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HAS CHRIST INSTITUTED THE LITURGY?
The National Catholic Almanac (1951) describes the liturgy as "the most perfect act of worship that can be performed for God." The same Catholic National Almanac (1948) states that: "The liturgy is the bloodless renewal of the Sacrifice of our Lord on the cross. In it, the priest, as a representative of Christ, offers to God the bread and wine, which He transforms into the Body and Blood of our Lord at Sanctification, and then he end the sacrifice by consuming the Sacrifice and drinking the chalice at Communion." "The liturgy is the perpetuation of the Calvary sacrifice" and "is identical with the sacrifice of the cross."
Did Jesus Christ set up the liturgy with the apostles after the Passover? There was a time when you were burned at the stake if you raised such a question. History reports that an English tailor, a reformer (a follower of Wycliffe) named John Badby, was burned at the stake in 1410 in Smithfield Square, London. This is because he claimed that Jesus Christ, who was at the Supper, could not give His living body to be eaten by the disciples - Wycliffe's England, p. 335.
The answer to the above question can be found in the "Catechism on Christian Doctrine" (1949) (revised edition of the Baltimore Catechism): "Our divine Savior delivered the first liturgy at the Last Supper, the night before His death." The Catholic Encyclopedia (volume X) supports this statement and says that Jesus, in the evening before His death, instituted not only an observation of His death, but also a real sacrifice. While acknowledging that the strongest argument for this claim is the testimony of tradition, this authority uses some scriptures in favor of arguing its position.
One of the biblical proofs used to support this view is Jesus' words at the supper about bread and wine. "Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins." (Mathew 26:26-29, Douay)
According to Catholic theologians, when Christ said these words, He uttered the words to "Sanctification," which would have had the effect of effectively changing the bread and wine into the literal body and literal blood of Christ. The same authority states that even today: “in the celebration of the Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. This is called transubstantiation, because in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and that of the wine does not last, but the whole substance of the bread is changed in the body of Christ, and the whole substance of the wine is changed in His blood, leaving only the outward appearance of the bread and wine. " It is argued that every ordained Catholic priest has the power to perform the miracle of transubstantiation.
Jesus' words about the unleavened loaf of bread and the glass of red wine were not magic words that would literally change the whole substance of the bread and wine literally into His body and blood. His words indicated that bread and wine were symbols or emblems. In keeping with this, Moffatt translates Jesus' words as follows: "Take and eat this, it means my body" ... Drink of it, all of you; this means my blood, the new covenant-blood, shed for many, to win the remission of their sins.” With these words, Jesus began the commemoration, which was separate or distinct from the Passover meal.
Bread and wine were symbols or emblems. After Jesus "blessed" the emblems, they were not changed into His own flesh and blood, because Jesus (literally) was still there. He had not disappeared to appear in the form of bread and wine. After blessing the cup, He called its contents "the fruit of the vine" and not the blood itself (Matthew 26:29). Because Jesus drank from the cup, did He drink His own blood? Even if the wine had become real blood, its drinking would have been forbidden by the Bible (Deut. 12:16; Acts 15:20).
If there is an effective transubstantiation, from wine to blood, then why is the liturgy referred to as a "bloodless sacrifice"? In addition, if this sacrifice is bloodless, then how can it remove sin? The apostle Paul assures us that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22, Dy).
There is no evidence that the emblems were changed by the liturgical ritual. The symbols used have the same taste, color, smell, weight and size. Bread also looks like bread, it tastes like bread, it smells like bread and when it is touched it is like bread. But in the minds of some religious, it is the flesh of God. Wine looks like wine, it tastes like wine, it smells like wine and if someone drinks enough, they will get drunk.
The Council of Trent announced that this belief in transubstantiation is essential to salvation, and pronounced anathema on all who would deny it. The council instructed the priests to explain that the elements of the liturgy contained not only flesh, bones, and nerves as part of Christ, "but also a WHOLE CHRIST." The Catholic Encyclopedia says: „The dogma of the totality of the Real Presence means that in each element the whole CHRIST is truly present, flesh and blood, body and soul, Divinity and Humanity".
