Category : Eucharist

Cardinal Ouellet–The Ecclesiology of Communion, 50 Years after the Opening of Vatican Council II

It is important to stress here that the ecclesiology of communion promoted by the Council takes its inspiration from the Eucharistic ecclesiology of the Orthodox, especially Afanassief, who is cited in the texts. The Council’s ecclesiology is thus of great ecumenical import. The intervention of John Zizioulas, the Metropolitan of Pergamon, at the 2005 Roman Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, testifies to this: “The ecclesiology of communion promoted by Vatican II and deepened further by eminent Roman Catholic theologians can make sense only if it derives from the eucharistic life of the Church. The Eucharist belongs not simply to the beneesse but to theesseof the Church. The whole life, word and structure of the Church iseucharistic in its very essence.” Walter Kasper agrees wholeheartedly and holds that “eucharistic ecclesiology has become one of the most important foundations of the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.”

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Eucharist, Ireland, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Christ Church New Haven offers Resources on the Question of Communing the unBaptized

Bookmark it and then follow the links and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, TEC Parishes, Theology

The IEC is Ireland's largest religious event since the 1979 papal visit

The weeklong 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which gets under way in Dublin June 10, will be Ireland’s largest religious event since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979.

The celebration of faith offers a lively mixture of prayer, reflection and liturgy with participation from some of the leading voices in the Catholic world.

Organizers promise an estimated 12,000 overseas visitors the traditional Irish “cead mile failte” –“a hundred thousand welcomes.” Many Dubliners have opened their homes to pilgrims.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Eucharist, Ireland, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Douglas Farrow on the Meaning of the Ascension

Ascension theology turns at this point to the Eucharist, for in celebrating the eucharist the church professes to know how the divine presents itself in our time, and how the question of faithfulness is posed. Eucharistically, the church acknowledges that Jesus has heard and has answered the upward call; that, like Moses, he has ascended into that impenetrable cloud overhanging the mountain. Down below, rumours of glory emanate from the elders, but the master himself is nowhere to be seen. He is no longer with his people in the same way he used to be. Yet he is with them, in the Spirit.

–Douglas Farrow, Ascension Theology (New York: T and T Clark, 2011), p. 64

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ascension, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Stephen Edmondson's ATR Article on Communion of the Unbaptized

This article, a theologically thick description of opening the eucharistic table to all, is rooted in Aidan Kavanaugh’s conviction that liturgical theology is primarily that “knowledge” of God generated by the encounter of Christian congregations with God in the liturgy. Thus, this work began with a working group of four Open Table Episcopal parishes reflecting together on what they have found of God, Christ, church, and grace within their practice. The vision that emerged from this reflection was centered in a complex theology of grace and response inherent in Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son. This central commitment was, moreover, structured around intuitions concerning the universal status of all persons as God’s children, the relational character of grace, the communal character of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, a Christocentric ecclesiology defining the church by the commitments at its center, and a missional understanding of baptism.

Read it all carefully.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

The Diocese of Eastern Oregon Report Supporting Communion of the Unbaptized

As Christendom was waning, the Episcopal Church ratified a new identity in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. This new identity brought us to practice baptismal ministry and made the Eucharist the central part of our Sunday worship. Now, after living this theology for over 30 years, we are faced with the growing practice of Open Table in the Episcopal Church. The two are not unrelated. Perhaps we did not anticipate that we would arrive at the place where we are considering the reversal of the traditional order of Sacraments. Yet, as more and more congregations practice Open Table, we are called to confront the incongruity between practice and traditional theological thinking.

Read it all carefully (Word document). [Please note if you have any trouble go there, then go down to resolution C040 and you will see the document link on the far right (you can get it as a pdf if you prefer)].

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(ENS) Some General Convention Resolutions endorse unbaptized people receiving the Eucharist

The young woman who called St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Hood River, Oregon, was upset and asked if the church offered communion.

“I really need some support right now and I feel like it starts there,” she told the Rev. Anna Carmichael, the parish’s rector.

