Author Topic: Priest and eucharist  (Read 751 times)

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Offline youssef

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Priest and eucharist
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:39:49 AM »
Does the transformation of the wine and bread will took place if the priest doesn't believe in the eucharist secret

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 10:57:04 AM »
Yes.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 11:14:08 AM »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 11:36:37 AM »
Yes.

+2

The idea that the efficacy of the sacraments depends on the personal piety and virtue of the priest is Donatism.  A priest who doesn't believe is simply a hypocrite, but the sacraments are efficacious in and of themselves,  as St. Augustine wrote.

There are probabaly a fair number of priests who have either lost their faith and become hypocrites, cynically presiding over the liturgy and the divine service to earn a paycheck, and other priests who are experiencing crises of faith in which their beliefs are being tested.   

Now, here is a question for Mor, Iconodule, Agabus, and our priest members like Fr George, serb1389 and Fr Peter: if a priest who has lost the faith and become a hypocrite fails to say the silent parts of the Eucharistic prayer, whenver he can get away with it (e.g. no deacons or other clergy in the altar who would notice him not doing anything); would that impact the efficacy of the liturgy?  Specifically, if the priest did not say the Epiklesis, and no one noticed, given that we believe the real change happens in the Epiklesis and not the Words of Institution?

"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 12:35:58 PM »
Yes.

+2

The idea that the efficacy of the sacraments depends on the personal piety and virtue of the priest is Donatism.  A priest who doesn't believe is simply a hypocrite, but the sacraments are efficacious in and of themselves,  as St. Augustine wrote.

There are probabaly a fair number of priests who have either lost their faith and become hypocrites, cynically presiding over the liturgy and the divine service to earn a paycheck, and other priests who are experiencing crises of faith in which their beliefs are being tested.   

Now, here is a question for Mor, Iconodule, Agabus, and our priest members like Fr George, serb1389 and Fr Peter: if a priest who has lost the faith and become a hypocrite fails to say the silent parts of the Eucharistic prayer, whenver he can get away with it (e.g. no deacons or other clergy in the altar who would notice him not doing anything); would that impact the efficacy of the liturgy?  Specifically, if the priest did not say the Epiklesis, and no one noticed, given that we believe the real change happens in the Epiklesis and not the Words of Institution?

I believe God acts when and where he will, and the Holy Spirit is not bound to our formulas. The earliest liturgies (e.g. the liturgical formula St. Paul quotes in his epistle to the Corinthians, what we see in the Didache, etc.) were far, far less developed than the services we have today, but we don't assert that they didn't truly receive the Body and Blood.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but what we believe regarding the Epiklesis and what we know may not necessarily be the same. Personally, I am not too concerned about when the change occurs as much as that it does. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't expect a certain level of liturgical decorum and adherence, but that the liturgy isn't just some mechanism by which ends are achieved via the perfect repetition of rote prayer.

EDIT: To be clear, I don't think the Eucharist as we understand and receive it can be received without some kind of consecration, etc.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 12:38:29 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 01:33:15 PM »
Roman Catholics, relying on Aquinas, believe it won't, given the priest has no intention of consecrating the Holy Eucharist.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 01:35:30 PM »
I vaguely remember a story of an NKVD agent posing as a priest (he was an atheist, of course) in Russia, and despite himself he witnessed miracles of the Holy Spirit descending again and again. He would grumble, "You again..."
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 01:54:07 PM »
I vaguely remember a story of an NKVD agent posing as a priest (he was an atheist, of course) in Russia, and despite himself he witnessed miracles of the Holy Spirit descending again and again. He would grumble, "You again..."
There's an early martyr who was just a comedian satirising Christians, so according to his hagiography, he was merely simulating a baptism and came out of the water claiming (non-ironically) to be a Christian. No idea of his name, but he's celebrated some time in September.

Edit: Holy Martyr Porphyrius the Actor
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 02:04:28 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 03:46:22 PM »
Now, here is a question for Mor, Iconodule, Agabus, and our priest members like Fr George, serb1389 and Fr Peter: if a priest who has lost the faith and become a hypocrite fails to say the silent parts of the Eucharistic prayer, whenver he can get away with it (e.g. no deacons or other clergy in the altar who would notice him not doing anything); would that impact the efficacy of the liturgy? 

Yes.

Quote
Specifically, if the priest did not say the Epiklesis, and no one noticed, given that we believe the real change happens in the Epiklesis and not the Words of Institution?

