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Source: (consider it) Thread: Kerygmania: Anamnesis
Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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Hello board! I've never been to Kerygmania before. [Smile]

Anyway, my question.

The Church of England's official statement last year on the Eucharist, put forward by the House of Bishops restates the understanding of that church, that the Eucharist is 'no mere calling to mind' of the Sacrifice of Christ, but a memorial, an anamnesis.

It defines 'anamnesis' (memorial/remembrance)as 'making effectively present here and now an event of the past'. It thus affirms the Real Presence.

Now what I'm wondering is, where did this understanding of memorial/anamnesis come from? It surely isn't the understanding of 'memorial' that we have today. Is 'memorial' one of those words that has had its meaning changed over the years as language developed?

And at the last supper, when Jesus said 'Do this in memory/remembrance of me', was the word used the Aramaic equvalent of the Greek 'anamnesis'?

This seems to be the implication in John 6, and Paul seemed to be expressing this understanding of the Eucharist in his first letter to Corinth.

So biblical scholarly and linguistic types, here's one spikey Anglican, who is genuinely asking, is a major aspect of my faith based on a mistranslation? I'm genuinely asking, as I don't know squat about biblical languages. [Confused]

Thanks,
Regina xxx

[ 19. June 2003, 17:56: Message edited by: Erin ]

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dks
Shipmate
# 2849

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There is increasing agreement about the meaning of the word amnamnesis today. The CofE's defintion is based on it's ecumenical agreements and explorations. The best known being the World Council of Churches report on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. It also crops up in the ARCIC statements.
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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by Regina Caeli:

It defines 'anamnesis' (memorial/remembrance)as 'making effectively present here and now an event of the past'.



That statement in itself raises huge questions - such as if the thing being remembered needs to be "made effective" in the present, does this mean that it was not intrinsically and sovereignly effective in the first place?

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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I think the use of the word 'effectively' is what's caused the confusion here.

'making effectively present here and now an event of the past' doesn't imply that Christ's Sacrifice and Resurrection weren't effective up until that particular celebration of the Eucharist.

It means that the Presence of that Sacrifice of His Body and Blood is effected by the act of the Celebration of the Eucharist. It is a Sacrament. Scarments are defined as 'efectual signs of the grace of God', not because God's grace is ineffective without the Scaraments, but because the Sacraments are the channels through which God's grace is effected/brought about.

But this is verging on the Purgatorial. I was more after the literal meaning of Christ's words, and how the understanding of 'memorial' has developed, if at all.

Thanks.

Regina xxx

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babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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Second hand info warning...

andras explained this to me. The "do this in rememberance of me" is echoing back to the passover and sabbath meals where the Israelites would make the flight from Egypt no longer a thing of the past, but something that happened to them. It was not history, but something that happened/happens to all Jews.

When Jesus said it is tell us to make it present for us too. We are at that last supper. We are there when Judas got up and left to table. We hear Simon declaing that he would never betray Jesus.

It is not something that happened 2000 years ago, but something that is happening every time we celebrate communion.

However, I don't see it affirming the Real Presence at all. Christ is not present in the bread and the wine, but Christ is present in the breaking and the sharing. The bread and wine remain unchanged.

I'll ask andras to try to explain things better. I am expecting him at the Cottage of the 3 Bears and the Gremlin in just over and hour.

bb

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Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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Thanks BB. Most excellent post!

Though if (as do I) one understands that at the Last supper, they were partaking of the Victim of the Sacrifice of the Cross, then your post means the world. Thank you.

I ought to have made things a bit clearer in the OP. The statement does elsewhere specifically affirm the Real Presence by name, and makes reference to the understanding of the term 'anamnesis'.

RC xxx

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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Unfortunately the koinê Greek word anamnêsis is found in only one place outside the New Testament.

This is in an inscription which is badly damaged. Many of the letters are missing.

In other words, looking carefully at the Greek word is not much help.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Degs

Friend of dorothy
# 2824

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quote:
Originally posted by Regina Caeli:
Thanks BB. Most excellent post!
Though if (as do I) one understands that at the Last supper, they were partaking of the Victim of the Sacrifice of the Cross, then your post means the world. Thank you.

This is the whole point.

The 'anamnesis' is not just making the Last Supper effectively present, it is making the sacrifice to which Jesus is referring effectively present.

"This is my body, given for you."

"This is my blood, shed for you."

That offering took place at Calvary.

The 'anamnesis' in the Eucharist is making that event efectively present.

