Eucharistic Eccl. Introduction

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SALVATIONAn Introduction to Eucharistic Ecclesiology

Paul McPartlan



Copyright T&T Clark Ltd, 1995

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of T&T Clark Ltd.

First published 1995 Latest impression 2000

ISBN 0 567 29299 1

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Typeset by Trinity Typesetting, Edinburgh Printed and bound in Great Britain by Page Bros, Norwich

For dear Michael and Patricia

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ContentsAbbreviations Introduction 1: The Eucharist Makes the ChurchCalvary Cross and Heavenly Banquet

ix xiii 1 14 30 45 61 78 97 113 125

2: Preparation of the Children of AbrahamThe Messiah Foretold by the Prophets

3: The Story of the New People of GodTwo Thousand Years in Three Steps

4: 'A Modern Father of the Church'The Trials and Triumphs of Henri de Lubac

5: The Church, Sacrament of SalvationLiturgy, Structure and Mission

6: The Holy Spirit and UnityThe Eucharist in Ecumenical Dialogue

7: 'This Is the Cup of My Blood'The Chalice and the Renewal of Baptism

8: The Universe Attains Its Destiny through Us'Christ and the Church: finest of Creation

Index of Names


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AbbreviationsPG PL DS MC MF EN SC J. P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca (Paris, 1857-66). J. P. Migne, Patrologia Latina (Paris, 1844-64). Denzinger-Schonmetzer, Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum (36th ed.; Herder, Freiburg, 1976). Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis (1943). Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Letter, Mysterium Fidei (1965). Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975). Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963). Quotations from this and the following conciliar texts are taken, with some small adjustments, from A. Flannery (ed.), Vatican II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents (Dominican Publications, Dublin, 1981). Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964). Unitatis Redintegratio, Decree on Ecumenism (1964). Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (1965). Ad Gentes, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity (1965). Presbyterorum Ordinis, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (1965). Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (1965). Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, Final Report (CTS/SPCK, London, 1982).IX

LG UR DV AG PO GS Final Report

x BEM Mystery

Sacrament of Salvation Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper 111; World Council of Churches, Geneva, 1982). The 'Lima Report'. The Mystery of the Church and of the Eucharist in the Light of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity' (1982), first agreed statement of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, in Paul McPartlan (ed.), One in 2000? Towards Catholic-Orthodox Unity. Agreed Statements and Parish Papers (St Paul, Slough, 1993), pp. 3752. 'Faith, Sacraments and the Unity of the Church' (1987), second agreed statement of the above commission, in One in 2000?, pp. 53-69. 'The Sacrament of Order in the Sacramental Structure of the Church' (1988), third agreed statement of the above commission, in One in 2000?, pp. 71-86. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Redemptor Hominis (1979). Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Redemptoris Missio (1990). Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Orientate Lumen (1995). Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Ut Unum Sint (1995). Catechism of the Catholic Church (Geoffrey Chapman, London, 1994). Osservatore Romano (English edition).

Unity Order


Books by Henri de Lubac: Catechesis A Brief Catechesis on Nature and Grace (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1984); translation of Petite catechese sur nature et grace (Communio-Fayard, Paris, 1980). Catholicism (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988); translation of Catholicisms (Cerf, Paris, 19474). Corpus Mysticum (Aubier, Paris, 19492).

