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Bread and Wine #48767
04/25/04 11:05 AM
04/25/04 11:05 AM
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chiahead Offline OP
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I'm a Roman Catholic and i had a few questions, because I'm not too familiar with Byzantine Catholics ....Why is the Bread and Wine put together at mass? I know we have them seperate, since they are blessed seperate, but how did they get put together in the first place?

Re: Bread and Wine #48768
04/25/04 04:49 PM
04/25/04 04:49 PM
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Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
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Christ is risen!! Indeed He is risen!!!

Chiahead:

Welcome to the Byzantine forum.

That having been said, I, too, am a Latin Catholic. What are you referring to? If you mean the consecrated Host and the Precious Blood of Christ, the Byzantine custom is a form of intinction wherein the Body and Blood of Christ is given to the people with a spoon. In some Latin parishes you might see an intinction set used where the Host is dipped into the Precious Blood and then put onto the tongue of the communicant. After the change by the Holy Spirit, as understood by all of the Apostolic Churches, there is no longer any bread left but there is the Bread of Life and there is no wine left but there is the Blood of Christ. And this is no semantic quibble; it is the truth as all of the Apostolic Churches understand it. However they understand the change to be done or at whatever time, Communion is with the body and Blood of Christ and there is no bread or wine left.

In the Latin Church we have a little reminder of the same custom: the placng of a small fragment into the Chalice at the Fraction. Originally it was a portion of the Host sent from the bishop's liturgy to the outlying parishes and showed the living communion between the parishes under the bishop as well as showing that the liturgy is one no matter how many times it is begun or how far separated believers may be when they enter it.

My brothers and sisters here will add to this as they come onto this thread. Hope this helps clarify.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Bread and Wine #48769
04/25/04 06:40 PM
04/25/04 06:40 PM
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Haddonfield, NJ
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Mike C. Offline
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I'm a Roman Catholic and i had a few questions, because I'm not too familiar with Byzantine Catholics ....Why is the Bread and Wine put together at mass? I know we have them seperate, since they are blessed seperate, but how did they get put together in the first place?

I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

"The Bread and Wine put toghether at mass? What do you mean by "put together". We don't call it the "Mass" (capital "M") but the Divine Liturgy.

"Since they are blessed seperate". Are you thinking of the word "Consecrated" ?

Re: Bread and Wine #48770
04/25/04 07:38 PM
04/25/04 07:38 PM
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chiahead Offline OP
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I'm not really familiar with the proper usage of terms, so I apoligize for that...my question refers to the bread and the wine together...when we perform the Eucharist, we have the Wafers seperate from the wine, I went to a Byzanine church and the bread was already in the wine and spooned to us...I was wondering how that started exactly because it really isn't how the last supper was originally celebrated.

Thanks for the nice welcome!

Re: Bread and Wine #48771
04/25/04 08:20 PM
04/25/04 08:20 PM
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Diak Offline
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Dear Chiahead, Christ is Risen!

The words of Institution (Take, eat...Drink of this, all of you...) are said separately over the bread and wine.

They are not added together until before Communion, when the priest fractions the Lamb (Holy Bread) and adds it to the chalice, and finally some warm water, right before Communion.

Re: Bread and Wine #48772
04/25/04 08:41 PM
04/25/04 08:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 249
a Ruthenian Byzantine heritage
a pilgrim Offline
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Hi, chiahead!

Welcome aboard! Please don't withhold your questions out of a concern for improper terminology usage. You'll find that most folks among our membership here will understand what you are asking and gladly answer appropriately. I still visit this board in utter awe and amazement at the vast sea of knowledge that some of the members possess and willingly share with those less informed, such as I. You've certainly come to the right place for answers to questions such as yours!

Speaking of which, let me join you with a Eucharistic question of my own, this one for the Liturgists and Clergy out there. This one crossed my mind at Church today...

