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The presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the formularies of the Church of England.

I. Preamble

On March 18, 1988, at Meissen in Saxony, delegations from the Church of England, the Evangelical Church in Germany (E.K.D.), and the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the G.D.R. agreed on the Meissen Common Statement: On the Way to Visible Unity.(1) The statement recommended that the churches make a declaration of mutual acknowledgement of ecclesial authenticity and of commitment to "take all possible steps to closer fellowship in as many areas of Christian life and witness as possible, so that all our members together may advance on the way to full, visible unity."(2) The declaration was approved by the appropriate bodies of the churches and duly signed by their leaders on January 29, 1991.

The declaration included an implementation procedure that, in turn, involved regular theological conferences "to encourage the reception of the theological consensus and convergence already received and to work to resolve the outstanding differences."(3) The first of these conferences took place in 1995 on the theme of the eucharist and koinonia. It was followed in 1996 by a conference on the general theme of apostolicity and succession.

I was one of the Church of England's delegates at the first conference. The text of the paper I contributed to that conference is reproduced here. As with its original form, the essay seeks to identify some of the Church of England's foundational texts pertaining to its understanding of the eucharistic presence of Christ, both to explore how they have been interpreted within the Church of England and to expose them for wider ecumenical analysis.

The distinctive Anglican theological ethos that emerged in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries believed it had a contribution to make to the unity of the church by concentrating attention on core doctrinal affirmations. Whether this is the case in terms of the understanding of the eucharistic presence of Christ, as defined and interpreted in the formularies of the Church of England, is for others to judge. However, in an attempt to put some contemporary flesh on the historical bones uncovered in the essay, I conclude with brief reflections on my experience of the usefulness of the economical but irenic Anglican affirmations in ecumenical dialogue (at the Meissen theological conference), ecumenical ministry (in a university chaplaincy), and ecumenical training (of those preparing for ordination).

II. Introduction to the Formularies and Their Analysis

The historic formularies of the Church of England are the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.(4) The first two of these documents relate directly to the matter of Christ's presence in the eucharist. The role of the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer in the history of the Church of England is a complex one. In order to appreciate this role, attention must be given not just to the words of the text but also to their nature and history and to the way they have been interpreted within the tradition or, rather, traditions, of the Church of England. Therefore, rather than simply analyzing the "pure text" of the documents, the following study attempts to examine them from the perspective of the way they evolved and have been viewed and used within the varied life of the Church of England. Thus, each section begins with some general comments on the character and function of the respective formulary. After some brief historical notes, the texts are quoted, textual analysis is provided, and their interpretation is discussed. Having considered the two formularies, the study then turns to three twentieth-century documents, each of an official kind, that reinforce its contention that, despite the breadth of views about the eucharistic presence of Christ in the history of the Church of England, the Articles and the Book of Common Prayer focus on a common center that Anglicanism regards as the ecumenical core of the matter.

III. The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion

A. General Comments

The Articles should not be seen as the Church of England's equivalent to the Augsburg Confession or to the Heidelberg Catechism and certainly not to the conciliar decrees of the Roman Catholic Church. In terms of one of England's favorite sports, they evolved and have acted as boundaries within which varied players may take part in a game of cricket, rather than the precise, detailed, and at times confusing rules of play. Indeed, as with the boundaries in the game of cricket, they have had a habit of contracting and expanding according to where the match is being played and the age and inclination of the participants. However, just as there comes a point when the English seem to know that the boundary has been either so reduced or so enlarged that the game of cricket has been made impossible, so the psyche of the Church of England seems to be able to sense that some interpretations of the Articles have been either so extended or so restricted that they have ceased to be credible parameters of Anglicanism.

B. History

In 1553, toward the end of Edward's reign, forty-two Articles compiled by Thomas Cranmer were ratified in Latin and English versions. At the beginning of Elizabeth's reign they were revised, largely by Matthew Parker, and ratified in 1563. They totaled thirty-eight at this point and were in Latin. They were followed in 1571 by an English version to which was added a further article that had been proposed but rejected in 1563, making a collection of thirty-nine.

C. Texts

From Article XXV:

Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him.

Article XXVIII:

The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

Article XXIX:

The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ; but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.

D. Textual Analysis(5)

From Article XXV: Although the whole of the 1553 version of this article changed in 1563/71, the section quoted remained substantially the same.

Article XXVIII: The one significant change in this article was the introduction of the third paragraph (indicated in italics) in order to replace a paragraph that strictly limited the body of Christ to heaven and denied "the real and bodily presence, as they term it, of Christ's flesh and blood in the Eucharist."