We are in the upper room. We are at the foot of the cross. We are outside the empty tomb.

"This is my body."

"This is my blood."

He is present. We are receiving him.

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The preest when he hath sayd and red all: he gyueth the benedyccion upon all those that be there present and then he doth tourne hym from the people retournynge thyther from whens he came.

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babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by Dorothy's Friend:
This is the whole point.
....
He is present. We are receiving him.

Exactly! This is not some far off, distant thing we do. By our actions and by God's grace we are present at that Supper and we are present at the Cross.

When you realise that it puts a whole different perspective on what is happening.

I asked andras to cast an eye over my previous post. There was only one point that he 'quibbled' with:
quote:
Christ is not present in the bread and the wine, but Christ is present in the breaking and the sharing.
andras would have said that Christ is present in everything.

bb

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Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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Oh babybear, I love you.

I'm so glad I started this thread. We stress so much our differences, but they are all based on the same thing. Oh I'm so happy [Yipee] .

(Sorry)

Thanks Moo for your post on 'anamnesis'. Do you know what the words of Christ at the Last Supper translate to, and if they carry the same connotations that 'anamnesis' does?

I'd really appreciate some insight into that.

Thanks again all. xxxx

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Regina Caeli:
Thanks Moo for your post on 'anamnesis'. Do you know what the words of Christ at the Last Supper translate to, and if they carry the same connotations that 'anamnesis' does?

I assume that he was speaking Aramaic, and unfortunately I know nothing about Aramaic except that it was a Semitic language.

Incidentally, did you realize that the words, 'Do this in remembrance of me' are not found in the Gospels, but in 1Corinthians 11? In the Gospels, after saying 'Take, eat...', Jesus says that he will not drink again until the kingdom of God has come.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
In the Gospels, after saying 'Take, eat...', Jesus says that he will not drink again until the kingdom of God has come.

Precisely! [Happy]

He did not drink of the fruit of the vine again until he drank the vinegar from the hyssop. This was his way of showing that at the meal the night before, what was being consumed was the Victim of the Sacrifice now being offered. They were one and the same.

It is only after Jesus drinks the vinegar (which he has earlier said he will not do until he drink it with us in the kingdom), that he acclaims: "It is finished!"

The Last Supper and the Sacrifice of the Cross are inseparable. This was His point; for without the latter, the former sinks into insignificance. They are part of the same Mystery. And so what is 'made present' at every celebration of the Eucharist, is the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

As a priestly community, we take part in the offering of that Sacrifice, and we, like the disciples, eat the Victim of that Sacrifice in Holy Communion.

quote:
And now, O Father, mindful of the love
that bought us, once for all, on Calvary's Tree;
and having with us Him that pleads above,
we here present, we here spread forth to Thee
that only Offering perfect in Thine eyes:
the one, true, pure, immortal Sacrifice.

And so we come: O draw us to thy feet,
most patient Saviour, who canst love us still.
And by this food, so awesome and so sweet,
deliver us from every touch of ill.
In thine own service make us glad and free,
and grant us never more to part from Thee.

RC x
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Degs

Friend of dorothy
# 2824

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quote:
Originally posted by Regina Caeli:
Oh babybear, I love you.

Oh. you're very welcome!

--------------------
The preest when he hath sayd and red all: he gyueth the benedyccion upon all those that be there present and then he doth tourne hym from the people retournynge thyther from whens he came.

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babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by Decanus*:
Oh. you're very welcome!

[Big Grin] Ah, you know what these young things are like. They get so excited. If you had explained first you would have been the object of this gushy love. Just be grateful that you are not subjected to it. [Big Grin]

bb

*You have changed your name!

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Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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quote:
Originally posted by babybear:
Just be grateful that you are not subjected to it. [Big Grin]

Oi! [Angel]

Oh Decanus! Don't go all stroppy, please. You know I love you too. [Heart]

I'm sorry if you felt a bit left out. Of course I love you. You tolerated my drunken chasing after a particular manipulative blond. Thank you for making me see sense. x [Wink]

MM xxx

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Degs

Friend of dorothy
# 2824

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quote:
Originally posted by Regina Caeli:
Oh Decanus! Don't go all stroppy, please. You know I love you too. [Heart]

You tolerated my drunken chasing after a particular manipulative blond. Thank you for making me see sense. x [Wink]

Just winding you up. [Big Grin] [Heart]

Seen sense, eh? [Confused]

Thank you for starting the thread - never been to Kerygmania before.

