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A Catholic-Pentecostal Perspective of the Eucharist

Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Obl. OSB.


Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

The Eucharist as Offering of Firstfruits


A Catholic-Pentecostal Perspective
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, MA., Obl. OSB.

Minneapolis, MN: Bikkurim-Xylem, 2017

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Forward

This manuscript is the result of a three year research project (2015-2017) for the Ecumenical

Studies group of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS), which is an international community

of scholars working within the Pentecostal and Charismatic Traditions which was established in

1970.

The subject of the manuscript grew out of conversations with fellow members of the

Institute for Biblical and Theological Studies at North Central University, which included Glen

Menzies, Ph.D., Buzz Brookman, Ph.D., John Davenport, Ph.D., Phil Mayo Ph.D., and Allen

Tennison Ph.D. However, it was through a friendship and conversation with Christopher A.

Stephenson, Ph.D. from Lee University, who has been the leader of the Ecumenical Studies

interest group of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, who has shown his graciousness,

understanding, and guidance in allowing the project to move forward.

I also want to thank those who assisted me with the manuscript over the years, especially

Victoria Pyron Tankersley and Diane Shirk. Both Victoria and Diane were helpful to me with

their comments, editing, and encouragement.

Introduction

This work is on the Eucharist as the Offering of Firstfruits. In light of both the 500th year

commemoration of the Protestant Reformation in 1517, and the subsequent Catholic Reformation

begun in the 16th century and which continued through the Second Vatican Council and

continues today, this manuscript is a contribution to an understanding of the present ecumenical

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

situation. The work will also coincide with the 100th year anniversary of the reported apparition,

prophetic message, and miracle at Fatima. It is also the 50th year anniversary of the Catholic

Charismatic Renewal that began among a group of college students from Duquesne University

and La Roche College who were on retreat at The Ark and The Dove Retreat House outside of

Pittsburgh. This renewal also had influence on other students attending the University of Notre

Dame, Michigan State, and Franciscan University in Steubenville.

One of the difficulties for Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and other Christians is

how to understand the Eucharist as sacrifice, offering, and oblation. A return to ancient Jewish

and Christian sources has uncovered the category of the offering of firstfruits. This is found in a

lesser degree among Second Temple Judaism and to a greater degree in early Christian literature

beginning with the New Testament itself. This has brought renewed interest in understanding

the Eucharist not only in the context of the Feast of Passover, but also in light of the Feast of

Pentecost and the offering of firstfruits, and within the context of the Zebach td that is, the

sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. This has strong implications for a theological, liturgical,

spiritual, and practical awakening in understanding the Eucharist as Sacrifice. In the Eucharist,

the Church offers the firsfruits of creation, Christ, and also herself to the Father in the Holy

Spirit. Each member is called to actively participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice through which

they themselves become a Holy and Living sacrifice for the life of the world. This has

implications for a renewed Eucharistic spirituality and worship, the New Evangelization, and

new works of mercy. The work is the result of having been able to live, study, work and teach in

an Evangelical-Protestant-Pentecostal urban academic environment for over thirty years, while

also being a faithful Catholic and an Oblate of Saint Johns Abbey.

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CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: THE EUCHARIST AS THE OFFERING OF FIRSTFRUITS

The first chapter returns to ancient Jewish and Christian sources to uncover the
category of the offering of firstfruits. The offering is found in a lesser degree
among Intertestamental Judaism, in such texts as the Book of Jubilees and among
the Qumran scrolls. It is found in a greater degree in early Christian writers such
as Irenaeus of Lyon and John Damascene, and even the New Testament itself.
This has brought renewed interest in understanding the Eucharist not only in the
context of Passover, but also in light of Pentecost and the offering of firstfruits.
TOPICS: Introduction, Focus and Limitations, The Feast of Pentecost and
Firstfruits in the Old Testament, The Feast of Pentecost and Firstfruits in the
Intertestamental Period, Book of Jubilees, Damascus Document, Rule of the
Community, The Feast of Pentecost and Firstfruits in the New Testament, The
Baptist and Jesus within the Context of Second Temple Judaism, Jesus and the
Second Temple, Jesus and the Eucharist, Views of Jeremias, Kuhn, Nodet and
Taylor, Summary and Integration, Penultimate Conclusion.