Article XXIX: This is the article that, having been proposed but rejected in 1563, was finally adopted in 1571.

E. Interpretation

Views on the eucharist were, of course, in a volatile state in the sixteenth century. The changes between the 1553 and the 1563/71 versions of the Articles indicate something of the movement of thought and the changing psychology of the debate in England. As we shall see, the movement was reflected in the revisions of Cranmer's 1552 Prayer Book in 1559, reaching a level of maturity in the seventeenth century with the further and final revision of the Prayer Book in 1662. By this stage there had emerged a distinctively Anglican interpretation of the Reformation, which is best summarized in the claim of the Church of England to be both catholic and reformed. A comparison between two quotations from Thomas Cranmer in the sixteenth century and Jeremy Taylor, the seventeenth-century divine, illustrates the development of a particularly Anglican style of expression:

Now forasmuch as it is plainly declared and manifestly proved, that Christ called bread his body, and wine his blood, and that these sentences be figurative speeches; and that Christ, as concerning his humanity and bodily presence, is ascended into heaven with his whole flesh and blood, and is not here upon earth; and that the substance of bread and wine do remain still, and be received in the sacrament; and that although they remain, yet they have changed their names, so that the bread is called Christ's body, and the wine his blood; and that the cause why their names be changed is this, that we should lift up our hearts and minds from the things which we see unto the things which we believe, and be above in heaven.(6)

The doctrine of the church of England and generally of the protestants in this article, is, that after the minister of the holy mysteries hath rightly prayed, and blessed or consecrated the bread and the wine, the symbols become changed into the body and blood of Christ, after a sacramental, that is, in a spiritual, real manner; so that all that worthily communicate do by faith receive Christ really, effectually, to all the purposes of His passion: the wicked receive not Christ, but the bare symbols only; but yet to their hurt, because the offer of Christ is rejected, and they pollute the blood of the covenant by using it as an unholy thing. The result of which doctrine is this: it is bread, and it is Christ's body: it is bread in substance, Christ in the sacrament; and Christ is as really given to all that are truly disposed.(7)

Cranmer's words show him at his most Reformed. The role of the bread and wine is to help us to focus on the presence of Christ in heaven, so that, in remembering the death he died for us, we may by faith receive all the benefits of his passion and so "dwell in him and he in us."(8) Taylor denied none of this, but his words were set in a different key. Whereas Cranmer emphasized that the bread remains bread, Taylor wanted to say that it becomes more. Whereas Cranmer in his liturgy and his Articles discouraged views of the presence in direct relation to the elements, Taylor, in line with the Articles of 1563/71, wanted to encourage a sense of the reality of the gift of Christ's presence through the eucharistic elements and to reaccommodate language about a real, though noncorporeal presence. However, he was clear that the "heavenly and spiritual manner" of the gift of Christ's presence was not to be understood in terms of a spiritualized presence in which Christ was divested of all normal bodily characteristics but, rather, in terms of a relation to a person. Through the eucharistic elements, the saving reality of Christ is made available to us. For those who appropriately engage with the presence, "Christ does as really nourish and sanctify the soul as the elements do the body."(9)

Taylor worked very much within Reformed parameters, and his theology was not substantially different from Cranmer's; however, he managed to present it in a way that highlights the positive rather than the negative features of Reformed sacramental theology. One reason he was able to do this was that he made more use of the role of the Holy Spirit in the eucharist than Cranmer did. A further reason is that, in common with others in the seventeenth century and later Anglicanism, he appealed to notions of mystery and sacramentality. While one side of Reformed theology is very precise about what is and is not happening in the eucharist and always risks the danger of emphasizing the subjective over and against the objective, another side of Reformed theology recognizes that our relationship to the presence of Christ, because it takes place within the mystery of the Spirit's work, is beyond definition and that the sacramental elements, by the will of God and power of the Spirit, have a real role in effecting our participation in the life of Christ. It is the latter perspective that runs throughout the work of Taylor and others in the seventeenth century. It drew inspiration and direction from the teaching of the Articles that, because the sacraments are "effectual signs," participation in Christ's life is truly given to all who welcome and receive him in the Lord's Supper.

It is worth noting that when John Henry Newman discussed Article XXVIII in his infamous Tract Ninety (a tract generally condemned at the time for an approach that stretched the Articles beyond the point of credibility), his primary concern was to show that the sacrament is the means by which the Spirit brings to us the full reality of Christ's spiritual presence and that "faith is the means of our receiving it."(10) Indeed, for all the traumas of the nineteenth century's fierce debate between Tractarians and Evangelicals, the disagreement centered not on the reality of the gift of Christ's presence but, rather, on the exact relationship between the presence of Christ and the eucharistic elements. Although such questions will always remain important, the particular contribution of Anglicanism is not to define an answer to them but, on the one hand, to acknowledge, even celebrate, the legitimacy of different answers and, on the other, to focus on the biblical and experiential heart of the matter:

I can see on all sides at the length to a general agreement concerning that which alone is material, namely the real participation of Christ and of life in his body and blood by means of this sacrament.

I wish that men would more give themselves to meditate with silence what we have by the sacrament, and less to dispute of the manner how.(11)

IV. The Book of Common Prayer

A. General Comments

The Book of Common Prayer has been of considerably more influence in defining the character of the Church of England and forming the spirituality of its people than the Articles. This is due in part to historical realities: the political strategy of the Church of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was to unite the country around a single form of worship. It is due in part to pastoral realities; in the words of the Preface of the authorized alternative to the Book of Common Prayer, "Christians are formed by the way in which they pray."(12) Because of the way liturgy, at least good liturgy, functions in the process of pastoral formation, the text of the liturgy can give only a partial understanding of its nature. This is particularly true of the Prayer Book's communion rite. Although substantially Cranmer's, the devotional quality of the words has shown a capacity to produce many more textures of meaning than can be found in Cranmer's theology. When one considers the varied contexts in which it has been celebrated, from Anglo-Catholic ceremony to Evangelical austerity, it becomes clear that the most that can be claimed for the Prayer Book's doctrine is that it has set the contours rather than the coordinates of eucharistic belief in the Church of England.

B. History

The first example of Cranmer's liturgical revision was his "Order of the Communion" in 1548. This was followed by a complete Prayer Book in English in 1549, which was succeeded by a second book in 1552. Elizabeth's reign saw a further minor revision in 1559, and under James I there was an even more minor revision in 1604. The Book of Common Prayer of 1662 is the revision that followed the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and remains in force to this day. Other liturgies authorized in the Church of England are defined as alternatives to (not replacements of) the 1662 revision. The excerpts that follow are taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

C. Texts

From the "Prayer of Humble Access":

Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.

From the Prayer of Consecration:

Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

Words of Administration of the Bread:

The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

From the Final Rubrics:

It is hereby declared, That thereby no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood. For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; (for that were Idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians;) and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places than one.

D. Textual Analysis(13)

From the "Prayer of Humble Access": This is part of a prayer of Cranmer's own composition, introduced in a slightly different form, in his 1548 Order. There, and in 1549, it came after the consecration and before communion. In 1552, it was placed after the Sanctus.

From the Prayer of Consecration: This petition, introduced in 1552, is a more Reformed version of the one found in the 1549 rite. Small but significant changes were made in 1662 that pushed the text in the other direction. The whole prayer was called the "Prayer of Consecration"; manual acts were introduced, and an "Amen" was inserted at the end. It is also relevant that a rubric was added directing the consecrated elements to be veiled until the end of the service and then consumed. Provision was also made for supplementary consecration.

The Words of Administration: The first sentence was used by Cranmer in 1548 and 1549. In 1552 he dropped it in favor of the second. In 1559 both were included and retained in 1662.

From the Final Rubrics: This rubric, a late addition in 1552, does not appear in the books of 1559 and 1604. It was reintroduced in 1662 but the original "to any real and essential presence there being of Christ's natural flesh and blood" was replaced by "to any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood."

E. Interpretation

Some in the Church of England have interpreted the Prayer Book's liturgy in a strict Cranmerian sense. We "eat Christ's flesh and drink his blood" by believing in his saving death. Hence, as we eat and drink the eucharistic elements in remembrance of his "full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice" (as "The Prayer of Consecration" puts it), so we "we feed on him in [our] hearts by faith with thanksgiving." Christ may be received with the elements in the sense that through them our faith in him is strengthened, and we are spiritually joined with him in greater depth by entering more fully into the benefits of his work. Others in the Church of England have understood the liturgy to mean that "we eat Christ's flesh" in the eucharist because, through the process of consecration, Christ becomes really, though spiritually (that is, not in any material or localized sense) present. Christ is thus present in the elements in the sense that they are the form in which Christ comes to us and by which we may be taken more deeply into his mystical life.