By offering the loaf of bread, which becomes "Christ," it is believed that the priest sacrifices Jesus Christ. The Council of Trent cast a curse on anyone who believed otherwise: "If anyone says that in the liturgy no true and proper sacrifice is offered to God ... let him be anathema." In the religious conception, this "sacrifice" is a renewal of the sacrifice on the cross: "Christ ... Commanded that His blood sacrifice on the cross be renewed daily by a bloodless sacrifice of the Body and Blood in the liturgy with the simple elements of bread and wine." Because the elements are changed in Christ, He "is present in our churches not only in a spiritual way, but also in a real way, truly and substantially as a victim of a sacrifice." Although the ritual has been performed millions of times, it is tried to explain that it is the same sacrifice as that of Golgotha, because the victim, in each case, is Jesus Christ.
The idea that Jesus Christ is to be offered as a sacrifice repeatedly by a religious priest as a "renewal" of the sacrifice on the cross is unscriptural. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is now the High Priest. Is Jesus Christ the King subordinate to the priests so that they can sacrifice Him whenever they want to do so? Of course not! In addition, as High Priest, He is not subordinate to any priest on earth. Otherwise, how is the High Priest?
The idea that Jesus Christ must be repeatedly offered as a sacrifice is against the Bible's truth about redemption. Indeed, the ancient sacrifices had to be offered continually, because none of them corresponded to divine justice and could not redeem mankind from sin. Animals are inferior to man, so they did not conform to divine law and justice. God's law required another perfect human life for the perfect human life (lost by Adam in Eden). (Deut. 19:21)
Although religious doctrine holds that Christ's sacrifice on the cross should be "renewed daily," like the animal sacrifices brought in Israel, this teaching has no biblical basis. The apostle Paul even contradicts this claim when he says of Jesus that” he died once (so there is no need for renewal) to take away sin. ”- Romans 6: 9, 10, Douay. Just as the high priest of Israel entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of the sacrifices for sin, so Jesus Christ appeared in heaven before God with the value of His sacrifice — Hebrews 9:24. The fact that today religious priests cannot appear before God to present their sacrifice is further proof that Jesus Christ did not establish the "sacrifice of the liturgy."
The only sacrifice of Jesus Christ has enough value to be applied at any time for the sins of mankind. Jesus was not to be sacrificed often. „And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment: So also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation." (Heb. 9:25-28). In view of this, those who believe that the sacrifice on the cross should be continually renewed in the liturgy in a certain sense, they crucify the Son of God again and mock him (Heb.6:6).
When Jesus instituted the commemoration, it was night. It wasn't during breakfast or lunch. The early Christians attended the Memorial at night, following the example of Christ, at the appointed time, after sunset, when the ancient Israelites slaughtered the Passover lamb. After apostolic times, the commemoration was held at the morning meeting. It is a common custom in both Catholic and Protestant churches to have the Lord's Supper in the morning. One factor that may have encouraged the early morning liturgy was the idea that the person should fast before receiving communion. It is obvious that early in the morning was the right time to meet this requirement more easily! But this requirement of fasting has no solid foundation in Scripture, for Jesus had just eaten before instituting a memorial supper!
In addition, there is a stark contrast between how Jesus celebrated this supper and how it is celebrated today. A well-known religious work summarizes the mechanical service performed by the priest during the liturgy: „He makes the sign of the cross sixteen times; turn the cross over to the assembly six times; he look up at the sky eleven times; he kiss the altar eight times; he joins his hands four times; he strikes his chest ten times; he bows his head twenty-one times; kneel eight times; he bends his shoulders seven times; bless the altar with the sign of the cross thirty times; he puts his hands outstretched on the altar twenty-nine times; he prays in his mind eleven times; he prays aloud thirteen times; he takes the bread and wine and transforms them into the body and blood of Christ; he covers and uncovers the glass ten times; he goes back and forth twenty times." In addition to this complicated ritual is the use of very colorful clothes by priests, candles, church bells, incense, music and a striking pomp. What a contrast to the simple memorial supper instituted by Christ!