Holy Eucharist


The pinnacle of Christian worship has always been the celebration of the Eucharist. I know that many of our readers have been affected by the Presence. I’d like to hear more.

As the ‘Prayer of Humble Access’ beautifully puts it in the Prayer Book,

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in thy manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table.
But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy;
Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body,
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore ever dwell in him, and he in us.
Amen

And as the hymn says,

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the
Presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High
!”

14 thoughts on “Holy Eucharist

  1. Indeed it is the pinnacle! Not the homily (though this is important too).

    I just don’t get it very often. I always feel so guilty, so I stay seated or walk behind the family so they don’t see me not receiving communion.

  2. From the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, a prayer before receiving the gifts that is a prayer that will affect me deeply for the rest of my life, I have no doubt:

    I believe and confess, Lord, that you are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly your pure Body and that this is truly your precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And make me worthy without condemnation to partake of your pure Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and for life eternal. Amen.

    How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of your saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Your love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me.

    Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these Holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of future life and kingdom. It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation.

    Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your kingdom.

  3. A very special meaning to you indeed Mr. Holder. Many years.

    Mr. C, why so guilty? When’s the last time you confessed your sins to your spiritual father?

  4. C!!!! You remind me of the story of the man who stood beating his breast asking forgiveness while the self righteous one congratulated himself on his piety… Who did Christ say was forgiven?

  5. Padre,

    Spiritual father? I don’t have one. Do you know of a Fr. Zossima in the Mile High City? As to your other question, it’s been a while.

    What are your thoughts on taking/receiving THE sacrament for the benefit of or thinking about someone else? A kind of vicarious or substitutionary action if you will. This is what I do when I do garner the courage to take our Lord’s body and blood. I’m fairly sure the chief theological Doctor of the Church, St. Aquinas, would not care for this, but I’ll defer to you for some insight and wisdom if you care to proffer it.

  6. Fr. Neo, just a nitpicky little comment here, so feel free to blow it off, and please forgive me…but I’m bugged by the picture of the guy from the movie between the words Holy Eucharist and a picture of a tabernacle. Am I missing out on something, is there a reason you put it that way? Keeping you and yours in my prayers.

  7. Ange, I don’t dislike the picture, I’m just wondering about its placement. And studying the bottom picture more closely, I’m not sure if it’s a tabernacle or not, but it’s an altar for sure. So I’m hoping the Padre can explain all to me. 🙂

  8. Father,

    I don’t mean to quibble with such beautiful words but since the creation of my people (African-Americans) about 3 centuries ago, Eucharist has not been the pinacle of our worship. I think we have experienced the presence but is there a higher level of presence that your are calling us too?

  9. Amy,
    Since when is Fr. Neo the ‘guy from the movie?’ It’s Fr. Neo encountering the numinous.

    Jazztheo,
    Truly your tradition is the only original American tradition, and a wonderful one at that. Don’t forget though, that in the ‘old time religion’ of Africa, Holy Eucharist was/is indeed the pinnacle of worship. In fact, in many ways, North Africa led the way in early Christian worship–and it was quite Eucharistic.

  10. I’ve read church history and am aware that the pinnacle of African worship was Holy Eucharist. But I am wrestling with this uniquely created American tradtion. That is not African as you describe it, nor accepted as American. I’m living life on the hyphen.

  11. Hi once again.
    I have been reading a book that made a comment or two that made me think of you all here.

    Copy:
    The word religion comes from a root word that means “bind together.” Thus the word actually means unity, oneness, wholeness.

    Unfortunately, religions have been institutions instead of perceptions, something you join rather than a transcendence you experience. We have been conditioned to believe that God works exclusively through the machinery of an ecclesiastical body. We need to refresh ourselves with the vision of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill:

    “The god who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything……Yet he is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’.” Acst 17:24-25, 27-28

    (4 paragraphs later)
    Certainly this has application in our relation to God: We are not just acted upon by God, but we are the activity of God expressing as us.

    What do you think?

    Gary

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