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Source: (consider it) Thread: Validity of the Eucharist and the Intention
Anglican_Brat
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In response to Enoch:

quote:

Is that view widely held in Canada? As Betjemaniac tactfully hints, such a take is incompatible with Article XXVI. It's also spectacularly incompatible with any sense of sacramental assurance.

I don't know if it is widely held in Canada, but what I understand is that "intention" here does not refer to belief in a specific theology of the Real Presence. "Intention" in the validity of the Sacrament is the intention to consecrate.

As in if a minister has no intention to consecrate, and thinks that his job is just to say pretty words over ordinary bread and wine, and there is nothing special about it, then the sacrament is not valid. An example would be if a fictional communion service was being filmed on tv played by actors: the intention is a dramatic performance, therefore, there is no sacrament.

Article XXVI refers to the moral unworthiness of the minister not affecting the validity, not about the lack of intention on the part of the minister.

For a sacrament to be valid:
Right matter= bread and wine
Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution
Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate.

[ 08. August 2017, 19:56: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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Jengie jon

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Yeah, but what do you mean by consecrate. Presbyterians consecrate all sorts of things. They/We mean by that set aside for God's purposes. That reading would not imply anything about eucharist theology held by the celebrant.

Jengie

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Lamb Chopped
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Is this an intramural discussion, or are outsiders welcome? (Lutherans don't do intention.)

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Arethosemyfeet
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I just checked my copy of the Book of Common Order and it certainly appears that the Church of Scotland generally holds that consecration is what takes place during the celebration of Holy Communion. That would seem to satisfy the criteria of intent, even by the stricter standard you set. I would stand by my belief that intent to "do what the church does" is sufficient.

[ 08. August 2017, 20:29: Message edited by: Arethosemyfeet ]

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Is this an intramural discussion, or are outsiders welcome? (Lutherans don't do intention.)

How do Lutherans differentiate then, as stated above, between a real communion service and one acted in a play?

And going back to the OP, what other thread did this discussion come from?

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Is this an intramural discussion, or are outsiders welcome? (Lutherans don't do intention.)

How do Lutherans differentiate then, as stated above, between a real communion service and one acted in a play?
We don't. Which is why you will never find a Lutheran play-acting communion.

Seriously, from your (probable) perspective, it gets worse, because we also don't have any strictures on the person performing it, so long as that person is a believer. By the priesthood of all believers, a Christian three-year-old could validly celebrate the Lord's Supper so long as he had the words of institution and the elements of bread and wine. You'd better believe I kept an eye on LL when he began imitating Daddy (a Lutheran pastor).

Fortunately, his chosen "elements" were usually popcorn and whatever drink was nearest (with "Take, eat" uttered in a menacing tone as he mashed the popcorn into our lips). [Snigger] If he'd ever managed to put the whole thing together properly we would have felt obliged to consume it reverently.

This also holds for baptism, which is much easier to administer without entirely and soberly meaning to (because the words are shorter and the element available everywhere). There have been cases reported where a couple of boys playing in a ditch on the side of the road have managed one to baptize the other, and the church has accepted that as a valid sacramental act.

I quite like living in a church where even the children are sacramentally "dangerous." It seems to me rather typical of the way God acts, doing the unexpected and turning the world upside down.

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
We don't. Which is why you will never find a Lutheran play-acting communion. . . . By the priesthood of all believers, a Christian three-year-old could validly celebrate the Lord's Supper so long as he had the words of institution and the elements of bread and wine. You'd better believe I kept an eye on LL when he began imitating Daddy (a Lutheran pastor).

Fortunately, his chosen "elements" were usually popcorn and whatever drink was nearest (with "Take, eat" uttered in a menacing tone as he mashed the popcorn into our lips). [Snigger] If he'd ever managed to put the whole thing together properly we would have felt obliged to consume it reverently.

