Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus 3

EucharistCup.jpgThere is a custom in many liturgical churches that looks like this: the worshiper walks forward to the altar, kneels on a kneeler, opens his or her hands, receives the bread, the liturgist then offers the cup to the worshiper, and the worshiper either dips the bread into the cup or, having ingested the bread, takes a sip from the cup. This might be called the posture of reception.

Fr. Dajczer speaks of the disposition of faith, the disposition of receiving and the posture of reception in eucharist worship (The Mystery of Faith: Meditations on the Eucharist
Thus, “participation in the Eucharist is the way of opening up to God” (11). There needs to be a “disposition for receiving grace.”
Instead of walking forward and kneeling, both of which acts embody the disposition of receptiveness, some churches pass around round trays of cups and round trays of bread. While not as embodied, this too signifies the passing on from the table to the worshiper and the need to “take and eat” — that moment of receiving bread and cup is the act of reception.
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Chris Duguid

posted February 14, 2010 at 7:37 am

In my opinion, the bread should an unbroken unlevened loaf, broken by the priest and after giving thanks, broken into small pieces for the receivers.

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posted February 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

Chris, I think the method of breaking the bread that you recommend surely does look more like it would have looked in the upper room with Jesus at the last supper. I am a Roman Catholic and I think perhaps we Catholics do it the way we do just for pragmatic reasons. There are so many people at many masses that having the little “wafers” makes it convenient. We would have to have a VERY big loaf of bread to share among some of the bigger masses. But we could have a number of big loafs. The priest would get strong hands, breaking up those loaves day after day!

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Rick Supplee

posted February 14, 2010 at 11:40 am

I wish our church kneeled when we took communion. We have a wonderful fellowship in worship and I can sense God among. Our worship is so humble yet we miss out by not kneeling during communion or worship. Kneeling is the next level of humility that would so draw us nearer to God.

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posted February 15, 2010 at 8:30 am

Is another way to look at the posture of kneeling and being served as kneeling to the church officiant? Why not share communion around a table, as part of a meal, like in the upper room?

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posted February 15, 2010 at 10:46 am

Steve asked, “Why not share communion around a table, as part of a meal, like in the upper room?”
I think at the Episcopalian church that Sara Miles attends, St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisc, they do it that way.

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