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Author Topic: Eucharistic Consecration by "Words of institution" - Early Latin witness  (Read 1754 times) Average Rating: 0
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Christopher McAvoy
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« on: February 15, 2012, 03:16:26 AM »

http://www.ts.mu.edu/content/40/40.2/40.2.6.pdf

This is a fascinating article. I am continueing to read and have not finished.

It appears to support the belief that the "words of institution" have been considered the necessary and sufficient "sacramental form" for Eucharistic Consecration throughout the Latin speaking Churches from at least the 6th century.

I think someone here would fine it a good read.
However, the role of the Holy Spirit or epiclesis is also emphasized as important more often in the earlier time of the latin west as these quotes show:

Quote
The opening prayer of the Mass for Maundy Thursday in the Irish Sacramentary has these words: "Carrying out a saving effigy of the Lord's immolation, which is transformed into a spiritual sacrifice by the offering of Christ ',25 The prayer is reproduced in the somewhat later Missale Gothicum, and it presents a developed theology of the Mass.

The immolation is carried out in effigy, not in the shedding of real blood, and this effigy is not mere play-acting, because the words of Christ and the act of Christ make it a spiritual sacrifice. That some thinking had taken place when the prayer was being composed may be judged from its later clause, which asks that Christ may bless the gifts that have been offered and that by the enlightening of the Holy Spirit a sweet odor may rise up as the angels carry it aloft. The fragment at Cambridge which contains some Christmas prayers from a mid-eighth-century Mass book has the same phrase about the sweet odor: "From these sacred offerings may a sweet odor rise up to Thee and upon them may copious blessings descend from Thee, that by the mystery of Thy working there may be to us a lawful Eucharist and true blood in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."26

This prayer followed the words of consecration.

The petition for a "legitimate Eucharist" that can be found in a number of these prayers did not arise out of regard for canon law; it was rather a theological desire that the words spoken by the priest should have the power of God behind them. This is expressed by a prayer from what seems to be a Breton liturgy. The codex itself is in the Ambrosiana at Milan, and its only hint of locality of provenance is a Mass for an unknown St. Hilduin. Now Gilduin was a Breton saint, and the consonants G and H can easily be interchanged in the Breton language. The prayer runs:

"Holy Lord, when Thou didst repudiate animal sacrifice, Thou didst desire that the rite of this spiritual sacrifice, prefigured by Melchisedech, committed by Thine only Son to the apostles and by them spread throughout the world, should prevail also for the eternal salvation of Thine own by its mystical holiness; pour forth Thy grace, Thy Spirit, and Thy power upon these blessed creatures, that their complete consecration may be wrought not by word or tongue of mortal but by inspiration from heaven, through Christ our Lord."27 What might be meant by "complete" consecration one can only conjecture; the priest speaks the words of Christ, and the Father accepts that action by the sending of the Spirit. A model of that type might satisfy. Alternatively, one might think that the words of Christ, spoken in his person by the priest, suffice for the sending of the Spirit; they are not mere words, but power and life.

That thinking needed to be clarified about the role of the Son and the Spirit at the consecration can be seen from the Mass of St. Germanus in the Missale Gallicanum vetus, where apost-pridie prayer (that followed immediately on the consecration) asked for the descent "of Thy holy Word, of the inestimable Spirit of Thy glory, of the ancient gift of Thy pardon."28 Though written down ca. 700, this prayer was composed long before that, in Merovingian Gaul, while the conviction that the Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father was growing more clear in Spain and spreading northwards. In the fifth Mone Mass there is an explicit statement that the Holy Spirit is "ex Patre et Filio mystica processione subsistens."29 That Trinitarian appropriations came in gradually to describe the work of consecration might be inferred from the prayer in the Stowe Missal (p. 7) which was sung three times at the half-uncovering of the chalice: "Veni, Domine sanctificator omnipotens, et benedic hoc sacrificium praeparatum Tibi. Amen." This is the earliest form of the prayer which remained in the Roman Missal until 1970, and it is a prayer addressed to the Father, who is the recipient of the sacrifice.