This also holds for baptism, which is much easier to administer without entirely and soberly meaning to (because the words are shorter and the element available everywhere). There have been cases reported where a couple of boys playing in a ditch on the side of the road have managed one to baptize the other, and the church has accepted that as a valid sacramental act.

I quite like living in a church where even the children are sacramentally "dangerous." It seems to me rather typical of the way God acts, doing the unexpected and turning the world upside down.

I've heard of RC kids play-acting Mass using Necco wafers as hosts. Of course Necco wafers are to candy as real communion hosts are to bread; they've been sold since the Civil War and I'm not sure any new ones have been made since then.

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Lamb Chopped
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We had an episode a few years ago that was both shocking and amusing (really weird emotional combo). Our senior English-speaking pastor, who should have known better, decided to do a talk on the Lord's Supper for about two dozen kids ages six through ten. He actually handed out grape juice and wafers (unconsecrated) and proceeded to retell the story of Christ's institution, also repeating the words of institution themselves as part of the story--which of course the kids all have memorized and recognize, as they hear them every Sunday.

Well, what would you make of it? At least half the children were convinced this was a valid celebration, and it may well have been, for how close he came, and how ready God is to honor the faith of little ones. I reckon at least a dozen kids took communion for the first time that day--you should have seen the faith and awe and joy shining from their faces.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
For a sacrament to be valid:
Right matter= bread and wine
Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution
Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate.

In my tradition we honestly don't see a sacrament to be "valid" or not. But, if we did, it would surely be posited in terms of the attitude of the person receiving the sacrament rather than the one offering it.

And even in your tradition, haven't you left out something about the "context" in which Communion is offered, whether in a church service or in a home?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
For a sacrament to be valid:
Right matter= bread and wine
Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution
Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate.

In my tradition we honestly don't see a sacrament to be "valid" or not. But, if we did, it would surely be posited in terms of the attitude of the person receiving the sacrament rather than the one offering it.

And even in your tradition, haven't you left out something about the "context" in which Communion is offered, whether in a church service or in a home?

Why would that matter?

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Baptist Trainfan
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I don't know - that's why I'm asking! Would Communion be valid if (say) an Anglican priest just happened to have a Communion set about their person and, on the spur of the moment, offered the Eucharist to anybody sitting on their No.19 bus?

In our circles there is a tendency to think of Communion as a corporate act, hence it is sometimes considered better for a minister to take another person with them when administering Communion in a home, so that there are at least three people present in the room instead of just the two. I don't actually "buy" that myself!

[ 09. August 2017, 06:54: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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american piskie
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:

For a sacrament to be valid:
Right matter= bread and wine
Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution
Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate.

With respect, I don't think this is the traditional understanding.

Right matter= bread and wine. Tick.


Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution

I am not so sure: haven't the Roman Catholics, who hold fast to the traditional understanding, recognised the validity of one of the oriental orthodox liturgies which does not contain the dominical words?


Missing: Right Celebrant: a validly ordained priest.


Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate. I don't think this is what is required. Is it not rather that the celebrant should have the intention to do what the true church does when it celebrates the eucharist? It doesn't matter whether the celebrant is mistaken (!) in his understanding of what the true church intends, or even mistaken in his understanding of which the true church is.

I think I read somewhere that St Robert Bellarmine is the standard authority on this stuff.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:

For a sacrament to be valid:
Right matter= bread and wine
Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution
Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate.

With respect, I don't think this is the traditional understanding.

Right matter= bread and wine. Tick.


Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution

I am not so sure: haven't the Roman Catholics, who hold fast to the traditional understanding, recognised the validity of one of the oriental orthodox liturgies which does not contain the dominical words?


Missing: Right Celebrant: a validly ordained priest.


Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate. I don't think this is what is required. Is it not rather that the celebrant should have the intention to do what the true church does when it celebrates the eucharist? It doesn't matter whether the celebrant is mistaken (!) in his understanding of what the true church intends, or even mistaken in his understanding of which the true church is.

