Sunday, August 26, 2007

Anglicanism: Catholic or Protestant?

Last week parts of the Anglican world were shaken slightly by the publication of an article purported to be by the Rev. Dr. J. I. Packer, a prominent Anglican theologian and supporter of many traditional Anglican causes. The title of the article was "Anglicanism: Protestant or Catholic?" The article was not by Packer and was fairly simplistic in its analysis of the question. However, some valid points were made about the use of the various Missals within Anglicanism. Numerous Anglo-Catholic authors (Bishop Gore and C.B. Moss among them) have made the same point: The only true Missal of the Church of England is the Book of Common Prayer.

The pseudo-Packer article's main point, that Anglicanism is wholly "protestant" is, as I said, extremely simplistic. However, so too is the contention among some that the term "protestant" doesn't even apply to Anglicanism. If asked if we Anglicans are Protestant or Catholic some will say: "We are Catholic, but not Roman--we are not Protestants." This is simplistic and historically erroneous, and any layperson with an interest in reading would soon find very Catholic sounding Churchmen of the 16th and 17th centuries embracing the term Protestant. But my rector said it wasn't so! What to make of it then? Is we are using today's terminology perhaps "Protestant" isn't wholly accurate, but neither would be the use of the term "Catholic," for in today's use of the term this means Roman. Many Anglicans are happy to explain the historic and correct use of the term "Catholic" but do not wish to do so with the term "Protestant." This is a selective use of logic--if the historic usage of one term is explained the other term ought to be likewise explained. "You see, you misunderstand the term Catholic dear friend. . ." The follow up should be they also misunderstand the historic use of the term Protestant.

How do the Anglican divines use the terms? It is shocking to many that the terms are used together: Protestant Catholic, Reformed Catholic, etc. Again, as I say so often quoting Bishop Cosins: "Protestant and Reformed according to the principles of the ancient Catholic Church." What does this mean? Well, it should be clear to most. The English Reformation was built upon removing erroneous beliefs and practices (the Mass not in the vernacular, the Bible not in the vernacular, Purgatory, indulgences, transubstantiation, doctrines about the excess merits of the saints, etc). All needed to be stripped away--reformation was needed, and the Church of England protested against the errors of the Roman Church.

To put it more concisely: "At the Reformation the Church of England became protestant in order to become more truly and perfectly Catholic." William Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham 1826-36.

Let me turn to the good Father Moss for a fuller explanation (from Answer Me This):
"Remember, “Catholic” means universal. Strictly speaking, only those doctrines and practices are Catholic which have always been believed and used in all parts of the Church. More loosely, the word is applied to practices and traditions (such as the observance of Christmas Day or the use of special dress by the clergy) which have a long continuous history and are universally accepted, even though they do not go back to apostolic times. The word also implies “orthodoxy,” holding the right faith and worshiping God in the right manner as required by the Church."

In answer to the question: Is the Anglican Church Catholic or Protestant? Moss replies
"Both; it is Catholic positively and Protestant negatively. It is Catholic in its essential nature because it maintains the Catholic and apostolic faith and order. It is Protestant, in the old sense, negatively because it rejects the papal claims to supremacy, infallibility, and universal jurisdiction, and the decrees of the Councils of Trent and the Vatican."

When one is confused as to the use of these terms, they ought to be clearly explained. Some will argue (as Moss actually does) that the term Protestant has changed so much that we should omit its use all together (many Lutherans argue likewise, in that the old use of the term Protestant only referred to Anglicans, Lutherans, and Presbyterians; since now it refers so loosely to almost anyone it is meaningless). However, the same could be said of the term "Catholic," since almost everyone means Roman when they say "Catholic." In my opinion we should follow the language of the Anglican divines, using both terms correctly and explaining the meaning in a clear manner to avoid confusion.

Is Anglicanism Protestant or Catholic? It is both, in the best sense of both terms.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Reflection on the Roman theology of the Holy Eucharist


Bishop Charles Gore, D.D.


IT is the doctrine of the Church, based on the teaching of the New Testament, that Christ is present in us. And the word "Christ" signifies the Eternal Son of God as incarnate. When we say that Christ is present in us we mean something more than that He is present in us as God, Who is present everywhere; and something more than that He is present in us by the gift of His Spirit. We mean that He is present in us also in respect of His sacred and glorified humanity. The same idea is suggested by our Lord's simile of the vine and the branches and by St. Paul's simile of the Head and its members. The incarnate Lord and His people cohere in one organism, one order or system of life. The incarnate person includes His people: "Totus Christus caput et membra." It is, no doubt, the doctrine of the Church that the humanity of our Lord is not omnipresent. It is "circumscribed." So the Second Council of Nicæa defined: "If any one do not confess that Christ our God is circumscribed in respect of His manhood, let him be anathema." But in His body the Church, and in every member of it, the presence of Christ means His presence in manhood as well as in Godhead.

The most cogent ground of this conviction is to be found in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Christ had taught His disciples that they could only have eternal life through eating the flesh of the Son of man and drinking His blood, and so abiding in Him, as He in them (St. John vi. 53, 56); and no words could express more vividly participation in His humanity. Thus were they prepared in a measure for the institution of the Holy Sacrament, when He pronounced the bread to be His body and the wine to be His blood, and bade them eat and drink. These words "body" and " blood" must certainly mean His humanity. So the Church has believed that Christ is present in that Blessed Sacrament according to His humanity; and that by receiving His body or blood, under the humble form of bread or wine, they receive Him, the incarnate person, Who comes to dwell in them by an abiding union, mingling His humanity with theirs. It is thus that the Church is "the extension of the Incarnation," and the Holy Sacrament is the chief instrument of this extension. It is true that we are to receive the Blessed Sacrament again and again. In this way the method of the Divine bestowal is adapted to our human need for reiteration. But the purpose of the reiterated bestowal is that the gift of the inward presence may be perpetual in us: that He may dwell or abide in us, and we in Him.

This doctrine of the permanent presence of Christ in us in respect of His humanity, and of the Blessed Sacrament of the altar as the special instrument by which this inward presence is effected, has been the common Catholic doctrine.

I will only quote two clear passages from St. Cyril of Alexandria: "But as the body of the Lord Himself is life-giving, since He has made it His own by a real union, which passes understanding and utterance, so we also who become partakers of His sacred flesh and blood are by all means (panth kai pantwV) endued with life, since the Word abides in us in the way of deity by the Holy Ghost, and in the way of humanity by His sacred flesh and precious blood" (" Adv. Nest.," iv. 5; "P. G.," lxxvi. 193 B.). And, again, in words that we should perhaps shrink from using, as they have a materialistic sound, but which are at least clear: "Do not wonder at this, nor say to yourself like the Jews, 'How can this be?' Consider rather that water is cold by nature, but when it is poured into the vessel and set upon the fire, it almost forgets its own proper nature and passes over into the energy of the fire which has overcome it. So also we, even if we are corruptible by the nature of the flesh, yet by the mixture in us of the true life lose our own weakness and are transformed into what belongs to it, that is the Life. For it was needful, indeed it was needful, that not only our soul should be recreated into newness of life by the Holy Spirit, but also this dense and earthly body should be sanctified through partaking in something denser and akin to itself [that is, the flesh and blood of Christ] and so summoned to incorruption" ("In Jo. Evan.," lib. iv. 5; "P. G.," Ixxiii. 580 A.). I quote only these two passages; but Thomassin will supply any student with abundance of quotations both from Greek and Latin Fathers to the same effect. [See "Theol. Dogm.": "De Inc. Verbi Dei," lib. x. capp. 21, 22 (Paris, 1868, tom. iv. pp. 390 ff.).] There is no mistaking the insistence of the Fathers, both Eastern and Western, on the indwelling of Christ in us in respect of His manhood, on the permanence of this indwelling, and on the function of the Holy Eucharist in bringing it about. Thomassin summarizes his multitudinous quotations: "Physice et substantive per eucharistiam carni Christi copulatur et concorporatur Ecclesia." In whatever sense Christ is present "bodily" (in His humanity) in the Eucharist, in that sense and no other He is, according to the Fathers, present in us who receive Him; and that for the permanent cleansing, strengthening, and refreshing of our whole nature, body and soul, with His whole human nature, seeing that by assuming human nature He infused into it Divine and recreative virtue. That is the consentient doctrine of the Fathers. And the doctrine maintains itself in the East to the present day. I have had occasion to read a late Greek mystical writer, Nicholas Cabasilas, who was Bishop of Thessalonica about A.D. 1350 (Migne, "P. G.," cl.), and I found his treatise, "De Vita in Christo," full of emphasis upon our union through the Eucharist with the glorified manhood of Christ, by a coalescence or mixture, soul with soul, flesh with flesh, blood with blood, a coalescence "closer than any physical union." That would be the doctrine of the Greeks and Russians to the present day. [See Khomiakoff in Birkbeck's "Russia and the English Church" (London, 1895), vol. i. pp. 207, 208.] In the Roman Communion Thomassin, writing at the end of the seventeenth century, seems to be full of an unhesitating enthusiasm for it. But this, as will be seen, appears to be exceptional. Among our own theologians since the Reformation, Hooker adheres to it ("Eccl. Pol.," v. 55.9, 56. 9); William Law, in many of his writings, is full of it. Among the writers of the Oxford Movement, Pusey frequently affirms it, and it is a leading thought of Robert Wilberforce's works, "On the Incarnation," and especially "On the Holy Eucharist." Fr. Benson often affirms it. Dr. Moule, the present Bishop of Durham, though he is not speaking specially of the Holy Eucharist, is emphatic that the characteristic function of the Holy Spirit is to "effect an influx into the regenerated man of the blessed virtues of the nature of the second Adam, an infusion of the exalted life of Jesus Christ, through an open duct, living and divine, into the man who is born again into Him the incarnate and glorified Son of God."' Finally, Dr. Weston, the Bishop of Zanzibar, makes it a special point of his recent book, "The Fulness of Christ," that the essence of the Church is the manhood of Jesus, in which all His faithful members permanently live: that it is the manhood of Jesus which is the substance of the Eucharist: "By faith we meet Christ's humanity in the sacrament and feed upon it" (p. 273), and so "the very substance of Christ's humanity is in them [communicants] to become one with the substance of theirs" (p. 102).