CHAPTER TWO: THE EUCHARIST, FIRSTFRUITS, AND THE ZEBACH TD

In this chapter, we investigate the Epistle to the Hebrews and its relationship to
the Eucharist, and the offering of firstfruits. One of the main problems is how to
reconcile Hebrew's repeated emphasis that Jesus offered himself "once" (7:27:
9:12, 26, 28; 10:10), with the notion that the Eucharist is an offering and sacrifice.
Hebrews gives evidence that Jesus is the firstfruits of the new humanity, who has
ascended on high, and who holds the priesthood permanently through whom the
church offers the Zebach td, the offering of praise and thanksgiving, which
finds its enduring significance through mercy and charity.
TOPICS: Introduction, Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews and the Eucharist,
Offering of Christ, Jesus as One Time Sacrifice, Jesus as the First Fruits of the
New Creation, Conclusion on the Offering of Christ, Offering of the Community,
Offering of Self, We Have an Altar, We Have an Altar for Offering, Assertion
We Have an Altar, First Exhortation: Let Us Go Out, The Eucharist and the
Zebach Td, Second Exhortation: Offer a Sacrifice of Praise, What is the
Nature of the Sacrifice of Praise?, Offering of the Sacrifice of Praise, Spiritual
Offering of Praise, Liturgical Offering of Praise, Conclusion on the Offering of
Praise, Firstfruits of Eucharistic Prayer, The Eucharist and Works of Mercy as

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Sacrifice of Praise, Sacrifice of Praise as Charity, Sacrifice of Praise as Worship,


Worship and Marriage, Conclusion.

CHAPTER THREE: THE EUCHARISTIC SACRIFICE AND THE OFFERING

OF FIRSTFRUITS

We will look at the term sacrifice, which is controversial and is often


misunderstood today. Its use in the Eucharist appears in Early Christian
Literature, but the Eucharistic controversies of the 16th century moved the term to
center stage in the debates between Protestants and Catholics. Following the
Second Vatican Council, academic research, and a shared experience among
Christians, there is a renewed appreciation for the sacrificial dimension in the
Eucharist in which the Church, through the Holy Spirit, offers the firstfruits of
creation, Christ, and herself to the Father and with one another.1
TOPICS: Introduction, Liturgy of the Roman, Rite, The Liturgy, The Origin and
History of the Roman Rite, The Liturgical Renewal and the Roman Rite, The
Second Vatican Council, The Second Vatican Council and the Reform of the
Roman Rite, The Order of the Roman Rite, Preparation of the Gifts/Offertory,
Procession of the Offerings in the West, Procession of the Offerings in the East,
Decline of the Offertory in the West, Significance of the Preparation of the Gifts,
Significance of the High Priesthood of Christ, The Liturgy of the Word,
Importance of the Art of Listening, The Liturgy of the Eucharist, Suscipe sancta
Pater, Accept Holy father, Benedictus es, Domine, Blessed are you, Orate,
fratres, Pray brethren, CONLUSION.