The wrinkle was that while the woman had attended various churches she had “never formally been baptized and yet somehow this needing to be in community and needing to be supported, in her mind, had something to do with communion as well,” Carmichael recalled.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Bryan Owen Offers a Helpful Summary of some response to the Communion of the Unbaptized Proposal

Now that the Anglican Covenant is dead in the water, those who seek to revise what it means to be the Church have no need to worry about the process set out in the fourth section of that document (assuming that they would have needed to worry if the Covenant was adopted anyway). Regardless, the drive for CWOB is a manifestation of commitment to an “autonomous ecclesiology” rather than “communion ecclesiology.”

Read it all and yes, follow all the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, TEC Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Eastern Oregon Puts Forward Resolution Proposing Communion of the Unbaptized

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

(Christian Century Blogs) Amy Frykholm–The morning communion rush

Since the New Year, I’ve been stopping at the Chicago Temple on Wednesday mornings for communion. For at least 40 years, this downtown United Methodist church has offered communion to city dwellers and commuters during the morning rush. At 7:30, Phil Blackwell–who inherited the tradition–consecrates the elements with whomever happens to be in the room at the moment. For the next 90 minutes, communion and a simple prayer are offered for anyone who walks in.

The communion, offered without a traditional liturgy, could very well have an “express lane” feel. When I first heard about this communal rite, I wondered: theologically, what is communion absent community? Culturally, why do I and others imagine we don’t have time for liturgy? Ecclesiastically, what is communion that is all take (on my part) and no give?

But Blackwell and associate pastors Claude King and Wendy Witt all say the early-morning communion is a personal highlight of their ministries….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

The Bishop of London's (recent) Pastoral Letter–Do this in remembrance of me

The Pope has recently issued an invitation to Anglicans to move into full communion with the See of Rome in the Ordinariate where it is possible to enjoy the “Anglican patrimony” as full members of the Roman Catholic Church. Three priests in the Diocese have taken this step. They have followed their consciences.

For those who remain there can be no logic in the claim to be offering the Eucharist in communion with the Roman Church which the adoption of the new rites would imply. In these rites there is not only a prayer for the Pope but the expression of a communion with him; a communion Pope Benedict XVI would certainly repudiate.

At the same time rather than building on the hard won convergence of liturgical texts, the new Roman rite varies considerably from its predecessor and thus from Common Worship as well. The rationale for the changes is that the revised texts represent a more faithful translation of the Latin originals and are a return to more traditional language.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(CEN) Broken communion for the Church of Ireland

The outcry over the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory’s support for an Irish dean’s gay civil union has forced the bishop to skip the consecration of the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry.

Church leaders in Northern Ireland told The Church of England Newspaper that the Rt. Rev. Michael Burrows had been advised to stay away from the Sept 8 consecration of Bishop Patrick Rooke at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. The bishop had been told his support for clergy gay civil unions had broken the collegiality of the church and his presence would cause some participants in the ceremony to refrain from receiving the Eucharist with him.

Bishop Burrow’s office did not respond to questions from CEN, but the Church of Ireland’s press officer did confirm that the bishop “did not attend and that this was his own decision. I have no knowledge of any advice from anyone about staying away or concern with regard to receiving communion.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(Living Church) Central Florida Bishop Nominees Discuss Communion of the Unbaptized

As the Diocese of Central Florida searches for its fourth bishop, seven nominees reflect its primarily evangelical identity. Both Anglo-Catholic and broad-church piety also are evident, but the nominees’ answers to questions posed by the diocese’s standing committee leave few doubts on what they believe about blessing same-sex couples or offering the elements of Communion to the unbaptized.

The standing committee asked all nominees to answer five questions [PDF] (including those on sexuality, Eucharistic practice, and how the diocese relates to the Episcopal Church). It also asked nominees to choose three of seven questions that dig deeper on theology and pastoral skills. Most nominees chose to answer this optional question: “How might you respond if a friend who was not a practicing Christian approached you and said, ”˜What would I have to do to be a Christian, and why would I want to do it?’” Most of the nominees cite specific and tangible moments of becoming Christian or deepening their relationship with God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Poetry for a Friday– Benjamin Myers' "On Taking Communion with My Students"

Let greasy spikes be caught in halos
thrown from chapel windows
and the lazy shuffle of saints
trace the body of Christ down the chapel alley.

