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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Eucharist
Stoic29
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I have been reading The Hidden Manna by O'Connor which is considered a landmark study of the Eucharist. It seems almost universal that, in the early Church through the Middle Ages, both East and West believed that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ ("the real presence"). Transubstantiation was not a common term (or any other such term), as this was a latter description to try to articulate what happens at the Lord's Supper. Regardless of the term used, for the first 1,500 years Christians believed that, when they partook of the Supper, that they were actually receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and not a mere memorial.

How do you understand the Eucharist? For me, I wouldn't use the term transubstantiation. Rather, I think I would accept what the Orthodox believe: that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, but it is a mystery as to how this happens.

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Öd’ und leer das Meer

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betjemaniac
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My eucharistic theology is entirely RC. I'm eccentric enough to continue to believe it works in a CofE setting despite the RC objections to that!

[ 17. February 2017, 13:00: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Forthview
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'transubstantiation' is merely a medieval attempt to explain that the bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ during the celebration of the eucharist. The term was coined round about the time of the Council of the Lateran
in 1215.

During the conflicts about doctrine at the time of the Protestant Reformation the Council of Trent
in 1551 affirmed the traditional doctrine, adding that 'this change the Holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly named transubstantiation.

The Council of Trent did not attempt to explain how the change takes place , but provided a term which attempts to explain what takes place.

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Gamaliel
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There is 'mere memorialism' and 'mere memorialism'.

Not all 'mere memorialists' are merely memorialist ...

I've gradually moved to a 'higher' view of the eucharist from a very 'low' base but wouldn't know where to begin trying to define such a thing. I don't envisage it in 'transubstantiation' terms but understand how such terms came about.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Stoic29
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It seems to me, for discussion purposes, that there can be two broad answers:

1) The Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. As to how this happens, we don't truly know. Regardless of how, we know that it truly is Christ Himself.

or

2) The Eucharist is a memorial supper and we do not consider the Eucharist to be truly the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.

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Öd’ und leer das Meer

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Stoic29:
It seems to me, for discussion purposes, that there can be two broad answers:

1) The Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. As to how this happens, we don't truly know. Regardless of how, we know that it truly is Christ Himself.

or

2) The Eucharist is a memorial supper and we do not consider the Eucharist to be truly the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.

surely 3?
1) transubstantiation
2) consubstantiation
3) memorial supper

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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sorry, forgot
4) unnecessary (eg Salvation Army approach AIUI)

[ 17. February 2017, 14:37: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
surely 3?
1) transubstantiation
2) consubstantiation
3) memorial supper

If you're going to break real presence up in these "major" categories, I'd think you must include receptionism as another category. And Lutheran-style sacramental union, although there's some fuzzy edges in these groups.

I suppose I'd make a division between real presence and memorialism, and then within real presence one between an objective change in the elements vs some of the non-local and faith-requiring descriptions, and then ...

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
surely 3?
1) transubstantiation
2) consubstantiation
3) memorial supper

If you're going to break real presence up in these "major" categories, I'd think you must include receptionism as another category. And Lutheran-style sacramental union, although there's some fuzzy edges in these groups.

I suppose I'd make a division between real presence and memorialism, and then within real presence one between an objective change in the elements vs some of the non-local and faith-requiring descriptions, and then ...

Absolutely - although as you say it's fuzzy. In my head, and I appreciate there's a huge volume of literature arguing against what I'm about to say, I really do struggle to differentiate receptionism, sacramental union and consubstantiation on anything more than the most technical of technicalities. HST eucharistic theory is nothing if not technicalities!

I accept that's my problem rather than that of the churches which subscribe to any one of those three and have laid down why a isn't b or c (for example), but parsing them has always made my head hurt!

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Gamaliel
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There's also the Reformed position - the Calvinist one - and Calvin had a lot more 'realised' view of the Eucharist than many of those who claim him as an influence.

That doesn't fit the three neat categories of transubstantiation, consubstantiation or memorialism.

It certainly isn't a merely 'memorialist' position.

But neither is it a 'consubstantiation' or 'transubstantiation' one either.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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Whoops - just realised that Leorning Cniht has already referred to this - 'receptionism' ...

Although, if I understand it correctly, the Reformed would argue that their position isn't as simple as 'mere receptionism' if I can put it that way.

