We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Thursday, April 21, 2016


The following line of reasoning seems right to me (but of course hard proof of the sort desirable is lacking):

In an earlier stage of the present discussion, I have stated: that the ONLY sacrifice and oblation, recognised in the Eucharist by the primitive Church, were, the spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and the material oblation of the bread and wine upon the Lord's table under the aspect of an offering of the first-fruits of God's creatures anterior to and in order to their consecration ...

No other sacrifice, except these, did the primitive Christians of the age of Justin and Ireneus acknowledge in the sacrament of the Eucharist. The superadded notion, that the consecrated elements were themselves an unbloody commemorative and symbolical sacrifice, was later than the age of Justin ...

As time, however, rolled on, though the old ideas still remained in full force, the notion of a sacrifice began to be extended, not only to the material oblation of the elements before consecration, but also the setting forth the same elements after consecration. Yet still the thought of any transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the literal or material body and blood of Christ most assuredly, as we may learn from their own language, never once occurred to those speculatists.

Their doctrine was: that, Since the sacrament of the Eucharist was at once symbolical and commemorative of the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, and since the sacrifices under the Law were at once symbolical and predictive of the same sacrifice of Christ upon the cross: the consecrated bread and wine might, by the fair rule of analogy, be, in some sort, themselves likewise, deemed a sacrifice, even the symbolical sacrifice of commemoration.

It also seems to me that all of these aspects can be incorporated provided that they are understood correctly. Indeed it seems to me that the 1928 American BCP does a better job of such comprehensive incorporation than any other service I know. In her Office for the Holy Communion, she has

  • a sacrificium eucharisticum:

    ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • a sacrificium primitivum:

    Ye shall not appear before the LORD empty; every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.  Deut. xvi. 16, 17.

    Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  1 Chron. xxix. 11.

    All things come of thee, O LORD, and of thine own have we given thee.  1 Chron. xxix. 14.

  • a sacrificium commemorativum:

    ALL glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou, of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again:

  • a sacrificium representativum:

    WHEREFORE O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

  • a sacrificium votivum:

    And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him. And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences,

  • a sacrificium impetrativum:

    WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

  • a sacrificium applicativum:

    ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us who have duly received these holy mysteries with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. And we most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

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