I think I read somewhere that St Robert Bellarmine is the standard authority on this stuff.

Which is why, to loop back as the person that introduced it to the discussion, we come back to Article XXVI. It is indeed about moral fitness/rightness, but how are the congregation to determine that, or to make a window into the soul of the celebrant? They can't. So, right words, properly ordained celebrant = valid. Otherwise we're really saying, if validity of the sacrament is important, that we can't be sure anyone's receiving it. Which is clearly untenable.

Intent is clearly important *for the minister* and the sake of their integrity and soul, but for their congregation? Not sure the minister's intent is as important.

Essentially trust in God to sort it all out later - which is what the Article says.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
Is it not rather that the celebrant should have the intention to do what the true church does when it celebrates the eucharist? It doesn't matter whether the celebrant is mistaken (!) in his understanding of what the true church intends, or even mistaken in his understanding of which the true church is.


I completely agree and this is the key bit for me - but then, I can swallow Tract 90...

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Robert Armin

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
In my tradition we honestly don't see a sacrament to be "valid" or not. But, if we did, it would surely be posited in terms of the attitude of the person receiving the sacrament rather than the one offering it.

Wasn't this Cranmer's position as well? IIRC, for him the moment of consecration was the moment of faithful reception.

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Felafool
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I fear to enter this thread, but as it was a spin-off from one that I started, I will shut my eyes and jump in.

There is much use here of the word 'valid'. My question is 'Valid to whom or what?'

Is it valid to a Church Canon Law?
To a tradition?
To the presider?
To the receiver?
(I prefer these two identifiers because celebrant can mean both?)
And lastly but most importantly, to God?

I think the answers to the first four questions are going to be Yes for all sorts of people and traditions.

(Personally, I wonder if God has a preference or a standard form of Holy Communion or Ordained Ministry - I doubt it. So a lot of different activities may be valid to God)

What exactly was Jesus 'instituting' when he said 'as often as you do this, do this in remembrance of me' ?

What did the early New Testament followers of The Way do?

I'll put on my blast helmet and retire to the bunker!

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Arethosemyfeet
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Valid, to me, simply means that it falls within the bounds of what Jesus intended when he commanded "do this in remembrance of me". I trust that the Church (of God, to draw us back to the other thread [Biased] ) has preserved what is essential (and probably a great deal more besides), and furthermore I trust that God can indeed offer the benefits associated with the sacrament in a whole multitude of ways and times and places, the limits of which I do not know. I find the formula "we know where the church *is*; we do not know where the church *is not*" to be helpful. In so far as I have the option I will worship and participate in the sacrament of Holy Communion in the manner I understand the Church to have preserved since the time of Christ, not knowing precisely which parts are essential or non-essential (or even if it is a meaningful question to ask). At the same time if I find myself in a setting that departs from that manner, I will trust in God that he can provide any lack.
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
Is it valid to a Church Canon Law?
To a tradition?
To the presider?
To the receiver?
(I prefer these two identifiers because celebrant can mean both?)
And lastly but most importantly, to God?

I think the answers to the first four questions are going to be Yes for all sorts of people and traditions.

Er ... we don't have Canon Church law. (Don't have Canons, actually).

But I can see what you're driving at.

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american piskie
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:

There is much use here of the word 'valid'. My question is 'Valid to whom or what?'

Is it valid to a Church Canon Law?
To a tradition?
To the presider?
To the receiver?
(I prefer these two identifiers because celebrant can mean both?)
And lastly but most importantly, to God?

"Valid" is a technical term used by folks at the catholic end of the spectrum; a sacrament is valid if it's not a mere facsimile I s'pose. In other words God has done what he has promised to do in the rite.

It has nothing to do with Canon or any other Law: I think "licit" would be the word used by RC people to cover conformity with Canon Law, probably "legal" by CofE folk.

