Saturday, November 12, 2011

The eucharist as a seamless robe of words and movements, i.e. ...

... do not, repeat NOT, put any instructions between the Great Thanksgiving//Breaking of Bread and Distribution of the Elements.

So many do this!?!?

Instructions for a meal take place before the meal not during it.

The profound fellowship with our Lord during Holy Communion is brought through the interplay of word and action, of Word and Sacrament. To intrude into the middle of the sequence instructions about wine or juice, chalice or small cups, standing to the left or moving to the right should be anathema!

Instruct (if required) before the Great Thanksgiving and let the great prayer and reenactment of the Lord's Supper be a seamless robe of words and movements.

No instructions in the middle.


Father Ron Smith said...

Thank you, Peter, for a very thoughtful posting.

Rhys said...

I agree with the sentiment but not the metaphor. Why should a seamless robe be preferable to one with seams. A seamless suit hardly seems a good idea. Would a seamless alb loook better than a seamed(or seamly) one?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rhys,
I believe Jesus wore a seamless robe (is that just a myth?) and thus I am asking for the eucharist to exemplify the spirit of Jesus, reflect the teaching of Jesus and honour Jesus in what is said and done.

But otherwise, absolutely, another metaphor could be used!

Peter Carrell said...

[From Rhys, with apologies from me, Peter, as I pushed the wrong 'button' before and so prevented publication]

Hi peter, I'm sure you realise my comment was not particularly serious - more of a mild protest at the Anglican habit of making tenuous symbolic connexions.
After all if you are concerned with the integrity of word and action, you can also be concerned with integrity of expression and thought. Given that you refer to the interplay of word and action - and given that there is a dialogue with the congregation in the communion - I'm not convinced that seamless is the right word. As I suggested,a very beautiful flowing garment may well, in fact is likely, to have seams.
St Chrysostom suggests that the seamless robe 'shows the poorness of the Lord's garments'(see Westcott, who however also refers to the high priests garment according to Josephus - not explicitly called for in scripture).
Actually the suggestion that instructions for a meal take place before the meal is explicily contradicted by the acccount of the supper in which Jesus took a cup and said, drink this all of you.
I still agree with your original point, and who could disagree with your supplementary point, though I suspeect you havemoved to new ground is. I'm open to being convinced the metaphor does work however. Rhys