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Author Topic: What constitutes Communion  (Read 2063 times) Average Rating: 0
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JoeS
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« on: May 08, 2005, 11:28:03 PM »

I have been in discussion with some Roman Catholics concerning receiving Holy Communion and what constitutes Communion. My position is that both the Body and Blood are the Eucharist as our Church Fathers have taught not to mention what Our Lord said in the below Biblical passage. The Roman church position is that the host contains all the elements of the Eucharist both Body and Blood. I disagree. What is the official stance in the Orthodox Church concerning this issue? Huh

How about the exact words of Christ in John 6:53: (caps and parenthesis are mine)

"And Jesus said to them, "I tell you the TRUTH, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man AND drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh AND drinks (Our lord repeats himself here for a reason) my blood has eternal life, AND I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food AND my blood is real drink. ( He repeats himself yet again) Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. ( here He repeats for a fourth time. God Incarnate really wants to drive this home for us all.) Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Our forefoathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever".



It seems that the last line(s) in this context is all that is necessary in the Roman faith. Cool



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Robert
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 12:05:08 AM »

I think you meant to say that the Latins believe the host is fully the body just as the wine is fully the blood. Meaning, if you were to receive only under one species, you wouldn't somehow only get half of a God, but you'd get Him fully.  You are a bit ambigious in regards to your dialogue.  Perhaps if you could post it here, we could further clarify.

I think the Orthodox somehow follow along the same paradigm, because it recalls to mind the time I witnessed a sick call.  The person was unable to chew, so the priest just placed a drop of the blood on the tongue.  Likewise, I've seen priests give babies just a drop of the blood as well.

Either way, no side, Roman or Orthodox, says that each species is both the body and blood.  However, by receiving only one species, again, you are still receiving the full God.

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 12:25:04 AM »

Christ is Risen!

As a young College Student I worked a part-time job for the nuns of a Convent that made Communion Wafers for the Roman Catholic Church.  The Nuns were very specific to include wine in the making of the unleavened wafer before it was baked.  When I asked why, their response was so that those who recieved the wafer in communion were in truth communing with the body and blood of Christ. And that seems to resolve the issue for Latin Catholics.

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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 07:59:07 AM »

I believe that the modern hosts are mass produced and wine is not an ingredient in the making of the hosts. They are cookie cut out of sheets of baked wheat (unleavened) and water.  Wine, to my knowledge is not used in the making of the modern day hosts. 

The wine given to babies at Liturgy has had sufficient time to co-mingle with the bread and boiled water so the essence of the bread is in the wine before it is given to babies.

I was unaware that some hosts ("home" made) contain a tincture of wine in its manufacture. But I think that this is the exception rather than the rule. 

My argument stems from the early church when the whole church received under both species.  Why the western church changed is still a mystery to me.  I know that the chalice is slowly being introduced to the RCC and acceptance is not totally universal at least right now.  Some folks will avoid the chalice because they were brought up to accept the host only. 

The RCC believes that the host, by itself, contains both the body and blood of Christ.  My other argument is if this is so why the need for the priest to have both on the altar at consecration?  Is the wine there just for window dressing?

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 10:39:34 AM »

Quote
The RCC believes that the host, by itself, contains both the body and blood of Christ.  My other argument is if this is so why the need for the priest to have both on the altar at consecration?

The RCC doesn't believe that the wine is necessary for the sacrament to take place -- as long as a validly ordained priest says the words of institution with the correct intention, over valid matter, the change will happen. Having both bread and wine be present, though, is still necessary, because the Mass is more than just the priest saying some magic words.
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 11:36:16 AM »

The wine given to babies at Liturgy has had sufficient time to co-mingle with the bread and boiled water so the essence of the bread is in the wine before it is given to babies.


I think the priest tries to include a small crumb as well.
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2005, 11:53:12 AM »

during the agnus dei (lamb of god) the RCC priest will take a portion of his host and place it in the chalice.


