RDCA IV, 3: The Altar, Table of the Sacrifice and the Paschal Meal

Sacrifice or meal: what’s Church teaching?

3. By instituting in the form of a sacrificial meal the memorial of the sacrifice he was about to offer the Father on the altar of the cross, Christ made holy the table where the community would come to celebrate their Passover. Therefore the altar is the table for a sacrifice and for a banquet. At this table the priest, representing Christ the Lord, accomplishes what the Lord himself did and what he handed on to his disciples to do in his memory. The Apostle clearly intimates this: ‘The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that though there are many of us, we form a single Body because we an have a share in this one loaf.’(cf. See 1 Cor 10:16-17)

In a way, the usual practice of multiple individual hosts might reinforce the notion of a common meal a bit more than the symbolism of a single Body, or a sacrifice. I’ve often thought the way the priest prepares the gifts says a lot. Is it a place setting in front of him, or a sacrifice at the center of the altar?

More thoughts?

About these ads

About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s