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Paul wrote:

Hi, guys —

At one point in each Mass, the celebrant says, Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith.

The congregation then recites in unison one of three responses. One response is:

When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim Your death Lord Jesus until You come in glory.

  • Is it not gravely problematic to use the word bread in this context?

Paul

  { Isn't this congregation's response to the Mystery of Faith gravely problematic? }

Mike replied:

Dear Paul,

I understand the Church’s intent though I totally agree with you.

My colleagues may have a different view but here is mine.

In sacramental philosophy and theology, we distinguish between the accidents of an object and its substance.

By the time the Mystery of faith is proclaimed, the celebrant has already consecrated the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Lord. The accidents or outward appearance is still bread and wine but the substance is the Body and Blood of the Lord and since people, for the most part, recognize the physical nature of an object, saying this makes sense:

When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim Your death Lord Jesus until You come in glory.

The issue you are bringing up is the effect of proclaiming this statement on, what I will call, our Eucharistic Faith, meaning our personal belief that, although the Eucharist appears to be bread and wine, we are really consuming the Body and Body of Jesus, sacramentally.

For the Church to publicly say:

When we eat this body and drink this blood we proclaim Your death Lord Jesus until You come in glory.

Would imply we are cannibals, which we are not. The physical properties of what we consume are Bread and Wine but the substance, or the thing that holds the object together, is the Body and Blood of the Lord.

This would be less of an issue if a minimum amount of catechesis was given from the pulpit on the issue of the accidents and substance of the consecrated bread and wine.

Keeping a high level of Eucharistic faith has to come through study and from within.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Paul replied:


Just a quick thought.

Another way to see this is that Jesus called Himself bread:

I am the bread of life. (John 6:35, 48)

So, when we eat this Bread we proclaim His death until He comes in glory.

Peace,

Paul

Eric replied:

Hi, guys —

I think you all are missing the point. This is a quote directly from St. Paul (1 Corinthians 11:26ff, see also the following verses).

If you have a beef, take it up with St. Paul.

Eric

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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