Perhaps Jengie Jon can enlighten us ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Stoic29
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In the Anglican communion, there seems to be a wide range of understanding. Most high-church would understand the Eucharist in a real-presence sense, which many low-church may understand as a mere memorial.

Strange how priests within high and low churches are ordained by the same bishop, yet may have radically different understandings of the Eucharist.

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Öd’ und leer das Meer

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
sorry, forgot
4) unnecessary (eg Salvation Army approach AIUI)

I wasn't going to comment, not having a dog in this fight, but seeing that someone whistled I just would say that 'unnecessary' does make our position sound flippant, trite and dismissive.

There's a whole lot going on under that one word.

Salvationists would actually say that we are highly sacramental but that we have de-ritualised the Eucharist and place the crucified and risen Christ at the heart of all that we do.

If Schillebeekx is correct, that Christ is the sacrament of God and the church is the sacrament of Christ, then all that the church does is a sacrament.

We have never denied the efficacy of bread and wine as a means of grace (without actually specifiying how it is a means of grace) but would suggest that there are not two sacraments, there are not even seven, but many things that can be used or seen as means of grace.

In response to the word 'unnecessary' we would say that partaking of bread and wine is not 'necessary' for the reception of grace and for salvation - though it may well be very helpful - but keeping the cross, the sacrifice of Jesus, at the heart of worship is absolutely vital.

[ 17. February 2017, 17:06: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Enoch
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Last time there was a thread on this, I cited Queen Elizabeth I,

Twas God the Word that spake it,
He took the Bread and brake it:
And what that Word did make it,
That I believe and take it.

It isn't just compromise, evasiveness or temporising. What she's saying is that whatever Jesus meant at the Last Supper, and whatever priest/clergyperson/minister/pastor thinks they mean, that is what happens. It's irrespective of our attempts to pigeonhole it theologically.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Gamaliel
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Hmmm ... Mudfrog, a few observations and a question ...

1) I am very grateful to you for explaining the SA position on this issue a number of times on these boards. I understand it a lot more thanks to you.

2) I recognise that you don't have a dog in this fight and are only responding to a whistle. Fair enough.

Here's the question ...

Could it not be construed that by 'de-ritualising' the eucharist and insisting that everything we do is sacramental (with which I agree) the SA is, in some way, making a tacit value-judgement against those for whom the physical/sacramental act remains important?

Sure, it's not as if the SA is tearing down altars and over-turning communion tables ... nor is it mocking or scoffing those who practice such things.

But by claiming that you 'place the crucified and risen Christ at the heart of all that we do', could it not be construed that you are implying that others aren't?

Ok, so I hold my hand up to a dilemma here ...

To what extent is an apostate cleric or an uber-liberal Spong-y type one who might even be an atheist/theist as it were, placing the crucified and risen Christ at the heart of what they do?

But if we leave those extremes aside for a moment, then surely regularly celebrating the eucharist which - even if understood in 'merely memorialist' terms - does 'represent' the crucified and risen Christ in some way is a means of placing the crucified and risen Christ at the heart of what we do?

It's often jibed that ultra-low church folk celebrate 'the real absence' rather than the 'real presence' ...

Of course, Christ is present everywhere - there is nowhere we can 'flee' from his presence. God is omnipresent, 'present everywhere and filling all things ...'

But you seem to imply that having a 'realised' sense of God's presence in some sacramental way somehow militates against an awareness of his presence in other ways.

I don't know of anyone, not even the most hyper of hyper-sacramentalists - who would claim that God is only present in the sacraments or is somehow constrained purely to working in and through them and in no other way ...

I may have misunderstood your point. In which case I apologise. But as a both/and not either/or person on most issues I don't quite understand the distinction you are making here - seems like a false dichotomy to me.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jengie jon

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Right anyone who thinks Reformed theology is non-mystical please suspend you concerns for rationality for a while, please. What comes below is my understanding. It draws strongly on Reformed mysticism, gives a good dose of sociological thinking and

First of all, let us grasp the two forms of time within Reformed theology. There are Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is everyday time. Kairos is Salvific time. This is important because the Eucharist happens in Kairos and Kairos is not linear. Indeed it is more like the rings of a tree, what is happening now in Chronos happen within the salvific act in Kairos. The act of salvation is present.