Let this one,
paper late,
eyes avoiding mine
like two blackbirds in sudden flight,
receive.

And let this one,
absent a week
only to resurface
as the sinking vessel rises
one last time from ocean’s deep midnight,
also receive.

Let greasy spikes be caught in halos
thrown from chapel windows
and the lazy shuffle of saints
trace the body of Christ down the chapel alley.

Let this one,
paper late,
eyes avoiding mine
like two blackbirds in sudden flight,
receive.

And let this one,
absent a week
only to resurface
as the sinking vessel rises
one last time from ocean’s deep midnight,
also receive.

–Benjamin Myers, Elegy for Trains (Bellingham: Village Books Press, 2010) [You may find further information about the book here if you are interested–KSH]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Eucharist, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Young Adults

A Revealing recent Diocese of Connecticut email Concerning the new Title IV Canons

The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
June 30, 2011

Dear Colleagues in Ministry:

We are writing to remind you as sisters and brothers in ordained ministry that the new Title IV disciplinary canons go into effect this coming Friday, July 1. For the past year we as a diocese have been preparing for the new Title IV. At our diocesan convention last year we voted in members of the new committees needed to support the Title IV process. Robin Hammeal-Urban has been leading educational offerings throughout the Diocese and in Province One, helping all of us to understand the new process and intent of the canon.

Further information on the new Title IV can be found on the Diocese of Connecticut website at:
http://www.ctepiscopal.org/Content/Clergy_Disciplinary_Process_Title_IV_.asp

The goal of the new Title IV is to embrace a form of clergy discipline based on restorative justice rather than retributive justice. We have moved away from a model of discipline based on the code of military justice (on which the outgoing Title IV was based) hoping to embrace more a process of collegiality and accountability amongst peers.

The new Title IV both broadens the guidelines of what needs to be “reported” with respect to actions that contravene the doctrine and discipline of The Episcopal Church and also includes more participants in disciplinary process. It thus requires that offenses to the doctrine and discipline of The Episcopal Church be reported by clergy to the Diocesan Intake Officer when they arise. Lay people may also report offenses, but since they are not “in orders” they are not required to do so. Robin Hammeal-Urban will be serving as our Intake Officer as an extension of her role as the Diocesan Pastoral Response Coordinator for the next year as we live into this new model.

One topic which has come up at almost all of the trainings and educational offerings that Robin has lead is the question of Open Communion. Canon 1.17.7. restricts eligibility to receive Holy Communion to persons who are baptized. The new Title IV presents us with the circumstance to consider what we believe about “open communion” in light of what the doctrine and discipline of The Episcopal Church is at this time. Some deaneries and delegates in the Diocese of Connecticut are thus looking at offering a resolution to our Diocesan Convention that will ask us to engage in a diocesan-wide conversation around “Open Communion”. In the meantime, your bishops are called to uphold the canons of the church as outlined in the Constitution and Canons voted at General Convention 2009.

The implementation of the new Title IV might cause some anxiety as we learn to live with the new canons. Still, if we can stay centered, open, and as well informed as possible, we trust that in time the new Title IV will serve all of us well as we seek always to be faithful to our ordination vows.

Faithfully,
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Aidan Nichols: The Ordinariates, the Pope, and the Liturgy

(Please note that parts one and two were posted earlier on the blog–KSH).

