Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Cavital, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Eucharistic Prayer 1

    Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen. Bless and approve our offering; make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and in truth. Let it become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord.

    Eucharistic Prayer 2
    Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness. Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Eucharistic Prayer 3
    And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.

    Eucharistic Prayer 4
    Father, may this Holy Spirit sanctify these offerings. Let them become the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord as we celebrate the great mystery which he left us as an everlasting covenant.​

    The part of the rite being referred to here @Rexlion is properly named the Epiclesis. In Eastern thinking this was often emphasized as it draws attention to a Eucharistic Focus on what God is doing, where as much western thinking gave a much greater importance to the Words of Institution. In Anglican tradition which the Epiclesis was pronounced more clearly than in 1662, and all but conflated with the words of Institution

    Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech thee; and with thy Holy Spirit and Word, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these thy gifts, and creatures of bread and wine, that they may be unto us the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ. Who in the same night that he was betrayed: took bread, and when he had blessed, and given thanks: he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me.

    BCP 2019
    So now, O merciful Father, in your great goodness, we ask you to bless and sanctify, with your Word and Holy Spirit, these gifts of bread and wine, that we, receiving them according to your Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

    Common Worship Order 1
    Accept our praises, heavenly Father, through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and as we follow his example and obey his command, grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine may be to us his body and his blood;​

    Many of the more recent Anglican rites around the world have seen the return to the expression of a clearly stated epiclesis. BCP2019 is but one such example, and very sensible.

    So, we might ask, is the Epiclesis important? Given that I don't think that the rite should be treated as some kind of magic formula that only works when you do everything correctly, but rather a celebration of all that God has done and is doing in our midst, one of the profound advantages of the epiclesis is that it makes it clear that it is not about what we are doing, but rather about what God is doing. It also places is in a more significant harmony with the Eastern World (some of whose rites do not even include the Institution Narrative) where is is clearly ancient and central to the rite.

    Given that part of the ambitions in Cranmer, Parker, and those who followed was to recover something of the simple purity and integrity of the primitive church, and given the ancient origins of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, I believe its inclusion on the contemporary expressions of Anglicanism is well within the intent and historic purposes of Anglicanism. At the same time, let it be said I am not advocating that we do not include the words of Institution as they are our Biblical Warrant.
    Thomas Didymus likes this.
  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    If my memory serves me right in the Tridentine Mass the Epiclesis was very weak and really only implied. I do believe that the Romans thought that the transformation of the host to place at the words of institution. What is unique is that the liturgy of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Words of Institution are never outright stated but implied and that is seen as acceptable by the Romans. In the BCP 2019 the Words of Institution flip flop in order between the Standard Anglican Text and the Revived Ancient Text.
    Stalwart likes this.
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Epiclesis is something of a canard that a few Anglicans get obsessed by. It's fine to have it, and fine to not. It's not something awesomely ancient, although sure it could have a good purpose as well. The canon of the Roman latin mass has never had the epiclesis, and it dates to like the 600s AD. We don't need to obsess over it, and more importantly to this thread, it doesn't have any bearing on the nature and the mode of the real presence.
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  4. Invictus

    Invictus Member

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    United States
    The epiclesis is the EO answer to the filioque. They will add it to any Western liturgy they can, whether it belongs in that rite or not. One of liturgical history’s great ironies, if my understanding is correct, is that when the Scottish Anglicans added an epiclesis to their communion rite, it was for the express purposes of deemphasizing the Words of Institution and steering popular piety away from the hyper-realism of the medieval Roman Church. Yet the epiclesis is treated with great solemnity in EO liturgy because, the Orthodox being strong adherents to the doctrine of real physical presence themselves, hold the epiclesis to be the moment of transformation of the elements into the Body and Blood of Christ.