Not necessarily, the elevation is performed before the Epiklesis in the Byzantine Rite. The theology is that we offer God bread and wine and during the Epiklesis receive back the Body and Blood of Christ.
Fr. John W. Morris
Father, with all due respect, I think there is something missing in the elevation being discussed. The purpose of elevation of the bread and wine are different in the Byzantine liturgy and the Western Rite Mass. During the Mass, at the Words of Institution, after the priest says the words regarding the bread, Sanctus bells ring, priest genuflects, host censed, Sanctus beel rings, host is elevated, host censed, host put back on corporal priest genuflects, Sanctus bell rings, host censed. This same series happens after the words concerning the wine and done with the chalice.
The Epikelsis happens after all of this. It is basically inserted a few lines later. But there is a reason for all of the ceremonial during the words of institution. These acts (ringing the bells, genuflecting, and ceasing) are being done because the elements are Christs Body and Blood. Western rite ceremonial does not have genuflect ions toward ordinary bread and wine, nor does one cense ordinary bread and wine. The Sanctus bells are rung when the Sacrament is exposed (also done when the Tabernacle, where the reserved sacrament is kept, is opened).
If the elements are not really the Eucharist until the Epiklesis is said, there is a big theological problem with this ceremonial being done when it is, and which is the heart of the ceremonial during the Consecration section of the Mass. There's no way to move those things to another part of the Mass. The significance of why that ceremonial is clear and it conflicts with the reason why the Epiklesis has been added to our liturgy. I've asked, of course, and there's really nothing one can say. The various clergy I've asked have danced around it, some better than others.
I'm obedient to the fact that we have to have it in the Mass. It doesn't mean I have to like it or think it is right. The East is not the West's yardstick for what is Christian and what is not. I really think there never was an Epiklesis in the West, even during the 1000 years of unity, and the sun still rose in the East and everything was ok. But this is what it is, and it's. to a big enough thing for me to lose sleep over. It just seems unnecessary. Sorry for the soapbox.
Genufluxing after the Words of Institution are not necessarily an indication that the gifts have been fully consecrated. The rubrics of the Byzantine Rite call for the Priest to make a deep bow after the Words of Institution before the consecration is completed by the Epiklesis. The gifts are also elevated before the Epiklesis as the Priest says, "Thine own of thine own, we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all." The idea is that we offer God bread and wine and during the Epiklesis receive back the Body and Blood of Christ.
I have read histories that claim that there was an Epiklesis in the ancient Roman Liturgy. I believe that other ancient forms of the Western Rite such as the Gallican and Mozarabic had an Epiklesis.
According to Orthodox theology an Epiklesis is absolutely necessary during the Anaphora. Thus the Western Rite to be fully Orthodox had to restore the Epiklesis. The words of the Epiklesis of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, "make this bread the precious Body of thy Christ; and that which is in this cup the precious Blood of thy Christ; Changing them by thy Holy Spirit." make it clear that the consecration is not completed until after the Epiklesis.
The rubrics of the Liturgikon of the Antiochian Archdiocese state that the Priest is not to point to or make any gesture towards the gifts during the Words of Institution.
Fr. John W. Morris