Monday, May 9, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt.6

8. The Eucharistic Mystery and Christian Unity
In addition to those things which concern the ecclesial community and the individual faithful, pastors should pay particular attention to that part of her doctrine in which the Church teaches that the memorial of the Lord, celebrated according to His will, signifies and effects the unity of all who believe in Him.38

As the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council declares,39 the faithful should be led to a proper appreciation of the values which are preserved in the Eucharistic tradition according to which our brethren of the other Christian confessions have continued to celebrate the Lord's Supper. For while "they call to mind the death and resurrection of the Lord in the Holy Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await His coming in glory."40 But those who have preserved the sacrament of Order, "united with the bishop, have access to God the Father through the Son, the Word incarnate, who suffered and is glorified, by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and attain communion with the Blessed Trinity, becoming 'sharers in the divine nature' (II Peter 1:4 ) . And so through the celebration of the Lord's Eucharist in these individual churches the Church of God is built up and grows, and their communion is manifested through concelebration."41

It is above all in the celebration of the mystery of unity that all Christians should be filled with sorrow at the divisions which separate them. They should therefore pray earnestly to God that all disciples of Christ may daily come closer to a proper understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist according to His mind, and may so celebrate it as to become sharers in the Body of Christ and so become one body (cf. I Cor. 10:17) "linked by the very bonds by which He wishes it to be constituted."42

9. The Different Modes of Christ's Presence
In order that they should achieve a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist, the faithful should be instructed in the principal ways in which the Lord is present to His Church in liturgical celebrations.43
He is always present in a body of the faithful gathered in His name (cf. Matt. 18:20). He is present too in His Word, for it is He who speaks when the Scriptures are read in the Church.

In the sacrifice of the Eucharist He is present both in the person of the minister, "the same now offering through the ministry of the priest who formerly offered himself on the Cross,"44 and above all under the species of the Eucharist.45 For in this sacrament Christ is present in a unique way, whole and entire, God and man, substantially and permanently. This presence of Christ under the species "is called 'real' not in an exclusive sense, as if the other kinds of presence were not real, but 'par excellence'."46

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