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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2005, 12:52:24 PM »

Catholic teaching is that one receives Christ in His entirety under either species.  So if one receives only one species he receives the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinty of Christ Jesus.  Since we receive the Risen Christ He can no longer be seperated.

While not doubting what Thomas was told by the nun, she was disobeying Latin law which states hosts are to be made from wheat and water alone.

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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2005, 08:19:02 PM »

Well I have to totally disagree with Roman Catholic beliefs on this subject.  Why would the priest need both species and deny it to the faithful (ie when it was denied) is beyond me.

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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2005, 09:41:28 PM »

I am still doing research (in and amongst the Real Life) and have just come across a book on The Little Ice Age that I'm going to hunt up.  But here is a possible theory that I wrote about here a good while ago.|

Wine is made from grapes.  Grapes once grew as far north as England.  But then came a time of cooling weather called now The Little Ice Age.  Fewer to no grapes, no little English castle vintages (or other northern region varieties either).  Wine must be imported, but travel and trade are more difficult then now.  Also spoilage is higher. 

There must be both bread and wine for a Eucharist.  Bread is common food, But if wine might very well be in short supply it must be doled out carefully to make it last.  So one hypothesis is that wine was reserved for the clergy and the Body was given to all. 

This would not be a matter of *needing* both species but of not having enough for everyone. 

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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2005, 07:42:51 AM »

You can find here the catholic point of view: Straight Answers: Why Is the Precious Blood Not Distributed at Every Mass?:

"...While affirming this teaching, the "General Instruction on the Roman Missal" (No. 240) did assert that the "meaning" of Communion is most clearly signified when given under both species — both the Precious Blood and the Sacred Host. Here the imagery of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and of being joined with the Messianic Banquet becomes most clear. Nevertheless, since a person receives "the whole and entire" Christ under each species, the Church is obedient to the command of the Lord to eat His Body and drink His Blood by just offering one species to the congregation, even though this partaking is best signified when both species are offered and consumed. For this reason, the Church has not mandated that both species should always be offered. (Please note that in the Eastern Rite, the priest regularly administers Holy Communion with a spoon, distributing the Sacred Host soaked with the Precious Blood.)

Granted, in the very early Church, Holy Communion under both species was distributed. The practice, however, gradually changed to avoid "some dangers and scandals," according to the Council of Constance (1415). These reasons ranged from the spillage of the Precious Blood in its distribution, to health concerns from sharing the same cup, to inebriation, and to absconding with the sacred vessels. However, some areas of the Church continued to offer Communion under both species even into the 12th century.
...
In 1984, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in America decided that the policy was left to the local ordinary of each diocese. Each bishop must weigh the spiritual needs of his diocese with any practical concerns. In the Diocese of Arlington, Holy Communion may not be administered under both species on Sundays and Holy Days. Whatever regulations a diocese issues regarding this practice, no one should construe the reception of just one species as a violation of what our Lord instituted at the Last Supper..."
But the most outrageous Catholic doctrine is the following:

"The Council of Trent, session 21, CHAPTER IV, teaches: "Little children without the use of reason are not bound by any necessity to the sacramental Communion of the Eucharist, since having been regenerated through the bath of baptism (Titus 3:5) and having been members of the Body of Christ they cannot at that age lose the grace of the children of God which has already been attained."

It is a defined doctrine (dogma) of divine and Catholic faith that the actual reception of the Eucharist is not necessary for the salvation of infants (Council of Trent, session 21, canon 4).

The Eucharist is morally (not absolutely) necessary for adults to persevere for a long time in the state of grace.

The Church is the guardian and minister of the sacraments. Her teaching and practice show us how to make use of the sacraments according to God's will."

So in this context, as the Catholic church thinks of it, the Eucharist becomes an anti-immorality filter that preserves "the state of grace", "with the use of reason" and it satisfies the need that "bounds by the necessity" of "lost grace".

This most false doctrine is due to the Roman-Catholic ignorance of the personal experience of the Eucharist as a personal meeting with Christ !

