Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Catholic faith
Roman Rite

Corpus Christi
Blessed be Jesus in the most holy Sacrament of the altar

Sequence: Lauda Sion
By St Thomas Aquinas

The Christian East in its several rites hasn’t got this feast (except the Ukrainian Catholics who, disobeying Rome, adopted it from the West) not because of any faith difference (as Bishop Kallistos (Ware) explains) but because of different historical circumstances. Practically speaking, nobody denied the Real Presence there*, so there are no elevations of, blessings with or processions with the Elements outside the Liturgy to answer that denial. Of course there are modes of presence — the early church, as the East does today, took God’s localized presence in the Sacrament as a given along with, in other ways, his presence in the assembly and in the celebration of the service itself, and starting in the early period, in icons. Western liberals misuse ‘modes’ to minimize ceremonial; Orthodox use it rightly to maximize it!

*A problem in the West since Berengarius in the Middle Ages, before the Protestants widely spread this error.

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