There can be little doubt that the Order of Holy Communion in the English Prayer Book tradition ”“ starting with 1549, and moving through 1552 to 1559 where some slight recovery of Catholic ground was modestly extended in 1662 ”“ is hostile to ideas of Eucharistic Sacrifice and even Eucharistic Presence. At the high point of radical Protestant influence, under Edward VI, it appears to have been because Bishop Stephen Gardiner of Winchester, a conservative on the Edwardine bench of bishops, argued that the First Prayer Book was susceptible of a Catholic interpretation that Cranmer determined to embark on making a more thorough job of it in 1552. The great Anglo-Catholic liturgiologist Dom Gregory Dix describes in the final chapter of his The Shape of the Liturgy his own dismay on looking into the context of the two Edwardine Prayer Books in Cranmer’s other theological writings. ”˜[I]t is only painfully and with reluctance that have brought myself to face candidly some of the facts here set out, and I cannot but fear that they will bring equal distress to others’.[1] The benign view of Cranmer’s liturgical revision taken by most High Churchmen (though isolated critical voices had never been completely lacking), and, after the Oxford Movement, by ”˜Prayer Book Catholics’, was, so Dix concluded, historically unsustainable. For Cranmer the Eucharist was instituted by Christ not so that his death might be offered to the Father but with the simple aim of its being remembered by us. The Second Prayer Book is the Eucharistic counterpart of the magisterial Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone: in Dix’s words ”˜the only effective attempt ever made to give liturgical expression to [that] doctrine’.[2] Or as the then bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, writes in his highly appealing study of the Liturgy, Heaven and Earth in Little Space, Cranmer was concerned to ”˜consecrate the congregation and not the eucharistic elements’.[3]

All this explains the rise of the Anglo-Catholic demand for the supplementation of the English Prayer Book and indeed its quasi-replacement by some version of the Western Missal. As to its content, the demand was doctrinally motivated, though it often took the form of a legal argument ”“ namely, that the proper authorities of the two provinces of the mediaeval Church which formed the Ecclesia anglicana, the Convocations of Canterbury and York, had neither initiated the Prayer Books nor even authorized them except in the sense that they advised the clergy to make use of what was sometimes referred to as ”˜the Parliamentary book’.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Food for Thought on the Ascension

…the church that knows Christ risen and ascended and takes up the challenge of confessing Christ coming to judge and to reign will not only be renewed in its sense of mission, but will also (of this I am confident) find there open before it new possibilities for an ecumenical understanding of its own sacraments and order, and for resolving differences related to its privileged participation in the present and future of Jesus. Moreover, it will not falsify or evade its special eucharistic participation in the past of Jesus, it will gladly exchange the heavy yoke of heroism for the lighter yoke of martyrdom. There is no better articulation of its faith in the Coming One than that.

–Douglas Farrow, “Confessing Christ Coming” in Nicene Christianity, ed. Christopher Seitz (Brazos Press, 2001), p. 148

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ascension, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Eucharist, Missions, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(CEN) US backing for communion without baptism

The Episcopal Church’s national office has given a backhanded blessing to the practice of allowing those not baptized to receive Holy Communion””a practice forbidden by canon law.

Supporters of Communion without Baptism (CWOB) have argued that relaxing the church’s Eucharistic discipline will serve as a recruiting tool for those outside the faith. However, traditionalists have rejected the practice as uncanonical and contrary to church teaching.

Last month the Episcopal Church Office of Congregational Vitality posted a video to the national church’s website highlighting the ministry of parish of St Paul & the Redeemer in Chicago. The congregation “exemplifies transformative work,” the Rev. Bob Honeychurch, the Episcopal Church’s officer for congregational vitality, said, adding that the parish “sees its primary point of contact with the wider community through its Sunday morning experience. The worship becomes its witness to the world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, TEC Parishes, Theology

(CEN) Canadian ”˜no’ to communion without baptism

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada has rejected calls to permit those not baptized to be allowed to receive the “sacrament of the holy Eucharist.”

At the close of their April 11-15 meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario the bishops reaffirmed the church’s canons and traditional practice stating only those baptized would be permitted to receive. “We do not see this as changing for the foreseeable future,” the bishops said.

The bishops’ debate follows a March 7 “Guest Reflection” published in Canada’s Anglican Journal by Dr. Gary Nicolosi who argued for a relaxation in the church’s Eucharistic discipline as a way of attracting more people to church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Living Church) Episcopalians, Moravians Celebrate Common Cup

About 500 people gathered at Central Moravian Feb. 10 to celebrate the full communion of the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church. The Episcopal Church approved the full-communion agreement at General Convention in 2009, and the two Moravian provinces approved it in 2010. The churches had practiced interim eucharistic sharing since 2003.

This historic occasion featured a prelude with music by the Central Moravian Brass Ensemble, and opened with a procession of nearly a dozen Episcopal and Moravian bishops. For this event, the Central Moravian choir merged with those of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity and Trinity Church, Bethlehem.

