A History of the Breaking of Bread in the Roman Rite
The four biblical versions of the institution narrative give a simple description of the ritual observed by Jesus, who, while at table took a loaf, praised or blessed or gave thanks, broke the loaf, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take! Eat! This is my body”. In this description, breaking is the only preparatory act between blessing and distribution. By contrast, the eighth-century Ordo romanus I has a more involved series of preparatory and communion rites, of which breaking the loaves is prominent. These rites were even more complicated in the Missale romanum of 1570, but only a single wafer-host would be broken, unseen by anyone other than the priest and at a different point in the sequence of elements. Four hundred years later in the newly reformed Missale romanum the fraction is in yet a different place, but it is again conspicuous. Clearly these rites in the Roman liturgy have undergone much movement or upheaval, even if so slowly as to go unnoticed. The historical data show that a new sort of fraction came into existence, prompted by confusion and misunder-standing, while the original practice slowly vanished due to other forces. Any adequate history of the celebration of the eucharist in the Roman rite must acknowledge this structural upheaval, and be able to explain it.
- Barry Craig
- 17 x 24 cm
- Studia Anselmiana
- 48,00 EURO