Presuming you are asking about whether the bread and wine become the Eucharist, it's hard for me to say.  On the one hand, something essential has been omitted, and while I'm sympathetic to Agabus' idea that the Holy Spirit is not bound by our formulas, we are bound by our formulas.  On the other hand, I think it's possible for God to make the gifts into the Eucharist for those who believe and approach innocently, but that would be an extraordinary intervention, not something one could depend on or guarantee. 
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 04:52:29 PM »
Now, here is a question for Mor, Iconodule, Agabus, and our priest members like Fr George, serb1389 and Fr Peter: if a priest who has lost the faith and become a hypocrite fails to say the silent parts of the Eucharistic prayer, whenver he can get away with it (e.g. no deacons or other clergy in the altar who would notice him not doing anything); would that impact the efficacy of the liturgy? 

Yes.

Quote
Specifically, if the priest did not say the Epiklesis, and no one noticed, given that we believe the real change happens in the Epiklesis and not the Words of Institution?

Presuming you are asking about whether the bread and wine become the Eucharist, it's hard for me to say.  On the one hand, something essential has been omitted, and while I'm sympathetic to Agabus' idea that the Holy Spirit is not bound by our formulas, we are bound by our formulas.  On the other hand, I think it's possible for God to make the gifts into the Eucharist for those who believe and approach innocently, but that would be an extraordinary intervention, not something one could depend on or guarantee.

Has the scenario I outlined recently occurred?  Iconodule's story suggests this sort of thing probably happened with the fake clergy inserted by the KGB, Securitate, etc, into the Church.  In the post-communist period, do you think a hypocritical apostate priest could get away with intentionally not saying the Epiklesis, when the bishop or another priest wasn't warching, for any signifigant length of time? 
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 05:01:07 PM »
...we are bound by our formulas.  On the other hand, I think it's possible for God to make the gifts into the Eucharist for those who believe and approach innocently, but that would be an extraordinary intervention, not something one could depend on or guarantee.

Append this to what I wrote.
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THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2017, 05:26:30 PM »
Append this to what I wrote.

If I might have the honor of this concatenation:


I believe God acts when and where he will, and the Holy Spirit is not bound to our formulas. The earliest liturgies (e.g. the liturgical formula St. Paul quotes in his epistle to the Corinthians, what we see in the Didache, etc.) were far, far less developed than the services we have today, but we don't assert that they didn't truly receive the Body and Blood.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but what we believe regarding the Epiklesis and what we know may not necessarily be the same. Personally, I am not too concerned about when the change occurs as much as that it does. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't expect a certain level of liturgical decorum and adherence, but that the liturgy isn't just some mechanism by which ends are achieved via the perfect repetition of rote prayer.

EDIT: To be clear, I don't think the Eucharist as we understand and receive it can be received without some kind of consecration, etc.

we are bound by our formulas.  On the other hand, I think it's possible for God to make the gifts into the Eucharist for those who believe and approach innocently, but that would be an extraordinary intervention, not something one could depend on or guarantee. 
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 07:14:07 PM »
Now, here is a question for Mor, Iconodule, Agabus, and our priest members like Fr George, serb1389 and Fr Peter: if a priest who has lost the faith and become a hypocrite fails to say the silent parts of the Eucharistic prayer, whenver he can get away with it (e.g. no deacons or other clergy in the altar who would notice him not doing anything); would that impact the efficacy of the liturgy? 

Yes.

Quote
Specifically, if the priest did not say the Epiklesis, and no one noticed, given that we believe the real change happens in the Epiklesis and not the Words of Institution?

Presuming you are asking about whether the bread and wine become the Eucharist, it's hard for me to say.  On the one hand, something essential has been omitted, and while I'm sympathetic to Agabus' idea that the Holy Spirit is not bound by our formulas, we are bound by our formulas.  On the other hand, I think it's possible for God to make the gifts into the Eucharist for those who believe and approach innocently, but that would be an extraordinary intervention, not something one could depend on or guarantee.

Has the scenario I outlined recently occurred? 

Well, I've been to Liturgies where there is no possible way I can think of for the silent prayers to have been recited in full, and my conclusion was that they were simply omitted or at best "scanned" with the eyes.  But I don't think that was "loss of faith" and "hypocrite" as much as "I've got a lot on my plate today". 