None of the tradition, the presider, the recipient get (in the traditional explanation) any say about validity: that's externally discernible from proper matter, proper minister, proper form.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
In our circles there is a tendency to think of Communion as a corporate act, hence it is sometimes considered better for a minister to take another person with them when administering Communion in a home, so that there are at least three people present in the room instead of just the two. I don't actually "buy" that myself!

I'd say that from a Reformed/Presbyterian perspective, the corporate nature is key to any understanding of "validity" (though I don't think we typically speak in terms of "validity").

It is the Church that celebrates the Eucharist, so in order for it to actually be the Eucharist it must be an act of the Church, not of an individual or even a group of individuals. This is why in our understanding, neither acting in a play nor the group of kids "playing church" would be "valid" Eucharists. Neither is an act of the Church.

This is also why we rejected "private masses," and why we required that a minister celebrating Communion with the sick or home-bound always be accompanied by an elder and, if possible, others from the church attend. Now that we allow communion of the sick from, essentially, reserved elements, the requirement is that the elements be taken by at least 2 deacons and/or elders.

The minister presides not because he or she is validly ordained per se, but because he or she has been authorized by the Church generally and the congregation in question specifically to preside on its behalf. But even so, the minister cannot preside unless the Church (in our case, acting through the Session of the congregation) has authorized the celebration. (Ditto baptisms—except in emergencies, a minister cannot baptize a person unless the church through the Session has first authorized the baptism.)

I'd add that I do think most of my tribe would question the "validity" of a Eucharist if most of the baptized present didn't eat and drink.

So tl/dr: For us I think what makes a Eucharist "valid" is that

— the Church (typically in its local expression)
— takes bread and wine (and yes, we are a little more flexible than some on what constitutes bread and wine),
— sets them apart (consecrates them) with prayer,
— relates them, either within that prayer or outside it, to the words of Jesus, and
— eats and drinks.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
I've heard of RC kids play-acting Mass using Necco wafers as hosts. Of course Necco wafers are to candy as real communion hosts are to bread; they've been sold since the Civil War and I'm not sure any new ones have been made since then.

I've heard of RC priests using Necco waters as "practice hosts" for children preparing for First Communion.

Given that I'm one of those rare people who'd choose a Necco water—especially a clove one—over chocolate any day, I can only imagine the disappointment experienced when those children first taste an actual communion wafer.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I don't know - that's why I'm asking! Would Communion be valid if (say) an Anglican priest just happened to have a Communion set about their person and, on the spur of the moment, offered the Eucharist to anybody sitting on their No.19 bus?

Yes - whyever not? It would be irregular, and one could reasonably ask whether one could approach the occasion with the proper reverence on the No. 19, but there's nothing to make it invalid.
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Angloid
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What have you got against the 19 bus? It's not as if it's the 82 or 86 after all.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:

Missing: Right Celebrant: a validly ordained priest.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't RC sacramental theology classify the celebrant as part of the "matter"?Of course, most people here aren't RC, so this isn't terribly important.
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:

Missing: Right Celebrant: a validly ordained priest.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't RC sacramental theology classify the celebrant as part of the "matter"?Of course, most people here aren't RC, so this isn't terribly important.
I believe this is correct. It is certainly the case in Orthodox Churches that the ordained priest is part of the matter. Also an antimenson, a magical cloth that each priest is given by his bishop upon being posted to a spot in that bishop's diocese. If the bishop takes it back, the priest is not able to serve a valid Eucharist.

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american piskie
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:

Missing: Right Celebrant: a validly ordained priest.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't RC sacramental theology classify the celebrant as part of the "matter"?Of course, most people here aren't RC, so this isn't terribly important.
Must do a bit of revision! Thanks.

(I think "right celebrant" or "right president" is important to most of the spectrum, although understandings of "right" and what s/he actually does vary. But it may be that for many failure on this test only leads to illicitness and not invalidity.)