Perhaps this article proves that the two ideas were historically complementary, not contradictory.  Grin

Although it also states something more boldly polemical:

Quote
John Chrysostom held that the words of Christ used at the consecration were creative words, while he also held that it is the coming of the Spirit that makes bread become the Bread of Heaven.30 He also said that Christ as the new Moses has the Spirit consubstantial with himself, and, just as Moses struck the rock and drew forth streams of water, so Christ touches the spiritual table and causes to rise up streams of the Spirit. That is why the altar is in the middle, like a spring, so that the flock may gather round from all sides to enjoy the saving waters.31 A Latin version of this homily circulated in the West from ca. 750. The preoccupation of the Byzantine Greeks with the denial of the Filioque gave a wrong direction to their theology of the Mass, for, if the Spirit does not proceed from the Son, then Christ by his words cannot be thought to send the Spirit upon the offerings of bread and wine. Chrysostom felt no difficulty in saying that Christ sent the Spirit, like a second Moses, but after his day the Byzantines grew less willing to accept the fact.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 03:32:52 AM by Christopher McAvoy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 01:03:52 PM »

subscribing to get to this later...looks facinating
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 02:04:07 PM »

Interesting and funny. Tagged for later when I have popcorn.
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 05:20:20 PM »

Does the EO Church accept the possibility that the transformation may occur at one time during the Byzantine Liturgy, and at another time during the Latin Liturgy?
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 11:14:21 PM »

Quote
John Chrysostom held that the words of Christ used at the consecration were creative words, while he also held that it is the coming of the Spirit that makes bread become the Bread of Heaven.30 He also said that Christ as the new Moses has the Spirit consubstantial with himself, and, just as Moses struck the rock and drew forth streams of water, so Christ touches the spiritual table and causes to rise up streams of the Spirit. That is why the altar is in the middle, like a spring, so that the flock may gather round from all sides to enjoy the saving waters.31 A Latin version of this homily circulated in the West from ca. 750. The preoccupation of the Byzantine Greeks with the denial of the Filioque gave a wrong direction to their theology of the Mass, for, if the Spirit does not proceed from the Son, then Christ by his words cannot be thought to send the Spirit upon the offerings of bread and wine. Chrysostom felt no difficulty in saying that Christ sent the Spirit, like a second Moses, but after his day the Byzantines grew less willing to accept the fact.

Sending does not equal procession.  If this is considered a strength of his overall argument, I'm not even going to bother to read. The denial of the filioque in no way takes away from the Spirit being consubstantial God with the Father and the Word.  The acceptance of the filioque would actually hamper the Spirit's ability to function on his own and would ultimately destroy the community of love within the Trinity.  The transformation of the elements (however that may happen) is a testimony of the communication of the hypostases to one another. (I'm sorry, I really don't know how to word that).

If I'm not mistaken, according to Hippolytus (c. 250 A.D.), there was an epiclesis present in early Roman liturgies.  And that long precedes any filioque. 

And if St. John Chrysostom found the words of Christ to be sufficient, why did he retain the epiclesis in the Liturgy that bears his own name?

Also, I love how this author does not seem able to differentiate between Mass and Liturgy.  The fact that he cannot make that distinction severely limits his credibility.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 11:57:13 PM »

Quote
John Chrysostom held that the words of Christ used at the consecration were creative words, while he also held that it is the coming of the Spirit that makes bread become the Bread of Heaven.30 He also said that Christ as the new Moses has the Spirit consubstantial with himself, and, just as Moses struck the rock and drew forth streams of water, so Christ touches the spiritual table and causes to rise up streams of the Spirit. That is why the altar is in the middle, like a spring, so that the flock may gather round from all sides to enjoy the saving waters.31 A Latin version of this homily circulated in the West from ca. 750. The preoccupation of the Byzantine Greeks with the denial of the Filioque gave a wrong direction to their theology of the Mass, for, if the Spirit does not proceed from the Son, then Christ by his words cannot be thought to send the Spirit upon the offerings of bread and wine. Chrysostom felt no difficulty in saying that Christ sent the Spirit, like a second Moses, but after his day the Byzantines grew less willing to accept the fact.

