Author Topic: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...  (Read 258 times)

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Online Eamonomae

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Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« on: March 16, 2019, 03:37:52 PM »
Just a few questions about the Eucharist for the Oriental Orthodox...

1. What is the Oriental Orthodox view on Aquinas’s Transubstantiation?
2. How important is it that both the Body and Blood are consumed?
3. When are the gifts transformed? Do they follow the Roman Catholic belief and Saint John Chrysostom’s belief, that it’s at the words of institution? Or does it follow Eastern Orthodoxy, where the Epiclesis is the definite point at which the gifts are transformed?
4. What are your thoughts on Corpus Christi (just the feast and praxis of the feast day itself, as practiced by Catholics or Western Rite Chalcedonian Orthodox?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DNQO_Y-KWNk
5. What are your thoughts on Catholic Devotions like Eucharistic Adoration and Spiritual Communions?
6. Do the Oriental Orthodox believe that the Eucharist involves mystically partaking in the Divine Nature, in light of Pope Shenouda’s denial of it?
See section 13:
https://www.stgr.org/share/Pope_Shenouda_Books/English/Man%20Deification%20V1.pdf
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 03:43:36 PM by Eamonomae »

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 05:57:32 PM »
I would say that for most OO, and EO, the philosophical approach of Aquinas is not ever in mind. I would say that we want to preserve the mystery of the sacraments and prefer not to try to apply human logic to what God says. In some sense of course, the elements retain the accidents of bread and wine, while we insist that the substance is that of the Body and Blood of Christ. But I don't think we would turn to Aquinas for an explanation of this, or seek an explanation. I would say to people that God gives himself to us in the form of bread and wine, but that we believe these have become his own Body and Blood so that we are united with him in both body and spirit, and they are filled with the divine presence and power.

It is usually the case that the Body and Blood are given together in any case in many OO churches. The Syrian, Indian, Armenian, for instance. In the Coptic Orthodox tradition it is normal to receive both but this does not always take place. I often give communion only in the Blood of the Lord to an infant. There would be nothing missing from communion in only one kind, but I would want to know why that would happen? It makes no sense and diminishes the sacrament of which we pray in the words of the Lord Jesus - Take, eat. Take, drink.

When I spoke in a Catholic school a little while ago this came up and I explained that the children were receiving all of Christ in his body only, which I believe. But I do believe it is not a positive development in Western history.

We believe that at the words - This is my body, and this in my blood - the elements become what we ask of God, and become filled with the divine presence.

I think that Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart are all problematic developments in the West based on other problematic developments around the Eucharist. Likewise Eucharistic Adoration. This developed out of a loss of regular communion by most people. I do not think that we believe that the Eucharist is to be adored, in that sense, but consumed in a real communion. Of course Christ is worshipped in the Body and Blood, which is worshipped because he is present in it and it is his own Body and Blood. But we worship the divine person, not parts of his human anatomy, even symbolically.

The text of the Liturgy speaks about participation, and this is the primary aspect of the Eucharist.

We are united with Christ himself, the divine person of the Word, and so his own body, which is life-giving because it is his own body, is received into a physical and material union, as we also enter into a spiritual union by his same presence. We do not participate in the divine essence, but in the divine energies, and this is often a distinction which Pope Shenouda was trying to protect in his own words. But we certainly become partakers of the divine nature, in the manner in which the Fathers speak.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 06:02:12 PM »
The Priest says the prayers and it is changed into Body and Blood of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
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Online Eamonomae

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 06:17:11 PM »
Thanks, Father.

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 10:09:38 PM »

I think that Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart are all problematic developments in the West based on other problematic developments around the Eucharist. Likewise Eucharistic Adoration. This developed out of a loss of regular communion by most people. I do not think that we believe that the Eucharist is to be adored, in that sense, but consumed in a real communion. Of course Christ is worshipped in the Body and Blood, which is worshipped because he is present in it and it is his own Body and Blood. But we worship the divine person, not parts of his human anatomy, even symbolically.