I am very well aware that this great thought does not admit of intellectual analysis. We cannot explain the process by which Christ's God-united manhood is made present in the Eucharist or is communicated to us. But the same thing is true, I think, of life at every stage. We cannot analyze the mystery. All that I am now concerned to do is to affirm that nothing less than this has been the doctrine of the Church, and nothing less than this is really required by the language of Christ.

I know that some among the Fathers (as St. Cyril, in a passage quoted above) use language which has a materialistic sound, and I should desire earnestly to maintain that the substance of Christ's manhood is "given, taken, and eaten, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner." But the more unguarded expressions of some of the Fathers serve at least to emphasize what they teach about the manhood of Christ being really communicated to us.

I know, on the other hand, that there are passages in the Fathers and other great theologians which can be quoted as implying or asserting that all which distinguishes the Christian is the gift of the Divine Spirit: but the doctrine which I have described above constitutes the main stream. And I am emphasizing it, at this moment, because it seems to me that this doctrine, really; apprehended and suffered to possess us, effectually tends to check the desire for a shrine of the sacred humanity, external to ourselves, the tabernacle or the monstrance, where we can adore Jesus Christ in His manhood and hold, as it were, external interim course with Him. If I believe that He in His manhood is within me, as near to me as I am to myself, and that I can within the tabernacle of my own heart hold closest intercourse with Him in His glorified manhood, I shall indeed entertain the deepest reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, which is the instrument of this indwelling, and adore Him who is there present, and I shall receive, as often as I may, by Holy Communion, the sacred presence within me; but it seems to me almost impossible that, when I hold Him within me and am permanently joined to Him in His manhood, I should passionately desire the opportunity of greeting Him in the tabernacle under conditions in which He is obviously further from me and external to me, while at the same time I cannot see Him or hear Him as the first disciples could, "in the flesh." The closer and more intimate union with Christ within me must surely throw into the shade the external and more remote access. So it has seemed to me. So I have found it, if I may refer to that, in my own experience. I did as a youth passionately love the worship of our Lord in the tabernacle, though I was mostly debarred from it. But since, forty years ago, I read Wilberforce and was led to follow up his train of thought, I have found that the thought of our constant and inward union with Christ, in His manhood as in His Godhead, absorbs the desire for the merely external "visit": and that all the more because this deeper and more intimate union is what the New Testament proclaims as the privilege of the Christian since Pentecost, for the sake of which it was worth while for the Apostles to lose all the lower and lesser privilege of external companionship with Christ, even though that carried with it the hearing of His words, the witnessing of His acts, and the looking up into His face.

And later I made another discovery. That is, that the Roman Church, which alone has sanctioned the extra-liturgical devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, has, by the consequences of its own special doctrine of transubstantiation, cut at the root of the really Catholic doctrine of the presence of Christ in respect of His manhood within the believer. [As to the adherence of the East to the doctrine of transubstantiation, Khomiakoff says, in the passage quoted above, "She [the Church] does not reject the word 'transubstantiation,' but she does not assign to it that material meaning which is assigned to it by the teachers of the Churches which have fallen away." Thus it has not had any effect upon Eastern Church theology such as we can trace in the West.] Christ is, according to the Roman Catholic theologians, in His manhood locally in heaven and, supralocally, in the Host on earth. Receiving the Blessed Sacrament, the communicant has Him within himself. But not for a permanent spiritual presence, only for a few minutes, as a visitor. The ancient, really Catholic, doctrine of the Eucharist, admitting as it does that the outward and visible elements of bread and wine remain in their natural substances after the eucharistic consecration, leaves them to go their natural way into the physical system, while the spiritual realities, the body and blood of Christ, of which they are the vehicle, go their spiritual way into the soul of the receiver, and so into his whole nature. But according to the Roman doctrine the bread and wine are transubstantiated into the body and blood. There remain only the body and blood under the outward species or appearances of bread and wine. And this only for a few minutes after the Sacrament has been received by a communicant. As soon as the process of digestion begins, a re-conversion takes place. The heavenly things, the body and blood, are no longer there. There is only bread, or bread and wine, in process of digestion. "For when," says Perrone, "the species have reached the point at which the body or material should be dissolved or corrupted, the real presence of the body of Christ ceases, and God by His omnipotence again produces a material substance of bread or wine in that state in which it would naturally be found if no conversion had preceded." [J. Perrone, S.J., "Prælect. Theol." (Turin, 1866): ''De Eucharistia," § 151, vol. viii. p. 146.]

It is painful to mention this doctrine. In the second edition of "Dissertations" I expressed regret that no Roman Catholic reviewer of my book had contradicted it. In a recent treatise, "De Sanctissima Eucharistia," in which Dr. Coghlan has done me the honour of replying to my dissertation, he confirms it, though I do not think that he states my own teaching truly. It is worth while attending to his explanation.

We Anglicans are in the habit of speaking of the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist under the terms "the outward sign" (signum) "the inward reality" (res), and "the spiritual effect" (virtus). Where exactly the collocation of these three terms comes from I do not know. They are excellent. But they are not the Roman terms. From Peter Lombard [See "Sentences," lib. iv. dist. B. This phraseology comes from his attempt to adhere to the words of Jerome and Augustine when he is not adhering to their meaning.] the Roman theologians have derived the terms sacramentum tantum, sacramentum simul et res, and res tantum. The "sacrament taken by itself" is the species. The "sacrament and reality" is the true body and blood of Christ under the species of bread and wine. The "reality taken by itself" (the res tantum) is the effect of the sacrament, what we call the virtus, which Fr. Coghlan says is "commonly said to be incorporation into the mystical body." Now of these, the second (sacramentum et res), he says, remains only so long as the species remain uncorrupt. There is nothing permanent except the res tantum, or effect, which is commonly described as "incorporation in the mystical body." What is this effect? Is it that glorious or rich effect which I have been trying to describe in the earlier part of this paper? that is, the permanent infusion of the sacred manhood of Christ, God-united, into the soul and so into the whole nature of the communicant? No. Many of us must have been struck with the meagre and embarrassed appearance of the statement of the effects of the Blessed Sacrament in the later Westerns. The great ancient phrases that are used appear to be explained away. Because, in fact, the ground on which they stand has been cut away. There is no permanent presence within us of the sacred humanity. This is, I believe, the universally accepted doctrine of the Roman Church. I make a point of it because it has this consequence: except for a visit of a few minutes, Christ is not within us in respect of His humanity, only in respect of His Godhead. The manhood of Christ is to be found only in heaven and in the Host. I am, indeed, by His Spirit inwardly joined to Christ, so as to be (so to speak) of one organism with Him. But in respect of His manhood He is external to me, not within me.
It was some twenty years ago that I seemed to myself to discover that the Roman Church has really abandoned the Catholic doctrine of the permanent presence within men, His members, of Christ in His manhood. Recently I asked the most competent theologian known to me among English Roman Catholics of undisputed orthodoxy in their Communion, [Fr. Rickaby, S.J.] and he writes to me in answer to my question:

"Christ, as man, thinks of, knows, and loves all His faithful, and in this sense is present with them. But men seek for more than this. It cannot be denied that local inclusion or juxtaposition adds much to presence. Indeed, a body cannot be otherwise than bodily present, that is, locally (in the Sacrament the body of Christ becomes referable to place, not in itself, but by the elements). Can we predicate a continued bodily presence of Christ's humanity in every man in the state of grace? I do not know of any formal decision of the Church in the matter, but theologians, I believe, would be unanimous in answering in the negative." "The gift, which indwells in the faithful in grace, is not of the sacred humanity of Christ, but the Holy Ghost." "Not that the sacred humanity indwells them, but they live in conjunction with it," that is, through the possession of the Holy Spirit. [Fr. Rickaby holds that the Eucharist brings with it "a fuller outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon the soul of the communicant." But what ground have we for attributing this particular effect to Holy Communion? Not so did the Fathers interpret St. John vi. Some Roman Catholic writers have supposed an indwelling of the soul of Christ in us (see Dalgairns, "Holy Communion"). But what ground is there for such an idea in Scripture or tradition? Roman Catholic writers (e.g. Fr. Coghlan, pp. 354 ff.) do not seem to me to be able to attribute to Holy Communion the enrichment of our nature by any permanent and definite gift communicated to us therein, now that they have abandoned the really Catholic doctrine that we "eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood" for the permanent inward strengthening and refreshing of our whole nature by His God-united manhood. I am sure that this point needs to be followed out. St. Thomas ("Summa," pars 33, qu. 79, art. 4) teaches that the "res huius sacramenti est charitas, non solum quantum ad habitum sed etiam quantum ad actum, qui excitatur in hoc sacramento." But this is a merely subjective effect, such as Zwinglians would speak of].

There is a great effort being made to introduce and maintain among us the use of the worship of Christ in the tabernacle or the monstrance. There are, it seems to me, cogent reasons of a practical kind against this. But I am not now talking of these. I cannot desire, even if I thought it were practicable, the familiarization of our people with this use. I believe the conservative instinct of the Eastern Church in this matter has been sound. It seems to me that the true, full doctrine of the inward presence of Christ in His people, by His manhood as well as His Godhead, renders it out of place: and that the use tends towards the denial of the doctrine. And thus, conversely, I find that the only part of the Church which has encouraged the use (the later Western Church of the Roman obedience) does, in fact, deny that doctrine of the inward presence of the Manhood in the Church and in all its members which is the rich heritage of real Catholicism. It denies it not formally as by a dogma of the Church, but really by the consent of theologians, so that it is not, I believe, permissible for Roman Catholic writers to affirm it. And I have written this because I desire to submit this theological consideration to those whose minds are occupied on the subject.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood

Richard Hooker

THE grace which we receive by means of the holy eucharist does not begin life, but continues it. Therefore, no one receives this sacrament before baptism because nothing dead can take nourishment. The thing that grows must be alive in order to grow, and if our bodies did not constantly waste away it would not be necessary to have food to restore them. Perhaps the grace of baptism would be sufficient for our eternal life if our spiritual being were not impaired each day af-ter our baptism. In the life to come, where neither body nor soul can decay, our souls will require this sacrament as little as our bodies will require physical nour-ishment. However, as long as the days of our warfare shall last, and as long as we are subject to decay and growth in grace, the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will remain true, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." [Jn. 6. 53.]