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The preest when he hath sayd and red all: he gyueth the benedyccion upon all those that be there present and then he doth tourne hym from the people retournynge thyther from whens he came.

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Degs

Friend of dorothy
# 2824

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quote:
Originally posted by babybear:
*You have changed your name!

Yes. Dorothy's Friend had a couple of (deserved) hostly tickings off, so he's gone away to rest awhile. [Roll Eyes]

Besides I wanted to be pompous about my recently acquired Ruridecanal 'status'. [Snore]

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The preest when he hath sayd and red all: he gyueth the benedyccion upon all those that be there present and then he doth tourne hym from the people retournynge thyther from whens he came.

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Pedantry warning:

Nice one trying to claim supremacy for the gospels on grounds of greater authenticity.

The Corinthians version is commonly held to be the earliest existant account of the last supper.
Written by a friend of a friend if you like but still closer than a friend of a friend of .... which you get in the gospels.

In other words its more Gospel than the Gospels. Hence its use in a lot of communion services and its importance for this debate.

By the way the Lukan account has two cups!

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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Saint Osmund

Pontifex sariburiensis
# 2343

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie:
By the way the Lukan account has two cups!

This poses no problem. If it was a Passover meal, then there would have been four anyway (I think).

Scott Khan goes into some depth about Jesus' celebration of the Passover that night, and points out that he didn't drink of the last cup, which anyone familiar with the Passover would notice instantly as being odd.

He then goes on to link that with Jesus not drinking of the fruit of the vine again &c &c, then his prayer that the cup pass from him. He then partook of the cup on the cross, which was the climax of the Passover. I'll see if I can find anything by him online.

Regina, x

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by Regina Caeli:

The what is 'made present' at every celebration of the Eucharist, is the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

You have to be a bit careful here - yes, Calvary is "made present" (more of this anon), but the Eucharistic rite is not a further sacrificing of Jesus, for the reasons stated in my first post.

The locus of the sacrifice (if there is one), for the early church at least, lay in the offering by the worshippers of themselves and/or the material gifts of the earth (bread, wine, and a whole lot of other things it seems). Prior to about 200 there was no "altar" as such, neither prior to Tertullian do we find "episkopoi/presbyteroi" becoming hieroi or sacerdos (note that the only reference to a priestly ministry in the Pauline canon is to his preaching and apostolic activity, not to any liturgical role he thought he had). Now, this is not to say that developments around 200 - 300 (particularly via Cyprian) are unreasonable or wrong per se, but it does need remembering (doh!) that the church did very well without such concepts at certain points in its history.

I'm not sure how the disciples can be described as eating the victim of this particular sacrifice as his body was clearly intact and present in one particular place in front of them.

Now, as to "making present" - one thing has to be remembered (there I go again): Calvary happened whether you, me, Rowan Williams or Josef Ratzinger acknowledge it or not - it is an effective reality that does not, in itself, require human assent or even participation. Therefore, I think it fundamentally wrong to speak of a Eucharist as "re-presenting" in the sense of "re-enact" or even "effecting". Rather, it is, through symbol/sign and action a vehicle for temporal, corporeal human beings to enter into realities beyond themselves, thus being transformed. (See the Blessed Rowan's "On Christian Theology" on the nature of sacraments - as signs for ordering the world, with the emphasis that this is a sign given to us by God). The Eucharist is a "mystery" in its proper NT sense - something that reveals the previously hidden world of God. ("Sacrament" is a rather second rate term, leading us into dull arguments about the actual channelling of grace, as if it were produced in little packets to be distributed.)

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Dyfrig:
Rather, it is, through symbol/sign and action a vehicle for temporal, corporeal human beings to enter into realities beyond themselves, thus being transformed. [snip] The Eucharist is a "mystery" in its proper NT sense - something that reveals the previously hidden world of God. ("Sacrament" is a rather second rate term....)

Hear, hear!

Reader Alexis

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Spong

Ship's coffee grinder
# 1518

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There's a note in the House of Bishops report 'Eucharistic Presidency' which refers to anamnesis:
quote:

The theological theme of 'remembering' has a strong background in Jewish thought, and the Hebrew root zkr has rich associations of meanings: not only to recall, but to remember in such a way that the past is felt to impinge directly on the present, and hope is renewed for the future. (note 2 to chapter 4)

Don't ask me to explain, but it seemed to be sort of relevant...

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Spong

The needs of our neighbours are the needs of the whole human family. Let's respond just as we do when our immediate family is in need or trouble. Rowan Williams

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