As with the various interpretations of the Articles, there are differences here about what we mean when we talk of the glorified presence of Christ and the nature of our relationship to his presence, as well as the particular relationship of Christ's presence to the eucharistic elements. However, the Church of England has managed to contain a variety of answers to these particular questions by placing the emphasis on the primary function of the sacrament, which is to bring Christ's people into a deeper union with his saving life and, in so doing, to change them into his likeness. It is an emphasis that found classic expression, even before the Prayer Book reached its final form, in the writings of Richard Hooker:

Christ assisting this heavenly banquet with his personal and true presence doth by his own divine power add to the natural substance thereof supernatural efficacy, which addition to the nature of those consecrated elements changeth them and maketh them that unto us which otherwise they could not be; that to us they are thereby made such instruments as mystically yet truly, invisibly yet really work our communion or fellowship with the person of Jesus Christ . . . whereupon there ensueth a kind of transubstantiation in us, a true change both of soul and body, an alteration from death to life.(14)

The changes in the Prayer Book from 1552 to 1662 represent an attempt to give clear liturgical expression to this theme of consecration for communion that Hooker was articulating in 1597. In the rite of 1662, weight is given to both the reality of Christ's gift in relation to the eucharistic elements and to the role of our faith in receiving all that Christ gives through them. The words of administration symbolize this attempt at a dual reference. The first sentence relates us to the objective action of God whereby we are confronted with the saving reality of Christ. The second calls us to engage subjectively with this reality, in order that the prayer earlier prayed might be answered and that we "evermore dwell in him and he in us."

V. Twentieth-Century Expression

I now turn to three twentieth-century expressions of this emphasis that the gift of Christ is really given to those who really receive him. The report, Doctrine in the Church of England, commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 1922 and first published in 1938, refers to Christ's being "active and accessible in a special manner as Giver and as Gift" in the eucharist.(15) Such language rightly sets the eucharist within the context of personal relationships and affirms both the prior movement of Christ to us and the necessity of our apprehension of him as "our spiritual food."

Recognizing that different opinions are held in the Church of England over the particular questions of Christ's eucharistic presence, the report claimed that:

perhaps the strongest and most characteristic tradition of Anglicanism is to affirm such a real presence of Christ in the Eucharist as enables the faithful communicant both to receive His life as a spiritual gift and to acknowledge Him as the giver, while at the same time the affirmation is combined with a determination to avoid as far as possible all precise, scholastic definitions as to the manner of the giving.(16)

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission's Statement on Eucharistic Doctrine, published in 1971, used dynamic and personal language reminiscent of the 1938 Report:

The sacramental body and blood of the Saviour are present as an offering to the believer awaiting his welcome. When this offering is met by faith, a lifegiving encounter results. Through faith Christ's presence-which does not depend on the individual's faith in order to be the Lord's real gift of himself to his Church-becomes no longer just a presence for the believer, but also a presence with him. Thus, in considering the mystery of the eucharistic presence, we must recognize both the sacramental sign of Christ's presence and the personal relationship between Christ and the faithful which arises from that presence.(17)

Finally, The Alternative Service Book, authorized in 1980, although far less guarded than the Prayer Book in its language, also sought a proper balance between the Spirit's role in relation to the elements and to the people, as can be seen from the petition in three of its eucharistic prayers:

Grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine may be to us his body and his blood.(18)

These twentieth-century expressions of Church of England theology are consistent with the essence of the Anglican tradition formed by the boundaries of the Thirty-Nine Articles and the contours of the Book of Common Prayer. However, because it was in the seventeenth century that the Church of England acquired its distinctive character among the churches of the Reformation, the last word, with one qualification, of this historical analysis should go to a very popular devotional work by Christopher Sutton, which was published in 1630: "Do not say with the Capernaites, 'Master, how cometh Thou hither?' but with the disciples asking no questions be glad thou dost enjoy Him."(19) Of course, there are questions to be asked, and the Meissen theological conferences, along with any other ecumenical exchange, seek to address them. However, the position of the Church of England is that, providing they do not deflect us from the primary function of the eucharist, which is to bring us deeper into communion with the saving presence of Christ, different answers can be allowed, even celebrated, although they should never be enforced as required belief.

VI. Concluding Reflections

A. Ecumenical Dialogue

I had two major concerns about how my analysis of the formularies would be received by members of the German delegation. The first was whether the systematic precision expected by the German theological mind would find the loose ends of the English pragmatism of my presentation unacceptably untidy. The second was whether the Lutheran delegates would feel that the formularies sat too close to the Calvinist side of the sixteenth-century debate to be comfortable, particularly in Article XXIX's position over those without faith and the Final Rubric's comments about the heavenly body of Christ.

On both scores I was encouraged. I discovered that, like the Church of England, the E.K.D. is well practiced at holding together different sacramental traditions within one institutional life. For example, one of the most interesting discussions of the conference involved Reformed and Lutheran theologians explaining how they sought to maintain their classic emphases of eucharistic worshipers' being raised to the glorious and heavenly presence of Christ, as well as Christ's coming to us in the humiliation of the cross by the broken forms of earthly elements, while at the same time allowing each emphasis to inform the other. The internal ecumenical existence of two great historic German Protestant traditions has helped them to move the debate about the presence of Christ away from questions of geographical location to affirmations of mutually enriching theological perspectives on who Christ is for us and how Christ encounters us.

Historically, the Church of England has made a particular claim to model a reformed catholicism. Of course, whether this is an accurate or an arrogant claim is for others to judge, but a case can be made for arguing that it has had some success in developing a number of unitive categories in eucharistic theology that express the common ground between different traditions. Such categories do not say everything that could be said, only everything that must be said.(20) The Church of England's concentration on the personal encounter with Christ, through the eucharistic action and the gift of participating in his life through the faithful reception of the consecrated elements, has helped both to keep together those holding different explanations of the mechanics of the eucharistic experience and to offer a working model to wider ecumenical relations. Certainly, the Reformed and Lutheran delegates at the conference seemed equally satisfied that the formularies of the Church of England, as I analyzed and interpreted them, properly respected the dynamics of grace and faith in the eucharist by affirming that Christ is really given to be really received.

B. Ecumenical Ministry

For a number of years I served in an ecumenical university chaplaincy consisting of Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Free Church traditions that used one place of worship and had good relationships with all the student Christian societies, including the sizeable (evangelical-charismatic) Christian Union. It was one of those all too rare opportunities for consistent encounter between and genuine ministry among Christians of different denominations and traditions. Whether trying to convince impassioned, iconoclastic evangelical students that I was not a moribund ritualist, or to show Roman Catholic students who had had little exposure to the liturgies of other Christians that I believed the eucharist involved more than a symbol evoking a memory, I found that the classical Anglican emphasis on the reality of the eucharistic gift of Christ and the reality of the invitation to receive the one who is given always bore the good ecumenical fruit of affirmation of common faith.

There are few more determined in their desire to encounter Christ than evangelical-charismatic university students. It is not to deny but only to deepen their spirituality to encourage them to trust Paul's words that "the bread that we break" is "a sharing in the body of Christ" (1 Cor. 10:16) and to rejoice with the seventeenth-century Anglican poet-priest George Herbert that in the Lord's Supper:

Not in rich furniture, or fine array, Nor in a wedge of gold, Thou, who from me wast sold, To me dost now thyself convey.(21)

The realities of English church life mean that many Roman Catholic students arrive at a university highly suspicious of their Anglican colleagues. During discussions on the eucharist I found that the most helpful way to turn suspicion into trust was by focusing on our common experience of communion with Christ in the eucharist. Therese of Lisieux's Autobiography came to my aid. It contains a moving account of her first communion:

What comfort it brought to me, that first kiss our Lord imprinted on my soul! A lover's kiss; I knew that I was loved, and I, in my turn, told him that I loved him, and was giving myself to him for all eternity. There were no demands on me; there had been no struggles, no sacrifices. It was a long time since we had exchanged looks, he and I, insignificant though I was, and we had understood one another. And now it wasn't a question of looks; something had melted away, and there were no longer two of us-Therese had simply disappeared, like a drop lost in the ocean; Jesus only was left, my Master, my King.(22)

Here and elsewhere Therese did not try to define the way in which Christ is present, nor did she seem very interested in Christ's presence apart from the reception of the elements. She simply enjoyed the reality of the joyful exchange in which Christ gave himself to her and she gave herself to Christ. Therese helped me to show that at the heart of Anglican and Roman Catholic theology of the eucharist there lies a common conviction that Christ invites us to receive his gift of himself to us.

C. Ecumenical Training

Currently, I am involved in the training of about 100 ordinands in the Church of England, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church. Quite properly the understandings of the eucharistic presence among the ordinands-and the staff-are diverse. However, by concentrating attention on the relational dynamic of the eucharistic action, people from different sacramental backgrounds are able to unite around the core of eucharistic belief and so find both the trust to explore how different traditions arrive at that core and the tools to assess which theological positions help to secure it most successfully.