Yet for all its importance, the service was less than two hours long, including the singing of 11 hymns. The service honored both churches’ traditions on the elements of Communion, offering worshipers a choice between wine or grape juice. Recitations were short but heartfelt, stressing fellowship and unity.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Other Churches, Sacramental Theology, Theology

William Witt–The Anglican Reformers Were Not Zwinglians!

The author also claims (incorrectly) that the Anglican Reformers were Zwinglian in their eucharistic theology. Once in awhile, one comes across these attempts to interpret the Anglican Reformers as Zwinglian in their eucharistic theology, whether by those of catholic leanings (who are attempting to do demolition work) or by low-church Evangelicals, hoping to score points against Rome.

It does not work. Neither Cranmer nor Jewel (and certainly not Hooker) were Zwinglians, and they repeatedly go out of their way to make this clear. What they rejected was transubstantiation, particularly the notion that the substance of bread and wine ceased to exist as bread and wine after consecration. It is not terribly clear what they meant by “spiritual presence,” whether a presence through the Holy Spirit (as in Calvin and Eastern Orthodoxy), or rather “something else.” Most commentators interpret them as “virtualists” or “receptionists,” who believed that Christ communicated himself really and truly in his full humanity and deity, in the very act of eating and drinking, when the communicant received the consecrated bread and wine, with faith.

What they clearly believed was: the risen Christ is really present, in his full humanity and deity, when the elements are received with faith, and, in participating in the Lord’s Supper, Christians genuinely participate in Christ’s risen life through the process of eating and drinking. Both Cranmer (against Gardiner) and Jewel (against Harding) were emphatic that they disagreed about the manner of Christ’s presence, not the reality of Christ’s presence.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Church Times: Sydney thwarted on lay presidency

The decision of the Appellate Tri­bunal rejecting lay and diaconal presidency at the eucharist is the latest setback for the diocese of Sydney in its quest to find a means of allowing lay people and deacons to fulfil this function.

Since the 1990s, numerous at­tempts have failed, but this decision is the most serious, because the dio­cese’s current ordination policy is based on the premise that deacons can (in Sydney’s preferred termin­ology) administer the Lord’s Supper.

Under the policy that has been introduced in recent years, ordination as priests (or presbyters, as Sydney calls them) is restricted only to rec­tors of parishes. At least one newly appointed rector has been ordained priest in the same service in which he was inducted into his first parish.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Church Times Editorial on Mary's Assumption–A development received?

Our Lady’s body is not John Brown’s body: it had a higher vocation; there is no tradition, as there is with other saints, of relics: what happened? Historians have little to go on…..

Since Vatican II, it has proved a lesser obstacle than expected. True, Barthians do not like it. But John Macquarrie’s Mary for All Christians (1991) gave a positive C of E critique; and the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, in 2005, affirmed “the teaching that God has taken the Blessed Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into his glory as consonant with Scripture, and only to be understood in the light of Scripture”. When Anglicans speak of unwarranted developments these days, they are more likely to be talking about disputes among themselves. Indeed, the charge of setting the bar too high for communion, levelled against Rome in 1950, has a topical ring to it….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Church Times: Canadian priest repents of canine communion

An Anglican church in Canada has caused an outcry after a dog was given holy communion. The Revd Marguerite Rea gave a consecrated wafer to an Alsatian-cross breed named Trapper, at St Peter’s, Toronto, last month.

It was the first time the dog and his owner, Donald Keith, had attended a service there. The Bishop of York Scarborough, the Rt Revd Patrick Yu, who oversees St Peter’s, emphasised that it was against the policy of the Anglican Church of Canada. “I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.”

He said he believed Ms Rea was overcome by “a misguided gesture of welcoming”. He has received assurances from her that it will never happen again. The matter was now closed, he said, as “we are, after all, in the forgiveness-and-repair business.”

