A clear and concise overview of the celebration of the Eucharist from the time of its foreshadowing in the Old Testament with the figure of Melchisedek (Genesis 14: 18-20). Fr Peter Jones shows that there is a core and constant ritual at the heart of all celebrations of the Eucharist, but the manner in which it has been celebrated over the centuries, and is celebrated today, shows great diversity. Fr Peter leads us from the OT prefigurations of the Eucharist, through the several New Testament accounts of the Last Supper to the celebrations of the early church, known to us from the Didache and onwards. He looks at the diversity of liturgical rites as they develop in the patriachal churches, and in more detail at the practice in the West where the Roman rite is only one of several in use. He leads up to the present day and the recent instructions from Rome to allow the more general use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (the Latin rite) and he comments on a little known instruction of Cardinal Ratzinger with regard to the Anaphora of Addai and Mari which does not include an institution narrative. A fascinating introduction to this subject and a spring board for those who would like to study more deeply. Fr Peter Jones is parish priest of Pershore, in the Diocese of Birmingham.
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