__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 86

CEREMONY

87

all-sufficient sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally present. This manner of explaining the Eucharist as a sacrifice is much simpler than the complicated procedures of the past. No longer do we analyze primitive sacrifices to find the essential elements, then try to discern the moments in the Mass when these are verified, and finally try to explain how this proper sacrifice does not conflict with the uniqueness and sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice. All problems are not resolved by this new line of explanation, but it is simpler and in line with the strictly sacramental nature of the Eucharist. It has the added advantage of simplifying our efforts to come to agreement with Protestants in their understanding of the Eucharist. In fact, the growing convergence of thought about the Eucharist as sacramental sacrifice and sacramental communion is one of the most hopeful signs of the ecumenical movement. CoNcLusiON Sacramental theology has developed in many more ways then have been reported in these pages. But the development traced here is critical for liturgical and pastoral renewal. The sacraments have ceased to be regarded chiefly as ceremonies to be correctly performed according to law for the conferral of grace and as occasions for pious union with God in Christ. They have come to be regarded as the very stuff of personal communication with God in Christ. The words, gestures, and elements of the sacraments along with the word of God constitute communion between God and man in Christ. They are not a screen behind which conversation takes place in whispered tones. They are the conversation, involving words, bodily gesture, use of things, tones of voice and facial expressions, and through these the exchange of ideas, ideals, courage, hope, and love. They are the visible aspects of God's grace which becomes a present for us in them, not behind or above them. The minister of the word and sacraments mediates between persons to establish personal exchange between God and man in Christ. He must "realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated,

Profile for Chicago Studies

Spring 1968  

Volume 7:1

Spring 1968  

Volume 7:1

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded