Important study of eucharistic theology, practice

Published October 1, 1998

HIS BOOK GIVES US some 30 papers given at the Fifth International Anglican Liturgical Consultation, held in Dublin, Ireland, in 1995. It will be useful to all interested in eucharistic theology and practice in the final years of the 20th century and opening of the next millennium.

Eucharist is seen both as the centre of the worldwide church’s life of worship and as the focus of each national church’s approach and life of prayer. Twenty-three authors from many parts of the Anglican family contribute studies for consideration, discussion, and reflection.

Following an introduction by Dr. Louis Weil on issues concerning the Anglican eucharist in the 21st century, we are able to read five of the preparatory documents of this consultation. These offer many challenges to today’s church as it strives to remain faithful to tradition and continue to be aware of current questions and needs. Six study documents provide us with reflections on sacrifice and other issues.

Ten national and regional studies by local experts review implications of current studies and practices across the Anglican Communion. John St. H. Gibaut’s paper offers interesting questions for further reflection and study on the Canadian scene. The final section of the book includes the Dublin documents: five working group papers on eucharistic theology; ministry, order, and the eucharist; the structure of the eucharist; eucharist as ritual, language, and symbolism; and liturgical and eucharistic renewal. They offer notes for further reading, reflection and questions. I recommend this as important reading and study.

Patrick Byrne is a retired Roman Catholic priest in Lindsay, Ont.


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