According to St. Maximos Orthodox point of view, Eucharist is offerd to every member of the Church, because every member of the Church has the will (not the need) to meet Christ:

"The exhortation by the Bishop or Priest, "With fear of God, faith and love draw near", indicates the three classes of the saved. To the first category (with fear) belong the slaves, who do the will of God from fear. To the second category (with faith) belong the mercenaries, who out of a desire for promised benefits bear with patience the burden and heat of the day, that is, the affliction innate in and yoked to the present life by the condemnation of our first parents, and the temptations from it on behalf of virtue. And in the third category (and love) are listed the sons of God, those who are never separated from God, but struggle to maintain this relationship and unity, and they do not do it out of fear of threats or out of the desire for promised things, "but rather by the tendency and habit of soul towards what is good in spirit".

Thus, by this interpretation, the divine Eucharist indicates man's whole journey to sharing in the eternal blessings and participating in the everlasting age to come. There already exists a foretaste of the future blessings."

Of course in this context everyone, including the little children and infants can participate into the "eternal blessing in the everlasting age to come", because this experience is an ontological experience of meeting Christ as man, a bodily experience, and not an experience based on reason.

The distorted Roman-Catholic point of view comes from the Augustinian-platonic conception of "the meeting with God", as a mere noetic "knowledge" of God, and not as a living experience. The bodily experiences, for Roman-Catholics are the means to accomplish this intellectual "knowledge".

The Greek Orthodox experience is that "the meeting with God" is a personal meeting inside our hearts, that includes the whole man - body included. One can realise this by seeing the little babies as they receive Communion with their parents and grandparents. In Greek Orthodox Church this is how we understand the words of the Lord: Luke 18:16 "But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

Also, the Greek Orthodox Church never experienced "health concerns from sharing the same cup, and inebriation problems in relation to Eucharist ". I guess this is due to fact that the received "wine" and "bread" never turn out into the peptic system of Orthodox Christians! (I wonder, why the roman-catholics have to use their peptic system on their "holy communion", as the Council of Constance faced this as a problem to be solved)
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2005, 08:29:47 AM »

"With fear of God, faith and love draw near", indicates the three classes of the saved

Did you realize that the word "love" is NOT in the original text of Chrysostom's liturgy? It is simply "With fear of God and with faith, draw near."  I believe the word "love" was added sometime only in the 19th century and is of very recent innovation.
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2005, 09:14:50 AM »

"With fear of God, faith and love draw near", indicates the three classes of the saved

Did you realize that the word "love" is NOT in the original text of Chrysostom's liturgy? It is simply "With fear of God and with faith, draw near." I believe the word "love" was added sometime only in the 19th century and is of very recent innovation.

I have no such notion. Let it be as you say. There are many variations regarding the original text. What is important is not the insistence to the form but to the substance.

In Greek Orthodox Church we use the form "With fear of God, faith and love draw near".

In this context the priest also says : "Let us be attentive! The holy things for the holy!".

By accepting the substance of the phrase "The holy things for the holy!"   the Counsil of Trent's doctrine, regarding "children non-participation and the moral necessity for adults to persevere for a long time in the state of grace", has no place to stand.
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2005, 09:45:22 PM »

The Holy Eucharist is 'transformed' via transubstantion by the Holy Spirit and as such once that happens both are fully Christ and any semblance of bread and wine or host are only 'of this world' but no longer relevant.   In 1991 a miracle happened with a host during mass right after the consecration- it started to bleed real blood and all at the service saw this. The priest locked it in the sanctuary and the next day it was still bleeding   The church has preserved it in a frame and now it beats llike a human heart.  You can see the video of it here:.  http://dsanford.com/miraclehost.html  It is of course a spiritual inspiration.
There was also an incident in the 8th century.  There was a priest in a monasteryin Lanciano Italy.  He was doubting the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  He looked at the host and suddently noticed it was human flesh and blood. To this day it is still thus. (photo and story: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html
Every time a host 'bleeds' it is always type AB - same blood type as in shroud of Turin.  Also,  apparently after all these centuries the Lanciano one has not decomposed. Recent scientific tests/pictorial micrographs of the tissue are also available.  All of this is of course wondrous. 