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
In response to Enoch:

quote:

Is that view widely held in Canada? As Betjemaniac tactfully hints, such a take is incompatible with Article XXVI. It's also spectacularly incompatible with any sense of sacramental assurance.

I don't know if it is widely held in Canada, but what I understand is that "intention" here does not refer to belief in a specific theology of the Real Presence. "Intention" in the validity of the Sacrament is the intention to consecrate.

As in if a minister has no intention to consecrate, and thinks that his job is just to say pretty words over ordinary bread and wine, and there is nothing special about it, then the sacrament is not valid. An example would be if a fictional communion service was being filmed on tv played by actors: the intention is a dramatic performance, therefore, there is no sacrament.

Article XXVI refers to the moral unworthiness of the minister not affecting the validity, not about the lack of intention on the part of the minister.

For a sacrament to be valid:
Right matter= bread and wine
Right formula= Our Lord's Words of Institution
Right Intention = the Intention to Consecrate.

As it was my comment that seems to have provoked this thread, I feel I suppose I ought to respond, but I was busy most of yesterday. I suspect what others have said is going to be more interesting than anything I have to say.

I'd agree with most of that EXCEPT
quote:
if a minister has no intention to consecrate, and thinks that his job is just to say pretty words over ordinary bread and wine, and there is nothing special about it, then the sacrament is not valid.
That is seems to me in conflict both with what you then go on to say about a fictional service being acted by actors - though I do think actors need to be careful not to overstep the mark - and your saying,
quote:
that "intention" here does not refer to belief in a specific theology of the Real Presence.
The sentence I've disagreed with, seems to be reintroducing a version of that by the back door. Do you therefore mean that if a minister appears to be consecrating with seriousness but is personally at the strictly memorialist end of the spectrum, then it doesn't work?

Besides, the faithful would unequivocally be protected by Article XXVI if the a celebration were by a minister who was an out and out unbeliever, a Dawkinsist, whatever judgement he or she might be laying up for themselves on the Last Day. It would be odd to argue that there is an intermediate zone where they were not protected if the minister honourably had too different a Eucharistic theology from yours.

I'm with Betjemaniac on this. It seems to me that if there is the outward and visible sign of a celebration, then that is an intention to consecrate. The laity have no control over what their priest does or does not believe or whether he or she gets the words right. They are not expected either to try to make windows into the celebrant's soul nor to check that the celebrant is doing it right, and abstain if they think he or she has made a mistake, left some words out or whatever. That is the celebrant's responsibility, for which he or she is answerable.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
The sentence I've disagreed with, seems to be reintroducing a version of that by the back door. Do you therefore mean that if a minister appears to be consecrating with seriousness but is personally at the strictly memorialist end of the spectrum, then it doesn't work?
Let me try to clarify, my belief is that the right intention of the Celebrant is what you word as "consecrating with seriousness." A poster in this thread referred to the definition of consecration as "setting apart for God's purposes." My intention was that a minister may be a memorialist, may believe in transubstantiation, may have whatever her personal belief in what happens to the eucharistic elements. All that the mass requires is that the priest intends to set the elements apart for God's purposes.

I'm remembering the precise context of this teaching in seminary, it was referring specifically to the importance of manual gestures in the act of presiding. In touching the bread, in lifting the cup, in performing the sign of the Epiclesis, the minister is assuring the congregation her intention that what she is performing with them is a holy act. No one can decipher intention, but one can discern intention through manual gestures that a person performs, which is what my teacher was trying to convey in speaking of worship being an embodied experience.

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Felafool
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I'm finding this all rather frustrating because there seems to be a lot of reference to articles and directions from various Church denominations (understandable, I suppose).

We are all seem to be saying that it is valid if it is done in accordance with our Church's constitution/ Canon / Articles / Institutes etc, whatever your tradition defines.