To us as human's what we experience is perhaps better portrayed by Foucault's idea of Heterotopia, a place where multiple realities are present. We, therefore, share bread and wine but we participate in much more, not just the events of Maundy Thursday to Easter day but in creation, in God's promise to Noah, in the God who walks between the animals in creation of a covenant with Abraham, the rescuing of the Hebrews from Egypt and the appearance of Sinia, the temple code, Davidic Kingship, the exile, the incarnation, the ascension and on through the life of the Church to the heavenly banquet.

The bread and wine are the elements of the last supper, the blood and body of God which we participate in, but they are also the sacrifices of the temple, they are the ram killed instead of Isaac and they are the food of the heavenly banquet.

I, therefore, say there are three icons that form a triptych which we use for understanding the Eucharist:
  • Covenant sacrifice, either for sin, although I particularly think we need to look at the way God uses sacrifice with respect to covenants in the OT. A sacrifice seems to be an intrinsic part of making a covenant.
  • Fellowship meal we look first at the act of Maundy Thursday, but you also need to look at the altar fellowship in the Old Testament, the appearance of God to Abraham at the oak in Mamre and to the other meals Jesus shared with his disciples including the post-resurrection ones.
  • Great Banquet, the feast at the end of time that all the saved participate in. This can be seen as foreshadowed in various parables and events in the gospel. There is a sense in partaking of the eucharist is participation in the banquet and joining in the dance of the divine Godhead. This bringing heaven down into the life of the Church is actually the central understanding of John Calvin's teaching on the Eucharist.*
When we focus heavily on a single icon within the triptych we loose much in our understanding to be garnered from the others and also of the interplay within the others.

Jengie

*This is why Calvin can be interpreted so widely by commentators. We try to place him on a dimension between Memorialism and Transubstantiation but he is somewhere else completely.

[ 17. February 2017, 17:47: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Whoops - just realised that Leorning Cniht has already referred to this - 'receptionism' ...

Although, if I understand it correctly, the Reformed would argue that their position isn't as simple as 'mere receptionism' if I can put it that way.

Perhaps Jengie Jon can enlighten us ...

If the Scots Confession of 1560 may be taken as indicative of a classical reformed position, this might be illustrative
quote:
And thairfoir quhasaeuer sclanderis ws as that we affirmit or beleuit sacramentis to be onlie nakit and bair signis do Iniurie vnto ws and speikis aganis the manifest treuth Bot this liberallie and franklie we confess that we mak ane distinctioun betuix christ Jesus in his eternall substance and betuix the elementis in the sacramental signis Sa that we will nouther wirschip the signis in place of that quhilk is signifyit bethame nother yit do we dispyse and interpreit thame as vnprofitabill and vaine bot do vse thame with all reuerence examining our selfis diligentlie befoir that sa we do because we ar assurit be the mouth of the Apostle that sic as eit of that breid and drink of that coup vnworthely ar gyltie of the body and of the blude of christ Jesus
The rejection of 'naked and bare signs', suggests that is not 'as simple as mere receptionsm'.

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
Crist ny buv e trist yth orsset.

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Jengie jon

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Sorry Gamaliel

I think I did answer your question while posting my own position. Receptionism/Memorialism is one strand of Reformed thought coming from Zwingli. The other that goes back to Calvin is a lot more complex. The sort of language we would use is we partake of Christs Body and Blood in the aspect that we partake in the Eucharist of the heavenly banquet.

What the above theology in practice means is that we are taught almost accidentally that Eucharist is a foreshadowing of the heavenly banquet. This is not done by teaching about the Eucharist but in bible study when over and over again Gospel narratives around meals are seen as foreshadowing this banquet including the last supper.

Go figure!

Jengie

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
If Schillebeekx is correct, that Christ is the sacrament of God and the church is the sacrament of Christ, then all that the church does is a sacrament.


Whilst I recognise you don't actually go this far, to equate Schillebeeckx's position with the Salvationist line is to do him a disservice. He's still fairly keen on the necessity of the sacraments.
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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by TomM:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
If Schillebeekx is correct, that Christ is the sacrament of God and the church is the sacrament of Christ, then all that the church does is a sacrament.