Is there a clearly-defined "point" at which the work of the Holy Spirit in consecrating the bread and wine actually occurs? We truly believe that both the Body and Blood of Our Lord is present in the Eucharist, even if it is presented to the faithful in only one species, yet the actual act of Consecration, in both the East and the West, is a two-step process, with the bread consecrated first, followed by the wine.

When does Transsubstantiation actually occur? If the act of Consecration requires that both substances be consecrated separately, does the Holy Spirit "wait" until after the wine is consecrated? On the other hand, if the bread is truly transformed into the Body of Christ after the "Take... Eat... This is My Body..." words of the priest, AND if we accept that Christ is present in whole and in His entirety in any portion of the consecrated Eucharist, regardless of which species, has the wine, too, already been Transsubstantiated, even before the priest recites the "Take... Drink... This is My Blood" words?

Let me put it another, much simpler way (and please pardon the "lameness" of this example!)...

If Father had consecrate the bread and immediately, God forbid, suffered a fatal heart attack prior to consecrating the wine, what is the status of the Substance now on the table? Have both the bread and wine been Transsubstantiated? Neither? Just the bread?

Thanks in advance to my much wiser brothers and sisters!

Christos Voskrese!

a pilgrim

Re: Bread and Wine #48773
04/26/04 02:48 AM
04/26/04 02:48 AM
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Glasgow, Scotland
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Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
Dear Chiahead, Christ is Risen!

The words of Institution (Take, eat...Drink of this, all of you...) are said separately over the bread and wine.

They are not added together until before Communion, when the priest fractions the Lamb (Holy Bread) and adds it to the chalice, and finally some warm water, right before Communion.
Dear Chiahead,

From one Latin to another -- Welcome

I can understand how all this seems so different to you - but you know even in the Latin Church - the one with which you are most familiar , this happens smile

Next time you are at Mass watch your Priest - before he Communes - he takes the Body of Christ and breaks it and adds a small fragment to the Most Precious Blood in the Chalice.

Pilgrim - you asked exactly when do the bread and wine become the Body and Most Precious Blood of Our Lord - that really is the biggy smile I think most of us would say that before the Invocation to the Holy Spirit ,it is indeed still bread and wine, but at some point after the Invocation there is no doubt whatsoever, that what is present on the Altar [ Holy Table] is now that Most Precious Gift given to us, Christ Himself - His Body and His Most Precious Blood. We know it does happen - but the actual exact moment of change is not , I understand ,at least in the Latin Church specified.

Your second question is, certainly in the Latin Church, not a problem - at the Invocation to the Holy Spirit everything that is to be Consecrated is placed on the Corporal and so as the Priest holds his hands over the Paten and Chalice and calls on the Holy Spirit , everything which is on that Corporal - the bread and the wine do become the Sacred Body and Most Precious Blood of Our Lord.

I do hope this helps and I have not caused confusion .

Where are the Clergy when you need them ? :p

Anhelyna -- the Eastward inclined Latin who also says "let the education continue " biggrin

Re: Bread and Wine #48774
04/26/04 08:30 AM
04/26/04 08:30 AM
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Canada
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Dear Friends,

Being neither a liturgist nor a clergyman, I offer these thoughts.

First of all, it was in the time of St John Chrysostom, I believe, that the consecrated Bread began to be placed into the Chalice just before the Communion of the faithful.

We know that prior to this, in the early Church, Christians in the Byzantine East received the Body and Blood of Christ separately.

The tradition developed in the "days of the former fervour" as Chrysostom stated for Christians to partake of the Body of Christ, but also to take a portion of the Holy Communion home with them to keep in their house chapels.

Christians, having communicated of the Body and Blood of our Lord on Sunday during the Divine Liturgy, could, each morning before breakfast, communicate themselves of the Same.

This was later forbidden due to abuses (Eastern Christians still take particles of holy , but not consecrated, bread distributed after the Liturgy home with them and partake of this each morning during their prayers.)

The consecrated Bread and Wine were thereafter commingled and Communion began to be distributed to the faithful with the use of a liturgical spoon.