Most of the time when I receive communion in the EO, there is only wine on the spoon.  This used to disturb me, as I felt I was somehow getting an incomplete sacrament. Now I know that this is not the case.  A bigger issue now is that I know of many EO who rarely receive due to concerns regarding infectious disease.  Much of this was triggered by AIDS, but also SARS as well.  Perhaps the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is still questioned...

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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2005, 05:52:15 PM »

.... A bigger issue now is that I know of many EO who rarely receive due to concerns regarding infectious disease. Much of this was triggered by AIDS, but also SARS as well. Perhaps the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is still questioned...

In XC, Kizzy

Yes this is a BIG ISSUE, what will the answer be to a rhetorical  question like: "do you choose to die from AIDS after you receive Communion, or do you choose to live by denying to receive Communion ?" I know that this is not an actual dilemma because there can not be any virus in the Holy Communion.

I understand that this BIG ISSUE surfaces from ignorance. BUT, there was a time and a place when the question was literally put upon Christians in the form of: "do you choose to die from the sword of roman empire after you recognize Christ as you God, or do you choose to live by denying Christ?"

At the end of the day one has to choose the most precious of the two: “myself” or Him.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2005, 06:36:31 PM »

[More to the point, if Pokrov whines and noone is around to listen, would anyone still care? Pokrov makes a lot of accusations, but many are rather unsubstantive. ]

Exactly! We have gone through this before. Seems these people will print whatever gossip they are fed without either proving their accusations or giving the facts. We have gone thru this once before where they claimed that a monk under Archbishop Dimitri who was a child molester was holding 'youth retreats' in the diocese of the Sout with the Archbishops approval.

When the facts came out the story wasn't quite what they wanted it to be. Checkthe archives.

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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2005, 08:28:58 PM »

<In 1991 a miracle happened with a host > And much to the tizzy wozzy of Kizzy, these miracles will continue to occur until the RCC and Orthodox unite under the King of the Israelis in Jerusalem. But I won't be folloiwng this 'miracles".  OOh now I've zed it!
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2005, 08:40:20 PM »

So the Consecrated Body and Blood of Christ is disease ridden?  Our priest has been receiving people for the past 25 years and we have yet to have an illness as you suggest. And in addition, our priest consumes the remaining species after Liturgy after all the faithful have taken their share. We have an average of from 70 to 90 people for communion each and every Sunday Liturgy. I cant imaging our Lord being contaminated simply by administering the sacrament.

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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2005, 10:06:23 PM »

<In 1991 a miracle happened with a host > And much to the tizzy wozzy of Kizzy, these miracles will continue to occur until the RCC and Orthodox unite under the King of the Israelis in Jerusalem. But I won't be folloiwng this 'miracles". OOh now I've zed it!

Your slanderous attitude calls into question whether you are following anything Christian. Shame on you.
The miracle I spoke of was witnessed by many and was videotaped as well.. similar to Zeitun. You can see it online at the link I posted.

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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2005, 10:09:46 PM »

So the Consecrated Body and Blood of Christ is disease ridden? Our priest has been receiving people for the past 25 years and we have yet to have an illness as you suggest. And in addition, our priest consumes the remaining species after Liturgy after all the faithful have taken their share. We have an average of from 70 to 90 people for communion each and every Sunday Liturgy. I cant imaging our Lord being contaminated simply by administering the sacrament.

JoeS

Well, I don't think of it as such, but there are those who do... I know of one altar boy who stopped receiving communion after watching one priest cough mucus into the cup while preparing it.  I would have thought that clergy would give the cup more respect... but this act apparently was pretty digusting and the altar boy was so nauseated watching it....
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