Life is the true end for man, and those who have received a new life through baptism are told what kind of food is necessary to continue that new life. Those who wish to live the life of God must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, because his flesh and blood are a part of the diet which we must have in order to live. In infancy we are incorporated into Christ by baptism, and receive the grace of his Spirit, and we receive it without knowing that we are re-ceiving it; but in the eucharist the gift is received in another way, because we know by grace what the grace is which God gives us. We see the stages of our growth in holiness and virtue, and we recognize their existence; and we know that the strength of our life begun in Christ is Christ. We realize that his flesh is meat and his blood is drink; and these things we do not merely imagine, but we really know. They are so truly known that by faith we taste of eternal life when we re-ceive the body and blood given to us in the sacrament. The grace of the sacrament is recognized as the food which we eat and drink.

Just after the feeding of the five thousand on the Sea of Tiberius, [Jn. 6. 25 ff.] the Disciples learned from Christ that his flesh and blood were the true source of eternal life, not because of the bare force of their own substance, but because of the dignity and worth of the Person who offered them and still offers them up as a sacrifice for the whole world. The Disciples also learned that the body and blood were a life for each particular man only by being received by him himself as an individual. They understood this much although they did not yet perfectly understand what was the consequence of such a doctrine, and they did not understand until they gathered together for no other reason which they could imagine except to eat that Passover which Moses had instituted.

Then, they saw their Lord and Master take the chosen elements of bread and wine in his hands, and, with eyes lifted to heaven, consecrate and bless them for the endless good of all generations till the world’s end. Thus, by virtue of his divine benediction, these elements were made forever the instruments of life, and thus the Disciples were the first who were commanded to receive them, and the first who were promised, if they duly administered them, that the bread and the wine would be the channels of life and the vehicles by which his body and blood would be brought to them, and this was a promise not only to them but to their successors.

All of this had happened, and they had heard him say, "Take, eat; this is my body; drink ye all of it; for this is my blood." [Mat. 26. 26–28.] Could they have done what he had told them to do, believed what he had promised, and experi-enced the results he had promised, and not have been filled with a kind of fearful admiration for that heaven which they saw within themselves? We are taught by their joy and comfort that this heavenly food is given for the satisfaction of our empty souls, and not for the exercise of our investigating and overly subtle minds.
If we have any doubt as to what is expressed by these admirable words, let that one be our teacher as to the meaning of Christ, to whom Christ himself was a schoolmaster. Let our Lord’s Apostle be his interpreter, and let us content our-selves with his explanation, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the com-munion of the body of Christ?" [1 Cor. 10. 16.] Is there anything clearer and easier than the fact that just as Christ is called our life because we obtained life through him, so the parts of this sacrament are called his body and blood because when we receive these elements we do receive the body and blood of Christ?

We say that the bread and the wine are his body and his blood because through their instrumentality we participate in his body and blood, and that is a valid assertion because we quite properly give the name of the effect to the cause which produces it, for the cause is in the result which grows out of that cause. Our souls and bodies receive eternal life, and this life in them has as its source and cause the Person of Christ, and his body and blood are the source from which this life flows. The influence of the heavens is in plants, animals and men, and in everything which they make alive; but the body and blood of Christ are in that com-municant to which they minister in a far more divine and mystical kind of union, a union which makes us one with him, even as he and the Father are one.

The real presence of Christ’s most blessed body and blood should not be sought for in the sacrament, but in the worthy receiver of it. The very order of our Savior’s words agrees with this interpretation of the meaning of the sacrament. First, he says, "Take, eat;" and only after that does he say, "This is my body." First, he says, "Drink ye all of it;" and only after that does he say, "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." [Mat. 26. 26–27.] It was only after the eating that the bread became the body of Christ; it was only after the drinking that the wine became his blood. The only interpretation that seems appropriate to these words of Christ is that which says that the bread is his body, and the cup is his blood only in the very heart and soul of the receiver, and that the sacramental elements themselves really exhibit, but do not really contain in themselves, that grace which it has pleased God to give us by means of them.

Everybody confesses that the grace of baptism is poured into the soul of man, and that although we receive it by means of water, it is neither located in the water, nor is the water changed into it. Why, then, should men think that the grace of the eucharist must be in the elements before that grace is in us who receive the sacrament?

The fruit of the eucharist is participation in the body and blood of Christ. There is not a single sentence in Holy Scripture that says we cannot be made partakers of his body and blood by means of this sacrament, unless the body and blood are contained in the elements or the elements converted in them. Christ’s words about his body and his blood are words of promise, for when he says, "This is my body," and "This is my blood," [Mat. 26. 26–27.] he promises us his body and his blood.

We all agree that Christ really and truly carries out his promise by means of the sacrament; but why do we trouble ourselves by such fierce contests about consubstantiation and the question whether the elements themselves contain Christ or not? Even if consubstantiation or transubstantiation are true, it does not benefit us, and if they are not true it does not handicap us. Our participation in Christ through the sacraments depends upon the cooperation of his omnipotent power, and that power makes the sacrament a means of creating his body and blood in us. Whether there is or is not such a change in the elements themselves, as some people imagine, need not make any great difference to us.

Let us, then, accept that in which we all agree, and then consider why the rest should not be considered superfluous rather than urged as necessary. In the first place, it is generally agreed that this sacrament is a real participation in Christ, and that by its means he imparts his full Person as the mystical head of every soul who receives him and thereby becomes a very member incorporate in his mystical body, which is the blessed company of all faithful people.
In the second place, it is also agreed that the communicant who receives the Person of Christ through the sacrament also receives the Holy Spirit who sanctifies the communicant as it sanctified Christ who is the head of all those who participate in him. In the third place, it is commonly held that whatever power or virtue there is in Christ’s sacrificed body and blood we freely and fully receive by this sacrament. In the fourth place, it is agreed that the result of the sacrament is a real transmutation of our souls and bodies from sin to righteousness, from death and corruption to immortality and life. In the fifth place, all believe that the sacramental elements are only corruptible and earthly things; therefore, they must seem to be an unlikely instrument to work out such admirable effects in man. For that reason, we must not rest our confidence in these elements themselves, but put our trust altogether in the strength of his glorious power, which he can and will give us. Through these his gifts and creatures of bread and wine, he will give that which he has promised to give us.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Anglican Books--good old fashioned classical Anglican books!--free for the taking!

If you're a priest, a seminarian, or just someone who is interested in what real Anglicanism looks like, you need these books. Included with these is the previously sited text by Father Moss, Answer Me This.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More wisdom from the good Father Moss, Answer Me This, 1959

