Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eucharist
#1
I'm really trying to understand this apparent disparity between worship of the Eucharist by Roman Catholics and the lack thereof among the Orthodox. Some of the remarks made by Orthodox are lacking, boiling down to a simple "we love the whole Jesus, not just a part of Him" or; "our worship is to Christ alone, not the semi-Nestorian practices of parts of Christ's humanity like the Sacred Heart or Eucharist." even; "we genuflect or cross ourselves when the Eucharist is present."

If the belief is that the Eucharist becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ (as I think the EO believe as well); and that Christ is both God and man; then the worship of the Eucharist, that which takes on these properties through transubstantiation, is no different than worshiping Christ in person. If the bread and wine become His body and blood, as the Gospels proclaim, then worshiping the Eucharist is worshiping the whole Christ, thanks to the hypostatic union, as each part of Christ's humanity is wholly divine. Just as the worship of Christ in the symbol of His Sacred Heart is worship of Christ entire, which is really just an extension of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament at its core anyway.

I really want to understand why the Orthodox do not appear to adore and worship Christ in the Blessed Sacrament as us in the Church do. I know the practice of Eucharistic Adoration has made its way into the "Latinized" Orthodox liturgy, which is just the Roman rite outside of Rome's jurisdiction. But why is this not practiced in some form by the Easterners?
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh.' - Jeremias 17:8
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#2
(12-09-2019, 08:43 PM)Augustinian Wrote: I really want to understand why the Orthodox do not appear to adore and worship Christ in the Blessed Sacrament as us in the Church do. I know the practice of Eucharistic Adoration has made its way into the "Latinized" Orthodox liturgy, which is just the Roman rite outside of Rome's jurisdiction. But why is this not practiced in some form by the Easterners?

We worship and adore Christ in the Eucharist at every single Divine Liturgy.  If you sincerely do want to understand, I recommend this video as an introduction to the Divine Liturgy.  



Go and read through the Canon of Preparation for Holy Communion and all the other ancient pre-Communion prayers that every Orthodox Christian must pray every time before receiving Christ and all the post-Communion prayers as well.  You will have no doubt as the intensity of our worship of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  In my parish every week you can find worshippers making full prostrations as the priest raises up the chalice before the faithful after the consecration.  

As for the Roman extra-liturgical Adoration of the Eucharist, that was a later development that rose up in response to the heresy of the Protestants.  Would you say Catholics still adored Christ in the Eucharist before that time?  So do we.

And don't forget your own Byzantine Catholics as well.
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#3
(12-09-2019, 11:49 PM)PorphyriosK Wrote:
(12-09-2019, 08:43 PM)Augustinian Wrote: I really want to understand why the Orthodox do not appear to adore and worship Christ in the Blessed Sacrament as us in the Church do. I know the practice of Eucharistic Adoration has made its way into the "Latinized" Orthodox liturgy, which is just the Roman rite outside of Rome's jurisdiction. But why is this not practiced in some form by the Easterners?

We worship and adore Christ in the Eucharist at every single Divine Liturgy.  If you sincerely do want to understand, I recommend this video as an introduction to the Divine Liturgy.  



Go and read through the Canon of Preparation for Holy Communion and all the other ancient pre-Communion prayers that every Orthodox Christian must pray every time before receiving Christ and all the post-Communion prayers as well.  You will have no doubt as the intensity of our worship of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  In my parish every week you can find worshippers making full prostrations as the priest raises up the chalice before the faithful after the consecration.  

As for the Roman extra-liturgical Adoration of the Eucharist, that was a later development that rose up in response to the heresy of the Protestants.  Would you say Catholics still adored Christ in the Eucharist before that time?  So do we.

And don't forget your own Byzantine Catholics as well.

I will definitely watch that video. And just to be clear, I wasn't denying worship and adoration during liturgy, that much is obvious. I was more questioning why extra-liturgical adoration is not something that developed in Orthodoxy, as your assertion of its development in response to the Protestant Revolt is incorrect considering the existence of such adoration long before Martin Luther. The practice of direct adoration of the Host outside of the Liturgy had its start with St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, with Pope Urban IV introducing the elevation into the Mass and even St. Thomas Aquinas penning hymns in its honor; not solely as a novelty of the counter-reformation (although it did see a much more directed emphasis as a result).
There was even an instance of a Eucharistic miracle on behalf of St. Clare of Assisi, who raised the Host in a Monstrance from San Damiano to ward off approaching Saracen forces. (see attachment)

To be more precise, as my original post wasn't, I would like to know is why the practice of extra-liturgical adoration did not develop in the Eastern churches? I mean, there's veneration of relics in the East, so why not the Sacred Host as well?


Attached Files
.pdf   Assisi.pdf (Size: 184.95 KB / Downloads: 1)
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh.' - Jeremias 17:8
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#4
The Feast of Corpus Christi, devoted entirely to Adoration of the Eucharist, was instituted in 1264 by Pope Urban IV, with the Office written By St Thomas Aquinas. This was two and a half centuries before the Protestant Deformation, and even a century before the heresies of the Hussites and Wycliffites.
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#5
You're right, my mistake.  I knew it had developed as a practice in response to heresy, but I didn't realize that there were earlier denials of Christ's Presence before the Reformation.

