18 April 2023

A revised list ...

 ... of sentiments banned from the Comments thread of this blog.

(1) Expressions of what is commonly categorised as Sede-vacantism.

(2) Expressions of what is commonly categorised as Anti-semitism.

(3) Assertions that the Roman Canon once contained what is commonly regarded as an Epiclesis, i.e. a prayer asking the Father to send down the Holy Spirit upon the elements in order to change them into the Body and Blood of the Lord.

Number 3 is now added because I got tired of being offered comments like the one, not enabled, which (condescendingly, I felt) informed me that Adrian Fortescue wrote that the Roman Canon once had an Epiclesis. I commend to the writer of that comment, my piece of April 10. (I first purchased and read Fortescue when I was a schoolboy, back in the 1950s.)


ChrisB said...

Well, 3rd time's a charm.

And good editor saves a bad journalist, and a good teacher saves a mistaken student, so thank you to Fr. H for being both, and saving me from my error.

I finally understood what Fr. Fortescue wrote in his 1914 book, by re-reading the Appendix II again: (1) he does say that the epiclesis "is not primitive," and concludes that it emerged in the 4th century; (2) he does say that he believes, with some evidence about references, that it likely emerged at some time in the 4th century in Rome as well, but he concludes it was removed to amplify that belief that it it Jesus' words alone as fiat (and not an epiclesis, no matter how such is understood) that represent the authentic Roman belief about the transubstantiation.

So I thank Fr. H (and assure him that I am happy to be corrected, and was striving to get it right, or at least a lot closer).

Joseph Culter said...

Omitting an epiclesis, besides recalling "Jesus' words alone as fiat," also liturcially preserves the true nature of the Trinitarain relations. The Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son." Thus the Son has no need of "asking" the Father for the Spirit. In a certain sense, at least in his divinity, he "cannot" do so: although in his crucified-risen humanity he will, as per John 14:16: "I will ask the Father..." But even here Jesus promises the Counselor, the Spirit, whom the Father will send "in my name." In a sense, indeed, the Spirit is from eternity the Son's glorification of the Father: and thus is the very divine Archetype of what becomes in the created order our due worship of the Father. Only Divnity duly glorifies Divinity, with Divinity, that is.

Therefore, too, an epiclesis also de facto -- sociologically, we might say -- further degrades still further our present era's reduction of the stature of the priest as alter Christus to merely president of the assembly. A mere human must, indeed, ask for the Spirit. But since, to reiterate, eternal Son is the very One through Whom the Spirit eternally proceeds, the Divine-human Son "cannot" do so. Hence, when the priest asks for the Spirit at the altar, he inevitably (again, at least sociologically) loses his reality as Christ himself at the altar.

Finally, as regards the Offertory and its meaning -- violently stripped from the Novus Ordo -- even at that point the host already represents Christ's human body. It is thus not "just" a piece of bread, "fruit of the earth and work of human hands" which we give to the Father. It is the symbol of what the Father has already given to us in his Son's incarnation. It is made without leaven to symbolize (it seems to me) his viriginal conception and birth, both accomplished within creation, but only by divine work, just as the unleavened bread also symbolizes his virginal life totally dedicated to the work of our salvation, the new creation. Thus the Offertory is already symbolically an offering by Christ of himself to his Father, even before the Consecration which makes truly present anew its actual sacrifice on Calvary. The unconsecrated host is already Christ's human body by symbol, and that body is precisely what Christ offered on the cross. Thus again, the "fiat" construction of the consecration is seen fitting. Christ is offering his own body, which makes it truly present, just as he first offered it in his Garden fiat, "not my will, but yours be done."

Arthur Gallagher said...

I have been musing about the contradiction of those who condemn the Filioque, but who seem to need an Epiclesis.