Chapter Seventeen – The Holy Communion

219. Is it correct to say that the Holy Spirit is with us always, but God the Son is found not only, but especially, in the consecrated elements, at the Holy Communion?
Yes, but you must not draw the distinction too sharply. Our Saviour said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world” (St. Matthew 28:20), and “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (St. Matthew 18:20). God the Holy Spirit is the Agent of Holy Communion (see St. John 16:14). We must not claim to understand fully the mystery of the Trinity or ignore the fact that God is One.
220. Does the Church believe that the bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist become the flesh and blood of Christ, or just that Christ is present?
They become the Body and Blood of Christ, but not in a local or material sense. “When the Sacrament is moved, the Body of Christ does not move” (John Henry Newman). It is a mystery which we cannot expect to understand. The bread and wine continue to have all the properties of bread and wine; but they are also much greater than bread and wine, as we know by experience.
221. Is Christ really present in the consecrated elements?
222. What is meant by the Real Presence?
Christ is really present in the consecrated elements, but the words “real” and “presence” may mean several different things. He is present to feed us with His life and to enable us to share in His offering of that life to the Father. In my opinion it is wiser to think in terms of power than of presence. The bread and wine are changed by the Holy Spirit: they have Divine power which before consecration they did not have.
223. In professing to believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, do we mean the Son as opposed to the Holy Spirit?
Yes; for the Holy Spirit has not taken to Himself a body or blood (but see Question 219).
224. Why should I believe in the Real Presence in the Holy Communion?
Because our Lord taught us to believe it. He said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (I Cor. 11:24; see also St. Mark 14:22; St. Luke 22:19; St. John 6:51–54). Every part of the Church in every age has believed it. Even Luther held it strongly, and Charles Wesley ended one of his eucharistic hymns with these words:
We need not now go up to heaven
To bring the long-sought Saviour down.
Thou art to all who seek Thee given:
Thou dost e’en here Thy banquet crown.
To every faithful soul appear,
And show Thy real presence here.
The rubric in the English Prayer Book says: “If any of the bread and wine remain unconsecrated, the Curate shall have it to his own use; but if any remain of that which was consecrated, it shall not be carried out of the church, but the priest ... shall immediately after the blessing, reverently eat and drink the same” (part of this is omitted in the American Prayer Book). This distinction between the consecrated and the unconsecrated elements shows that Anglican teaching agrees with that of the rest of the Church.
225. Is the Real Presence the same as Transubstantiation?
226. Do we believe in Transubstantiation?
Transubstantiation is a theory devised in the twelfth century to explain the Real Presence in terms of the philosophy then universally current. It was made compulsory for Romanists by the Lateran Council of 1215 and the Council of Trent (1563). ‘We are not bound by these Councils. Our Article 28 condemns Transubstantiation, but whether the official doctrine or a popular corruption of it is uncertain. Transubstantiation cannot be proved from Scripture, and there are serious technical objections to it (see Charles Gore, The Body of Christ). There seems to most of us to be no need for any explanation or definition of the mystery of the Eucharist.
227. What exactly happens at the consecration? Do the bread and wine turn to the actual Body and Blood of Christ, as Roman Catholics believe?
They do not become the material Body and Blood of Christ, as you appear to mean. That is certainly not the official Roman doctrine (even if some Romanists think it is). Romanists do not believe that they are cannibals. The best Anglican divines teach that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ after a heavenly and spiritual manner. What happens at the consecration is that in answer to the prayer of the congregation led by the priest, who is ordained and authorized to lead it, the Holy Spirit changes the bread and wine, so that while remaining bread and wine they also become the spiritual Body and Blood of Christ. It is a mystery which we cannot define further.
228. What is the official teaching on the Holy Communion, since the Articles are vague?
See the Second Office of Instruction in the American Prayer Book (in the English Prayer Book, the Church Catechism). The mystery of the Holy Communion cannot be fully understood and there have, and still are, different opinions about it. The Church is wise to avoid sharp definitions. The Holy Communion was given to us to be received reverently, regularly, and thankfully, not to be a subject for disputes.
229. Why is the Holy Communion the most important service of the Church?
It is the one service which our Lord expressly commanded, when He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” From the earliest days of the Church, all its members gathered on the Lord’s Day for the “Breaking of Bread” (Acts 2:42, 46, 20:7). Hebrews 10:25 commands regular attendance. The whole Church in all ages has regarded the Holy Communion, or Liturgy, as the chief service round which all others are grouped. The Lord’s Day, or Sunday (which is not a continuation of the Sabbath of the Jews), was made a public holiday in order that Christians might be free to worship at the Eucharist. The Church of England directs sermons to be preached and notices issued at this service, and at no others, and the Episcopal Church follows its example.
230. Why has Morning Prayer superseded the Holy Communion as the main service on Sunday morning?
This custom, which is peculiar to the Anglican Churches, and is now rapidly breaking down, has a long history. The intention of the Prayer Book was that the Sunday morning service should be Morning Prayer, Litany, and Holy Communion with sermon. In the sixteenth century people had long been accustomed to communicate only once a year. The Reformers wished to abolish “solitary Masses,” at which only the priest communicated, and to restore frequent Communion by the laity. They laid down that if no one had given notice that he wished to communicate the service should proceed only to the Prayer for the Church Militant. This was the usual order of service until about a hundred years ago. The belief had long become general that no one ought to be present at the Holy Communion who did not at the time intend to communicate. (There is no trace of this in the Prayer Book, nor is it known in any other part of Christendom. It is supposed to be due to the Elizabethan Puritans.) So when there was a Eucharist, the greater part of the congregation as they were not communicating, trooped out.
The followers of the Tractarians, in order to induce people to prepare for Communion more carefully, especially by receiving it fasting, introduced the early Communion service, which is now almost universal in the Church of England. When choral services became common, Morning Prayer and Ante-Communion became choral, and the choir and most of the people, when there was to be Communion, departed after the Prayer for the Church Militant. Then came the demand for shorter services; the Ante-Communion was dropped, and the sermon was preached at Matins. Other parishes introduced a Choral Eucharist at which people were not supposed, or even allowed, to communicate, for fear they might not be fasting. So arose the contrast of parishes with Sung Morning Prayer and parishes with Sung Eucharist. The distinction is now being broken down by the Parish Communion at nine or ten o’clock, sometimes followed by a parish breakfast; this service combines general Communion with music, but Morning Prayer disappears. (For its advantages and disadvantages, see the Archbishop of York [Michael Ramsey], Durham Essays.)
231. Where there is but one priest, ought he to celebrate three times on Sunday? Might one of the services be replaced by the Mass of the Presanctified?
I cannot say without knowing the conditions. A priest ought not to celebrate more than once a day without necessity, but for many reasons it often is necessary. If there is a parish or family Communion, as the inquirer says, I see no reason for a late one as well. The laity might fairly put themselves to some inconvenience rather than expect their priest to celebrate three times in one day.
The Mass of the Presanctified would not solve the difficulty. This is an ancient service, based on Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, and held on days when the ordinary Liturgy was not thought suitable: among the Greeks, on all Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent; among the Romanists, on Good Friday and Easter Eve only. It has no Anglican authority and would not satisfy anyone’s needs on a Sunday; there is no consecration, so that the congregation is not joining in the Sacrifice, for which Communion from the Reserved Sacrament is not a sufficient substitute.
232. If the Holy Communion is the chief service, why is it at eight o’clock rather than at a decent hour when most people are present?
It is at an early hour in order that the communicants may be fasting, according to the universal custom of the Church. The first hour of the day is the best time to give to the worship of God.
233. If Holy Communion is the chief service, why do many parishes have Morning Prayer?
See Question 230. We ought to attend both, and it is quite possible, by not having too many hymns or too long a sermon, to get both into an hour, or a little more. This seems the more urgently required if there is no Evensong, which in many English parishes is the best-attended Sunday service.
234. Why is Morning Prayer frowned on unless it is accompanied by the Holy Communion?
There is nothing whatever against Morning Prayer, which every member of the Church ought to know and love, but it should never be a substitute for the offering of the Holy Eucharist; if you have not attended the latter you have not done your Sunday duty and are breaking the Fourth Commandment.
235. How can the importance of the Mass, not only on Sundays but on weekdays, be better emphasized?
If you are one of the fortunate few who have the time and opportunity to go to the Holy Communion (Eucharist, Mass, or Lord’s Supper) every day you ought to live up to that great privilege by showing yourself specially kind, patient, and self-sacrificing toward your less fortunate neighbors: “to whom much is given, of them much will be required” (St. Luke 12:48).
236. Does the Church believe that the sacraments (Holy Communion) are God, or only symbolic of Him?
Neither. The sacraments are means by which God’s grace and power are conveyed to us; they are not bare symbols (such as, for instance, the sign of the cross in baptism), but “effectual signs” (Article 25). They are not God: God is almighty and eternal; the Holy Eucharist is not almighty or eternal.
237. How should I receive the Holy Communion?
Go to church early: be in your place at least five minutes before the service begins; fasting (unless you are sick or aged), that is, having eaten or drunk nothing that day. Make sure that your hands and nails are perfectly clean. If you are a woman, put on no lipstick, for obvious reasons. When the time comes, proceed quietly to the altar, take off your gloves, and kneel at the rail. When the priest comes to you with the Bread, be ready, with the palm of your right hand held out and your left hand cupped underneath it (as St. Cyril of Jerusalem in the fourth century directed), making your left hand a throne for your right. The priest will place the Bread in your palm; raise it to your mouth but don’t touch it with your fingers, and be careful that no crumb or fragment is lost. When the priest comes to you with the Cup, he will have a firm hold of it. Grasp the base of the Chalice with your right hand, and tilt it carefully to your lips. Drink only the least quantity that you can swallow. If you are a woman, don’t wear a hat with a broad brim, which would prevent the priest from seeing your face; that is how accidents easily happen. Kneel straight upright throughout, and don’t bow your head. Wait until the next person has communicated, then rise and return to your place; in some churches it is the custom to return by a different way, so as to avoid confusion between those coming and those going. Unless it is absolutely necessary, never leave the church until the priest has returned to the sacristy; to leave before he does is very bad manners. Never leave the church without offering a thanksgiving. Be careful what you say immediately after Communion, for the reaction on returning to the world is the devil’s opportunity: if you can do so without hurting anyone’s feelings, it is best to go home silently.
238. Being an Anglican member of the Catholic Church, may I communicate in the Roman Church?
Certainly not. If the Roman priest knew who you were he would not communicate you. To communicate without telling him would be a lie, and a very grave one; to communicate in unrepented sin is to be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord, and to bring judgment on yourself (I Cor. 11:27). To receive Communion in any Church is to commit yourself to its beliefs; in this case to the papal supremacy, etc. The Orthodox Church will sometimes, in exceptional cases such as that of the former Queen of Rumania, give Anglicans Communion when there is no Anglican priest at hand; and there is no Orthodox doctrine which we are bound as Anglicans to reject. But this is perhaps unlikely in the United States. No Anglican should do so without special permission from the Orthodox bishop.
239. May intinction be used, and in what way consistently with Catholic usage and Anglican tradition?
240. Why do some priests and some dioceses object to intinction? Has it been sanctioned by the Lambeth Conference or the American bishops?
Intinction is Communion with the Bread dipped in the Chalice or touched with the Wine. It has been the regular practice of the Eastern Churches since the thirteenth century, and recently of the Dutch Old Catholics (who formerly communicated in one kind only). There is no Anglican tradition or authority behind it, as far as I know. Intinction is permissible, with the leave of the bishop, in special cases, such as for alcoholics or persons with diseased lips. However, it does not really fulfill our Lord’s command (St. Matthew 26:27): “Drink ye all of it.” The notion current in some quarters that the common cup (which has great symbolic value) is dangerous to health is nonsense. The person most likely to suffer, if there were any truth in this silly idea, would be the priest: and statistics show that priests live longer than anyone else.
241. How often should I receive the Holy Communion?
Provided you come in repentance, faith, and charity, and make proper preparation and thanksgiving, you should aim at once a week at least. An old writer says: “If he asks how often he should receive, tell him as often as he can, that the old Serpent, seeing the Blood of Christ on his lips, may tremble to approach.” No one, except a priest who has to celebrate more than once, is allowed to communicate twice in one day.
242. Does a priest have to consecrate specially to take Communion to a sick person?
No. He may bring the Body and Blood of Christ from the altar or he may keep the sacrament permanently in the church, so that a sick person, or anyone who cannot get to the church, may be communicated at any time. But those who are permanently house-bound should be given a private celebration from time to time, if conditions permit. The priest who celebrates will always himself receive.
243. How much wine may a priest consecrate at one time?
As much as is needed, but not more than enough.
244. Why is not the Host reserved in all Anglican churches, as there seems to be always a tabernacle built in?
I suppose some priests do not know how to reserve and do not feel the need for it. The standing tabernacle is not a good place because it distracts attention from the altar, which is more holy than the tabernacle. It is more usual to reserve in an ambry (small cupboard) at the side.
245. Need one make a formal preparation before every Communion if one communicates often?
I do not think so, if one is careful to make frequent self-examination, to be sure one is in charity with all men, and to beware of letting Communion become formal. You should have a spiritual adviser and consult him.
246. How can Communion in one kind be justified, in view of the words of institution?
It cannot be justified: and it is forbidden in the Anglican Communion as it is in all the Eastern Churches (see Article 30). Even Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, if not in both kinds separately (which may be impossible), should be by intinction (see Question 239).
247. How about the use of one cup for Communion?
The Church requires the use of the common cup, out of which all are to drink. This has high symbolic value. Fear of infection is an idea which should be ignored. The Chalice must be cleansed by the lips of the celebrant, and not by a purificator. If the consecrated wine touches any fabric, that fabric must be carefully washed, and the water drunk by the celebrant. See Question 240.
248. Does the Invocation in the Canon imply a Receptionist theory?
The Invocation is: “We most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.” There is nothing here that implies Receptionism, but, like all Anglican consecration prayers, it does not exclude Receptionism; which is not a heresy, for it has never been condemned by the Church, though it is contrary to the usual teaching of the Church. The elements are here called “bread and wine” after the recital of the words of our Lord, “This is my body, This is my blood.” At the same place in the Roman Canon the following words occur: “the holy bread of eternal life, and the cup of perpetual salvation” (in Unde et memores). The theory that the use by the celebrating priest of the words of our Lord (which were His words of administering, not of consecrating) effects the consecration is a medieval belief which has given rise to many superstitions. The Canon of the Roman Mass is much older than this theory. The belief shown by all the ancient liturgies is that the consecration is effected by God the Holy Spirit in answer to the prayer of the Church, which has already offered thanks over the bread and wine. Every ancient liturgy known to us, with the doubtful exception of the very obscure Roman Mass, contains an Invocation of the Word or the Holy Spirit. The American Church (with the Scottish and other Anglican Churches) has, by restoring this invocation, returned to the practice of the ancient Church.
249. Who may be admitted to the Holy Communion, and why?
See Questions 168–79. Those who have been baptized and confirmed (and have not been excommunicated), and are under the bishop of the diocese or some bishop in full communion with him (that is, are Anglican or Old Catholic communicants) are entitled to receive the Holy Communion as full members of the Episcopal Church (remember that this was written before the 1970s), which is the Catholic Church in the United States (see Questions 127, 128). Communicants of the Orthodox, Armenian, and Assyrian Churches may be communicated at our altars, with the permission of their own bishops. This permission must be obtained in every case and on every occasion; and they must on no account be admitted to Communion without it (except at the point of death). Our authority is the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference, subject to the consent of the American bishops.
The Church of England has formally permitted communicants of the Churches of Sweden and Finland, and some other national Churches of the Lutheran tradition, to communicate at our altars. They believe as we do about the creeds and the two great sacraments; they never seceded from the Church of England, whose authority they recognize; and they could not become Anglicans even if they wished to, as there is no Anglican Church in their native countries.
250. Is it not superstitious to think the condition of the stomach before Communion more important than the condition of heart and mind?
The condition of heart and mind is indeed the most important thing: to communicate without repentance, faith, and charity is profane. The reason for the rule of fasting Communion is that we may honor our Lord’s Body and Blood by making it the first food of the day. This has been a custom of all parts of the Church from early times. It is also the experience of most people that they are not in a fit condition for religious exercises after a meal, for this there is plenty of biblical authority (Ex. 34:28; I Kings 19:8; Dan. 10:3; St. Matthew 4:2; Acts 10:10). The best time to communicate is early in the morning, before the cares and distractions of the day have begun.
251. Has the Anglican Church an official or majority doctrine of the Real Presence?
See Questions 220–24. The Anglican Church has no doctrine on this or any other subject that cannot be proved from Scripture or has not been defined by the Universal Church. There is no definition of the Universal Church on this subject. We must not be explicit where Scripture is not explicit. In any case doctrine is not decided by majorities, which have no spiritual authority. The Holy Eucharist is a mystery, and the less we try to explain it the better.
252. Why is the Eucharist a sacrifice?
See Question 189. The only sacrifice in the Christian religion is the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, made on the Cross and offered in heaven (see the Epistle to the Hebrews). The Eucharist is the principal means by which we are permitted to take part in that sacrifice and to offer all that we are and have, that we may be united with our Saviour’s perfect sacrifice. When we take part in the Eucharist, even without receiving Communion, we are carried into heaven and share the worship of the angels and archangels; when we receive Communion we take part more fully, for then we feast on the Sacrifice.
253. What is “Benediction”? How can it be reconciled with Articles 25 and 28?
“Benediction” is the practice of using the consecrated Bread for blessing people: either in a glass vessel called a “monstrance” or in a closed vessel called a “ciborium.” It is a modern Romanist ceremony, unknown in ancient times or in the Eastern Churches. It was not in use even among English Romanists before the nineteenth century. The Articles quoted only say that Christ did not command the sacraments to be carried about, or gazed at, and this cannot be denied by anyone.
Benediction is forbidden or strongly discouraged in most Anglican dioceses. Such learned and holy men as Pusey, Scott Holland, Richard Benson (founder of the Cowley Fathers), and Bishop Gore (who forbade it in his diocese) were strongly opposed to it. Benediction encourages simple people to believe that our Lord is locally present in the tabernacle and to offer adoration to the outward visible signs of His presence; but we must not offer adoration, the worship due to God alone, to anything that we can see. If we believe that Christ is locally present we believe what the best theologians say is not true; and if we do not believe it, Benediction is meaningless. The blessing of God is the same, whether the sacrament is used for the purpose or not.
Other objections are these: Whereas our Lord is in the sacrament for sacrifice and for Communion, “Benediction” and similar practices are not connected with either, and we cannot be sure that they have His sanction. Emphasis on His sacramental presence, apart from Communion, leads to neglect of His promise to be present wherever His people are assembled; and of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Benediction and similar unnecessary practices have created in many minds a strong prejudice against the reservation of the sacrament, which is often necessary for the sick and others who cannot be present at the Eucharist.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wisdom from The Christian Faith by C.B. Moss



