Monday, December 12, 2005

Sacramental Adoration

This second is an act says Andrewes avec gestes et adorations externs. Arguing from how Cyril taught concerning how the Church is to receive the Cup Andrewes explains that they too adore Christ in the gesture of bowing. Touching on how Perron would have the Church receive the Eucharist Andrewes says, “for he would have the party that receiveth it, ku,ptein, that is, to bow himself, and cast his eyes to the ground; that is, in humble and reverent manner to do it. And so do we. And tro,pw proskunh,sewj, after the manner of adoring, amounteth not to adoring: for after the manner, or as men use to do, that adore, is a term qualified, and restrained to the outward manner. In which manner our Church enjoineth it to be received…And we (by the grace of God) hold the Sacrament to be venerable, and with all due respect to be handled and received.” Having corrected Perron’s citation of Augustine from the XCVIth Psalm to the XCVIIIth he writes, “But upon the 98 Psalm these words are, which (I dare say) he means:, No one sets out to eateth that flesh, unless he hath first worshiped, which I trust, no Christian man will ever refuse to do; that is, to adore the flesh of Christ.” He goes on to remind Perron that “for Saint Augustine presently is careful to warn his auditors, that the word manducat there is to be spiritually understood, and he bringeth in Christ thus speaking. Andrewes was agreeing that there is a proper veneration of the physical Sacrament but not a worshipping of it with divine qualities. Andrewes goes on to turn Perron’s own use of Theodoret against him showing that the Sacramental Symbols, after the consecration, go not from their own nature, but abide in their former substance, shape, and kind. Andrewes concludes his answer saying,

And he gains nothing by it; for proskunei/tai in the Cardinal’s sense, may be taken pour venerer, (that is, to honour and reverence;) and is to be taken in that sense, and cannot, here, be taken in any other. For the Symbols so abiding, it is easily known no divine adoration can be used to them, nor any other than hath been said.

Andrewes’s stance against divine adoration of the Sacrament is tied to his denial of transubstantiation. Having gone to examine Theodoret Dialogue II for myself, I too find that it is strange that Perron would use this passage that speaks against what he is seeking to argue for. Contextually, Andrewes is correct to argue that the sense in which Theodoret is using proskunei/tai is with reference to giving reverence and welcoming respectfully. In that sense, Andrewes agrees with the custom of bowing and venerating (venerationem) the Sacrament as a symbol of God’s divine presence and worshipping the Christ of the Sacrament.

Andrewes, Lancelot, Two Answers to Cardinal Perron, (London, Printed by Felix Kyngston for Richard Badger and Andrew Hebb. 1629), LACT Vol. XI, 14. Andrewes, Answers to Perron followed by the page number from here on out.
Andrewes, Answers to Perron, 15, 16.
This reference is from the Latin Vulgate that is in accord with the numbering of the LXX and Psalm XCIX in the English translations.
Andrewes, Answers to Perron, 16, 17. Here Andrewes sets forth a quotation from the Latin text of Augustine’s sermon on Psalm XCVIII (XCIX in English translation) with the words, Nemo autem carnem illam manducat, nisi prius adoraverit. Andrewes is correct that Augustine goes on in this Psalm to explain the mystery of the spiritual eating of Christ’s Body and Blood to the correction of the disciples who took it as a hard saying.
Andrewes, Answer to Perron, 17.
Andrewes, Answer to Perron, 17.


Blogger Pontificator said...

Thus Andrewes also implicitly acknowledges the limitations of the Incarnation model as a way to interpret the eucharistic presence. If the Eucharist was a true incarnation, we would have no problem adoring the elements because of the sacramental union, just as we have no problem adoring Jesus in his humanity because of the hypostatic union.

This suggests to me that one must first decide whether Christians may or must practice eucharistic adoration before one can compose a theory of eucharistic presence.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my guess is that Andrewes, like all Anglicans before him and since, thought of Eucharist from a general theory of sacrament (outward and visible sign of an outward and spiritual grace). But as the Lutheran theologian, Herman Sasse, notes, this understanding of sacrament is inadequate as a vehicle for stating the eucharistic presence.

2:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Andrewes’ Nativity sermon on Ephesians 1.10 preached in 1623. This sermon, like many others of Andrewes’, often speaks of the Eucharist as the means by which we pre-eminently partake of the Incarnation. So a reference to the ‘hypostatic’ union would not be too surprising of a theme within that context. The sermon is devoted to making sure that the hearer understands that all things are to be summed up in the heavenlies and on earth in Christ. Throughout the sermon Andrewes is keen to focus on the two realities of heaven and earth being united in Christ. After focusing on this Christological doctrine in the Incarnation he turns that doctrine into an opportunity to discuss the Eucharist. He unites it to the Church’s celebration of this recapitulation of Christmas Day and Andrewes develops his thought by showing how the elements of bread and wine are brought together in Heaven where he says, “Both these issuing out of this day’s recapitulation, both in corpus autem aptasti Mihi of this day.” He related the coming together of these two realities (heaven and earth) as a sort of hypostatical union of the elements and what is actually received in the elements; namely the body and blood of Christ. He stated that, “And the gathering or vintage of these two in the blessed Eucharist, is as I may say a kind of hypostatical union of the sign and the thing signified, so united together as are the two natures of Christ.” He went on to defend his sacramental theology of union of signs and things signified from the Fathers. Particularly he uses Irenaeus, Theodoret from the East and Gelasius from the West. This position was used against Eutyches. Andrewes is clear to argue that when receiving the Eucharistic elements we are receiving the whole Christ consisting of his divine and human natures. From the writings of Irenaeus, Andrewes claims, is where he is gleaning these insights. He echoes this quotation from Book IV. 18 adv. heres. It reads,

But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

It is quite obvious how it is that Andrewes interprets Irenaeus in this manner as he speaks of the Eucharist as possessing two realities; that of a heavenly and an earthly reality. This was his theme throughout the sermon focusing on the Nativity. Andrewes argues that he comes to this resemblance of the hypostatic union of Christ and the elements via the Fathers. He echoes Theodoret at this point who writes:

For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped as being what they are believed to be. Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the righthand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord."

It was in the following remarks that we acquire a grasp on Andrewes’ theology of Eucharistic presence and his view of the doctrine of Transubstantiation. He said,

That even as in the Eucharist neither part is evacuate or turned into the other, but abide each still in his former nature and substance, no more is either of Christ’s natures annulled, or one of them converted into the other, as Eutyches held, but each nature remaineth still full and whole in his own kind. And backwards; as the two natures in Christ, so the signum and signatum in the Sacrament, e converse. And this latter device, of the substance of the bread and wine to be flown away and gone, and in the room of it a remainder of nothing else but accidents to stay behind, was to them not known, and had it been true, had made for Eutyches and against them. And this for the likeness of union in both.

It is the view of the conversion of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ where the nature and substance of bread and wine are lost in the conversion and in substance are transformed into the body and blood of Christ that Andrewes rejects. Andrewes rejected this opinion as an issue de fide but did not see it as a heresy. What Andrewes seems to argue here specifically is that to remove the substance of bread and wine by way of alteration of the thing you lose the human “nature” in the Sacrament that actually results in what became the heresy of Eutychianism. So, by losing the earthly nature of the elements via the conversion one loses the human nature of Christ that is united to the divine in this Sacrament of the signum and signatum. Andrewes did not take the Eucharistic celebration to be a transformation of the elements so much, though he clearly held to a sacramental presence via a sacramental change; rather he saw the Eucharist as the meal of recapitulation and as the principal gathering of the Church. His focal point was on the Synaxis rather than trying to figure out how we receive the body and blood in bread and wine. He merely accepted the reality that we do. He illustrated this by referring to the Eucharist as its name in antiquity and described the purpose of it.

2:51 pm  
Anonymous Becca said...

This is an enlightening and interesting discussion ... thank you. If I do not have time to visit again before Christmas (but most certainly will) ... Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family.

1:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Becca! May God bless you and yours as well! Merry Christmas to you.


2:04 pm  
Blogger James the Thickheaded said...

Shouldn't that be "outward and visible sign of an INWARD and spiritual virtue"?
Either I'm missing something simple, or swimming the waters of the Tiber baptised our beloved Keeper of the Holy Handgrenade (Complete with Pin) into an new understanding. Okay, the latter's true...but what about the former?

Oh, and while we're at it....Merry Christmas to one and all. Thanks so much for some of the richest content anywhere.

10:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you James for the kind comment. Merry Christmas to you as well (whent it finally arrives!). I assume that you are asking Fr. Al this question and not me...Let's see if he jumps on it!

11:04 pm  

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