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In reciting His deeds and words at the institution, the priest takes the paten and cup into his hands from off the altar, emblematically of the elevation of Christ's Body and the shedding of His Blood on the cross. He breaks the bread1 to represent the piercing of His hands, feet, and side, and lays his hand upon the bread and upon the cup, as the Israelites did when they transferred their iniquities to the head of the victim.
to be done, as His holy Apostles used it, and the good fathers in the primitive Church frequented it."—Homilies.
“ Justinus Martyr, who lived about 160 years after Christ, saith thus of the administration of the Lord's Supper in his time: Upon the Sunday assemblies are made,..... after this, we rise all together, and offer prayers; which being ended, as we have said, bread and wine, and water, are brought forth," &c.-Ibid.
“Cum vinum, quod prius effuderat, non sufficeret episcopus de novo in calicem ex poculo quod in sacra mensa stabat effundit, admistaque aqua, recitat clare verba illa consecratoria."-Bishop Andrews' Form of Consecrating a Church.
“That the Communion be celebrated in due form with an oblation of every communicant, and admixing water with the wine; smooth wafers to be used for the bread." --Rules for the celebration of Divine Service during Prince Charles's residence in Spain, A.D. 1623, Collier ii, 726.
See also Article xxxiv, “Of the Traditions of the Church."
1 It is a remarkable fact, and strongly illustrative of the sacrificial character of our Liturgy, that such a vivid representation of the great oblation on the cross, as is made by “the breaking of bread" during benediction and whilst the institution is recited, should be almost peculiar to it,
Lastly, what remains of the consecrated elements after communion, is covered with a fair linen cloth, to represent the wrapping of our Saviour's Body in fine linen by Joseph of Arimathea, preparatory to its burial.
The essence of the sacrifice, however, consists in the consecration. It is thereby that Christ, as the victim, becomes sacramentally present; whilst the separate consecration of the bread and of the wine, is a mystical immolation of Him, representing, as it does, the separation of His Blood from His
Our Church views the Eucharist as a continuation of the sacrifice on the cross, and commemorative of it, as well as the means of applying its benefits to our souls and bodies. The victim is one and the same, even Christ, the only difference being that on the cross His Blood really flowed, whilst the Eucharist is an unbloody sacrifice. In both respects He is also the priest, for the ministers of the altar personate Him, and consecrate the oblation, not “in their own name, but in Christ's, and by His commission and authority.” (Art. xxvi.) Wherefore they say not
“This is the Body of Christ”, but simply and absolutely, “This is my Body”. Though our Saviour made a perfect sacrifice on the cross, yet He“ did institute and in His holy Gospel command us to continue a perpetual memory of that His precious death, until His coming again." He “instituted and ordained holy mysteries as pledges of His love, and for a continual remembrance of His death."? The Lord's Supper was “ordained for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ.”'3 Its continued identity is strikingly exhibited in the distribution of the sacred elements. When the priest says, “ The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ - Take and eat this”; “The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ–Drink this”; he at the same time connects them with the sacrifice on the cross, thus :—“Which was given for thee”—“ Which was shed for thee."
The Eucharistic sacrifice is commemora
1 Communion Service.
2 Ibid. 3 Catechism. “We still continue and commemorate that sacrifice, which Christ once made upon the cross." -Nutes from the collections of Bishop Overall, ap. Nicholl's Comm. additional notes.
tive principally on account of its sacramental character. Christ is really present, but He lies concealed, and cannot be perceived by our bodily senses. He is present under the form of bread and wine. These elements are the outward sign of the invisible grace of the sacrament, namely, the Body and Blood of Christ; and faith in the truth of the inseparable union of these parts compels us at the sight of the one to recognize the reality of the other's presence. The one inevitably reminds us of the other. And though Christ actually died but once, and death hath no more dominion over Him, yet the rites of consecration shew forth His death, and represent Him as crucified before our eyes. There is a mystical immolation of Him on our altars, which typify and bring to mind His sacrifice on the cross.
The benefits of Christ's death and passion are conveyed to us in communion, which is a feeding upon the sacrifice. It is by “eating the flesh of God's dear Son Jesus Christ, and drinking His blood, that our sinful bodies are made clean by His Body, and our souls washed through His most precious
Blood, and that we dwell in Him, and He in us."1
II. A Sacrament.
A sacrament consists of two parts, “ the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace”. The outward part or sign of the Lord's Supper is “bread and wine”; the inward part, or thing signified, is “the Body and Blood of Christ”.? Both parts are really present. “The sacramental bread and wine remain still in their very natural substances”, says the Rubric; and the Catechism teaches us that “the Body and Blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper”.3 The nature of their union, however,
i Communion Service.
2 Catechism. 3 Neither do the mystical symbols depart from their own nature after consecration, but remain in their former substance, figure, and form, and are visible and palpable, as they were before; yet they are understood and believed to be what they are made, and are reverenced as those things which they are made."— Theod. Dial. ii, p. 85.
“Certainly, the sacraments of the Body and Blood of the Lord, which we receive, are a divine thing; because by these we are made partakers of the divine nature. Nevertheless, the substance or nature of the bread and wine ceases not to exist : and assuredly the image and similitude of the Body and Blood of Christ are celebrated