Whilst I recognise you don't actually go this far, to equate Schillebeeckx's position with the Salvationist line is to do him a disservice. He's still fairly keen on the necessity of the sacraments.
Oh yes, indeed. I wouldn't take that away from him in the slightest.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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mousethief

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I accept the church's original belief. Which is to say, that which is taught and believed in Orthodoxy.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

Could it not be construed that by 'de-ritualising' the eucharist and insisting that everything we do is sacramental (with which I agree) the SA is, in some way, making a tacit value-judgement against those for whom the physical/sacramental act remains important?

Sure, it's not as if the SA is tearing down altars and over-turning communion tables ... nor is it mocking or scoffing those who practice such things.

But by claiming that you 'place the crucified and risen Christ at the heart of all that we do', could it not be construed that you are implying that others aren't?

Yes, there is that danger; and tragically over the generations there arose, in the minds of some, an attitude that the Army didn't have sacraments 'because we don't believe in them' or worse, 'we don't agree with them,'

There is nothing further from the truth.

Apart from the original rationale for our discontinuance of said ritual, partly 'we are not a church', much of our not celebrating them has to do with our mission which some might say would be to exist as a non-sacramental order within the universal church.

I said somewhere else that we might not celebrate the eucharist but we are part of a Church that does.

So perhaps we could put it, maybe in reverse of the ordination of a single man from within the congregation to be ordained to word and sacrament, that as a movement, The Salvation Army is called within its place in the Church t be 'ordained' to word and service.
If there could be such a thing as a whole movement doing the job of one particular church office, then The Salvation Army is actually called be the Diaconate, not the Priesthood.

In other words, it's not in our gift and calling to be a sacramental church.

The following from our statement of The Salvation Army's place within the Body of Christ might help:

quote:

WE BELIEVE that every visible expression of the Church Universal is endowed with its own blessings and strengths as gifts from God. We respect and admire those strengths, recognising too that because of human frailty every such expression, including The Salvation Army, has its imperfections.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE it is our task to comment negatively upon, or to undermine, the traditions of other denominations, and certainly not in relation to the sacraments (on which our distinctive, though not unique, position sees the whole of life as a sacrament with a calling from God to Salvationists to witness to a life of sanctity without formal sacraments).
It is contrary to our practices to offer adverse comment upon the life of any denomination or local congregation.
We seek to be careful not to belittle the doctrines or practices of any other Christian group. The Army places emphasis in its teaching not upon externals but upon the need for each believer personally to experience that inward spiritual grace to which an external observance testifies.
We maintain that no external observance can rightly be said to be essential to salvation or to the receiving of divine grace and that the biblical truth is that we can meet with God and receive his grace anywhere at any time through faith.
We recognise that external observances such as baptism and eucharist are used in many denominations as a means of grace.
We believe that our calling into sanctity without sacraments is not a contradiction of the ways of other churches, but is something beautiful for Christ, to be held in creative tension with the equally beautiful, but very different, practices of other denominations.
In the overall economy of God there are no inherent contradictions, but there are creative paradoxes.
11



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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I accept the church's original belief. Which is to say, that which is taught and believed in Orthodoxy.

When did that original belief appear?
Are we talking Apostolic or 2nd and 3rd Century?

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Gamaliel
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Ok, I get that, Jengie Jon and have encountered elements of all of that in small r reformed circles - including Chronos and Kairos and so on ...

It might not be articulated quite as clearly as you have done, though ...

Interestingly, I've come across Orthodox who believe that Calvin's position on the eucharist isn't a million miles from theirs - but also, online rather than in real life, former Reformed dudes who are now Orthodox and who insist that Calvin's position is nothing like theirs ... But that might be a case of convertitis ...

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Mudfrog
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Further to my post just now:
quote:

William Booth practised the sacrament of Holy Communion after he was ordained in the Methodist ministry, and throughout his leadership of the Army he was always careful not to dismiss the spiritual benefits felt by those who took communion.
Speaking to a congregation of Salvation Army officers in council in Melbourne soon after the Army had begun to establish itself in Australia, he confirmed: ‘I never allow myself to be led into conversation at the dinner table or to say one word to make anybody else think less of the Sacraments than they do.’

Salvationists are officially permitted (I wish the word was 'encouraged') to share in the sacrament in any church where they are welcomed to partake. I will personally take communion anywhere - and have done, from a small Sunday morning Brethren breaking of bread, to a full ordination Eucharist in Lincoln cathedral.

Had we been allowed I would have quite happily received communion in the small chapel at Ushaw College RC Seminary when I was doing my chaplaincy course with them there.