I. Anglican Teaching
The thing signified (res sacramenti), the spiritual reality of which the bread and wine are the outward signs in the Holy Eucharist, is the Body and Blood of Christ who has said, "This is My Body: this is My Blood".
The Church Catechism teaches that the thing signified is "the Body and Blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord,s Supper."
Article 28 says: "The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner: and the means whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith." The author of this article, Bishop Guest, has left it on record that he inserted the word "given" in order to assert that the bread and wine become by consecration the Body and Blood of Christ. The rubric, dating from 1662, which distinguishes between the consecrated bread and wine which are to be consumed in the church, and the unconsecrated bread and wine which "the Curate is to have to his own use", shows that the English Church teaches that the bread and wine are changed by the consecration.

II. Meaning of "Body" and "Blood"
The words "Body" and "Blood" do not mean the material body and blood of our Lord. To think that they do is to fall into the error of "Capharnaism" so called from the Jews of Capernaum who asked, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
The body is the means by which the spirit expresses itself. Though it has been widely held that our Lord has only one Body, it seems that He has at least two. The Church is His Body, but not that Body which was crucified and is now exalted to the throne of God. The bread in the Eucharist becomes the Body of Christ; not His material Body nor His mystical Body (the Church), but His sacramental Body, the means by which He carries out His purpose of feeding us spiritually with His own life.
We avoid many difficulties if we say that He has more than one Body, more than one means of expression. This material Body was one means of expression. The bread at the Last Supper was another. It has always been difficult to explain how the bread at the Last Supper could be our Lord,s Body if He had only one Body; but if He has more than one Body, the bread can be held to be His Body in a different sense.
Though it has been widely held that the Body of which we partake is the same Body as that which was born of the Blessed Virgin and hung on the Cross, there appears to be nothing in Holy Scripture or in any definition of the universal Church to prevent us from distinguishing them from one another.
In any case, the sacramental Body of Christ is not His dead Body, as was held by some of the Anglican divines of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, for He "was dead and is alive for evermore" (Rev. 1:18).
The blood is in Hebrew thought the life, especially when released in sacrifice in order to be offered to God. The Israelites were forbidden to drink the blood which belonged to God. The Eucharist was instituted for men who were accustomed to this idea. To "drink the blood" is to share the life. As members of Christ we are permitted to share the life of our Savior because it was given for us, and we do this when we receive the bread and the wine in the Holy Eucharist, for they have become the Body and Blood of Christ. "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life."

III. Reception of the Body and Blood
Except some of the extreme Reformers who held that the Eucharist was only "a sign of Christian men,s profession", and those who held that we do not receive the Body and Blood of Christ but that the effect on us, or virtue of the sacrament, is the same as if we did, all Christians believe that in the Holy Communion we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. The controversies have all been about the manner of the gift, not the gift itself, and about the way in which we ought to use it.

The following lines are attributed to Queen Elizabeth I:
"Christ was the Word that spake it:
He took the bread and brake it:
And what His word doth make it,
That I believe and take it."
Here the consecration is attributed to the word of Christ, "This is my Body". (This is the medieval doctrine from which even the Reformers could not altogether escape. It was not until the next century that the study of the Fathers led to the rediscovery of the older doctrine of the consecration.)

