Friday, July 07, 2006

Does Creed mention Eucharist?

Recently, Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, was asked the following question from a lay person in Norwalk, Connecticut: "Could you tell me why, in our profession of faith and creed, we don't profess our belief in the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist"?

Fr. McNamara's entire response to this question may be found by clicking on the link above. However, in part he said that:

"Even though there is no explicit mention of the real presence in the creed, Catholics proclaim their Eucharistic faith through almost every word and gesture at Mass and especially by their Amen at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and when receiving Communion."

Fr. McNamara is a brilliant man whose knowledge of liturgy and Church history is deep and profound. However, the Creed does make an explicit mention of Holy Eucharist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that:

After confessing "the holy catholic Church," the Apostles' Creed adds "the communion of saints." In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: "What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?" The communion of saints is the Church. (CCC, 946).

"Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments." "As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund." (CCC, 947).

The term "communion of saints" therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion in holy things (sancta)" and "among holy persons (sancti)."

Sancta sanctis! ("God's holy gifts for God's holy people") is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion.
The faithful (sancti) are fed by Christ's holy body and blood (sancta) to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit (koinonia) and to communicate it to the world. (CCC, 948).

This is an explicit mention of Holy Eucharist. Sancta: Christ's Holy Body and Blood!


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