I thought I had read that the the Orthodox objection to the Eucharistic Adoration is the fact that the whole body and blood were to be consumed at the DL (Mass) and none should be left over?
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 05:26:05 AM »
The sacrament is reserved in most Orthodox churches for the Presanctified Liturgy. St Severus certainly wrote a Presanctified Liturgy and may have introduced it.
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Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 09:38:28 AM »
Great point Father, and I should've been a bit more clear. Yes, I understand the Presanctified Liturgy, and I believe the West even had a mass for the presanctified. My understanding is that the liturgy of the presanctified is for the purposes of consumption later that week during Lent. I don't know how often Roman churches remove/consume the host in the monstrance that was set aside for adoration? Perhaps someone more learned can help me on that. Do they change it out weekly? I do not think it is daily.

I wasn't thinking in the realm of the presanctified, because it is later consumed and it is not set out to be worshipped or adored between the time it is presanctified.  On the flip side, with Eucharistic Adoration, the eucharist is prepared specifically for adoration rather than consumption, so I thought the objection from the east is the preparation of the body of Christ for worship instead of consumption? Then again if it is later consumed then I suppose the "consumption" objection becomes moot.

My only experience with the liturgy of the presanctified was in an Eastern Rite Catholic Church. Otherwise, having been Roman Catholic they had Eucharistic Adoration and a specific chapel open 24 hours that had to be attended by at least one person even through the night. However, I never knew when they removed the monstrance, consumed the host and replaced it.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 09:41:09 AM by noahzarc1 »
"While we fight about words, take advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party questions, have difficulty in agreeing, and prepare to anathematize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ." - Hilary of Poitiers (367)

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2019, 12:00:03 PM »
I would say that the purpose and meaning of the Eucharist is always consumption and Communion not exposition and adoration and that the development in the west of eucharistic adoration was due to an unhelpful development in the experience of the sacrament such that increasingly fewer and fewer people actually experienced communion and yet something was required for them. It seems to me that when most people are having Communion regularly the aspect of adoration and Communion come together as they are intended to
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Re: Oriental Orthodox view on the Eucharist...
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2019, 01:21:33 PM »
Great point Father, and I should've been a bit more clear. Yes, I understand the Presanctified Liturgy, and I believe the West even had a mass for the presanctified. My understanding is that the liturgy of the presanctified is for the purposes of consumption later that week during Lent. I don't know how often Roman churches remove/consume the host in the monstrance that was set aside for adoration? Perhaps someone more learned can help me on that. Do they change it out weekly? I do not think it is daily.

I wasn't thinking in the realm of the presanctified, because it is later consumed and it is not set out to be worshipped or adored between the time it is presanctified.  On the flip side, with Eucharistic Adoration, the eucharist is prepared specifically for adoration rather than consumption, so I thought the objection from the east is the preparation of the body of Christ for worship instead of consumption? Then again if it is later consumed then I suppose the "consumption" objection becomes moot.

My only experience with the liturgy of the presanctified was in an Eastern Rite Catholic Church. Otherwise, having been Roman Catholic they had Eucharistic Adoration and a specific chapel open 24 hours that had to be attended by at least one person even through the night. However, I never knew when they removed the monstrance, consumed the host and replaced it.

It should be stated that the Roman Catholic Church does have a Pre-Sanctified Mass during Good Friday, and I believe older rubrics had it more than just Good Friday (Pre Pius X changes).

The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics both trace their Pre-Sanctified liturgies to Pope Saint Gregory the Great (a post Chalcedon Chalcedonian Saint in both communions who is a source of fame and controversy for his “Dialogues” and his debatable stance on Papal Supremacy), but as Father Peter brought up, Saint Severus of Antioch is the traditional author of the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and he lived decades before Saint Gregory the Great. So the question is “who started the practice.”
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 01:23:49 PM by Eamonomae »