IV. The Real Presence
The result of the change effected by the consecration of the bread and wine is commonly called the Real Presence, though these words are not found in Scripture, in any dogma defined by the Ecumenical Councils, or in any official formula of the Anglican Communion.
That the bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Christ is implied by Scripture and was explicitly taught by the Fathers. If we believe this, as we can hardly fail to do if we accept the universal agreement of the ancient Church as determining the meaning of the New Testament in matters of doctrine, we must hold that the living Christ is personally present and that we receive Him when we receive the consecrated bread and wine. It seems better to say "The Bread becomes the Body of Christ" than to say "The Body of Christ is present", because the word "present" must be used not in the ordinary sense but in a mysterious sense, undefined because heavenly.
It is easier to say what this "presence" is not, than what it is. It is not natural, or physical, or local. The Body of Christ does not move through space. Even Cardinal Newman wrote, "When the Host is carried in procession, the Body of Christ does not move". The Body and Blood of Christ do not possess the properties of bread and wine.

V. Different Uses of the Word "Sacrament"
The word sacrament is applied to the Eucharist in different senses. It may mean the outward visible sign as when Article 29, quoting St. Augustine, calls the bread and wine "the sign or sacrament of so great a thing". It may mean the thing signified, the Body and Blood of Christ. Or it may mean both together as when the Lord's Supper is defined in the Church Catechism as having two parts. (In fact, it has three, as we have seen.) It is important that the sense in which the word is being used should always be explained. The consecrated bread, the outward sign of the Eucharist, is often called the "Host" (hostia is the Latin for "victim").

VI. Anglican Refusal to Define
The Anglican churches reject the theory of Transubstantiation (in what sense, we shall see in the next chapter), and the theory that the Eucharist is only a sign of Christian men's profession (Article 28). Otherwise the doctrine of the Eucharist is not defined. In this respect the Anglican churches agree with the ancient Church and with the Eastern churches, neither of which has defined any doctrine of the Eucharist as necessary to salvation. For the Eucharist is a mystery which cannot be fully understood, and all attempts to define it have ended by emphasizing one aspect of it above another.

VII. Different Aspects of the Holy Eucharist
The following are different aspects of the Holy Eucharist:
1. Thanksgiving, from which it is called Eucharist.
2. Commemoration of our Redemption; so it is called the Lord,s Supper.
3. Offering of the one perfect Sacrifice, from which aspect we call it the Liturgy or the Mass.
4. Communion with our Lord and with each other.
5. Mystery, in which all the others are united, is the Greek word corresponding to Sacrament.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Anglican Celebration of the Holy Eucharist

My purpose in posting this essay is to explain what an actual Anglican celebration of the Holy Eucharist looks like, or perhaps what it should look like. One recent reader of the blog seems to be confusing that which is Roman with that which is Catholic, and labeling all else as "low-church" (saints preserve us!). This is the very error that I'd hoped to address in the recent post (High Church v. Low Church), but it has resulted in some missing the point and pejoratively labeling those that do not do all things according to modern "Anglo-Catholic" procedure (I'm assuming according to "the Missal" and Ritual Notes) as "low church." Once again, saints preserve us, for that which is modern and Roman is simply that--modern and Roman. It is not ancient nor Catholic.

So, without further ado, how to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the way of the ancient English Church.

An Anglican Use

The Reverend Francis F. E. Blake, Th. M.

This pamphlet is the result of the request of many people asking for more details than are found in my "Synopsis of the Ceremonies of a Plain Celebration of the Holy Communion." The Synopsis was published about twenty-five years ago and has gone through many editions and has been widely distributed. I do not know how much it has been followed. Three seminaries have used it, and may still. I also do not remember how I first came to compile it, or who asked me to do so. It was submitted to a number of liturgiologists, including Dr. Gummey, Dr. Muller, Dr. Jones, and Bishop Frere. Unfortunately, the correspondence has disappeared.

At ordination we solemnly promise to conform to "the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America." This is much like the English promise "to use this Book and none other", for we do not intend "to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, and worship; or further than local circumstances require." To substitute any other book, no matter how excellent that book may be, is a grave breach of Catholic discipline. The bishop's jus liturgicum is limited in "Concerning the Service of the Church": he can set forth little as the normal use of this Church. He has no authority to allow any of the unauthorized, privately-compiled "Missals" to remain on our altars. No liturgical commission anywhere in the Anglican Communion would recommend any one of these "Missals" for day by day, Sunday by Sunday, use.

It is an amazing fact that, except for some Roman Catholic publications, there is no detailed guide for the Celebration of the Holy Communion in print in the United States today. Yet there is certainly a great need for one on Anglican principles, as may be seen in the confused way in which some of our priests commonly celebrate.

I attempt in this book to bring together some of the traditions underlying the "Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion." The attempt is only to interpret the rubrics and traditions behind the service exactly as the service is printed in the Book of Common Prayer without additions, subtractions, juxtapositions, or the addition of a single word. It is a "Western Use." It is not Sarum, or Eastern, or Roman, or Gallican. It is an attempt to be "Anglican." Interest in preserving the integrity of the rite by making the ceremonial conform to the rubrics, and to the liturgical principles which underly them, seems to be much more widespread today. The new churches that are being built (in the way in which they provide for the architectural setting of worship) seem to emphasize this more than the Victorian Gothic ones to which most of us are accustomed. There is nothing more incongruous than the use of Roman ceremonial with a free-standing altar. This incongruity is as apparent in the Basilicas of Rome as it would be if used in St. James the Fisherman on Cape Cod. Roman ceremonial is Renaissance to the core. Prayer Book ceremonial should be neither mediaeval nor Renaissance. It should be exactly as the Prayer Book states: "Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish, Ceremonies or Rites of the Church ordained only be man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying." When this is recognized, we are on sound authority, and we can always give a reason for the faith that is within us. People are always saying the "Church says this and the Church says that", and generally the Church says nothing and leaves it to the underlying traditions of Prayer Book worship. "If the rite is wrong then the Church is wrong." That is a truism. We all need to be loyal to the underlying principles and traditions of the Book of Common Prayer.


1. Extended hands--the "orans" position. This is commonly used by the celebrant in saying prayers while standing. It should not be exaggerated, the elbows are held loosely to the sides, and the hands should be seen. The rule appears to be, extend while praying for the people, join while praying with them. The exception is the Prayer of Humble Access which is said with joined hands because the celebrant is kneeling. It is dreary in the text to-be continually saying, extend, join, but there seems to be no other way.

2. Reverences. These are of two or possibly three kinds. There is the simple bow at the Holy Name and to the altar. There is the profound bow at the Incarnatus clauses in the Nicene Creed, at the Sanctus, and after the Prayer of Consecration. Genuflection is sometimes substituted for the profound bow. This is the Renaissance gesture and is not reserved for the Eucharist in the Pian ceremonial of the Roman Use of 1570, but is also used as an act of respect to bishops, relics, empty altars, &c. No one particular act of reverence has ever been prescribed as an exclusive acknowledgment of the Eucharistic presence of our Lord. There have been many outward signs used, including, a slight bow of the head, profound bows, genuflections (genuflectio as found in ancient books means kneeling rather than the rapid dropping to one knee and immediately rising), kneelings, touchings, breathings, arrangement of fragments, putting the host to the eye, entombments, &c: There also have been no outward signs of reverence at all used and the concentration has been on the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving rather than on the real presence which is an incident amongst others in the sacrifice. The profound bow is more in accord with the best liturgical tradition. The bow to the altar is always directed to the altar, never to the cross. There should be no bow when passing from side to side. The less authoritative Canons of 1640 suggest reverence at "coming in and going out of said churches, chancels or chapels." This is sensible, and, if observed, would do away with much fussiness.

3. The Sign of the Cross. This gesture, sometimes, used as a seal, sometimes in conferring absolution and blessing, sometimes to recall the passion, may be used and is used. Until the revision of 1928, the Baptismal service declared that "the Church knoweth no worthy scruple" for its omission. The Canons of 1604 also prescribed its use in Holy Baptism and defended it against Puritan prejudice. The solemnity of the use is lessened by too frequent employment. The word "may" is used in the text, and the wise words of 1549 still have force: "As touching kneeling, crossing, holding up of hands, knocking upon the breast, and other gestures: they may be used or left as every man's devotion serveth him without blame." In 1549 the use of the sign of the cross was limited officially to the Invocation in the Eucharist and the Exorcism in Holy Baptism. Since 1552 the Sign of the Cross has only been officially prescribed in the reception into the Church in Holy Baptism. Since 1890 the Scottish Church has allowed its use in Confirmation. To use it only in the Invocation, and possibly at the Absolution and Blessing would add to its impressiveness and go a long way toward avoiding fussiness.

4. The Silk Chalice Veil. There is little or no authority for this veil so commonly used. It was never used in England before the Reformation, and is not included in the "Ornaments Rubric." It also, was never used after the Reformation until the late Victorian era. Its origin is obscure and it may have developed from the Sudary used by the Clerk in handling the sacred vessels. It is much better to omit it and to have the unveiled chalice and paten on the credence table before the service begins. A veiled chalice, according to the Prayer Book, is one containing the consecrated species, as the rubric on page 83 of the Prayer Book shows.

5. The Stiff Pall so commonly used is a development of the Palla Corporalis, the "fair linen cloth" of the rubric on page 83. It was introduced in the late Victorian era, and is unnecessary. We do not have the elaborate coverings and uncoverings of the Latin Rite. The unfolded second corporal is the pall and should be so used, as a cover for the chalice from the time of the offertory to the beginning of the Prayer of Consecration, when it is removed at the ordering of the Bread and Wine. The chalice should not be covered again until after the Communion of the people when this second corporal or pall should be unfolded and used as a veil over the consecrated species.

6. The Chalice, Paten, and Burse should be on the credence table before the service begins. The pro-Anaphora and the Anaphora, the Missa Catechumenorum and the Missa Fidelium, are two distinct services. Nothing pertaining to the Anaphora should be on the altar until the Offertory.
7. Cautions. Care should be taken never to walk sideways from the midst to the book. The turn to the people is from the right. Never back down the steps. Observe the punctuation marks.

