Dear Brothers and Sisters
In the gospel today, Jesus asks James and John “Can you drink the cup that I must drink…” so, I thought I would very briefly explore that with regard to what taking Holy Communion in both kinds means.
The “cup” that Jesus is referring to is a metaphor for his suffering. As a metaphor is ‘stands for’ the sacrifice and death that Jesus will undergo in order to bring God’s plan of salvation for all into fruition. So, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus moves the metaphor into a new reality by announcing that ‘this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” He then shares this cup with his disciples asking them to do this in memory of him. He has already blessed, broken and shared the bread now identifying it with His body.
Protestants have long argued that Holy Communion should be in both kinds to be effective. Catholics have argued the reverse.
The Council of Trent set forth the doctrine that to receive communion in one kind only (usually the Sacred Host) is to receive the fullness of Christ as “the whole Christ is present under either species” (Summa Theologiae, III, q. 80, a. 12, ad 3).
However, the Second Vatican Council enriched this understanding in one sense arguing that the ‘sign’ of Holy Communion was more richly perceived when communion was received under both bread and wine. So “technically speaking” communion is communion even if we only receive either the Host or the Precious Blood, but the Council argued that something is ‘gained’ by receiving in both kinds. What is ‘gained’ has a sign value or an enrichment as it helps us to enter into the action of the eucharist, not as a “thing” but as an action of the Church and Christ.
The Church teaches that we should know what we are doing and try to understand the true meaning of the Eucharist. Should we then receive under both kinds if we can? I will leave it to St Ambrose to have the last word!
St. Ambrose discloses what people of faith gain from that knowledge: “For as often as we eat this Bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his Blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy” (St Ambrose, De sacr. 4, 6, 28: PL 16, 464).
With my very best wishes Fr David.
Bereavement Mass At one time or another we are bereaved by the death of someone close to us. This Mass will help us deal with our loss and move us towards acceptance and peace of mind and heart with Gods love. Father David and the Parish would like to invite you to join the Mass for the Recently Bereaved which is taking place in Cranleigh on Saturday 3rd November at 11am. Please feel free to invite your family members to join this Mass and please note there will be a buffet lunch in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room following the Mass. We would be grateful for your RSVP so we can provide suitable refreshments. This Mass is open to everyone with faith so please invite your extended family or friends to remember their loved ones.
CAMEO [Ladies Group] Speaker– On Tuesday 6th November at 7.30pm Gillie Nicholls will be coming to give us an illustrated talk about her charity (Les Amis Burkina Faso) which serves the handicapped girls and women in West Africa. Being handicapped or female in parts of Africa means having few or no rights. Gillie is a local woman, who until recently, was the Chaplin at Barrow Hills School and who also works at St Edmunds, Godalming. She is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. Please come along and see how much is being done for so many by this local charity. For more information about the Charity do visit www.les-amis-bf.org.uk. from Helen Rollo
Marriage Evening 14th November 7.45pm – 9.30pm St Joseph’s Church Hall, Guildford. Are you grateful for your Marriage? If so, please join us for an evening to celebrate Marriage and hear about opportunities for nurturing and growing your marriage commitment and sharing the gift of marriage with others. All Welcome. Free drinks and nibbles. In order to gauge numbers please can you sign up on the Guildford Parish website
The Word who is Life – don’t forget to sign up for the coach to Guildford on the 19th November. Transport to this event is being paid for by the Parish. Forms and info are in the porches. Please return the form as soon as possible to the Office. Thank you.