The Communion Rite: ..... Powerpoint Presentation

The Body of Christ in
Liturgical Celebration
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, 6 Nov 2014, Mary Connolly
The Lord’s Day - Sunday Mass
“sine Dominica non possumus”
“without the Sunday Eucharist
we cannot go on living”
The witness of the Martyrs of Abitina (ca 304 CE)
The Liturgy is…
the summit toward which the activity of the Church is
directed...the fount from which all the Church’s power
the source for achieving in the most effective way
possible human sanctification and God’s glorification,
the end to which all the Church’s other activities are
directed.(SC 10)
The experience of the people is…
“It is a beautiful statement.
Unfortunately, it is not true…
Less than half of all Catholics celebrate Mass
each Sunday – and even many who do attend
do not see it as essential to providing direction
for their lives.”Paul Bernier S.S.S., Living the Eucharist, Introduction,2005
As liturgists…
we have not reflected, sufficiently, on
what people actually experience
Sunday after Sunday,
the meaning(s) which they attribute
to that practice,
individually and collectively.
Liam M. Tracey,” Liturgical Studies in a New Millennium”, ITQ 66 (2001)
What are we doing ?
Several meanings present at the same time
in any religious ritual:
It is often the public or individual meaning ascribed to
a liturgical action that is normative for the participant
Lawrence A. Hoffman, cited in Liam M. Tracey, “Liturgical Studies in a New Millennium”, ITQ 66 (2001)
Liturgy: Leitourgia...
érgon = work; laos = people
making the work of our redemption a present actuality...
(SC 2)
…this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified
and the recipients made holy… (SC 7)
The participation of the People of God in the work of God...
The official public worship of the Church
Celebrating our Rites
To accomplish so great a work,
Christ is always present
in His Church,
especially in its
liturgical Celebrations
(SC 7)
Celebrating the Rites of the Church
“Apart from the Eucharist, hardly any other
shared forms of prayer exist for most parishioners.
Without habits to provide day-in, day-out prayers,
to train us in how to pray, to lead us in ways of
praise, petition,
thanks and contrition
we have no way to prepare to pray the eucharist,
no way to learn how to pray in large gatherings,
no way to let the eucharist echo through the week.
“We learn to pray by praying,
and we learn to pray the Mass
through the many ways that ritual prayer
enters our lives throughout the day and the week.”
Gabe Huck & G.T. Chinchar; Liturgy – Wth Style and Grace
How do parishes pray..?
Without ceasing…
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi Prosper of Aquitaine
Liturgy : the privileged place for catechising the People of God
(Catechism 1074)
The Rites of the Church both express and shape
the beliefs of the celebrating community
The Liturgy of The Hours
‘Celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours
sets us up really, to celebrate the Eucharist.’
Browne, Sheila. “Our Prayer and My Prayer: What’s the Difference? What’s the Same? Forms of Prayer
that Complement Liturgical Prayer,” Liturgical Ministry (Fall,2003): 213-217.
‘The Church holds a high doctrine of the divine
office, yet its practice must be said to be low…
It is one sector of the liturgy of which the laity
know hardly anything at all…’.
J.D. Crichton cited in Robert Taft, S.J. The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West (Collegeville MN: The
Liturgical Press, 1986),xii.
Morning Prayer - Saturdays - Eastertide
Eternal Shepherd,
strengthen us for the coming day
with the bread of your word;
nourish us with the bread of the eucharist.
R Lord, may your resurrection enrich us
with your grace.
Which country would be more Christian?
“If in one country Mass was celebrated for thirty years
without preaching
and in another there was preaching for thirty years
without the Mass,
people would be more Christian in the country where
there was preaching.” Yves Congar OP, Concilium 33 (1968)
Our Daily Bread: the ordinary everyday…
Monday to Saturday … Our Daily Practice
Rural Community
Urban community
• Mass once/twice a week
• Daily Mass
• Adore the Blessed
• Say The Rosary
(May & October)
• Priest’s Day Off:
A Communion Service
Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass
The celebration of the eucharist… is the true origin and purpose of
the worship shown to the eucharist outside Mass.