On Sunday, Ms Rea apologised for her action, which had been a “simple act of reaching out”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Eucharist, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

The 1549 Prayer Book Holy Communion Service (spelling adapted to render it more intelligible)

I cite here the exhortation:

Dear friends, and you especially on whose souls I have cure and charge, on — – next I do intend, by God’s grace, to offer all such as shall be godly disposed the most comfortable sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, to be taken of them in remembrance of his most fruitful and glorious passion: by the which passion we have obtained remission of our sins, and be made partakers of the kingdom of heaven; whereof we be assured and ascertained, if we come to the said sacrament with hearty repentance for our offences, stedfast faith in God’s mercy, and earnest mind to obey God’s will, and to offend no more. Wherefore our duty is to come to these holy mysteries with most hearty thanks to be given to Almighty God for his infinite mercy and benefits given and bestowed upon his unworthy servants, for whom he hath not only given his Body to death, and shed his Blood, but also doth vouchsafe, in a sacrament and mystery, to give us his said Body and Blood to feed upon spiritually. The which sacrament being so divine and holy a thing, and so comfortable to them which receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to take the same unworthily: my duty is to exhort you, in the mean season, to consider the greatness of the thing, and to search and examine your own consciences, and that not lightly, nor after the manner of dissimulers with God, but as they which should come to a most godly and heavenly banquet; not to come but in the marriage garment required of God in the Scripture; that you may (so much as lieth in you) be found worthy to come to such a table. The ways and means thereto is, first, that you be truly repentant of your former evil life; and that you confess with an unfeigned heart to Almighty God, your sins and unkindness towards his Majesty committed, either by will, word, or deed, infirmity or ignorance; and that with inward sorrow and tears you bewail your offences, and require of Almighty God mercy and pardon, promising to him (from the bottom of your hearts) the amendment of your former life. And amongst all others, I am commanded of God especially to move and exhort you to reconcile yourselves to your neighbours, whom you have offended, or who hath offended you, putting out of your hearts all hatred and malice against them, and to be in love and charity with all the world, and to forgive others as you would that God should forgive you. And if any man hath done wrong to any other, let him make satisfaction and due restitution of all lands and goods wrongfully taken away or witholden, before he come to God’s board; or at the least be in full mind and purpose so to do, as soon as he is able; or else let him not come to this holy table, thinking to deceive God, who seeth all men’s hearts. For neither the absolution of the priest can any thing avail them, nor the receiving of this holy sacrament doth any thing but increase their damnation. And if there be any of you whose conscience is troubled and grieved in any thing, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned priest, taught in the law of God, and confess and open his sin and grief secretly, that he may receive such ghostly counsel, advice, and comfort, that his conscience may be relieved, and that of us (as the ministers of God and of the Church) he may receive comfort and absolution, to the satisfaction of his mind, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness; requiring such as shall be satisfied with a general confession not to be offended with them that do use, to their further satisfying, the auricular and secret confession to the priest; nor those also which think needful or convenient, for the quietness of their own consciences, particularly to open their sins to the priest, to be offended with them that are satisfied with their humble confession to God, and the general confession to the Church: but in all things to follow and keep the rule of charity; and every man to be satisfied with his own conscience, not judging other men’s minds or consciences; whereas he hath no warrant of God’s Word to the same.

Do please consider looking at it all (Another link may be found there).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Roman Catholic Church in Malta–Cohabiting couples cannot receive Communion

Reacting to questions raised recently in the media, the bishops said the Church loved such couples in the same way as it loved all its members. It would continue to offer them spiritual help and it encouraged them to go to Mass and participate in the life of the Church.

“However, the Catholic Church insists that couples who live together without being married should not receive Holy Communion.

“The Church does not impose this as a punishment, but because the way of life of such people goes against the sacrament of marriage,” the bishops said.

Furthermore, the bishops said, such behaviour went against Church teaching that those who received the Eucharist had to be one in unity with Christ and the Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Living Church–Liturgist: Don’t Lose “Balanced Eucharistic Piety”

Thomas Cranmer (1489”“1556), the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury who wrote and compiled the first two editions of The Book of Common Prayer, wanted laity ”” not just priests ”” to participate in the Holy Eucharist regularly, as was done in Jesus’ time.

“The 1979 prayer book has gotten us back to our Reformation roots and to our ancient roots,” [the Rev. Dr. Patrick Malloy, professor of liturgics at the General Theological Seminary in New York]… said.

