Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Sacrifice Not Whole?

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One of the issues of debate in the C16 and C17 on the Sacrifice of the Mass was concerning the partaking of only ONE species and how it still can remain a whole Sacrifice. I have been spending my summer translating Andrewes's Responsio ad Bellarmini on the Eucharistic controversy. I have found some jewels for my thesis on Andrewes's ability to understand Sacrifice within the Patristic framework to be both peaceable and eucharistic. The problem that Andrewes maintains within his understanding of Eucharistic Sacrifice is not the concept of Sacrifice itself, as he readily admits and agrees with the peacableness and the eucharistic nature of Sacrifice as the Church's true 'unbloody' offering. Where he differs with the Cardinal is in regards to the question of whether the Sacrifice can be WHOLE if only one part is received. Why is it necessary to have both parts in order to properly offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice and yet only one part is received by the laity? Andrewes's argument comes from 1 Cor. 10.18 ff. as well as the direct command from Jesus to eat and drink. Hence he sees Bellarmine adding two more Sacraments to the six thus having 8. Bellarmine admits that the Sacrifice is a mutilation if you only offer bread and not wine, but why is it whole if you only receive ONE SPECIES? Why is it necessary for the priest to take and not the people?

The Cardinal goes on to speak of it in terms of baptism and thrice immersions. But Andrewes rightly responds that we have no commands or explicit requirements for three or one in baptism but in the Eucharist we have explicit commands from Jesus, accipte 'take' and eat, take and drink. Here there is the command; with baptism there is none. Andrewes shows that Jesus's command included the words 'all of you' that Bellarmine makes a big deal about in regards to baptism but not the Eucharist. Interestingly, when Christ said take, eat, he did not add all of you, but all take of the bread. When Christ commanded take, drink, he did add the words 'all of you' but all do not partake. Hmmm. Therefore, in what sense can there be a whole Sacrifice without a whole participation since when we take of the altar we commune with the whole offering? Paul is concerned in 1 Cor. 10 about the partaking of the Chalice of demons and the Chalice of Christ. The point is, he's concerned about our drinking. Happily, the Chalice was regularly restored to the people after Vat. II but there seems to be some hints of 'traditionalists' who want to return to the reception of ONE SPECIES. I note that this is what happens on EWTN Masses.

Can a Sacrifice be WHOLE if it is not taken in WHOLE? If so, why and how?


Blogger lexorandi2 said...

Good post, Jeff. Thanks. Just curious, do you get EWTN over there in the UK?

P.S. BTW the singular form of "species" is "species."

6:29 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Dan, Yes, we get EWTN but it is obviously weird timing for things. We get this because we have SKY. That allows Rhea to watch her CSI and ocassional news channels from home. Plus the kids can watch the good cartoons like Bugs and Tom & Jerry.

I would appreciate your prayers for me next week!

6:59 pm  
Blogger lexorandi2 said...

You have SKY! Man, you're living higher on the hog than we were when we were in England. Fact is, we still use rabbit ears!

Keep you in my prayers. God speed in your vocation.

7:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »

5:13 am  

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