THE EUCHARIST: FROM JESUS' SEDER
to
CHRISTIAN HIGH MASS
 

 

 

 

The Last Supper, St. Apollinare, Ravenna 6th c.

High Mass with Cantors

 

 

1 Corinthians 11:23-30

 

 

FOR I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,  24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said,

“This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, ὅτι κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ παρεδίδετο ἔλαβεν ἄρτον 24 καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ εἶπεν·

τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν.

25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 

25 ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι λέγων·

τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν.  

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  26  ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ.
27  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.  30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 27 Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου.  28  δοκιμαζέτω δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἑαυτὸν καὶ οὕτως ἐκ τοῦ ἄρτου ἐσθιέτω καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ποτηρίου πινέτω· 29 γὰρ ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων κρίμα ἑαυτῷ ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει μὴ διακρίνων τὸ σῶμα. 30 διὰ τοῦτο ἐν ὑμῖν πολλοὶ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ ἄρρωστοι καὶ κοιμῶνται ἱκανοί.

 

 


BASIC STRUCTURE of the EUCHARIST
(“Mass”, “The Synaxis”, “The Mysteries”)

 

 

 

1) LITURGY of the WORD

Entrance hymn (s); Confession of Sin; “Lord have mercy” (Kyrie Eleison); [Hym – Gloria in Excelsis] Readings from Hebrew Scriptures and/or New Testament Letters; (solemn) Reading of Gospel; Sermon, Intercessory Prayers

2) LITURGY of the EUCHARIST

Procession and Offering of Bread and Wine; Preface (prayers over Gifts); Hymn: “Holy Holy” (Sanctus); Consecration (“Words of Institution”); Hymn: “Lamb of God” (Agnus Dei); Elevation of Elements; Communion; Hymns; Concluding Prayers.

 

 

 


MONASTIC EUCHARISTIC PRACTICE
 

 

 

 


   FOURTH CENTURY EGYPTIAN MONASTICISM
 

 

Eucharistic celebrations on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  Communion is taken to hermits who live at a distance from the cœnobium; however some hermits who live in extremely remote sites participate in the Eucharist and receive communion only very rarely

 

 


   FIFTH CENTURY RULE of THE MASTER (? Northern Italy)
 

 

On weekdays there is a brief communion service (probably with Terce) from reserved elements.  On Sundays and Feasts the monks go to the local parish church for Mass.  There are no priests in the monastic community

 

 


   SIXTH CENTURY BENEDICTINE MONASTICISM
 

 

On weekdays there is a brief communion service (probably with Terce) from reserved elements.  On Sundays and Feasts Mass is celebrated in the monastery by priest-monks

 

 


   SEVENTH CENTURY WESTERN MONASTICISM
 

 

Gregory the Great emphasizes the value of frequent celebrations of the Eucharist “to keep the dread Lord at bay”.  Masses for the dead become increasingly common.

 

 


   TENTH CENTURY CLUNIAC MONASTICISM
 

 

Western monasticism becomes overwhelmingly clerical.  Every day each priest-monk celebrates at least one (“low”, recited) private mass, usually for a deceased benefactor, and also attends the more solemn (“high”, sung) Conventual Mass, attended by the whole monastic community and public.

 

 


   TWENTIETH CENTURY WESTERN MONASTICISM
 

 

A single, daily celebration of the Eucharist by the whole monastic community is the norm.  In some communities it stands alone, in others it is combined with an hour of the Divine Office, such as Lauds, Terce, or Vespers.  Following the Second Vatican Council “concelebration” of the same mass by several priests is permitted and encouraged.  Private masses, although permitted, are no longer encouraged.  A very few Benedictine monasteries begin to debate whether the older pattern of masses celebrated only on feasts and Sundays should be revived.


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