Saturday, January 03, 2004

Article XXII: Of Both Kinds in the Sacrament.

With this article we now move to consider the abuses or matters under dispute even though the previous articles did bear the fire of controversy.

"To the laity are given Both Kinds in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, because this usage has the commandment of the Lord in Matt. 26, 27: Drink ye all of it, 2] where Christ has manifestly commanded concerning the cup that all should drink. 3] And lest any man should craftily say that this refers only to priests, Paul in 1 Cor. 11, 27 recites an example from which it appears that the whole congregation did use both kinds. 4] And this usage has long remained in the Church, nor is it known when, or by whose authority, it was changed; although Cardinal Cusanus mentions the time 5] when it was approved. Cyprian in some places testifies that the blood was given to the people. ..."

Trent responded directly to this article and allowed for the usage of reserving the cup by referring to the fact that the whole Christ is present under both bread and wine, so that no one is faulted where one to have one and not the other. It did note with the Augsburg Confession that the ancient practice of Communion was under both kinds. This latter pratice has been officially restored in the Second Vatican Council: "The Holy Communion becomes a clearer sign if it is received under both kinds. ..." (SC 55). And so it goes. I have been witness to Masses that are giving both bread and wine.

The German Ecumenical Working Group argues that from the Lutheran side there is implicit agreement with the Tridentine/Vatican II position because " is agreed that for grave pastoral reasons it is possible to modify and adapt the practice of Communion (e.g. only wine, or only bread, in the case of the sick; unfermented wine [grape juice] in the case of those who might be endangered by alcohol" (The Condemnations of the Reformation Era, p. 109).

I never know what to think of the latter issue. Sometimes it seems to me to divide the cup, others it seems loving. But the latter is often messed up because we belong to a congregation that has a variable communion age (whenever parents and child are ready) and many children not yet communing feel left out get the glass of grape juice instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment