Volume 01, Number 02 Nov 1971

The Collects and Postcommunions of the Revised Roman Missal

Dom P Murray

Placid Murray offers a reflection on the significance of the Collects and Postcommunions in the Roman Missal (1970). This Missal is the second Missal promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church, with the first being that of 1570, following the Council of Trent. Murray suggests that the new Missal differs in character from that of 1570 in relation to ‘the three presidential prayers said by the priest in the name of the assembly’, that is: Collect; Prayer over the Offerings, and; Postcommunion. Murray focuses on the opening and closing prayers said in the Mass, and identifies three themes within them: 1) the Image of Christ 2) the scope of Christian prayer, and 3) the place of the Eucharist in the Christian life.

Worship in Scotland in 1620

Gordon Donaldson

In a sermon preached on the 350th Anniversary of the dedication of Greyfriars Kirk, Gordon Donaldson reflects on the state of worship in Scotland in 1620. He contends that the Scotland of this time ‘was a light-hearted, cheerful, cultured and beauty-loving place’. He recalls the continuing significance of the Book of Common Order within Scottish worship at that time and notes that the edition printed in 1615 had appended to it a liturgical Kalendar which included the major festivals of the Christian Year. Further, he notes that the Church of Scotland was engaged during that time in a period of ongoing liturgical reform.

The Orthodox Church in Confrontation with the World of Today

Eve Braniste

Eve Braniste offers a reflection on the place of the Orthodox Church in the world from a Roumanian Orthodox perspective. The pressure to modernise is one faced by all churches, including the Orthodox Church. Braniste notes: 1) that within the Orthodox tradition ‘the liturgy constitutes the centre and foundation of religious life’ 2) the Orthodox Liturgy has developed out of the worship and practice of the Orthodox Church as a whole 3) the worship and doctrine of the Orthodox Church are intimately linked, and 4) the uniformity of Orthodox worship. Given this, Braniste judges that a radical revision of the Orthodox Liturgy is impossible and undesirable insofar as it already reflects the ‘continuous process of evolution’ within the life of the Church. Thus, ‘the law of liturgical balance’ secures a proper balance between ‘the religious basis…and its form of expression’, such that focus is maintained upon: 1) the adoration of God 2) the sanctification of each member by divine grace, and 3) religious and moral education.

The New Roman Rite of Infant Baptism

Fr Vincent Ryan, p24

Vincent Ryan expounds the content of the Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum (1969)/The Rite of Baptism for Children (1970) developed as a consequence of the Vatican II reforms as evidenced in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963). Ryan suggests that the Order is characterised by: 1) ‘greater community participation’ 2) a fuller provision for the Word of God, and; 3) ‘a stronger emphasis on the paschal mystery’. Ryan emphasises the recognition of the validity of a baptism conferred by a non-Roman Catholic minister.

Eucharistia Recovered

A Stewart Todd

Stewart Todd seeks to recover a proper understanding of eucharistia, by which he refers to the Great Prayer at the Communion Service. Todd affirms that the expression ‘“breaking of bread” may be [regarded as] the oldest designation of Christian worship’, with this presupposing and including eucharistia. However, Todd notes that by the early second century the term eucharistia has supplanted the “breaking of bread” as the accepted designation of the Christian Sunday act of worship, as evidenced in; the Didache, the Epistles of Ignatius and Justin Martyr’s Apology. Thereafter, Todd seeks to establish that the New Testament references to eucharistia and eucharistein reflect a quasi-liturgical usage, and draws particularly upon J.Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. Following on from this, Todd seeks to establish the ‘content of the early eucharistia’ and does so through an examination of ‘Our Lord’s own eucharistia’, on the assumption that the Last Supper was set in the context of a Passover meal. Thus, he contends that the primary emphasis in the prayers associated with Passover meal is that of ‘blessing’ in which there is a ‘recognition or anamnesis of the action of God’, with these prayers being ‘the embryo of later Eucharistic prayers’. This form of blessing, ‘and perhaps content’, is then carried over into Christian Eucharistic celebration. Therefore, Todd contends that ‘the eucharistia of the Church was in the nature of a grace or blessing [and]…was at the heart of the Eucharist’.

The Seder and the Supper

James Francis

James Francis compares the Last Supper with the Passover Haggadah through: 1) an outline of the Seder service as found in the Mishnah; Pesahim 10 (c.200 A.D.) 2) a comparison of the Seder and the Lord’s Supper 3) a survey of ‘”extra Supper” Passover motifs’, and 4) the relation of the Lord’s Supper to the “breaking of bread”. Francis is particularly indebted to J Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus in his treatment and he works on the assumption that that the Last Supper was a Passover meal.