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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Joseph Jungmann, S.J. 'The Sacrifice of the Church'

It is very interesting to me that this encyclical of 1943 is already showing strong signs of the corporate nature of the offering of the Mass. What Jungmann, S.J. says about this ecclesial act through the ministry of the priest is not much different, if at all, from that of Lancelot Andrewes. Interestingly, there is little debate, even amongst early Reformers and even in places like the Westminster Assembly that it was only the priest/minister who was to be responsible for the consecration of the sacrament. Of course, I am not saying that these bodies had the same view of vocation. Far from it. I only mention this in light of the necessity of the priest alone who calls upon God for the sacramental change of the bread and wine. What does give me interest is the use of the term Corpus Mysticum for the Church rather than the Eucharist as is shown in de Lubac's work Corpus Mysticum. There will be more on his work in the not too distant future as that book will help shape my final chapter on how Andrewes can be used as a catalyst for ecumenical explorations in Eucharistic sacrifice.

Already in the encyclical Mystici Corporis of 1943 the thought [participation of the faithful] finds expression. In that part where the eucharistic sacrifice is discussed we find: 'The sacred ministers represent not only our Saviour but also the whole Mystical Body and each one of its members; in that sacrifice the faithful are associated in the common prayer and supplication and, through the hands of the priest, whose voice alone renders the Immaculate Lamb present on the altar, they themselves offer to the Eternal Father this most pleasing Victim of praise and propitiation for the needs of the whole Church.'

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

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