"Berengarius (999-1088), archdeacon of Angers in France, publicly denied that Christ was really and physically present under the species of bread and wine. Others took up the idea and began writing about the Eucharistic Christ as not exactly the Christ of the Gospels or, by implication, as not actually there."
https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library...hurch-4086

So again, the East never encountered this heresy and continued its own tradition.  Also the way the elements are prepared in our Tradition would seem to risk more incidents and accidents like spilling of the Eucharist, etc.  If you watch the video, you'll see that the Lamb is divided into many pieces of various sizes, all having specific symbolic meaning.  All the pieces are added to the chalice and covered and wrapped with a cloth.  The consecrated elements are a mixture of Christ's Body and Blood that is distributed with a spoon.  This would create problems and I imagine this is why Roman Catholics don't permanently reserve the Eucharist under the form of consecrated wine or carry the chalice in long processions.  

If the implication is that the East is inferior because we didn't develop this practice, then again, that would mean the Catholic Church tradition pre-1000 A.D. was inferior and that your Eastern Catholic Church traditions are inferior as well.
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#6
(12-10-2019, 08:29 AM)PorphyriosK Wrote: If the implication is that the East is inferior because we didn't develop this practice, then again, that would mean the Catholic Church tradition pre-1000 A.D. was inferior and that your Eastern Catholic Church traditions are inferior as well.

That's not the implication at all, but I appreciate your response.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh.' - Jeremias 17:8
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#7
(12-09-2019, 08:43 PM)Augustinian Wrote: I'm really trying to understand this apparent disparity between worship of the Eucharist by Roman Catholics and the lack thereof among the Orthodox. Some of the remarks made by Orthodox are lacking, boiling down to a simple "we love the whole Jesus, not just a part of Him" or; "our worship is to Christ alone, not the semi-Nestorian practices of parts of Christ's humanity like the Sacred Heart or Eucharist." even; "we genuflect or cross ourselves when the Eucharist is present."
...

I really want to understand why the Orthodox do not appear to adore and worship Christ in the Blessed Sacrament as us in the Church do. I know the practice of Eucharistic Adoration has made its way into the "Latinized" Orthodox liturgy, which is just the Roman rite outside of Rome's jurisdiction. But why is this not practiced in some form by the Easterners?

Firstly, it is really difficult to take the specific examples of expressions you've heard and then attribute them to our separated brethren in the east as a whole: there are sufficient instances to teach us this wherein the individuals, whether in large groups or singularly, deviate from dogma, even while claiming to be in communion with Rome.  That being the case, as our separated brethren in the east claim what is in fact a vestigial connection to the Mystical Body of Christ, the dogma they are bound to is of the real, true and substantial presence of His Divine Majesty in the Holy Eucharist; not bound as to some trans-signification, wherein the consecrated altar breads and wine represent Our Lord during Holy Mass (i.e., Divine Liturgy), nor some trans-finalization, wherein Our Lord is only really, truly, and substantially present until the conclusion of Holy Mass.  They are bound to believe in the same dogma of Transubstantiation.

Secondly, as PorphyriosK pointed out, the separation between the Greek east and the Latin west (yes, yes, I am oversimplifying) was magnified in the divergent customs.  These customs which were developed in time in response to specific needs.  That said, I don't believe that our separated brethren in the east IN GENERAL would cut up before the exposition of the sacred species in the Latin rite, because of that vestigial connection to the dogma of Transubstantiation.  They may not know the customary expressions used in a procession of the sacred species, or used in perpetual adoration, but I am sure that if they recognized what was going on, IN GENERAL they would behave as they do at Divine Liturgy.  Heck, we're talking about folks who have a tendency to walk for tremendous distances on their knees to receive a blessing from their bishop's hand...I have a hard time believing that the religion that raises these folks up would teach them to spurn adoration of the Eucharist simply because it occurs outside of the context of Mass.
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#8
Cannot add to PorphyriosK's comments. The argument seems to build on a faulty premise that since there is no Eucharistic adoration, the East must reject generation of the Eucharist. The East never defined a moment of transubstantiation (or rather transformation) as the elements are revealed to be in their redeemed state - the Body and Blood of Christ.
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#9
(12-10-2019, 02:33 PM)newenglandsun Wrote: Cannot add to PorphyriosK's comments. The argument seems to build on a faulty premise that since there is no Eucharistic adoration, the East must reject generation of the Eucharist. The East never defined a moment of transubstantiation (or rather transformation) as the elements are revealed to be in their redeemed state - the Body and Blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation is not a transformation.  There is no corruption and generation of bread and wine into Christ, but rather a singular conversion of the entire substance with accidents of bread and wine residing in no substance.
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#10
(12-10-2019, 04:17 PM)yablabo Wrote:
(12-10-2019, 02:33 PM)newenglandsun Wrote: Cannot add to PorphyriosK's comments. The argument seems to build on a faulty premise that since there is no Eucharistic adoration, the East must reject generation of the Eucharist. The East never defined a moment of transubstantiation (or rather transformation) as the elements are revealed to be in their redeemed state - the Body and Blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation is not a transformation.  There is no corruption and generation of bread and wine into Christ, but rather a singular conversion of the entire substance with accidents of bread and wine residing in no substance.
And this would be why the East does not define this mystery. What exactly is an accident? The scholastic definition is orthodox but it gets lost in the detail.
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