Interestingly, as ordinands experience the eucharistic rites of each other's denominations, discussions do not ensue about the reality of Christ's eucharistic gift in a particular denominational celebration (technically, questions of efficacy) but of whether the assembly is properly ordered (technically, questions of validity). People then find themselves disagreeing about the necessity or otherwise of episcopal ordination-but, then, so did the signatories of the Meissen Statement. Our successors at later Meissen theological conferences were charged with finding a way through that area of difficulty. Their task on apostolicity is proving more difficult than was ours on the eucharist.

1 See The Meissen Agreement: Texts, Council for Christian Unity Occasional Paper 2 (London: Council for Christian Unity, 1992).

2 Para. 17 of "The Meissen Common Statement," in Meissen Agreement, p. 20.

3 Ibid., p. 22.

4 All three texts can be found in most versions of The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments of the Church of England (1662) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962).

5 A useful source for textual analysis of the Articles is Darwell Stone, A History of the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, vol. 2 (London: Longmans Green, 1909).

6 "A Defence of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Lord's Supper," III.8 (1550), in James I. Packer, intro., The Work of Thomas Cranmer, The Courtney Library of Reformation Classics 2 (Appleford: Sutton Courtney Press, 1964).

7 Jeremy Taylor, The Real Presence and Spiritual of Christ in The Blessed Sacrament, 1.4 (1654), revised and corrected by Charles Page Eden (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans et al., 1852).

8 Dwelling in Christ is a favorite theme of Cranmer's; see the early chapters of "Defence" and his "Prayer of Humble Access" in the communion rite.

9 Taylor, Real Presence, 1.4.

10 A. E. Evans, ed., Tract Ninety or Remarks on Certain Passages in the Thirty-Nine Articles by John Henry Newman (1841) (London: Constable, 1933), p. 69.

11 "Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity," Book V, 67.2 and 3 (1597), in The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarenden Press, 1890); emphasis in original.

12 The Alternative Service Book (London: Clowes, SPCK, et al., 1980), p. 10.

13 A useful source for textual analysis of the Book of Common Prayer is F. E. Brightman, The English Rite, vol. 2 (London: Rivingtons, 1915).

14 "Laws. of Ecclesiastical Polity," Book V, 67.11.

15 Doctrine in the Church of England: The Report of the Commission on Christian Doctrine Appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 1922 (London: SPCK, 1938), p. 171.

16 Ibid., pp. 170-171.

17 "Statement on Eucharistic Doctrine," 1971, para. 8, in The Final Report, Windsor, September, 1981, Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (London: Catholic Truth Society/S.P.C.K., 1982), p. 15.

18 From the first, second, and third eucharistic prayers of "Rite A," Alternative Service Book.

19 Godly Meditations upon the Most Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper (1630), quoted in Stone, History of the Doctrine, vol. 2, p. 291.

20 For further development of this idea, see Christopher J. Cocksworth, "Eucharistic Theology," in Kenneth Stevenson and Bryan Spinks, eds., The Identity of Anglican Worship (London: Mowbray, 1991), pp. 49-68.

21 "The Holy Communion," in John Tobin, ed., George Herbert: The Complete English Poems (London: Penguin Books, 1991), p. 46.

22 Autobiography of a Saint, tr. Ronald Knox (London: Fount, 1977), pp. 82-83.

Christopher John Cocksworth (Church of England) has been director of the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme at Sarum College, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, since 1997. He previously served as a chaplain (1992-96) at Royal Holloway, University of London; a curate (1988-92); and a secondary-school teacher (1981-86). He holds a B.A., and a Ph.D. in theology (1989), from Manchester University, as well as a postgraduate certificate in education. A member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, he has published Evangelical Eucharistic Thought in the Church of England (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Prayer and the Departed (Grove, 1997), and Holy, Holy, Holy: Worshipping the Trinitarian God (Darton, Longman and Todd, 1997); with P. Roberts, Renewing Daily Prayer (Grove, 1992); with J. Fletcher, The Spirit and Liturgy (Grove, 1998); and jointly edited with A. Wilkinson, An Anglican Companion (SPCK/Church House Publishing, 1996). His articles have appeared in Studia Liturgica (1997) and in K. Stevenson and B. Spinks, eds., The Identity of Anglican Worship (Mowbray, 1991).
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Author:Cocksworth, Christopher J.
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Date:Mar 22, 1998
Words:6174
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