The eucharistic celebration which ought to become the greatest inspiration for Christian life ends up often as a cultic observance, or at best as a devotional exercise. It does not become the source and the summit of the activity of the Christians and of the whole Church, as II Vatican Council envisaged it (SC 10). The reason is that not only the faithful but even most of the pastors and spiritual guides have not understood sufficiently well the meaning and the implications of the eucharistic celebration. Is the Eucharist really a sacrifice? What exactly is the sacrifice of Jesus and what is the sacrifice of the Church? How have the different Churches come to an agreement on the sacrifice of the Eucharist, after having been divided on the question for the last 300 years? What is the memorial (anamnesis) of the Last Supper of Jesus? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist? What is the justification of Eucharistic devotions outside the Mass? What is the relevance of the celebration of the Eucharist in the ecclesial, socio-economic, multi-cultural and multi-religious context of India? These are some of the questions which the author is trying to answer.
Cyprian Illickamury. born on 27th November 1930, is a Capuchin priest, professor of Dogmatic Theology in Capuchin Vidyabhavan, Thellakom, the major seminary of the Capuchins of St. Joseph Province, Kerala. After priestly and graduate studies in India, he studied theology in the University of Muenster, Germany, under well-known international scholars like Karl Rahner, Walter Kasper, J.B. Metz, Joachim Gnilka, and Peter Huenermann, and secured the doctoral degree in theology. He has been teaching in various seminaries and institutions for the last 35 years. He has published The Lordship of Jesus Christ over the World and the Church, and Baptism and Confirmation (Co-authorship), besides 15 books in Malayalam, and numerous articles in English and Malayalam.
I Eucharist in the New Testament
II. Eucharist in Patristic Theology
III Eucharist in the Middle Ages
IV Changeless Truth and Changeable Interpretations
V Eucharist as Sacrifice
VI ‘Do This in Memory of Me’ – Anamnesis
VII Eucharist and the Holy Spirit – Epiclesis
VIII Reality of the Real Presence
IX Reservation and Veneration of the Eucharist
X Eucharistic Celebration in India