Sending does not equal procession.  If this is considered a strength of his overall argument, I'm not even going to bother to read. The denial of the filioque in no way takes away from the Spirit being consubstantial God with the Father and the Word.  The acceptance of the filioque would actually hamper the Spirit's ability to function on his own and would ultimately destroy the community of love within the Trinity.  The transformation of the elements (however that may happen) is a testimony of the communication of the hypostases to one another. (I'm sorry, I really don't know how to word that).

If I'm not mistaken, according to Hippolytus (c. 250 A.D.), there was an epiclesis present in early Roman liturgies.  And that long precedes any filioque. 

And if St. John Chrysostom found the words of Christ to be sufficient, why did he retain the epiclesis in the Liturgy that bears his own name?

Also, I love how this author does not seem able to differentiate between Mass and Liturgy.  The fact that he cannot make that distinction severely limits his credibility.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "differentiate between Mass and Liturgy".
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 07:53:44 PM »

^Only that the author seems to think that Catholics and Orthodox both call it mass, which is, of course, incorrect and a fundamental misunderstanding of both churches.  If the author doesn't know that basic fact, it makes everything else he says extremely suspect.
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2012, 08:18:43 PM »

^Only that the author seems to think that Catholics and Orthodox both call it mass, which is, of course, incorrect and a fundamental misunderstanding of both churches.  If the author doesn't know that basic fact, it makes everything else he says extremely suspect.

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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2012, 08:32:59 PM »

^Only that the author seems to think that Catholics and Orthodox both call it mass, which is, of course, incorrect and a fundamental misunderstanding of both churches.  If the author doesn't know that basic fact, it makes everything else he says extremely suspect.

Maybe he honors you by considering your liturgy valid......... nah..... he's a heretic Catholic....
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 10:26:43 PM »

While the author may be biased. It is the words of these early Latin bishops and fathers and liturgies being quoted which are of primary importance I think. I can't imagine that the lack of differentiation between mass and divine liturgy is very significant. The holy sacrifice is still the holy sacrifice.
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 07:05:51 PM »

^Only that the author seems to think that Catholics and Orthodox both call it mass, which is, of course, incorrect and a fundamental misunderstanding of both churches.  If the author doesn't know that basic fact, it makes everything else he says extremely suspect.

That is ridiculous. That is like saying calling a diskos a paten makes everything else you say about Orthodox theology suspect.

Since you belong to the Antliochian archdiocese, you must realize many Orthodox Christians from the middle east have no problem calling the liturgy mass.

Also, western rite Orthodox are still Orthodox, znd they of course say mass....
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 06:35:23 PM »

Quote
so, western rite Orthodox are still Orthodox, znd they of course say mass....
Some do, some dont. At my parish, its liturgy.

PP
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 03:10:44 AM »

Does the EO Church accept the possibility that the transformation may occur at one time during the Byzantine Liturgy, and at another time during the Latin Liturgy?
There is no magical transformation moment in either liturgy.

When the Eucharist is offered at the beginning of the liturgy it is bread and wine. When you receive it, the body and blood of Christ.

The whole action of the liturgy makes this so, not a mere word or tinkling of a bell.
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 07:53:55 PM »

Does the EO Church accept the possibility that the transformation may occur at one time during the Byzantine Liturgy, and at another time during the Latin Liturgy?
There is no magical transformation moment in either liturgy.

When the Eucharist is offered at the beginning of the liturgy it is bread and wine. When you receive it, the body and blood of Christ.

The whole action of the liturgy makes this so, not a mere word or tinkling of a bell.

While I agree that it is the whole action of the liturgy which "enables" the transformation of the Precious Gifts (I say "enables" because God can, of course, do any thing), I do not buy into the analysis that the Gifts are in a "gradual process of becoming" the Body and Blood of Christ during the Liturgy*. I think perhaps that analsyis is an over-reaction to the Roman notion of the Gifts being instantaneously transubstantiated at the utterance of the words of institution.

We do not engage in the exercise of attempting to determine what minimum elements are required for the mystery to be effected. While many of us insist upon the inclusion of the epiklesis even in Western liturgies, I do not believe we hold the epiklesis alone or words of institution + epiklesis to be the only necessary elements of the mystery.

