theology stressed Christ's divinity The theology stressed Christ's divinity Led to the people feeling less worthy to approach the Lord, the creator and judge of the universe Led to the people feeling less worthy to approach the Lord, the creator and judge of the universe As a result, there was a decline in the reception of communion As a result, there was a decline in the reception of communion

21 “The Ages of Faith” (9 th – 15 th C) “The Ages of Faith” (9 th – 15 th C) Stunning Gothic cathedrals in medieval Europe signaled a resurgence of faith Stunning Gothic cathedrals in medieval Europe signaled a resurgence of faith Religious processions, pilgrimages to holy shrines, and birth of new religious orders Religious processions, pilgrimages to holy shrines, and birth of new religious orders But also decline in active participation in the Mass But also decline in active participation in the Mass Emphasis on the sacrificial nature of the mass Emphasis on the sacrificial nature of the mass Growing sense that the laity were spectators to a drama unfolding on the altar Growing sense that the laity were spectators to a drama unfolding on the altar Led to a feeling that the consecration was the high point of the Mass Led to a feeling that the consecration was the high point of the Mass

22 “The Ages of Faith” Focus fell not on receiving Jesus in communion but on seeing and adoring the Lord in the Eucharist Focus fell not on receiving Jesus in communion but on seeing and adoring the Lord in the Eucharist The assembly was removed from participating by screens of stone or iron that hid the choir and altar from public view The assembly was removed from participating by screens of stone or iron that hid the choir and altar from public view Ringing of bells were introduced to focus attention of the congregants to the consecration Ringing of bells were introduced to focus attention of the congregants to the consecration

23 “The Ages of Faith” The monks and priests conducted their corporate liturgy away from the assembly The monks and priests conducted their corporate liturgy away from the assembly The Mass remained in Latin, even though people began using their local languages for most things in their lives The Mass remained in Latin, even though people began using their local languages for most things in their lives When the people complained of the Mass’s remoteness, they were given side altar Masses where the priest faced the wall and prayed in Latin When the people complained of the Mass’s remoteness, they were given side altar Masses where the priest faced the wall and prayed in Latin

24 “The Ages of Faith” The people compensated for their estrangement by asking the priest to hold up the host for their view and adoration The people compensated for their estrangement by asking the priest to hold up the host for their view and adoration Many Catholics had ceased receiving Communion Many Catholics had ceased receiving Communion Had long since moved to using “the host” at Mass (sacrificial nature of the term) Had long since moved to using “the host” at Mass (sacrificial nature of the term) Lateran Council IV (1215) also mandated Communion at least once a year at Easter time Lateran Council IV (1215) also mandated Communion at least once a year at Easter time Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament became popular along with benediction, Corpus Christi processions, etc. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament became popular along with benediction, Corpus Christi processions, etc.

25 “The Ages of Faith” At Lateran IV Church affirmed Christ’s Real Presence and introduced the concept of transubstantiation (Thomas Aquinas) At Lateran IV Church affirmed Christ’s Real Presence and introduced the concept of transubstantiation (Thomas Aquinas) All things are made up of “substance” and “accidents” All things are made up of “substance” and “accidents” During the Eucharistic celebration, the “substance” of the bread and the wine are replaced with the “substance” or “being” of Christ During the Eucharistic celebration, the “substance” of the bread and the wine are replaced with the “substance” or “being” of Christ Therefore, Jesus’ Real Presence in His Body and Blood at the celebration of the Mass Therefore, Jesus’ Real Presence in His Body and Blood at the celebration of the Mass

26 The Reformation Council of Trent (1545) to deal with the Reformation and its challenges Council of Trent (1545) to deal with the Reformation and its challenges Re-affirmed “Real Presence” and theology of Transubstantiation Re-affirmed “Real Presence” and theology of Transubstantiation Upheld “sacrificial nature” of the Mass Upheld “sacrificial nature” of the Mass In 1570, Pius V decreed a standard book for the celebration of Mass for the West In 1570, Pius V decreed a standard book for the celebration of Mass for the West Participation of the people would be devotional rather than liturgical Participation of the people would be devotional rather than liturgical Mass text was to remain in Latin Mass text was to remain in Latin

27 The Late Middle Ages Introduction of Baroque architecture Introduction of Baroque architecture Choir stalls, screens and walls were removed Choir stalls, screens and walls were removed Distance between altar and assembly was shortened; separated only by altar rail Distance between altar and assembly was shortened; separated only by altar rail Altar was placed against the wall, which was lavishly decorated from floor to ceiling Altar was placed against the wall, which was lavishly decorated from floor to ceiling Tabernacle rested on the altar and above it was a niche provided for exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Tabernacle rested on the altar and above it was a niche provided for exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Soaring pulpit was situated near the middle of the Church indicating the importance of a sermon but not a homily Soaring pulpit was situated near the middle of the Church indicating the importance of a sermon but not a homily