It is a means of grace, after all (one among many)

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Enoch
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Jengie, I'd query whether any of what you've written on the Reformed understanding of the Eucharist and the three ikons is incompatible with being a member of the CofE. Because of unease about any language that might be construed as the sacrifice of the mass, middle/lower church people might tend to express the first of the three more in terms of being united with and uniting ourselves with both Christ's sacrifice at Calvary and the whole of salvation history.

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Gamaliel
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Don't forget that the CofE was mildly Calvinist in the mid 16th century, Enoch.

For various reasons Jengie Jon wouldn't consider the CofE as Big R Reformed but the way she has expressed the Calvinist take on the eucharist wouldn't be a million miles from that of many Anglicans I know.

But then, I know many Zwinglian memorial type Anglicans too.

I'd go so far as to say that some Brethren assemblies take communion more 'seriously' than some Anglicans ...

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Last time there was a thread on this, I cited Queen Elizabeth I,

Twas God the Word that spake it,
He took the Bread and brake it:
And what that Word did make it,
That I believe and take it.

It isn't just compromise, evasiveness or temporising. What she's saying is that whatever Jesus meant at the Last Supper, and whatever priest/clergyperson/minister/pastor thinks they mean, that is what happens. It's irrespective of our attempts to pigeonhole it theologically.

Yes. And in similar vein, from the 1662 BCP:

quote:
...when he delivereth the Bread to any one, he shall say,

The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life: Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

And the Minister that delivereth the Cup to any one shall say,

The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life: Drink this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.

I'm afraid I'm no theologian so that'll have to do me. I don't want, or feel able, to inquire into it any more deeply than that.

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hatless

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I wonder what the celebration of the Eucharist achieves or gives to those churches that practise it? Apart from the various theologies, what functions does it fulfil?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I wonder what the celebration of the Eucharist achieves or gives to those churches that practise it? Apart from the various theologies, what functions does it fulfil?

It unites us to God physically and intimately.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I accept the church's original belief. Which is to say, that which is taught and believed in Orthodoxy.

When did that original belief appear?
Are we talking Apostolic or 2nd and 3rd Century?

Whenever the first coherent and accepted belief on the subject appeared, there it was. Clearly the idea that we are eating and drinking Christ was very early since Justin Martyr (d. 150) argued to Roman pagan detractors that we weren't cannibals.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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As for "apostolic" I ask you: how many times does Paul quote Jesus? Yet he gives a huge chunk of the Last Supper narrative, in the context of the worship of the church, and including the words "This is my body" and "This is my blood."

People who claim to take the bible literally somehow never include in their literalism these verses, or the related verses in John, or Christ's statement, "Unless you eat of the flesh of the son of man and drink of his blood you have no life within you."

The "plain and obvious" meaning of scripture is only plain and obvious to them when it agrees with their predetermined theology.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
As for "apostolic" I ask you: how many times does Paul quote Jesus? Yet he gives a huge chunk of the Last Supper narrative, in the context of the worship of the church, and including the words "This is my body" and "This is my blood."

People who claim to take the bible literally somehow never include in their literalism these verses, or the related verses in John, or Christ's statement, "Unless you eat of the flesh of the son of man and drink of his blood you have no life within you."

The "plain and obvious" meaning of scripture is only plain and obvious to them when it agrees with their predetermined theology.

I agree.

That's why I asked; because there are those who would read back church practice of centuries later into the Gospel narratives. For example, those who translate 'cup' in the Gospels as 'chalice'. Chalice is a loaded word and is only used for the cup at Mass. Using it in the prayer book makes Jesus into a priestly celebrant at Mass rather than the host of the Jewish Passover meal.

As for the john 6 (and the Last Supper accounts) I would prefer to see them as having a Jewish meaning, not 2nd century Church meaning.

I don't think John 6 refers to eucharist in the slightest. It has a contemporary Jewish meaning.

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I wonder what the celebration of the Eucharist achieves or gives to those churches that practise it? Apart from the various theologies, what functions does it fulfil?

It unites us to God physically and intimately.
As individuals or as a congregation or a people? And why does it have to be repeated?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I wonder what the celebration of the Eucharist achieves or gives to those churches that practise it? Apart from the various theologies, what functions does it fulfil?

