Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Sacrifice Which We Offer is the Sacrifice of Christ

This is an interesting issue, what do we (the faithful) actually receive when we take Holy Communion within the Orthodox Church? Is it just bread and wine? Is it the Body and Blood of Christ? Many within the Christian world have given varied views on this topic. Nicolas Cabasilas, a Church Father, sums up the Orthodox position, explaining:

‘First, the sacrifice is not a mere figure or symbol but a true sacrifice; secondly, it is not the bread that is sacrificed, but the very Body of Christ; thirdly, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once only, for all time. . . The sacrifice at the Eucharist consists, not in the real and bloody immolation of the Lamb, but in the transformation of the bread into the sacrificed Lamb.’[1]

[1] Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, 32

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