Friday, July 13, 2012

Remembering Christ in the Eucharist -- and God in our all our life

A Memorial of the Blessed Sacrament

To be used in daily prayers (at the conclusion of the Daily Office, especially on Thursdays), as a separate devotion, a devotion following communion, or when in the presence of the Reserved Sacrament.

O Sacred Banquet wherein Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed; the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us. (In Easter Season, add: Alleluia.)

V. Thou gavest them bread from heaven (ES: Alleluia)
R. Containing within itself all sweetness (ES: Alleluia)

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion: Grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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This devotion is an example of something called a Memorial…a way of remembering some important aspect of the Christian faith in our prayer life. It recalls the privilege and blessing of participating in the Holy Mysteries of Christ’s Body and Blood. It is particularly connected to Sundays (The Lord’s Day, the Day of Resurrection, the day when Christians are called especially to celebrate the Eucharist as a gathered community of faith) and Thursdays (the day when the Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper).

This Memorial also bids us recollect the holiness of what we may, in our haste and lack of examination, come before in an unthinking manner. When we enter the Holy Temple of God, we must remember that we are coming into a place of consecrated, dedicated holiness and peace…not just another utilitarian “space.” Thus, it is our custom to genuflect or make a profound bow before the Blessed Sacrament  as an acknowledgement of the Presence of Christ in the Mysteries—and the truth that we who receive these Mysteries are to live lives worthy of Our Lord’s love, presence, and offering of his life for us. We then take this knowledge and purpose out with us as our Christian Mission.

Many modern American Christians, deeply conditioned by consumerism, have come to regard everything we see and use as so much “stuff,” implicitly rejecting the holiness of the Creation and the meaning of Christ’s Incarnation. Catholic Anglicanism, on the other hand, takes very seriously the holiness of Creation. This Memorial is but one tool in that vast array of resources for the “re-enchantment of the world” that can only happen when our scientific understanding of the universe is reunited with the revelation of God’s purpose and presence as made known in the Holy Scriptures and the sacramental life of Christ’s Body, the Church.

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