The priest, preceded by the server, and any other assistants, goes to the altar the shortest way. All bow to the altar. The celebrant ascends the steps, goes to the book and opens it to the Collect of the Day. He goes back to the midst, and, with extended hands, and no "let us pray", says the Collect for Purity. The introductory Lord's Prayer may be omitted to avoid duplication, and because it should come as the climax after the Prayer of Consecration rather than at the beginning of the Liturgy. He turns and recites the Summary of the Law with joined hands, turns back and leads in the three-fold Kyrie. On one Sunday in the month the Decalogue should be said according to the rubric. The custom of saying both the Commandments and the Summary of the Law seems to be obsolete. The Collect for Grace to keep the Commandments may be said after the recitation of the Decalogue, though it had better be omitted at other times.

After the Kyrie (or Collect for Grace), the celebrant turns from the midst, or from the book, and there is ample authority for both, extends his hands, and says "The Lord be with you." He walks to the book or turns back to it as the people respond. He then says "let us pray", facing the book, and reads the Collect or Collects of the Day with extended hands. He bows his head slightly at the holy Name.

"The minister appointed" then reads the Epistle. This may be the celebrant, another priest, a deacon, or a lay reader. Whoever reads should turn and face the people. It is unseemly, and unliturgi-cal, to read the Epistle with the back to the congregation. The celebrant would read from the top step at the Epistle end; and other reader from the pavement, at the entrance to the choir, or even from his place in the congregation. Care should be taken in announcing the Epistle. Other portions of Scripture appointed "for the Epistle" are announced as the Epistle. The cumbersome phrase, "The portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle", a sop to the Puritans at the time of the Savoy Conference, disappeared at our last revision. All in the sanctuary and congregation except the reader should sit while the Epistle is being read. This would include the celebrant, if another reads, and he should go the shortest way to the sedilia after the Collect.

"The minister appointed" shall then read the Gospel. This may be the celebrant, another priest, or a deacon. If a deacon assists he should always read the Gospel. If another reads, the celebrant may stand at the sedilia, or go back to the altar, either to the midst or to the Epistle end, and face the book. If the celebrant reads, he goes to the Gospel end, takes up the book, and faces the people. He may sign the book and himself as he announces the holy Gospel. Another minister may read from the Gospel end, on the pavement, at the entrance to the choir, or from the pulpit, always facing the people. "Glory be to thee, O Lord" is a response and should not be led by the reader, nor should there be any turning toward the cross. All reverences at the time of the Gospel are toward the Gospel book itself as representing our Lord himself speaking to his people. At the end of the Gospel there is a congregational response, "Praise be to thee, O Christ." Care should be taken in announcing the Gospel, and the word "Gospel" should not be repeated. "The holy Gospel is written in the second chapter of St. Matthew, beginning at the thirteenth verse."

The hands are extended in invitation to the people to join with the celebrant in the recitation of the symbol at "I believe in one God" and then joined for the rest of the belief. A bow is made at the holy Name. A reverence of some sort is common at the Incarnatus clauses. Possibly the best would be from "And was incarnate" through "and was buried." This was the use of the Diocese of London. In Sarum there were four inclinations, at "was incarnate", "was made man", "was crucified", and "the life of the world to come." These were rather fussy, the other is the better and includes the whole life of humiliation, rather than just the birth. The Nicene Creed is, however, a triumphant hymn of praise, and possibly the best use of all would be to stand upright for it as is done in the Eastern Uses. There is little authority for a bow at "worshipped and glorified." At the end in Sarum and Westminster, a bow is directed. In the Use of Lincoln, the sign of the cross is directed. In German Use, the sign of the cross was made at the mention of the crucifixion. The sign of the cross is sometimes used as a seal, and it could be used as such at the end of the creed.
The Creed may be omitted if a Creed has been said in Morning Prayer immediately before. The Apostle's Creed may be substituted for the Nicene except on certain days. This substitution seems to be obsolete.

These should be said after the Creed. Great care should be taken that they do not become a set form added to the Liturgy every Sunday. The prayers from Family Prayer are good for what they are intended. They are sentimental and have become hackneyed by constant repetition in a place where their use was not contemplated. The "Bidding of the Bedes" is a time honored-custom. Biddings to prayer are better than set prayers. We are still in the pro-Anaphora so these prayers may be for those who are not technically "of the faithful." The congregation should be instructed to stand for these, whether prayers or biddings to prayer.

"Then followeth the sermon." This is sometimes called the "indicative" rubric. It is not ordering a sermon at every celebration of the Holy Communion, but stating that this is the place when there is a sermon. The rubric was changed in 1928 from "Then shall follow the sermon" to the present tense. Occasionally, a short sermon is preached at a plain celebration of the Eucharist, but it takes a genius to say anything in a few sentences, and few are geniuses. This may be done from the altar, the entrance to the choir, or from the pulpit. It should be most informal and would require neither inscription nor ascription.

The Offertory Sentence should be said at the altar, either facing east or west. The Sarum Missal simply says, "Item sacerdos ad altare dicat." The sentence should be varied, e.g., "While we have time" could be used in Advent, "Lay not up" in Lent, "Not everyone" after Trinity, "Thine, O Lord" (not necessarily a presentation sentence) on great feasts. A sentence should be said whether there is a collection or not.

The order for the presentation of the alms and oblations is quite clear in the rubric. The meaning of the word "oblations" was settled in our revision of 1928 to refer to the bread and wine. The word was inserted in 1661, and may have been intended to refer to the bread and wine as an integral part of the offertory, or to "other devotions of the people." "Alms" would refer to money for poor relief, and "oblations" to money offerings for the support of the Church or to special gifts, such as a new chalice. We often reverse the order of presentation, and the Prayer Book is right and we are wrong. Offerings in kind were made in ancient liturgy and the bread and wine were taken from this offering for the Eucharistic oblation, or sometimes the bread and wine were brought up separately after the other offerings for the clergy, the poor, and others. We seldom have offerings in kind today, but we do have the equivalent in money, and the Prayer Book order of "present and place" for the alms, and "offer and place" for the oblations should be respected. Luther, who said, "Away with that abomination called the offertory", would not have been pleased with this important rubric restored in 1928.
There are many places for the preparation of the elements. There is the long service of the Prothesis in the Eastern liturgies. They were sometimes prepared between the Epistle and Gospel in Sarum and other mediaeval uses (especially at high mass). The Caroline Divines often prepared them just before the Prayer of Consecration. The Roman use prepares the bread in the sacristy before the service and mixes the chalice at the time of the offertory. In places inspired by the Liturgical Movement, the elements are often brought up from the back of the church, especially at a sung service. Bishop Seabury found two traditions in the Scottish Church, before the service and at the time of the offertory, and he introduced the second of these into Connecticut. In Ordo Romanus Primus the bread and wine were selected from the current offerings. In 1549, 'then shall the minister take so much bread and wine" at the offertory. We are on sure grounds when we follow Ordo Romanus Primus, 1549, and Bishop Seabury and prepare the elements at the time of the offertory. The priest's wafer, if used, should be in the bread box along with the people's wafers. The symbolism of the "one bread" is ruined even more when, after the Roman custom, it is on the paten before the service begins.

After the Offertory Sentence, the celebrant will receive the burse from the server, remove the two corporals, and spread the first in the center of the altar, making sure that it does not hang down over the front. The burse will be put down in some convenient place, possibly flat on the altar on the Epistle side toward the back. The second corporal, still folded--the "palla corporalis", the "fair linen cloth" of the rubric on page 83 of the Prayer Book--should be laid on it until needed to cover the chalice, folded as the pall, unfolded as a veil after the communion. He will then go to the credence and the server will pour water over his fingers for the Lavabo. He will then take sufficient breads from the bread box, and put them along with the priest's wafer on the paten or in some other comely vessel (a ciborium) if there are many communicants. He will then pour sufficient wine in the chalice and dilute it with water. With our modern heady altar wines, it could be one-third water and two-thirds wine. The water need not be blessed. The blessing of the water is a bit of mediaevalism, the wine was consecrated, the water was not, so it had to be blessed. He may, however, follow Ordo Romanus Primus and pour the water in the form of a cross. The paten is placed on the top of the chalice so that both may be offered as one act. He goes back to the altar, carrying the purificator with him. He turns, receives the alms, and presents them with a slight elevation, saying nothing, and places them to the right of the corporal, where they remain until after the Prayer for the Church. He then offers the oblations by elevating them to the height of his breast, saying nothing. He places the elements on the Holy Table; the chalice on the back third of the corporal and the paten on the middle third. The chalice is covered with the second corporal, still folded, and the paten with the front third of the corporal. Any other vessels containing elements for consecration should be on the back third of the corporal. He is now ready to begin the Prayer for the Church.

Special intercessions may be asked before this prayer, but they should be in the form of biddings to prayer rather than prayers. Strictly speaking, such biddings in this part of the service should only be for the faithful, i.e., the baptised, and not for all sorts and conditions of men. The Prayer for the Church is a part of the offertory, and contains the verbal offering of the alms and oblations. To interpolate prayers of offering, including "All things come of thee, O Lord", destroys the massive dignity of our use.
The celebrant turns to the people, extending and joining his hands, as he bids them join with him in this prayer, of, for, and by the faithful. He turns back to the altar, not completing the circle. The old rule is "reversus ad altare." The prayer is said with extended hands. The left hand may be dropped to the altar, and one sign of the cross made over the elements at "oblations." The punctuation should be duly observed, and a slight pause made after each paragraph, but there should be no noticeable pause at "trouble, sorrow, need, &c." The hands are joined for the conclusion.

The short exhortation is said with joined hands, facing the people. The priest turns back to the altar, kneels, and, with joined hands leads in the confession. The capital letters are intended as markers to keep the congregation and priest together. He stands and faces the people for the absolution, and may make the sign of the cross over them as he says, "pardon and deliver." The hands are rejoined and kept joined for the comfortable words. The pronunciation of the word "travail" seems to be a stumbling block. The accent should be on the first syllable and the diphthong "ai" is weak.

The Sursum Corda is the introduction to the Prayer of Consecration. It is said facing the people. "Lift up your hearts" is said with extended hands, and they are joined at "Let us give thanks". The celebrant turns back to the altar and says the Preface with extended hands. They are joined as he bows profoundly for the Sanctus.

