Author Topic: On the Eucharistia  (Read 7967 times)

Weedon

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #90 on: March 25, 2010, 09:40:58 AM »
Pr. Mozolak,

It might perhaps be of significance to the first question that the statement about the Words our Lord speaks to us being "s(S)pirit and truth" comes at the close of the bread of life discourse?  Similarly the twining up of Word and Breath in the Psalter.  The Breath is that which carries along the Word, hence Ps. 33:6 runs them both to origin of creation; and as they were the agents of first creation, how much more of the new creation?  Perhaps also something is hinted at when St. Paul speaks in 1 Cor. 12 of one Spirit to drink (!).
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 02:25:44 PM by Richard Johnson »

Scott6

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #91 on: March 25, 2010, 09:54:45 AM »
Pr. Mozolak,

It might perhaps be of significance to the first question that the statement about the Words our Lord speaks to us being "spirit and truth" comes at the close of the bread of life discourse?  Similarly the twining up of Word and Breath in the Psalter.  The Breath is that which carries along the Word, hence Ps. 33:6 runs them both to origin of creation; and as they were the agents of first creation, how much more of the new creation?  Perhaps also something is hinted at when St. Paul speaks in 1 Cor. 12 of one Spirit to drink (!).

Hmmm...  A Derridean writing sous rature...

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #92 on: March 25, 2010, 10:00:51 AM »
No, Pastor Weedon is tracing the thread of truth, my old hom. prof. used to speak of pulling the threads of truth.  Quaint but not to be dismissed.    Harvey Mozolak
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peter_speckhard

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #93 on: March 25, 2010, 10:02:17 AM »
Discussion on the epiclesis has so far spoken of timing, need for and whether or how it makes change, but what of the Spirit as the blessed One who brings knowledge, faith, understanding, wisdom, love and all the gifts that are like wine's overtones and undercurrents, gifts of Eucharist?

That is the path Krauth was headed down when he wrote:  

The Apostolic Constitutions direct... The prayer is made:  "Send down Thy Holy Spirit, that He may show this bread (to be) the body of Thy Christ, and this cup the blood of Thy Christ"  Here, in the earliest form, the function of the Holy Ghost in the Supper is clearly stated  - not the consummation of the sacramental mystery, by His working, but the illumination of the soul, so that it may grasp the great mystery there existent, and may have shown to it by the Holy Ghost that the bread and cup are indeed the body and blood of Christ. -- Conservative Reformation, p. 753

[Krauth believed The Apostolic Constitutions to be the most ancient liturgy in existence.]  It is significant, in line with Pr. Mozolak's thought, that the prayer goes on to ask:  

"that they may be to all who partake of them for life and resurrection, for forgiveness of sins, for health of soul and body, and enlightenment of mind, and defence before the dread judgment seat of Christ; and let no one of Your people perish, Lord, but make us all worthy that, serving without disturbance and ministering before You at all times of our life, we may enjoy Your heavenly and immortal and life-giving mysteries, through Your grace and mercy and love for man."  [J&C, p. 95]
This seems to relate more to worthy reception. The Holy Spirit creates and strenghtens faith, the eyes of which are the only things that can discern the true Body and Blood of Christ. So on what are we praying that the Holy Spirit be sent down? Not the elements, but the assembled people, as the Krauth quotes makes clear. So might the preacher pray prior to the sermon. But such a prayer would be clearly distinct from the sermon itself in a way that a Eucharistic prayer does not, seemingly, remain clearly distinct from the institution of the sacrament. So, to avoid confusion on this score, since the prayer is clearly for right reception of the sacrament, why not have the congregation rather than the pastor speak this prayer? The prayer would only have to be altered grammatically, not substantively. "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us..." and would certainly keep the sacrifice/sacrament direction of the responsive liturgy clearer. It might confuse people in the sense of appealing for a seemingly immediate working of the Spirit apart from the Word, so it might be clearer to add "through the Word of Christ instituting the sacrament" (since, as Luther says, the words "for you" require all hearts to believe) but with or without that added complication, is there some reason the pastor/priest has to say this prayer (as distinct from the Words of Institution) by himself and not along with the congregation?  