28 The Late Middle Ages Worship space glowed with self-confidence and triumph Worship space glowed with self-confidence and triumph Suited the mood of this Counter-Reformation Suited the mood of this Counter-Reformation Church was a throne room; the assembly was the audience Church was a throne room; the assembly was the audience Sadly, most Eucharists were “Low Masses,” generally without music and which the assembly attended in silence Sadly, most Eucharists were “Low Masses,” generally without music and which the assembly attended in silence Eventually, in the 19th century, it became clear that a return to the sources of the liturgy was needed Eventually, in the 19th century, it became clear that a return to the sources of the liturgy was needed

29 Pre-Vatican Council Mid 1800’s liturgical change had begun Mid 1800’s liturgical change had begun Benedictines revived earlier liturgical practices and were studying the roots of Christian liturgy Benedictines revived earlier liturgical practices and were studying the roots of Christian liturgy Pope Pius X ( ) encouraged the use of Gregorian chant, frequent Communion and lowering the age for First Communion Pope Pius X ( ) encouraged the use of Gregorian chant, frequent Communion and lowering the age for First Communion Pius XII’s Mediator Dei (1947) lent powerful impetus to the liturgical movement Pius XII’s Mediator Dei (1947) lent powerful impetus to the liturgical movement 1951 Joseph Jungmann, S.J., published The Mass of the Roman Rite, that revealed the complex history of the Mass Joseph Jungmann, S.J., published The Mass of the Roman Rite, that revealed the complex history of the Mass.

30 Vatican Council First document approved by Vatican II was Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963) First document approved by Vatican II was Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963) Little debate and very small opposition, the Constitution on the Liturgy was approved by the Council Fathers vote 2,147 to 4 opposed “The liturgy is the summit to which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows” (10). Little debate and very small opposition, the Constitution on the Liturgy was approved by the Council Fathers vote 2,147 to 4 opposed “The liturgy is the summit to which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows” (10). The celebration of the Eucharist is the celebration of the entire community The celebration of the Eucharist is the celebration of the entire community

31 Post-Vatican II A number of changes were introduced A number of changes were introduced Priest now faced the people Priest now faced the people Vernacular languages replaced the Latin Vernacular languages replaced the Latin People shook hands at the greeting of peace People shook hands at the greeting of peace Congregation was asked to participate actively in the Mass, to sing and pray at various times Congregation was asked to participate actively in the Mass, to sing and pray at various times Inclusion of the Prayer of the Faithful Inclusion of the Prayer of the Faithful People were invited to receive Communion People were invited to receive Communion Either in the hand or on the tongue and to stand at its reception Either in the hand or on the tongue and to stand at its reception They were offered the chalice so they could share Communion under both species, the Eucharistic Bread and Wine They were offered the chalice so they could share Communion under both species, the Eucharistic Bread and Wine

32 Post-Vatican II Laity and religious could serve Communion as extraordinary ministers Laity and religious could serve Communion as extraordinary ministers Married deacons appeared, to assist the priest at Mass and to preach homilies Married deacons appeared, to assist the priest at Mass and to preach homilies Entrance processions were added Entrance processions were added People brought up the gifts at the presentation of the offerings People brought up the gifts at the presentation of the offerings Mass readings provided a three-year series of Scripture in which large sections of the Bible would be heard Mass readings provided a three-year series of Scripture in which large sections of the Bible would be heard Homilies were expected to explain Scripture and apply it to everyday life Homilies were expected to explain Scripture and apply it to everyday life

33 Post-Vatican II Church architecture became functional and minimalist in decoration Church architecture became functional and minimalist in decoration Guitar Masses surfaced and new hymns were composed, leading to many arguments about taste and suitability Guitar Masses surfaced and new hymns were composed, leading to many arguments about taste and suitability Some experimentation went over the top. But in fact the amazing thing is how little disturbance actually happened Some experimentation went over the top. But in fact the amazing thing is how little disturbance actually happened The dreams of the liturgical movement were fulfilled and expanded upon. People are realizing that they can enrich their spirituality mainly from the celebration of the Eucharist The dreams of the liturgical movement were fulfilled and expanded upon. People are realizing that they can enrich their spirituality mainly from the celebration of the Eucharist

34 Concluding Thoughts Changes in the Eucharistic celebration, whether large or small, have been occurring since the Last Supper Changes in the Eucharistic celebration, whether large or small, have been occurring since the Last Supper The basics have never changed, but the details, decisions by Church authority and the attitudes of the participants have undergone modifications and development The basics have never changed, but the details, decisions by Church authority and the attitudes of the participants have undergone modifications and development In this sense the celebration of the Eucharist is a dynamic and living reality In this sense the celebration of the Eucharist is a dynamic and living reality

35 Concluding Thoughts While a constant diet of experimentation is not healthy, a loving attention to the quality of the divine celebration is a necessity While a constant diet of experimentation is not healthy, a loving attention to the quality of the divine celebration is a necessity The noble core of the Eucharist from the Upper Room to an urban cathedral or a village church has withstood the tumults of history—and always will The noble core of the Eucharist from the Upper Room to an urban cathedral or a village church has withstood the tumults of history—and always will Today, we emphasize "celebrating the Eucharist." The mass is public worship in which the community, led by the priest, join in thanking, praising, and adoring God Today, we emphasize "celebrating the Eucharist." The mass is public worship in which the community, led by the priest, join in thanking, praising, and adoring God


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