What about a scenario where a group of Christian friends, from different churches and backgrounds, have had a meal together around which they were engaged in a Bible Study on the Last Supper. Through the evening there is teaching, sharing, questioning, praying, confession and forgiving. There is a real sense of fellowship in the presence of Jesus together.
At the end of the study (and the meal)someone suggests that they take some of the leftover bread and some wine together, 'in remembrance of Jesus'. This seems to flow from the study and also the sense of Holy fellowship that has taken place. A simple prayer of thanks and blessing is said, and everyone shares in bread and wine.

I'm interested to know your view (not necessarily your church's view) of what has happened? Is it Eucharyst or Outrage or something in between? What do you think God thinks of what happened?

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mousethief

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I'm confused. If you don't believe anything happens, why do you care if people from other traditions believe that the same nothing happens that you believe happens?

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:


I'm interested to know your view (not necessarily your church's view) of what has happened? Is it Eucharyst or Outrage or something in between? What do you think God thinks of what happened?

I've no doubt that people can be blessed through such an activity. Whether it is truly the Holy Eucharist I leave up to God. I doubt he has any objections.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
I'm finding this all rather frustrating because there seems to be a lot of reference to articles and directions from various Church denominations (understandable, I suppose).

We are all seem to be saying that it is valid if it is done in accordance with our Church's constitution/ Canon / Articles / Institutes etc, whatever your tradition defines.

Well, sure. Those of us with some kind of rules that define what is necessary for a Eucharist believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist (and there are various different ideas of what that actually means) if those rules are followed.
But it's not that these are the private rules that out church committee came up with one weekend - they are our church's beliefs about what is required for a Eucharist to happen. And if we think there are specific details we have to get right (actual bread and wine, ordained priest, etc.) then we're going to write them down in whatever we call our central list of rules, because the Eucharist is rather important.

And mostly, you'll find people thinking that if we follow these rules, we can be assured of the Eucharist. If we don't follow the rules - well, we don't know what happens.

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
What about a scenario where a group of Christian friends, from different churches and backgrounds, have had a meal together around which they were engaged in a Bible Study on the Last Supper. Through the evening there is teaching, sharing, questioning, praying, confession and forgiving. There is a real sense of fellowship in the presence of Jesus together.
At the end of the study (and the meal)someone suggests that they take some of the leftover bread and some wine together, 'in remembrance of Jesus'. This seems to flow from the study and also the sense of Holy fellowship that has taken place. A simple prayer of thanks and blessing is said, and everyone shares in bread and wine.

I'm interested to know your view (not necessarily your church's view) of what has happened? Is it Eucharyst or Outrage or something in between? What do you think God thinks of what happened?

It would neither be the Eucharist nor an outrage. It seems to me that it would be a beautiful act of piety and filial bonding among Christian friends - an agape feast, perhaps.

Apart from anything else, we know it couldn't possibly be the Eucharist as they would have just had a meal.

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I can only imagine the disappointment experienced when those children first taste an actual communion wafer.

It almost takes more faith to believe wafers are bread than to believe they're the Body of Christ.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I can only imagine the disappointment experienced when those children first taste an actual communion wafer.

It almost takes more faith to believe wafers are bread than to believe they're the Body of Christ.
Tangent - When in the West did the bread used at the Eucharist become wafers? Were wafers adopted in one place before others? Did the Vatican ever encourage their adoption? Were they the norm before the Reformation?
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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I can only imagine the disappointment experienced when those children first taste an actual communion wafer.

It almost takes more faith to believe wafers are bread than to believe they're the Body of Christ.
Tangent - When in the West did the bread used at the Eucharist become wafers? Were wafers adopted in one place before others? Did the Vatican ever encourage their adoption? Were they the norm before the Reformation?
Are you asking about the adoption of wafers specifically or unleavened bread in general?

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister:


Apart from anything else, we know it couldn't possibly be the Eucharist as they would have just had a meal.