APPENDIX: THE EUCHARIST AS SACRIFICE, PERSONAL TESTIMONY, & ON

THE 500TH YEAR COMMEMORATION OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION

1517

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In the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we offer the firstfruits, Christ, and ourselves to the Father, a true,
proper, and living sacrifice who enables us to be living witnesses to offer justice, judgment, mercy,
peace, and hospitality to others. This sacrifice is the work of the entire Trinity in which the Body of
Christ has active participation.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

CHAPTER ONE

THE EUCHARIST AS OFFERING OF FIRSTFRUITS:

A CATHOLIC-PENTECOSTAL PERSPECTIVE2

Introduction
One of the difficulties for Pentecostals is to understand the Eucharist as a sacrifice, offering,

oblation. A return to ancient Jewish and Christian sources has uncovered the category of the

offering of firstfruits. This is found in a lesser degree among Intertestamental Judaism, in such

texts as the Book of Jubilees and among the Qumran scrolls, and it is found in a greater degree in

early Christian writers such as Irenaeus of Lyon and John Damascene, and even the New

Testament itself. This has brought renewed interest in understanding the Eucharist in light of

Pentecost and the offering of firstfruits.

Gregory Dix had already pointed out that for Irenaeus the Eucharist is an oblation offered

to God, and that in a particular sense the sacrificial character of the Eucharist is a sacrifice of

firstfruits (Against Heresies 4.17.5; 4.18.4-5).3 However, Cyprian in the next century (ca. 250),

describes the Eucharist as a sacrifice of the Lords passion, which Cyprian says is the sacrifice

2
Presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies to the Ecumenical
Studies Group by Lawrence Francis Ligocki.
3
Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (2nd ed.; London: Continuum, 2003 [1945]), 114.
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of the Lord, which is offered during the Eucharist in remembrance of what the Lord had done

(Cyprian, Letter 63.17.1; see also 63:14.4).4

This latter view is problematic for Pentecostals, though the Catechism of the Catholic

Church teaches that the Eucharist is, among other things, the sacramental offering of the

unique sacrifice of Christ (CCC 1362).5

This theological paper will analyze the offering of firstfruits, the offering of Christ, and

the offering of the Church in a way that I hope will bring renewed life within the Church,

promote understanding and unity among Christians, and promote renewed interest in the

Eucharist, Pentecost, and a new evangelization.

Focus and Limitation of This Paper


The ecumenical document Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM),6 which was published in

1982, has become the "most widely distributed and studied text in the history of the ecumenical

movement" (BEM vii), which has been discussed in various documents that discuss growing

consensus in ecumenical conversations, both in the United States,7 and on an international level.8

4
Cyprian of Carthage, On the Church: Select Letters (ed. John Behr; trans. Allen Brent; Popular
Patristics Series, Number 33; Crestwood, NY: St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 2006), 185.
5
Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed.; Washington, DC: United States
Catholic Conference, 2000), 343.
6
World Council of Churches, Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper no. 111;
Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1982).
7
See Growing Consensus: Church Dialogues in the United States, 1062-1991 (Vol. V, Ecumenical
Documents; ed. J. A. Burgess and J. Gros; New York: Paulist Press, 1995), 216; and also Growing
Consensus II: Church Dialogues in the United States, 1992-2004 (ed. L Veliko and J. Gros; USCCB, 2005),
487-495. February 1, 2009. *
8
See Growth in Agreement II: Reports and Agreed Statements of Ecumenical Conversations on a World Level,
1982-1998 (ed. J. Gros et. al.; Geneva: WCC, 2000), 833, 852-854. See comments on Catholic
Churchs positive response to large sections of BEM, which also points to areas that need
development; also includes short comment on Pope John Paul II and other Roman Catholic leaders
who have underlined the importance of BEM in the movement to visible unity (853).
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According to the document, the Eucharist is "essentially one complete act" (BEM 10).

However, the Eucharist is described under the following aspects: A) thanksgiving to the Father;

B) anamnesis or Memorial of Christ; C) invocation of the Spirit; D) communion of the faithful;

and E) meal of the kingdom.