With this practice, the Eucharistic perspective developed that the separately consecrated Bread and Wine signify, symbolically, the death of Christ (i.e. separation of Christ's Body and Blood).

The bringing together of Both before Communion signifies, again symbolically, Christ's Resurrection. At that point, at least in a number of Orthodox prayerbooks that I've seen that are mainly the Russian and/or Kievan usage, the priest recites a prayer from the Paschal Canon of the Resurrection: "O Great and Most Holy Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word of God and Power! Grant us to be more deeply united to You in the ever-bright day of Your Kingdom!"

This is also why the substance of bread used in the Byzantine East MUST be "symbolically correct" where the bread is leavened (bread that has "risen") and the wine MUST be red (the colour, of course, of real blood).

The spoon that is used during Communion is also related to the tongs that the prophet Isaiah saw in his vision of the Lord in the Temple where an Angel took some tongs and picked up a burning coal from the altar to which he touched the prophet's lips.

In fact, the prayer that the priest says to each communicant is taken from that verse: "This has touched your lips and will take away your sins etc."

The discussion of the "Moment of Consecration" is one that has never been an "Eastern" one, but one that was, in a sense, "forced on the East" at various points of time in its discussions with the West.

For the East, it is the Holy Spirit Who effects all the mystical, sacramental actions with the priest simply there as the agent through whom the Spirit acts.

The West believes this as well, but has a different perspective that makes the role of the priest more "active" than passive.

In the West, for example, the formula for baptism is: "I baptize you (name) in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

In the Byzantine East, it is: "The servant of God (name)is being baptized in the Name of the Father . . ."

In addition, the Byzantine East sees the Words of Institution as an historical act by our Lord.

The Words of Institution and the anamnesis before that are made effective only through the invocation or Epiclesis of the Holy Spirit on the Gifts that follows.

The Eucharistic Canon is a prayer of invocation of the entire Holy Trinity and it is only after the Canon, ie. after the final "Amen" of the Epiclesis, that we KNOW that there is no longer any bread and wine on the altar, but the Most Precious and Most Pure Body and Blood of OLGS Jesus Christ.

The Western eucharistic prayers have an epiclesis, when indeed they do, at the beginning of the Words of Institution - this would indeed make each separate Consecration "effective" or "fruitful" from an Eastern perspective.

So if it should happen that a priest in the East did not complete, for a very serious reason, the entire Eucharistic Canon, he would simply continue later where he left off.

The "consecratory prayer" in the East is the entire Eucharistic Canon, the three prayers to each of the Divine Persons of the Most Holy Trinity that is part of the single action of Eucharistic consecration.

As with Baptism and the other Sacraments, the priest pronounces the Words of Institution in the Name of Christ, but it is only when he invokes the Holy Spirit to come and transform them by His power that the Consecration/Transubstantiation/Transmutation is effected.

Alex

Re: Bread and Wine #48775
04/26/04 08:57 AM
04/26/04 08:57 AM
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WOW

Alex what a wonderful response - you have even given the historical background to this as well.

With folk like you around - who needs clergy :p

[ Being charitable I will ignore the error in para 9 - and NO we will not dicuss that :p ]

Anhelyna biggrin biggrin biggrin

Re: Bread and Wine #48776
04/26/04 09:09 AM
04/26/04 09:09 AM
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We've had this discussion previously, but speaking for the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, let me say, with all due respect to the Western Tradition, that we have always rejected Transubstantiation outright.

The Orthodox plainly reject the idea that there is not also bread and wine present in the chalice after the consecration. They also insist that the real presence of Christ is there in His body and blood.

Firstly, to understand this position, we need to jettison the common modern use of the word "symbol" as something that represents or stands in the place of a larger more important reality. Let's go back to the scriptural Greek.