Returning to early Christian roots is beneficial and can help parishioners know that they, as well as priests, can draw near to the holy, Malloy said. He cautioned, however, that with more frequent celebration of the Eucharist some reverence and humility, the “balanced Eucharistic piety” that should attend the sacred, may have been lost.

“I cannot read your souls, so I don’t know if the fact that the Eucharist is now the normative Sunday pattern has changed people,” Malloy said. “Cranmer did not take Communion lightly. Today, I fear that sometimes ”¦ many of us do approach the sacrament very lightly.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Living Church–Liturgist: Don’t Lose “Balanced Eucharistic Piety”

Thomas Cranmer (1489”“1556), the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury who wrote and compiled the first two editions of The Book of Common Prayer, wanted laity ”” not just priests ”” to participate in the Holy Eucharist regularly, as was done in Jesus’ time.

“The 1979 prayer book has gotten us back to our Reformation roots and to our ancient roots,” [the Rev. Dr. Patrick Malloy, professor of liturgics at the General Theological Seminary in New York]… said.

Returning to early Christian roots is beneficial and can help parishioners know that they, as well as priests, can draw near to the holy, Malloy said. He cautioned, however, that with more frequent celebration of the Eucharist some reverence and humility, the “balanced Eucharistic piety” that should attend the sacred, may have been lost.

“I cannot read your souls, so I don’t know if the fact that the Eucharist is now the normative Sunday pattern has changed people,” Malloy said. “Cranmer did not take Communion lightly. Today, I fear that sometimes ”¦ many of us do approach the sacrament very lightly.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Lauren Winner: Swine Flu Spells the End of the Common Cup

In many Roman Catholic churches across the country, lay people no longer receive wine at Communion, and some Catholic clergy have advised congregants not to shake hands or hug at the moment of the liturgy known as “the passing of the peace,” when parishioners typically greet someone in, and offer embodied signs of, the peace of Christ. In my own Episcopal parish, I was greeted by a neighbor last Sunday with an elbow bump. At a United Church of Christ congregation in the suburbs of Chicago, Communion servers now slice up bread into bite-sized bits before distributing Communion; they no longer offer congregants a loaf from which to tear a hunk of bread. In the interest of keeping fingers away from communion wine, communicants at All Saints’ Chapel in Sewanee, Tenn., are now instructed not to dip their Eucharistic bread into the cup but rather to sip the cup directly, since hands are often more infectious than mouths.

At Cornell University, the Episcopal chaplain, Clark West, has reminded worshippers that they will receive the fullness of the Eucharist if they receive only “one kind”””that is, the wafer and not the wine. “We have alcoholics among us for whom this has been the practice for years without any noticeably adverse effects,” quips Mr. West. To emphasize this, he has, on occasion, used a longer liturgical formula, which names the host as itself both “the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Less reverently, Mr. West has taken to calling the bottle of Purell hand sanitizer, which now sits prominently on the credence table, the post-modern lavabo. (A lavabo is the bowl a priest uses to wash his or her hands in the Eucharist.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Eucharist, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Another Little Noticed Resolution of General Convention 2009

* FINAL VERSION – Not Completed
Resolution: D089
Title: Invitation to Receive Holy Communion
Topic: Doctrine
Committee: 13 – Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music
House of Initial Action: Bishops
Proposer: The Very Rev. Ernesto R. Medina

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 76th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons to review and provide a recommendation to resolve the conflict between Article X of the Constitution, specifically, the invitation offered in the Book of Common Prayer “The Gifts of God for the People of God” and Canon I.17.7, restricting communion to only the baptized; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons consult with other appropriate Standing Commissions, as needed; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission report back to the 77th General Convention.

EXPLANATION

There appears to be a conflict between the Constitution of the Episcopal Church and the Canons of the Episcopal Church with respect to who is able to receive Holy Communion.

Constitution – Article X
The Book of Common Prayer, as now established or hereafter amended by the authority of this Church, shall be in use in all the Dioceses of this Church. BCP clearly states in the invitation to receive Communion “The Gifts of God for the People of God.” The question we ask is “who is the People of God?”

Canon 17 – Section 7

No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.

We are asking the Standing Commission on Constitutions and Canons to help resolve this conflict.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology