FOUR FOLD EUCHARISTIC ACTION - WRITTEN BY DR. GIL HAAS, SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
This is Our Story
It is classically understood from Dom Gregory Dix’s treatise, The Shape of the Liturgy, that Eucharist consists of a fourfold action consisting of an offertory (of bread and wine), prayers (the celebrant gives thanks to God), the fraction (where the bread is broken), and the communion (where bread and wine are distributed). Eucharist is an action in which the four orders of bishop, priest, deacon, and laity come together with Jesus as He offers Himself as a sacrifice to the Church. This is not a “re-sacrifice” of Christ, but rather the original sacrifice of Christ is somehow made present. In other words, there is an “indissoluble unity of the Eucharist with the sacrifice of Christ...” In this action the Church not only becomes one with her Lord, but the members also declare unity among themselves (hence, the term, “Communion”). In this action, the Church offers herself as a sacrifice in Eucharist to become the sacrificed body of Christ to the world. Finally, the act of Eucharist not only binds the Church with Christ’s sacrifice in the past, but it also draws the Church to the very throne and Kingdom of God made present at Eucharist.
~Dr. Gil Haas, Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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