Quote
Iconodule's story suggests this sort of thing probably happened with the fake clergy inserted by the KGB, Securitate, etc, into the Church.  In the post-communist period, do you think a hypocritical apostate priest could get away with intentionally not saying the Epiklesis, when the bishop or another priest wasn't warching, for any signifigant length of time?

I'm not going to speculate on this question.
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2017, 07:22:05 PM »
Roman Catholics, relying on Aquinas, believe it won't, given the priest has no intention of consecrating the Holy Eucharist.

This is false. The standard according to Scholastic thought is that the priest merely has to "intend at least to do what the Church does," and this is interpreted in the widest possible sense. Basically, this intention is assumed by the priest using the approved formulary of Mass; using the Church's words for Mass is the sign that he "intends to do what the Church does." He may personally disbelieve that transubstantiation happens, but the fact that he uses the Church's formulary indicates the minimal intention. Hypothetically, if a priest formed a positive intention "I will NOT consecrate this bread and wine," perhaps it would be invalid, but how would anyone know that? There would be no sin on anyone's part but the wicked priest, so it's not even worth worrying about.

We get into dicier territory with showboaty, misguided priests who change the words of the Mass, but that has to be evaluated case-by-case.
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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2017, 07:29:24 PM »
Roman Catholics, relying on Aquinas, believe it won't, given the priest has no intention of consecrating the Holy Eucharist.

This is false. The standard according to Scholastic thought is that the priest merely has to "intend at least to do what the Church does," and this is interpreted in the widest possible sense. Basically, this intention is assumed by the priest using the approved formulary of Mass; using the Church's words for Mass is the sign that he "intends to do what the Church does." He may personally disbelieve that transubstantiation happens, but the fact that he uses the Church's formulary indicates the minimal intention. Hypothetically, if a priest formed a positive intention "I will NOT consecrate this bread and wine," perhaps it would be invalid, but how would anyone know that? There would be no sin on anyone's part but the wicked priest, so it's not even worth worrying about.

We get into dicier territory with showboaty, misguided priests who change the words of the Mass, but that has to be evaluated case-by-case.
Oh, I see, I had heard otherwise from Roman Catholics.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2017, 08:36:51 PM »
Roman Catholics, relying on Aquinas, believe it won't, given the priest has no intention of consecrating the Holy Eucharist.

This is false. The standard according to Scholastic thought is that the priest merely has to "intend at least to do what the Church does," and this is interpreted in the widest possible sense. Basically, this intention is assumed by the priest using the approved formulary of Mass; using the Church's words for Mass is the sign that he "intends to do what the Church does." He may personally disbelieve that transubstantiation happens, but the fact that he uses the Church's formulary indicates the minimal intention. Hypothetically, if a priest formed a positive intention "I will NOT consecrate this bread and wine," perhaps it would be invalid, but how would anyone know that? There would be no sin on anyone's part but the wicked priest, so it's not even worth worrying about.

We get into dicier territory with showboaty, misguided priests who change the words of the Mass, but that has to be evaluated case-by-case.

This seems reasonable, although the Novus Ordo provides a great variety options.   Strictly speaking, from an RC perspective, wouldn't the only absolute requirement in the mass be the Words of Institution?

Martin Luther in fact pared back the Canon to consist mainly of that prayer, and not much else; in recent ecumenical dialogues this hasn't been a major issue.

But from an Orthodox perspective, the entire liturgy seems to be important; if the prayers of the Prothesis were omitted, or the various litanies, this would be bad, and if the prayers said by the priest either quietly, or not chanted, in the Byzantine Rite, were omitted, like most of the Institution Narrative and the Epiclesis, that would be worse.

I suppose by the way this is one advantage of both the Coptic and Syriac rites, where much more of the anaphora is prayed aloud or chanted, and also of those EO parishes where the priest reads the prayers so the congregation, or at least those close to him, can hear (the disadvantage is that this kind of interferes with the music in both Byzantine Chant and Slavonic four part harmony situations, particularly if the priest pauses the choir to read, for example, the very long Institution Narrative from the liturgy of St. Basil, or the prayers of the three Antiphons. 

There is an OCA parish I like to go to where the present priest does read the prayers aloud, but in a way that doesnt interfere with the choir, and indeed, he managed to get the choir much better organized (the former priest died, and the parish, of about 50 people, had been borrowing priests, including a very sweet Romanian hieromonk from their Orthodox monastery near Palm Springs, for about two years before Fr. Michael was assigned). 

