Following some previous thoughts about the Eucharist stemming from my placement, and now dwelling on some thoughts appropo of stuff being discussed around St. Peter’s, I read, as prompted by Rosalind, from Timothy Radcliffe’s “Why Go To Church – the Drama of the Eucharist” pp196-8 some notes:
He identifies the end of the Eucharist as not so much it’s conclusion “as it’s consummation”.
As we come to Eucharist we come as individuals “with our own private dramas, our hopes and hurts, but we are sent out as a community, members of the Body of Christ… we are sent so as to come back.”
“This rhythm of gathering the community around the altar and then sending it away belongs to the oxygen of the Church’s life-blood.”
There is no ‘Amen’ after the Eucharist, because it s part of the church breathing.
If the Eucharist IS part of the way the church breathes, how often does it need to inhale? Some churches I know maintain a weekly eucharist for each congregation. Some, like St. Peter’s have communion available each week, but for most congregations twice a month (roughly). Do we suffer as a result? What form does our suffering take?
And what about the practicalities: if we need to breath more often, and perhaps more often corporately across the whole church (of 2-300), how do we manage this if we have only one priest diving himself among 5 congregations (miniumum) and no space big enough to hold us all?
Too many questions and not enough answers: story of my life at present!
I’ve also discovered a contact is writing a thesis on “Fresh Expressions in Eucharist” and am deeply intrigued as to what he has to say… but apparently I shall have to be patient.