It unites us to God physically and intimately.
It's also a rite that unites us to each other, as something that normally occurs communally.
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Gamaliel
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I think I may have mentioned this before, Mudfrog, but aren't you taking my the RCs more literally here than they do themselves?

I'm no expert on RC doctrine or practice, but I'd be surprised if they saw the Last Supper as 'looking' like a Mass, down to the actual style of cup used ...

Althea the they di, of course, see a continuity between the Last Supper and eucharistic practice - and they have Pauline grounds for doing so.

As for John 6 - the context, of course, is Jewish practice but the Church seems always to have understood it eucharistically - although understandings of it vary of course.

@hatless, good questions ... But why do we repeat anything? Why do churches meet regularly at all? Why not meet once or twice and then disband?

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Gamaliel
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So it all went 'wrong' in the 2nd century, did it Mudfrog and only the 1st century Christians got things 'right' in their original Jewish context?

I don't think I've ever met an RC or Orthodox Christian who would claim that their liturgies were identical to 1st or 2nd century models in every detail or respect - but they do see a development from the earliest practice to the Mass or the Liturgy as it subsequently developed.

Which is fair enough. Where else did they come from?

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


@hatless, good questions ... But why do we repeat anything? Why do churches meet regularly at all? Why not meet once or twice and then disband?

I'm just musing.

We don't repeat Baptism. The Eucharist isn't a once thing. Why is that? I wonder if it makes visible something that is hard to see? I wonder if it is different every time?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That's why I asked; because there are those who would read back church practice of centuries later into the Gospel narratives. For example, those who translate 'cup' in the Gospels as 'chalice'. Chalice is a loaded word and is only used for the cup at Mass. Using it in the prayer book makes Jesus into a priestly celebrant at Mass rather than the host of the Jewish Passover meal.

As for the john 6 (and the Last Supper accounts) I would prefer to see them as having a Jewish meaning, not 2nd century Church meaning.

I don't think John 6 refers to eucharist in the slightest. It has a contemporary Jewish meaning.

Yes. As I said, the "plain and obvious meaning" of scripture only works when it agrees with your theology. Otherwise taking it literally is reading back in a later understanding. Fortunately evangelicals NEVER read back in later understandings. Because when they take it literally, they are really taking it literally and that's what it actually means.

quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
As individuals or as a congregation or a people?

What's the difference?

quote:
And why does it have to be repeated?
Because that's how people work. Very few experiences are once-and-once-only. Baptism stands out, but baptism is walking (swimming) through a door. Eucharist isn't a change of state from one-thing-before to another-thing-after. Your question is like asking why I should take my wife out to dinner more than once. Sure I only married her once. But the relationship is ongoing.

quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
It's also a rite that unites us to each other, as something that normally occurs communally.

Good observation.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
So it all went 'wrong' in the 2nd century, did it Mudfrog and only the 1st century Christians got things 'right' in their original Jewish context?

I don't think I've ever met an RC or Orthodox Christian who would claim that their liturgies were identical to 1st or 2nd century models in every detail or respect - but they do see a development from the earliest practice to the Mass or the Liturgy as it subsequently developed.

Which is fair enough. Where else did they come from?

Really if everything was fucked up by Justin Martyr's day, what do we make of the Apostolic Fathers? These were men who were all trained by apostles. Were they fucked too, or did they have it right? If they had it right, that means the church went off the rails somewhere between 120 and 150. If they were fucked that means it went off the rails somewhere between say 75 and 110.

Either way the Holy Spirit done fucked up after less than 120 years after Christ's death, allowing the church to completely go astray, only to be called back 1300 years later.

It's the typical restorationist bullshit, only they normally wait until Constantine to knife the Holy Spirit in the back.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gamaliel
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Really, Mousethief, language ...

'We'll have no language in this house ...'

I was, of course, trying to point out to Mudfrog how untenable his position is in this one.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Really, Mousethief, language ...

'We'll have no language in this house ...'

I was, of course, trying to point out to Mudfrog how untenable his position is in this one.

Language? Oh, you mean "knife in the back." Well that's how it looks to me, is all.

Your inbox is full by the way.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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hatless

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Mousethief, you said the Eucharist unites us to God physically and intimately. That does sound like a change of state, like Baptism, marriage, consecration or ordination. Repeated actions are more likely to have an incomplete effect or a temporary effect.