The Eucharist is a symbol. A symbol is the result of two things cast or thrown together (syn + volon - in Greek). There are two constituent parts to the eucharist: Bread & Wine and Body & Blood, the created and the uncreated. These constituent parts are combined into a new thing - the life-giving eucharist. It remains both Bread & Wine and Body & Blood, but these cannot be divided.

The eucharistic symbol parallels the symbol of the incarnation, Jesus Christ himself. He is both created and uncreated, human and and the divine. Two things "thrown" together that become something new - the God-Man. He remains fully God and fully Man, but the two may not be divided.

When communing large numbers of people and the chalice "goes low," the priest returns to the altar, takes unconsecrated wine, and adds it to the consecrated bread and wine. This is fully acceptable liturgical practice.

God is present how and when He chooses, not how and when we choose. So the prayer in St. Basil's Liturgy asks Him to "show" these gifts to be your precious body and blood. In other moments, after the resurrection, He reveals himself to His disciples "in the breaking of the bread."

God did not come to reject His creation and to discard the body, but to redeem and sanctify them to their proper place.

In Christ,
Andrew

Re: Bread and Wine #48777
04/26/04 09:23 AM
04/26/04 09:23 AM
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Canada
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Dear Andrew,

I'm sorry, but unless I've totally misunderstood the historic Orthodox position on Eucharistic theology, what you've said is, not to mince words, the Lutheran heresy of "Consubstantiation" where the bread and wine remain TOGETHER with the Body and Blood of Christ.

"Transubstantiation" is not a popular word in Orthodox theology, but one can see it used, now and again, when Orthodox theologians speak to Western audiences.

However, one may put it, one MUST believe that the entire substance of the Bread and the Wine have been transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

What remains are simply the appearances of the bread and wine to allow us to consume the Unconsumeable Christ.

If Orthodoxy truly does believe what you say it does believe about the Eucharist, THEN Orthodoxy is a heretical group, and no true Apostolic Church of Christ.

Alex

Re: Bread and Wine #48778
04/26/04 09:51 AM
04/26/04 09:51 AM
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Father Deacon Ed Offline

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Alex,

Yes, Andrew's post is, indeed, a beautiful description of consubstantiation. We in the East have a semantic problem when dealing with the Eucharist. The West resolved the problem by applying the term transubstantiation to signify that the bread and wine were changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus while remaining, to all appearances, bread and wine. This, of course, corresponds to the Divine Son assuming human form thus becoming, to all appearances, human while, in point of fact, He was both human and divine.

Your explanation of the comingling is precisely on the mark.

Edward, deacon and sinner

Re: Bread and Wine #48779
04/26/04 09:56 AM
04/26/04 09:56 AM
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Dear Father Deacon Edward,

Even if an Angel came down and taught us differently from what we have received and have been taught - we are to reject it.

And Andrew would be the first to admit that he's no angel! smile

Your point on Andrew's "beautiful" explanation of Consubstantiation - wait until you hear my "exquisite" exposition of Nestorianism and Arianism!! smile

Alex

Re: Bread and Wine #48780
04/26/04 02:16 PM
04/26/04 02:16 PM
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chiahead Offline OP
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Thanks for the warm welcome and those answers are great! I'm curious because my girlfriend is a Byzantine and I'm a Roman, so I've been going to both masses and I'm starting to investigate the roots of the Byzantine Catholic traditions and comparing them with my own to see how things came about and what changes have occured.

Thanks All!

Re: Bread and Wine #48781
04/26/04 03:35 PM
04/26/04 03:35 PM
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incognitus Offline
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Not having met Andrew (to my knowledge, at least), I have no opinion as to whether he is an angel. But his suggestion that "speaking for the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, let me say, with all due respect to the Western Tradition, that we have always rejected Transubstantiation outright" is not well founded. He should refer to the Orthodox Confession of Faith of Saint Peter (Mohyla) of Kiev, the declarations of the Synod of Bethlehem (or Jerusalem) and the common Greek Orthodox understanding of Metousiosis.
Christ is Risen!
Incognitus

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