Purpose Of Eucharistic Reservation
The primary and original reason for reservation of the eucharist
outside Mass is the administration of viaticum.
The secondary ends are the giving of communion (to unite,
through sacramental communion, the faithful unable to
participate in the Mass, especially the sick and the aged, with
Christ and the offering of his sacrifice) and the adoration of our
Lord Jesus Christ present in the sacrament.
Extraordinary Ministers of Communion
Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the
Absence of a Priest (1988)
Among the forms of celebration found in
liturgical tradition when Mass is not possible,
a celebration of the word of God
is particularly recommended,
and also its completion, when possible,
by eucharistic communion...[20]
Sunday Worship in the Absence of a Priest
The absence of the Eucharist?
The absence of the consecration…
A Communion Service
Spot The Difference!
A Liturgy with
•The Consecration
is absent
•Hosts come from
the Tabernacle
The Mass
•The Consecration/
Eucharistic Prayer
•Hosts come from…?
Does it matter?
Redemptoris Sacramentum(2004)
Particular Celebrations carried out in the Absence of a Priest
It is necessary to avoid any sort of confusion between this
type of gathering and the celebration of the Eucharist
[DSCAP 22]
…the diocesan bishops… should prudently discern
whether holy communion ought to be distributed
in these gatherings .[165]
The Exception…
Sunday celebrations of this specific kind,
however, are to be considered altogether
extraordinary. [RS164]
The Solution..?
“see the substitutional
character of these
celebrations, which
should not be regarded
as the optimal solution
to new difficulties nor
as a surrender to mere
convenience.” [ DSCAP 21]
“Proceed judiciously, but
without multiplying this
type of Sunday assembly,
as though it were the ideal
solution and the last
chance.” [Paul VI, Central France,1977]
The Problem…
“...have come to judge that Holy Communion
regularly received outside of Mass
is a short-term solution
that has all the makings of becoming
a long-term problem.”
(Bishops of Kansas, Sunday Communion Without Mass 1995)
The Rule: becoming the new norm…
Assemblies of this kind should not take away but rather
increase the desire of the faithful to take part in the
celebration of the eucharist, and should make them more
eager to be present at the celebration of the eucharist. DSCAP 22
If such celebrations become the norm,
the need for a priest and, ultimately,
the need for the Eucharist, is no longer felt…
The Norm: a fourfold action…
• Take
• Bless
• Break
• Give
The Liturgy of the Eucharist:
A Fourfold Action
As ________________and___________
bring forward the bread and wine,
we are invited to see ourselves
represented in these gifts.
Now is the time to pick up your life
your worries and wishes,
your relationships, your reality –
and join it with the bread and wine...
Pick up your life
and place it on the altar
to be transformed
into the Body of Christ.
(see D. Harrington, Eucharist,2007)
“I love you as God loves you,
to bloodshed.
I break myself as bread for
you to share and become
bread that is broken
for each other” (Sebastian Moore OSB)
Communion with Christ and with One Another (2012)
“The Eucharist is...
When you receive communion,
how conscious are you of
not only the sacrament of
our personal intimacy with Christ, receiving what you are?
but the sacrament of
our baptismal bond with each other;
Do you think many members of
your community see the
Communion is an intimate act
communal dimensions of
but it is never a private one.”
Communion, or is it primarily a
(Nathan D. Mitchell, Worship 78, ’04)
private moment with Jesus?
The Blood of Christ – Amen!
‘the average modern Catholic
theology of the Eucharist is
without a future.’
Edward J. Kilmartin, “The Catholic Tradition of Eucharistic Theology: Towards the Third
Millennium”, in Theological Studies 55:3 (September 1994) 443- 449, at 443.