I think I might use the word revelation of the Eucharist. It shows us something, something we keep forgetting.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Mousethief, you said the Eucharist unites us to God physically and intimately. That does sound like a change of state, like Baptism, marriage, consecration or ordination. Repeated actions are more likely to have an incomplete effect or a temporary effect.

I think I might use the word revelation of the Eucharist. It shows us something, something we keep forgetting.

Kissing my wife, or having sex with her, unites me to her physically and intimately. No?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gamaliel
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Ok. Now, now ...

I've just deleted a few messages. They creep up on me.

On the restorationist thing, yeah, I get that ... As a recovered restorationist.

To be fair, though, we all tend to redact our own reflections back into the pages of the NT and the practices of the early Church. It's not just a Protestant thing. Surely the Orthodox legends about St Luke painting the first icon of the Virgin Mary is an example of a later practice being redacted back to an earlier stage?

I don't have any issues with iconography but it would seem that they developed later - the earliest examples I'm aware of are 3rd century perhaps ...

That doesn't mean we shouldn't use icons, of course.

So, I can see what Mudfrog is driving at, although I do think he is taking the RCs more literally on this point than they would themselves. Of course the RCs interpret those passages that Mudfrog refuses to understand eucharistically, eucharistically ...

But I'm not convinced they imagine the Last Supper to have looked like High Mass at the Brompton Oratory.

The first time I read the wee Penguin paperback of the Sub-Apostolic Fathers I was shocked at how 'catholic' they were ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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hatless

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Yes, but doesn't it also refresh something that can fade, even though you're married? Marriage unites, but that unity is better if made present.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Yes, but doesn't it also refresh something that can fade, even though you're married? Marriage unites, but that unity is better if made present.

We humans are fickle people. God is unwavering. We are not. Our hearts do, in fact, grow cold, unless rewarmed by that repeated intimacy. But you asked what it does and not why it's needed. This feels like so much whataboutery.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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hatless

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I was partly reacting to your bish bash bosh style, there's a question, here is the answer. Which is fine, but I think the Eucharist is one of those things that isn't neat and obvious. I think we grow into it.

And unity with God is a bit of a startling concept! I can just about imagine being drawn into the life of God ..

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4492 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
To be fair, though, we all tend to redact our own reflections back into the pages of the NT and the practices of the early Church. It's not just a Protestant thing. Surely the Orthodox legends about St Luke painting the first icon of the Virgin Mary is an example of a later practice being redacted back to an earlier stage?

No. You're conflating two very different things. Telling fairy tales about the past and reading your theology into the New Testament aren't even comparable. Everybody tells stories, and there's nothing terribly wrong with it. The NT is rather sacrosanct in a way that the lack-of-st.-luke-as-iconographer-stories is not.

quote:
I don't have any issues with iconography but it would seem that they developed later - the earliest examples I'm aware of are 3rd century perhaps ...
Catacombs.

quote:
So, I can see what Mudfrog is driving at, although I do think he is taking the RCs more literally on this point than they would themselves. Of course the RCs interpret those passages that Mudfrog refuses to understand eucharistically, eucharistically ...
The whole thing about the word "chalice" strikes me as a tempest in a teacup. It only matters that they translate it "chalice" if they then made some argument based on the word "chalice" being there. That would be rather circular. But merely calling it "chalice" doesn't do that. It's reading the text through the lens of their understanding, but who doesn't? And when it comes right down to it, what does "chalice" mean if not "cup"? At least they didn't say "Grail." Which would also be quite accurate, although dragging in a lot of medieval baggage that isn't necessarily necessary.

quote:
The first time I read the wee Penguin paperback of the Sub-Apostolic Fathers I was shocked at how 'catholic' they were ...
And how they worshiped on Sunday.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I was partly reacting to your bish bash bosh style, there's a question, here is the answer.

If you don't want answers, it would probably work better if you didn't ask questions.

I have no idea what "bish bash bosh" means.

quote:
Which is fine, but I think the Eucharist is one of those things that isn't neat and obvious.
So you were basically trying to ambush people. You ask a question, then when they answer, you pounce, and try to pound them into your understanding of the Eucharist as being too woolly to ask and answer questions about.

quote:
And unity with God is a bit of a startling concept! I can just about imagine being drawn into the life of God ..
Well that's what theosis is all about. I'm Orthodox. It's in our blood, you might say.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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