Weedon

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #94 on: March 25, 2010, 10:11:49 AM »
Peter,

Note that we DO pray exactly this way (though the Pastor speaks the prayer) in the Preface for Divine Service 5:

"Grant us Your Spirit, gracious Father, that we may give heed to the testament of Your Son in true faith and, above all, take to heart the words with which Christ gives us His true body and blood for our forgiveness." 

This is an epiclesis - a calling upon the Spirit to descend on the people.  Lutherans have never had any objection to such a prayer historically.  Note that when LCMS revised Hippolytus we dropped the epiclesis over the elements but kept it over the people (originally it had both) in Worship Supplement.  Yet, I'd maintain, that there is nothing dogmatically problematic in asking for the Holy Spirit to come upon the elements themselves and to show them to be for us the Body and Blood of Christ.  Where I'd raise an objection is asking the Spirit to transform the elements AFTER the consecration has taken place, as though the Verba did not accomplish the job. 

Harvey and Scott,

I'm not sure where the crossed out lines came from!  I intended to write them and NOT cross them out.

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #95 on: March 25, 2010, 10:14:59 AM »
If we ask for the Spirit to be sent down and the Spirit is not needed for consecration, is God offended?  I don't think so.  Holy Spirit, bless this moment with your presence... Holy Spirit blessing this meeting, this meal we are making for the homeless... aren't they OK prayers.  Then again when there are elements of creation floating around as yet unorganized for the use for which God's Word will make good and good even for us... the Spirit broods over the deep...  thumb dented bread and bottomless Cana cup....      Harvey Mozolak
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John_Hannah

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #96 on: March 25, 2010, 10:15:20 AM »

Harvey and Scott,

I'm not sure where the crossed out lines came from!  I intended to write them and NOT cross them out.


Never trust computers. ...like politicians--secular and ecclesastical.   ;D

Peace, JOHN HANNAH
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #97 on: March 25, 2010, 10:18:09 AM »
And Pastor Weedon.... while I wouldn't dare a Eucharist without the Verbi, I find that the consecation is larger, certainly as you say the people are also consecrated and if one chalice is not touched or lifted it too is included in God's action and the Sanctus and Agnus Dei and Our Father are all part of the divine doings....  to say nothing of the distribution...    Harvey Mozolak
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Weedon

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #98 on: March 25, 2010, 10:19:18 AM »
Pr. Mozolak,

You should share some of the epicleses you have crafted in your Eucharistic prayers.  I think that might help concretely in the discussion.

MSchimmel

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #99 on: March 25, 2010, 10:20:07 AM »
Discussion on the epiclesis has so far spoken of timing, need for and whether or how it makes change, but what of the Spirit as the blessed One who brings knowledge, faith, understanding, wisdom, love and all the gifts that are like wine's overtones and undercurrents, gifts of Eucharist?

That is the path Krauth was headed down when he wrote:  

The Apostolic Constitutions direct... The prayer is made:  "Send down Thy Holy Spirit, that He may show this bread (to be) the body of Thy Christ, and this cup the blood of Thy Christ"  Here, in the earliest form, the function of the Holy Ghost in the Supper is clearly stated  - not the consummation of the sacramental mystery, by His working, but the illumination of the soul, so that it may grasp the great mystery there existent, and may have shown to it by the Holy Ghost that the bread and cup are indeed the body and blood of Christ. -- Conservative Reformation, p. 753

[Krauth believed The Apostolic Constitutions to be the most ancient liturgy in existence.]  It is significant, in line with Pr. Mozolak's thought, that the prayer goes on to ask:  

"that they may be to all who partake of them for life and resurrection, for forgiveness of sins, for health of soul and body, and enlightenment of mind, and defence before the dread judgment seat of Christ; and let no one of Your people perish, Lord, but make us all worthy that, serving without disturbance and ministering before You at all times of our life, we may enjoy Your heavenly and immortal and life-giving mysteries, through Your grace and mercy and love for man."  [J&C, p. 95]
This seems to relate more to worthy reception. The Holy Spirit creates and strenghtens faith, the eyes of which are the only things that can discern the true Body and Blood of Christ. So on what are we praying that the Holy Spirit be sent down? Not the elements, but the assembled people, as the Krauth quotes makes clear. So might the preacher pray prior to the sermon. But such a prayer would be clearly distinct from the sermon itself in a way that a Eucharistic prayer does not, seemingly, remain clearly distinct from the institution of the sacrament. So, to avoid confusion on this score, since the prayer is clearly for right reception of the sacrament, why not have the congregation rather than the pastor speak this prayer? The prayer would only have to be altered grammatically, not substantively. "Send down Thy Holy Spirit upon us..." and would certainly keep the sacrifice/sacrament direction of the responsive liturgy clearer. It might confuse people in the sense of appealing for a seemingly immediate working of the Spirit apart from the Word, so it might be clearer to add "through the Word of Christ instituting the sacrament" (since, as Luther says, the words "for you" require all hearts to believe) but with or without that added complication, is there some reason the pastor/priest has to say this prayer (as distinct from the Words of Institution) by himself and not along with the congregation?  