“Do THIS…”
In the Catholic tradition
the object of the command has been too narrowly understood
to be the objects of the bread and cup
and combined with an almost exclusive focus on
the raising of the host and chalice,
the people have been left with “a ritual of adoration
but not a liturgy for participation in the transforming,
narrative remembrance of Jesus.”
David Gregg cited in Bruce T.Morrill, Anamnesis as
Dangerous Memory (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2000) 170.
Communion without Mass: the ritual unity and
essential action of the Liturgy of the Eucharist
is now broken:
•no taking,
•no blessing,
•no breaking
of bread...
The Communion Rite
• The Lord’s Prayer
“The peace of the Lord…”
• Sign of Peace
• Breaking of Bread – “Lamb
of God”
• Invitation to Communion
“Behold the Lamb of God
• Distribution of Communion
• Post-Communion Prayer
Liturgy with Communion
•The Lord’s Prayer
•Sign of Peace
•Invitation to Communion
“Behold the Lamb of God
•Distribution of Communion
•Concluding Prayer
The Body of Christ - Corpus Verum
“ the same Spirit graciously make holy
these gifts
we have brought to you for consecration,
that they may become
the Body and Blood of your Son our Lord,
Jesus Christ.”
The Body of Christ - Corpus Mysticum
“Grant that we, who are nourished by
the Body and Blood of your Son and
filled with his holy Spirit,
may become
one body, one spirit in Christ.”
Christ Is Present
•in the people gathered
•in the Gospel that’s read
•in the priest
• in the consecrated wine and bread
(Alive O 4; Irish R. E. Primary School Programme)
 in the absence of the eucharist  the presence of Christ...
The Dilemma of Priestless Sundays
At root, the problem is the lack of priests, and
“to offer a liturgical solution to non-liturgical
problem” is unwise to say the least.
Simply continuing the present policy is a
choice…that is a more radical departure from
tradition than changing the ordination
discipline. James Dallen, 1994
The Pastoral Task...
a particularly important and urgent mission for today’s church.
Along with participation in catechesis, the preparation for
baptisms and weddings is one of the main sources of the
renewal of Christian communities everywhere, cities,
suburbs, rural areas...
In our kind of society, it is a whole “catechumenal” dimension
of the church that should be developed as one of the major
“strategic” axes of its mission.”
Chauvet, Louis-Marie. The Sacraments: The Word of God at the Mercy of the Body. Trans Madeleine Beaumont.
Collegeville, MN: The liturgical Press, 2001,199.
The Parish – A Structure
How to organise for mission:
• In the past ‘ministry’ was something the clergy did
for the people...
• Then, lay people began to ‘help’ Father...
• Today, all share the same baptismal vocation...
common baptismal vocation, our mutual need of
each other’s charisms, and our co-responsibility for the
church’s ministry, impel us to a life of collaboration”
Role of the Laity, Cardinal R. Mahoney
Parishes In Transition:
the People of God participate…
Assess the needs
Be informed
Guiding Principles
Commit to a process
Parish communities need to undertake a ‘double’
1. An assessment of the liturgical/pastoral needs of the
parish and its resources…
2. A prayerful discernment of those who would best lead
the community’s worship in the absence of the priest…
Care is required to ensure that the ministry does not
become one person’s exclusive domain.
On the other hand, parishes do not need a large number
of people for this ministry.
Public Commissioning
Lay Leaders of Liturgy are publicly commissioned
in their local parish for a specified length of time after
• being called by the their community,
• completing a training/formation programme
• being accepted by the Bishop
This process will enable lay leaders of liturgy
to exercise their ministry confident in the knowledge
that they act on behalf of the Church.
The Morning’s Mystery of Love
Holiness is not something I get in the morning at Mass
and then which throughout the day leaks out of me,
grows ever less so that I must recharge myself again
the next morning or the next Sunday.
Instead, our day, our day’s meeting with other people,
our work, should itself become
an unfolding,
a development,
a deepening renewal of the morning’s mystery of love.’
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