I was under the impression that the Eucharistic fast was a matter of discipline rather than the validity of the sacrament. Otherwise one assumes that the first Eucharist was invalid!
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Felafool
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Arethosemyfeet posted:

quote:
quote:Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister: Apart from anything else, we know it couldn't possibly be the Eucharist as they would have just had a meal.

I was under the impression that the Eucharistic fast was a matter of discipline rather than the validity of the sacrament. Otherwise one assumes that the first Eucharist was invalid!

Exactly my point about validity. Who says 'it couldn't possibly be a Eucharist'?

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
Arethosemyfeet posted:

quote:
quote:Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister: Apart from anything else, we know it couldn't possibly be the Eucharist as they would have just had a meal.

I was under the impression that the Eucharistic fast was a matter of discipline rather than the validity of the sacrament. Otherwise one assumes that the first Eucharist was invalid!

Exactly my point about validity. Who says 'it couldn't possibly be a Eucharist'?
I suppose an analogy could be given to marriage.

Suppose two people with no witnesses, make vows to each other in a garden shed on a Sunday evening. They then announced to each other that they are "married".

Spiritually, they can of course believe that they are married, in the eyes of God. But the law does not. For a change in the legal identity of the two persons to become spouses, there must be actions that enable public recognition, (i.e. in a public setting, marriage license, the presence of witnesses). The law doesn't give a horse cahoots if the couple claims that they are spiritually married, if they do not comply with the criteria, it is not a legally valid marriage.

There are many social gatherings, many encounters where God is present. But in order for a gathering to be a Eucharist, there must be demonstrable criteria that other people can recognize. Why for example, does a dinner date with my spouse not count as a eucharist? There is wine, there is bread, and there is the prayer of grace. The church doesn't recognize this as eucharist, even though of course, God is present in a dinner date between two married people.

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Arethosemyfeet
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I think this leads us back to the question of intent. If the hypothetical house group is intending to fulfil Christ's command at the last supper, then there is the possibility that God accepts it as that (and therefore it is the Eucharist). If there is no such intention then I can't see how it could be, otherwise anything could be the Eucharist, and we'd have no way of knowing.
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The Scrumpmeister
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I'll aim to be clearer next time I try to inject a bit of humour into a thread.

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Forthview
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Unleavened bread has been used at the eucharist in the Latin church since the early days of Christianity. It was considered to be the type of bread used at the Last Supper. It also doesn't have so many crumbs when broken.

The Eucharistic bread did not have to be circular in form but again it often was from at least the second century of the Christian era

In time there came to be smaller circles baked specifically for the communion of the laity. Again the practical reason for this was to avoid breaking up of the bread used by the priest.
Of course it may be, and it is encouraged to a certain extent ,that a large Host should be broken up by the priest for distribution to the laity.
Again for practical purposes it is simply easier to keep smaller hosts of equal size in a ciborium.
the Hosts are circular
The word 'Host' started to be used when people started to recognise the eucharist not only as a thanksgiving meal but also as a sacrifice. Host in this sense means Victim.

It is thought,though may not be true, that the Hosts are circular to remind us of coins or money
which is a currency of exchange.

In Rome there is a particular church known as Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, built nearby the earlier
temple of Juno Admonitrix. It was also right beside the place where the Romans made coins and from Admonitrix we have mint,money,Muenze,moneda,moneta,monnaie and no doubt,' many' others.

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Forthview:
Unleavened bread has been used at the eucharist in the Latin church since the early days of Christianity.

I don't know enough to counter this, but if unleavened bread were indeed used in the Latin church since earliest times, would it have been anything other than a minority usage within that context?

Only, everything I have been taught suggests that it did not begin to become widespread or gain acceptance in the west until around the 8th century, and did not become universal Latin practice until some centuries later.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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Forthview
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The fact that use of unleavened bread has been more or less mandatory in the Latin church since the 8th century is indicative that it would have been used long before that, especially with the connection between the eucharist and the Last Supper and the Passover Meal. Not everyone sees the Last Supper as a Passover Meal, however.