Each week in the prayer of the church there is a petition that goes something like (last week's for example - from the "LetUsPray" prayer) "... as we prepare to receive the body and blood of Your Son for our salvation, renew our hearts and minds with the assurance of the new life that You have created within us and among us through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

I'm also in the middle of reading Oliver K. Olson's Reclaiming the Lutheran Liturgical Heritage, and Olson makes the point that Luther agreed with 11th century "Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida who insisted that the Sacrament of the Altar is not trinitarian, but christilogical.  Thus by upholding the tradition of the Western church, he countered in advance arguments for the prayer of the Eastern Orthodox church (epiclesis) for the descent of the Holy Spirit on the bread and wine."

Weedon

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #100 on: March 25, 2010, 11:30:44 AM »
What sort of Christology is it that is not the revelation and gift of the Trinity???
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 12:06:08 PM by Weedon »

MSchimmel

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #101 on: March 25, 2010, 12:20:47 PM »
Olson cites a German source titled "die folgenschweren Ideen des Kardinals Humbert und ihr Einfluss auf Gregor VII" -  unfortunately I don't have the source to unpack the quote.  But I don't think he would be separating the two as much as stating that Christ being fully the Trinity in one completes the consecration by his institution alone.  No need to add further to his Words by adding human words.

In fact, Olson spends a fair amount of time earlier in the same chapter citing Augustine and Ambrose over Cyril of Jerusalem as Luther's sources for his liturgical tradition which also militates against Trent and (according to Olson) the committee for ELW regarding the EP - specifically their principle 43:

Quote
The biblical words of institution declare God’s action and invitation. They are set within the context of the Great Thanksgiving. This eucharistic prayer proclaims and celebrates the gracious work of God in creation, redemption, and sanctification.

Quoting Luther from the WA (6:367, 2) he writes; "What is more than the Word, we should consider against the word of Christ."  And (from Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings, John Dillenberger) "Let us confine ourselves to the very words by which Christ instituted and completed the sacrament and commended it to us.  For these words alone, and apart from everything else, contain the power, the nature and the whole substance of the mass.  All the rest are human productions, without which the mass would still continue, and remain at its best."

grabau

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #102 on: March 25, 2010, 01:37:12 PM »
Not all the words of the verba are the Words of Jesus.!  grabau

Richard Johnson

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #103 on: March 25, 2010, 01:52:00 PM »
Yet, I'd maintain, that there is nothing dogmatically problematic in asking for the Holy Spirit to come upon the elements themselves and to show them to be for us the Body and Blood of Christ.  Where I'd raise an objection is asking the Spirit to transform the elements AFTER the consecration has taken place, as though the Verba did not accomplish the job. 

This is a fascinating discussion. My question, Will, would be this: is it necessary to conceive of a "before and after" here? In other words, does one have to specify a precise instant when the "job has been accomplished? Or could we not say that the "elements are transformed" in the course of the prayer, without trying to be more precise? If there has to be "a precise moment," then don't we get into a question of, "Well, what is the precise moment?" Is it when the final syllable of the verba is pronounced? Or half-way through? Seems to me that is a dangerous path to take.

I personally use Eucharistic prayers with an epiclesis most of the time; on the other hand, if the bread runs out and I need to consecrate more, I use the verba alone. Truth is, I probably haven't thought it through thoroughly, which is why I find this discussion so interesting.
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Jeremy Loesch

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Re: On the Eucharistia
« Reply #104 on: March 25, 2010, 02:13:54 PM »
Oh my word Harvey.  Those are quite lovely.  Very evocative and poetic.  Thanks for sharing.

And to all, this is a wonderful thread.  Very informational.

Jeremy
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