As has been said above, while we have the words of St John Chrysostom to the effect that the words of institution are the necessary element of the mystery, the blessed saint retained the epiklesis in the liturgy which bears his name (notably, it follows the words of institution). This seems to indicate that the words of the epiklesis are no less necessary for the consumation of the mystery.

Is my understanding on the right track?

------------------------------------

* I am not saying this is your analysis.
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 06:05:18 AM »

At my parish, its liturgy.

Why an Earth? "Liturgy" is more Orthodox than "Mass"?
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2012, 09:10:39 AM »

There is no magical transformation moment in either liturgy.

When the Eucharist is offered at the beginning of the liturgy it is bread and wine. When you receive it, the body and blood of Christ.

The whole action of the liturgy makes this so, not a mere word or tinkling of a bell.

While I agree that there isn't only one single line that is the only cause of the transformation, there most definitely has to be a point when that happens. It is either the Body of Christ or it isn't. As to when that happens, I think it is mostly theological opinion to go beyond "we offer bread and wine and recieve the Body and Blood of Christ". I will say that from what I've looked at that was written about the Eucharist, all the fathers from the west from about as early as they began writing concerning the Eucharist, do assert that the change is brought about by the words of institution. But then again, western liturgical tradition, from what I've seen, has always asked that the gifts be transformed before reciting the words of institution, where as the eastern tradition has the epiklesis after the words of institution.

Perhaps it would be better to say that no matter "when" the change occurs, the entire anaphora is essential and not just one or two lines at whatever moment you believe the change occurs.
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2012, 09:32:20 AM »

^Only that the author seems to think that Catholics and Orthodox both call it mass, which is, of course, incorrect and a fundamental misunderstanding of both churches.  If the author doesn't know that basic fact, it makes everything else he says extremely suspect.

That is ridiculous. That is like saying calling a diskos a paten makes everything else you say about Orthodox theology suspect.

Since you belong to the Antliochian archdiocese, you must realize many Orthodox Christians from the middle east have no problem calling the liturgy mass.

Yeah, I know plenty of pious Lebanese who call it mass.
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 12:31:36 AM »

Quote
so, western rite Orthodox are still Orthodox, znd they of course say mass....

Some do, some dont. At my parish, its liturgy.

PP

What you call it isn't important when the words mean the same thing.

From Webster:

Mass
1. the liturgy of the Eucharist especially in accordance with the traditional Latin rite.
2. a celebration of the Eucharist.

Liturgy
1. a eucharistic rite.
2. a rite or body of rites prescribed for public worship.

Divine Liturgy
1. the eucharistic rite of Eastern churches

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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2012, 01:45:18 AM »

Does the EO Church accept the possibility that the transformation may occur at one time during the Byzantine Liturgy, and at another time during the Latin Liturgy?
There is no magical transformation moment in either liturgy.

When the Eucharist is offered at the beginning of the liturgy it is bread and wine. When you receive it, the body and blood of Christ.

The whole action of the liturgy makes this so, not a mere word or tinkling of a bell.

While I agree that it is the whole action of the liturgy which "enables" the transformation of the Precious Gifts (I say "enables" because God can, of course, do any thing), I do not buy into the analysis that the Gifts are in a "gradual process of becoming" the Body and Blood of Christ during the Liturgy*. I think perhaps that analsyis is an over-reaction to the Roman notion of the Gifts being instantaneously transubstantiated at the utterance of the words of institution.

We do not engage in the exercise of attempting to determine what minimum elements are required for the mystery to be effected. While many of us insist upon the inclusion of the epiklesis even in Western liturgies, I do not believe we hold the epiklesis alone or words of institution + epiklesis to be the only necessary elements of the mystery.

As has been said above, while we have the words of St John Chrysostom to the effect that the words of institution are the necessary element of the mystery, the blessed saint retained the epiklesis in the liturgy which bears his name (notably, it follows the words of institution). This seems to indicate that the words of the epiklesis are no less necessary for the consumation of the mystery.

Is my understanding on the right track?
I agree.
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