We Taste

Carmel Bulletin, 16 March 2014

Actions of the Assembly
Actions of the Assembly

When we look at the actions we engage in as an assembly, tasting is a rather specific one.  It is one of the few actions that relate to one part of the Mass.

The action of tasting reminds us that “in the liturgy the sanctification of humankind is signified by signs perceptible to the senses” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, article 7).  Christ makes himself present to us through our simple gifts of bread and wine.

These gifts change in substance, that is, they become the Body and Blood of Christ, but to our senses of touch, taste, smell, taste and hearing, they bear the appearance of the food and drink Christ shared with his disciples at the Last Supper.

Communion from the ChaliceDespite the fact that it becomes holy food for us, it should not lose its sense of being food.  The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that “by reason of the sign, it is required that the material for the Eucharistic Celebration truly have the appearance of food” (article 321).  The Eucharistic bread should appeal to the senses and look and taste like bread.  Furthermore, “the wine for the celebration of the Eucharist must be from the fruit of the vine (cf Lk 22:18), natural and unadulterated…” (article 322).  We are also called to taste Christ’s self-giving to us in all its fullness:

“Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds.  For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father” (article 281).

Again, while we acknowledge our limitations before receiving Communion, saying “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”, Christ, through his grace, invites us to receive him under the ordinary forms of bread and wine; to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

8/11/09 – Things Communion Ministers Want You to Know #1

This week, we have held formation workshops for our Ministers of Communion. Every year, our ministers share matters that they wish they could share with you. So this week, we have the first of a series we’re calling:

Things Communion Ministers Want You to Know

1. Receive Communion under both kinds

Our ministers understand that for many years, the congregation (or assembly) were denied the opportunity to receive communion from the chalice, but now this opportunity and privilege has been given to us again.

The command Jesus gave to his disciples was simple “take this, all of you and eat it… take this, all of you, and drink from it…” To eat the host and drink from the chalice allows us to enter fully into the ritual meal instituted by Jesus in the last supper.

Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is distributed under both kinds…
(General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 281)

Photo: Chalice by mafleen

5/8/07 – Holy Days of Obligation

On 15 August, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is a Holy Day of Obligation.

“I didn’t think we had those any more!” I hear you say.  Well, we still do.  What’s more, we shouldn’t see them as a burden, but rather an opportunity to celebrate some of the great mysteries of our faith.

Of course, every Sunday is a holy day of obligation.  We are called as Church to gather together to celebrate the Paschal Mystery (the death and resurrection of Christ) through the Eucharist.  We do have less holy days in the Australian Church calendar than we did before.  Also, many have now been moved to a Sunday so that we may more easily participate in celebrating these important feasts.  Only the Assumption and one other in the Australian calendar remain on fixed dates (can you guess the other one?).

If you look carefully, you’ll also notice that they celebrate different key elements of our faith.  Such examples include the mystery of the Trinity (Trinity Sunday), Christ’s Ascension (remember Ascension Thursday?  It now replaces the Seventh Sunday of Easter), the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), the first revelation of Christ to the world (the Epiphany, now on a Sunday, formally 6 January).  The Assumption is the one holy day of obligation that is a Marian feast (New Years’ Day, or rather, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God is not a holy day).

The idea of a Holy day of obligation can, for some, remind them of a time when we may have been “guilt-tripped” to attend Mass for fear of committing a “mortal sin”.  Rather, we should take the opportunity to celebrate these great mysteries of our faith.

P.S. The other holy day of obligation with a fixed date is Christmas (25 December).