The Benedictus qui venit is no part of our rite, and presents a liturgical problem. The use was forbidden at the time of our last revision for sound reasons. A paraphrase of the first Hosanna remains attached to the Sanctus as "Glory be to thee, O Lord most high". The Prayer of Consecration takes its cue from this "glory", and "All glory be to thee", knits the Sanctus and Prayer of Consecration together. That is good liturgics.

The interpretation of the ceremonial of the Prayer of Consecration appears to be vexed, but the vexation is more apparent than real. The directions are simple. There is a rubric before the prayer about the ordering of the bread and wine. There are rubrics about mimetic acts in the margin. There are two titles, "the Oblation" and "the Invocation", also in the margin. These last two, along with the "Let us give thanks" in the Preface to the Prayer of Consecration, contain the ideas found in all Prayers of Consecration, including the Roman where the "Supplices te rogamus" is now treated as a relic of a more full Invocation. "Eucharistica" in the Preface, "Anaphora" in the Oblation, "Epiclesis" in the Invocation are the three important words in the classic form of the Liturgy.

Some accept the late mediaeval theory of consecration by the Words of Institution; others accept the need of a definite Invocation of the Holy Spirit; others that a definite Eucharistic Prayer, with or without the Words of Institution, with or without an Invocation, is necessary; but all agree that the prayers must clearly ask the Father that the elements may be so blessed that they may be unto us the Body and Blood of Christ, and that he may accept our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
The least tenable position is that the Words of Institution are the form of the consecration. Our Lord's consecratory prayer, his Eucharistic Prayer, has not been preserved. "When he had given thanks" would imply the blessing of the name of God over the elements. That was the common Hebrew blessing at table, where bread was broken with some such formula as, "Blessed by thy name, O God, King of the universe, who dost bring forth bread for the sustenance of man". The words, "Take, eat, this is my body" were not his words of consecration, but his words of administration. There is no liturgy in use in any part of Christendom calling itself "catholic" that, in the official text, in the words of the rite, makes the consecration depend on the Words of Institution. Remove the rubrics, the ceremonial directions, and the capital letters, and read the prayers, including the Gregorian Canon, in plain literal language and you will find that all consider the consecration to end with St. Paul's great Eucharistic Amen.
The essence of good ceremonial is simplicity. Details should not be multiplied beyond necessity, and that is good scholastic philosophy. The ceremonial of the Roman Missal of 1570 is not mediaeval but Renaissance. No single aspect of the truth should be allowed to obscure any other part. Any Eucharistic Prayer is credal in form; it is the work of the Father, consummated by the Son, and applied through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
The celebrant uncovers the chalice and paten and any other vessels containing bread and wine to be consecrated. He then raises his hands to the normal prayer attitude, orans position, above and beyond the shoulders, but not exaggerated or in modum crucis. He joins them and bows at the holy Name, and re-extends them. He continues until he comes to the explanatory section, a sort of interpolated lesson, giving the Dominical reason for this strange service. There should be no change of voice, position, attitude, or interpretation. At "he took bread", the paten is taken into the hands, raised slightly and replaced; at "he brake it", the large wafer is broken in two or more fragments; at "this is my body", the right hand (left hand resting on the corporal) is laid lightly on the paten and any other vessel containing bread. The hands are placed on the corporal for "Do this in remembrance of me." At, "he took the cup", the chalice is taken in the hands, raised slightly and replaced; at "this is my blood", the left hand is used to steady the chalice as the right hand is laid on the chalice and any other vessel containing wine. The hands are placed on the corporal for "do this, as oft as ye shall drink it in remembrance of me". There should be no pauses, elevations, or reverences. He continues, "Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father" with hands extended in the orans position. At the Oblation, following non-Juror custom, introduced by them from Eastern sources, and brought to Connecticut by Bishop Seabury from the Scottish Church, he may elevate the paten in his right hand and the chalice in his left to the height of his breast to give ceremonial meaning to "these thy holy gifts which we now offer unto thee." Before the Invocation, he may bow profoundly, following universal Invocation ceremonial, and during it may make two signs of the cross over the elements at "bless and sanctify", following Cranmer, who was so often right, and his suggestion in the Invocation of 1549. The hands may be spread over the elements, palms down, for the rest of the Invocation. There should be no pause or reverence after the Invocation. He may cross himself at "filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction", and also lightly strike the breast at "And although we are unworthy." The hands are extended for the rest of the prayer, and joined for the conclusion. The people respond with their "Amen", and the consecration is complete. The celebrant may now make a profound reverence.

He stands upright and says, without turning, the introduction to the Lord's Prayer with joined hands, extending them in invitation at "Our Father", and rejoining them. After this he kneels, and with joined hands, says the Prayer of Humble Access. He then stands, as directed by the General Convention of 1832, receives the Holy Communion standing, and he may make a profound reverence after reception in both kinds.

The celebrant turns and offers the Sacrament to the people. He then goes to the Epistle end of the rail and puts the consecrated wafer into the hands of the people as he says the words of administration. He may, if there are few communicants, say the whole form for each, or he may say the first half to one and the second half to the next, or he may divide the sentence into parts as he goes along the rail. He will be followed by the one who administers the chalice, if there be one, or he may have to return to the altar, get the chalice and administer it himself. The sentence of administration of the chalice may be used as above. The line should be kept moving, and each communicant should go back to his place after he has heard the whole form of administration.
Communion by intinction has been authorized by the General Convention, but no rubric was put in the Prayer Book as to method. The normal Prayer Book method is to administer each kind separately. There are many ways of administering by intinction. The communicant may keep the wafer in his hand, the one administering the chalice may take it, dip it lightly in the chalice, and place it between the lips of the communicant, or the communicant may dip himself. The normal Prayer Book way is the better way, and the one most likely to survive.
After all have communicated, the chalice and paten are returned to the altar. The celebrant makes his reverence, and veils the remains of the consecrated elements with the palla corporalis, the second corporal, which is the fair linen cloth of the rubric. He then proceeds to the thanksgiving, remaining in the midst of the altar.

The post-communion section of our Liturgy consists of the Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Gloria in excelsis or other hymn. The Prayer of Thanksgiving has been a fixed post-communion since 1549, possibly suggested by a private prayer of the celebrant in the Sarurn Missal. There is no turn for "Let us pray", and the prayer is said with extended hands in the midst, and they are joined for the conclusion.
The Gloria in excelsis has been a part of the thanksgiving since 1552. It should be said on all Sundays (apart from Advent, pre-Lent, and Lent), feasts, in Eastertide, and greater octaves. Nothing is gained by the substitution of a metrical hymn, and the constant repetition of "O Saving Victim" is banal to the extreme. In Advent, pre-Lent, Lent, and on ordinary week-days the Gloria Patri, a metrical doxology, or a hymn may be substituted for this great "private psalm." There are two hymns in the Hymnal, both of which come from similar places in older liturgies, "From glory to glory advancing", #492, and "Strengthen for service, Lord", #201, that seem more fitting than most of the Eucharistic hymns.
The Gloria in excelsis is said in the midst. The hands are extended in invitation at the opening words and joined for the rest.
There is little authority, if any, for a last collect ordinarily, and such collect should never be spoken of as a post-communion. A post-communion collect is a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of holy communion or one about the fruits of the sacrifice in the soul. Both of these ideas are taken care of in our fixed prayer of thanksgiving. Intercessory prayer should be after the Creed. The prayer in the Ordination Rites is a "super populi", and not a post-communion. We have none, and we should let the Liturgy end as it is intended to end.

One of the great strokes of genius found in the Book of Common Prayer is our dismissal. The pen was boldly drawn through "Ite missa est", and the peace was added to the blessing that was commonly being added to the liturgy at that time. It is said facing the people, the hands joined for the first part, and the left lying lightly on the breast, and the right hand raised at "the blessing of", and the sign of the cross may be made over the people. There is no great authority in ancient liturgy for this, but it is the common practice today.

There is not one word in the Book of Common Prayer about the ablutions. However, rubrical directions and the English language cannot be more accurate than the directions for the disposal of the consecrated elements. The rubric on page 83 states, "When all have communicated, the priest shall return to the Lord's Table, and reverently place upon it what remaineth of the consecrated elements, covering the same with a fair linen cloth." The rubric on page 84 states, "And if any of the consecrated Bread and Wine remain after the communion, it shall not be carried out of the Church; but the minister and other communicants shall, immediately after the Blessing, reverently eat and drink the same." They first appeared in 1637, and were inserted in the Book of 1662. They have nothing whatsoever to do with reservation or Eucharistic adoration. The Book of Common Prayer is a part of the Constitution and Canons of this Church. Positive rubrics have the force of Canon Law. Anything in Liturgy or Canon Law that has 300 years behind it is not to be passed over lightly.

The custom of cleansing the chalice immediately after the communion of the people apparently grew up in the time when no one except the priest communicated, and there was nothing remaining. Ordo Romanus Primus directs that the sacrifice shall remain upon the altar from the time of the first offering until after the dismissal of the people. The Eastern Uses have various prayers, hymns, and psalms to be said after the communion of the people and before the consumption of the remains of the Eucharist. Our rubrics appear to point to the more ancient, logical, and "catholic" custom.

After the blessing, the priest will turn back to the altar, uncover the chalice and paten, make his reverence, and consume what remains, calling upon others to help him if necessary. He will then make the ceremonial cleansings of the vessels.
a. (Roman) The server will pour in a little wine which the celebrant will consume. Then a little wine and water will be poured over his fingers which he will consume.
b. (Sarum) This is as above with the addition of a third ablution of water only.
c. (Probably the best). The server will pour considerable water into the chalice over the priest's fingers which he will consume.
The priest will then wipe the chalice with the purificator and assemble the vessels as they were at the beginning. The two corporals will be folded and replaced in the burse. On the chalice will be the purificator, the paten, and the burse. The vessels will either be returned to the credence table, or the celebrant may carry them out with him.
He goes to the foot of the altar, bows with the server, and goes back to the sacristy the shortest way.