In the case of both of those priests, the loving nature of the Romanian priest who frequently helped out, and the fact that the current priest says the Institution Narrative and Epiclesis aloud, and is also very loving, absolutely rule out any suspicion of hypocrisy.

I visited only one parish, I wont name it or the jurisdiction, where I got the sense that the priest had possibly degenerated from an authentic piety to basically viewing it as a job, where he came across as disinterested, but it could have been strongly developed dispassion on his part; I couldn't tell.  I didn't get a good feeling at that parish, however.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2017, 08:41:29 PM »
Now, here is a question for Mor, Iconodule, Agabus, and our priest members like Fr George, serb1389 and Fr Peter: if a priest who has lost the faith and become a hypocrite fails to say the silent parts of the Eucharistic prayer, whenver he can get away with it (e.g. no deacons or other clergy in the altar who would notice him not doing anything); would that impact the efficacy of the liturgy? 

Yes.

Quote
Specifically, if the priest did not say the Epiklesis, and no one noticed, given that we believe the real change happens in the Epiklesis and not the Words of Institution?

Presuming you are asking about whether the bread and wine become the Eucharist, it's hard for me to say.  On the one hand, something essential has been omitted, and while I'm sympathetic to Agabus' idea that the Holy Spirit is not bound by our formulas, we are bound by our formulas.  On the other hand, I think it's possible for God to make the gifts into the Eucharist for those who believe and approach innocently, but that would be an extraordinary intervention, not something one could depend on or guarantee.

Has the scenario I outlined recently occurred? 

Well, I've been to Liturgies where there is no possible way I can think of for the silent prayers to have been recited in full, and my conclusion was that they were simply omitted or at best "scanned" with the eyes.  But I don't think that was "loss of faith" and "hypocrite" as much as "I've got a lot on my plate today". 

Quote
Iconodule's story suggests this sort of thing probably happened with the fake clergy inserted by the KGB, Securitate, etc, into the Church.  In the post-communist period, do you think a hypocritical apostate priest could get away with intentionally not saying the Epiklesis, when the bishop or another priest wasn't warching, for any signifigant length of time?

I'm not going to speculate on this question.

With the silent prayers in the Roman Catholic church, this factor lead to suspiciously short low masses; around 1800 one of their major theologians remarked that if a priest said the Low Mass in less than 15 minutes, it was a grave sin, and that the low mass should properly take half an hour.  The obligation for all priests to say mass daily and the ban on concelebration in the Latin Rite probably led to a lot of corners being cut over the years.

But thats not quite the same thing as a grievous act of sacrilege that renders the Orthodox divine liturgy, or the Catholic mass, invalid.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 08:44:38 PM by Alpha60 »
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 08:44:12 PM »

There is an OCA parish I like to go to where the present priest does read the prayers aloud, but in a way that doesnt interfere with the choir...

This is my experience in the OCA. Aesthetically speaking, it works very well.

On some Antiochian churches, the sotto prayers are delivered at the same volume as the rest.
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THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 08:51:50 PM »

There is an OCA parish I like to go to where the present priest does read the prayers aloud, but in a way that doesnt interfere with the choir...

This is my experience in the OCA. Aesthetically speaking, it works very well.

On some Antiochian churches, the sotto prayers are delivered at the same volume as the rest.

Indeed.   That said,  I tend to slightly prefer Antiochian liturgical aesthetics; I like some of their contemporary English settings of the liturgy slightly more than some of the translations I hear in the OCA.  But the lack of Vespers at so many Antiochian parishes is annoying, whereas the OCA tends to have All Night Vigils in the Russian and Athonite tradition. 
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Priest and eucharist
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2017, 11:42:41 AM »
This seems reasonable, although the Novus Ordo provides a great variety options.   Strictly speaking, from an RC perspective, wouldn't the only absolute requirement in the mass be the Words of Institution?

I don't know that that question is settled. Certainly the words of institution are (at least since the 13th century) considered the moment when transubstantiation occurs, but I'm not sure they have consecratory power divorced from the Mass itself. For instance, I don't think a priest could just pronounce the words at dinner and turn the dinner rolls and table wine into the Eucharist. That smacks of "magic words." In any event, it would be considered a mortal sin to omit the rest of Mass, so hopefully this is not attempted!
Woe is me, that I have read the commandments,
   and have become learned in the Scriptures,
and have been instructed in Your glories,
   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

(Giwargis Warda, On Compunction of Soul)