It is difficult to say just how widespread almost anything of a liturgical nature was in the very early centuries of Christianity.

What we see in pictures in the Roman catacombs may indicate activities which were practised no wider than these Roman catacombs.

Although the use of unleavened bread is certainly now mandatory for a 'licit' celebration of the Roman rite, the Latin Church does not in any way dispute the validity of a celebration using leavened bread. There have been occasions when Latin rite priests have been given permission to use leavened bread.

And of course the Latin Church recognises the validity of other rites using leavened bread in full communion with the Latin Church.

We have at least one priest in this diocese who celebrates regularly in both the Byzantine rite and the Latin rite, using the appropriate bread for each of the rites.

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Felafool
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Anglican Brat posted:

quote:
I suppose an analogy could be given to marriage.
The analogy doesn't work because marriage needs to be recognised by an earthly state so that parental, property and inheritance implications can be defined and protected by a law of the state. This is regardless of any particular community's specific view on marriage. Thus we have the situation in the UK where many people believe they are in a 'common law' relationship - as good as married but have never had a civil or religious wedding. Then something happens, one of the couple dies, and inheritance may go to their legal next of kin, not necessarily the widowed partner. (This is why, in most non-established churches in the UK as well as pubs, hotels, conference centres etc, marriages are conducted by licence, with a Registrar or (approved person) present.)

In the case of the Eucharist, I maintain there is no such state legal requirement, only rites and practices as laid down by church institutions. It matters not a fig to anyone outside a particular church institution whether there is a priest, or if he or she says the right words in the right order, with the right intent, wearing the right clothing, and even the right amount of alcohol (I understand in the CofE it has to be 'fortified' wine).

I don't deny that it matters to those within the church institution who think these things are important. However, since there are so many different church traditions who celebrate Eucharist is so many different ways, I think God might just find all of them valid. Thus it seems to be a human construct which deems 'this is how it should be done'.

(IRC There is another thread where an example is given of a practice which became tradition then became canonised. Along the lines of a cat which regularly wonders throughout the meeting, causing the convener to ask for it to be put out of the room. This happens so often that the convener begins to start the meeting with 'Has the cat been shut out of the room?' The cat dies, but the question has now become habitual, and finally enters canonical liturgy. A ridiculous example, but illustrates the way we can end up doing and saying some of the things we do in the effort to be 'valid')

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
anything could be the Eucharist, and we'd have no way of knowing.

Reminds me of what the nuns used to tell us in Sunday school: If a priest happened to be walking by a bakery, and looked in the window, and spoke the words of institution as he did, then every loaf of bread in that bakery would become the Body of Christ.

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Baptist Trainfan
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And if he walked past the off-licence ...?
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
There is another thread where an example is given of a practice which became tradition then became canonised. Along the lines of a cat which regularly wonders throughout the meeting, causing the convener to ask for it to be put out of the room.

No, no, no, please do get your liturgy right: the cat has to be tied up somewhere. So, when it finally goes to the great cattery in the sky, a new cat has to be bought specifically for tying up before the service begins. (One wonders what happens if the cat - as they do - goes AWOL just at that precise moment?) Thes things matter, you know! [Devil]

[ 12. August 2017, 10:31: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
anything could be the Eucharist, and we'd have no way of knowing.

Reminds me of what the nuns used to tell us in Sunday school: If a priest happened to be walking by a bakery, and looked in the window, and spoke the words of institution as he did, then every loaf of bread in that bakery would become the Body of Christ.
Unless they were selling rye bread
[Big Grin]

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Felafool
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Baptist Trainfan wrote
quote:
No, no, no, please do get your liturgy right: the cat has to be tied up somewhere. So, when it finally goes to the great cattery in the sky, a new cat has to be bought specifically for tying up before the service begins. (One wonders what happens if the cat - as they do - goes AWOL just at that precise moment?) Thes things matter, you know!
I rest my case!

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