Catholicism Corpus

Abbreviations Discovery Faith Fondement Motherhood


Mystery Paradoxes

Service Sources Souvenirs Splendour Surnaturel

The Discovery of God (Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1960); translation of Sur les chemins de Dieu (Aubier, Paris, 1956). Christian Faith (Geoffrey Chapman, London, 1986); translation of LaFoi chretienne (Aubier, Paris, 19702). Lefondement theologique des missions (Seuil, Paris, 1946). The Motherhood of the Church (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1982); translation of Les eglises particulieres dans I'Eglise universelle (Aubier, Paris, 1971). The Mystery of the Supernatural (Geoffrey Chapman, London, 1967); translation of Le mystere du surnaturel (Aubier, Paris, 1965). Paradoxes of Faith (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1987); combined translation of Paradoxes (Livre francais, Paris, 1946) and Nouveaux paradoxes (Seuil, Paris, 1955). At the Service of the Church (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1993); translation of Memoire sur I'occasion de mes ecrits (Culture et verite, Namur, 1989). The Sources of Revelation (Herder & Herder, New York, 1968); translation of L'Ecriture dans la Tradition (Aubier, Paris, 1967). 'Souvenirs (1940-1945)', in Alexandrina: Melanges offerts a Claude Mondesert (Cerf, Paris, 1987), pp. 913. The Splendour of the Church (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1986); translation of Meditation sur I'Eglise (Aubier, Paris, 19532). Surnaturel (Aubier, Paris, 1946).

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Introduction'The Church is awakening in souls', wrote Romano Guardini with great excitement in 1922, saluting what he called 'an event of incalculable importance'.1 Soon afterwards, Otto Dibelius already dubbed this 'the century of the Church'.2 We, near its end, can say that these two prophetic voices have been richly vindicated, as we look back on the way in which study of the Church, or 'ecclesiology', has remarkably flourished in the twentieth century. We can also point to a particular avenue that this study has increasingly followed as the century has proceeded. In order to understand the Church, Christians of many denominations have progressively focused their attention on the Eucharist and searched the mystery of this central celebration in the life of the Lord's followers. Thankfully, as we shall see in chapter six, it is by Christians together, in ecumenical dialogue, that much of this research has been done. Guardini and Dibelius, Catholic and Lutheran, respectively, were outstanding spokesmen for an interest in the Church that was already becoming evident in the Christian family at large in the early decades of this century. It is so appropriate that, in these final decades, the Spirit who kindled that interest has not only drawn the different Churches together in their investigation, but has led them in common to dwell upon the Eucharist, where the Spirit's action is powerfully centred, for the transformation of both gifts and people. In 1982, ajoin t statement by Catholic and Orthodox bishops and theologians profoundly explained this focus. 'Taken as a whole,' it said, 'the eucharistic celebration makes present the Trinitarian mystery of the Church' (Mystery, I, 6). In the same year, around a1 Romano Guardini, opening words of his book, Vom Sinn der Kirche (1922); cf. Guardini, The Church and the Catholic (Sheed &: Ward, London, 1935), p. 11. 2 The title of Otto Dibelius' book, Dasjahrhundert der Kirche (1927). Cf. Henri de Lubac, some years later: 'the twentieth century is destined to be "the century of the Church"' (Splendour, p. 27).



Sacrament of Salvation

hundred theologians representing a wide range of Christian denominations in the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches unanimously agreed a text which indicates how broadly the Eucharist is now accepted as something central to the Christian life. On behalf of a great variety of Christian traditions, the so-called 'Lima Report' says the following.As the Eucharist celebrates the resurrection of Christ, it is appropriate that it should take place at least every Sunday. As it is the new sacramental meal of the people of God, every Christian should be encouraged to receive communion frequently. (BEM, Eucharist 31)

Furthermore, it is to this celebration that we should look for the revelation of the Church. 'It is in the Eucharist that the community of God's people is fully manifested' (ibid., 19). Modern liturgical studies have taught us to widen our gaze from the elements of bread and wine on the Lord's table, to heed the assembly which is gathered around and to understand the Eucharist as the entire celebration of God's people within which the elements are transformed. This will be our understanding in what follows. Moreover, attention to the letters of St Paul encourages us to focus our use of the word 'church' precisely on these local assemblies which regularly mark and distinctively characterise the life of the worldwide community of Christians. Not only does he address the recipients of his letters (in Corinth and elsewhere) as, 'the church of God (in Corinth, etc.)' (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1; cf. also Gal 1:2; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1), but he also calls their weekly gathering for the Eucharist, their assembly 'as a church' (1 Cor 11:18). Thus