Walter Kasper also discusses and reflects on various aspects of the Eucharist, though

within a slightly different framework. For Kasper the various aspects of the Eucharist are as

follows: 1) the testimony of Jesus; 2) the memorial (anamnesis); 3) thanksgiving and sacrifice; 4)

the epiclesis (invocation of the Holy Spirit); 5) communio; and 6) the eschatological sign.9

After setting forth these aspects, Kasper concludes that the Eucharist is a synthesis of the

Christian mystery of salvation, from which it is not possible to understand the Eucharist based on

only one of its manifold aspects.10

Within Kaspers framework, the category of the offering of firstfruits will fit into the

third aspect. Kasper himself will make reference to Irenaeus, who speaks of the offering or gifts

of bread and wine, but Kasper does not explicitly call these gifts firstfruits.11

I will attempt to focus on the third aspect, specifically the offering of firstfruits. And so

the papers focus is limited. My intent is not to deny any of the other aspects of the Eucharist. In

what follows, in anything that I speak that is true, I attribute to those who have taught me well,

and in anything that I might misspeak, I attribute to myself.

9
Walter Cardinal Kasper, Sacrament of Unity: The Eucharist and the Church (trans. B. McNeil; New
York: Crossroad Publishing Company: 2004), 84-113. The original German was published as
Sakrament der Einheit. Eucharistie und Kirche (Herder Verlag: Freiburg, Basle, and Vienna, 2004).
10
Kasper, Sacrament of Unity, 113.
11
Kasper, Sacrament of Unity, 98. For a helpful discussion on the Eucharist as offering, gift, and
sacrifice among the early church, see Joseph A. Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and
Development (Vol.1; trans. F. A. Brunner; Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2012 [1951]), 22-28.
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The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and Firstfruits in the Old Testament12


In this section I will discuss the context of the Old Testament. My intent is to lay a firm

foundation for understanding the feast from the Hebrew Scriptures in order to later build upon it

material from the Intertestamental Period and the New Testament.

The Feast of Pentecost is the second greatest feast of the year in the Hebrew Calendar.

During the feast there was an offering of firstfruits. Although the Feast of Pentecost is primarily

the name that I will use for the feast, its name has changed in various degrees in the Hebrew

Scriptures. In Exodus, it is called the Feast of Weeks ( , ba), the firstfruits (


,

bikkrm) of the grain harvest ( , qr) (34:22).13 In Deuteronomy 16:9-10, the feast is

referred to as the Feast of Weeks, where the text also gives an explanation for its name and even

fixes an exact date: the feast was celebrated seven weeks after the cutting of the standing grain

( , qm)that is, seven weeks after the mat () .


In Numbers 28:26, it is called both

the Feast of Weeks and the day of the firstfruits (


, bikkrm). According to Roland de Vaux,

this was the real feast for the first-fruits of the harvest.14 The most elaborate portrayal of the

feast is found in Leviticus 23:15-22, where in the LXX it is associated with fifty days,

(Lev 23:16), thus a move towards calling it Pentecost. It is spoken of as

(feast of Pentecost) in Tobit 2:1, and simply (Pentecost) in 2

Macc 12:32.

12
In what follows, I follow Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel (vol.2; New York: McGraw-Hill,
1961), 493-495. *
13
, qr, may also be translated branches or boughs, and even used to describe the branches
of a vine (Ps 80:7-11); see Jack P. Lewis, 2062 , Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (ed. R.
L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., and B. K. Waltke; Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 810.
14
De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2.493.
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After Israel entered the promised land and reaped its harvest, the people were instructed

; r t) to the priest, who would raise, and


to bring the sheaf (; mer) of the firstfruits (

perhaps wave ( ;np), the sheaf before the Lord (Lev 23:9-11), along with making other

offerings (vv 12-13). Then, beginning on the day after the Sabbath, on the day in which the

sheaf ( ; mer) of the grain harvest were lifted up and offer to the Lord (23:15),15 seven weeks

were counted which ended on the day after the seventh Sabbath, bringing us to the fiftieth day (v

16). These are the fifty days from the beginning of the barley harvest (eve of 16th of Nisan) 16 to

the end of the wheat harvest17 (month of Sivan). On the final day there was an offering of two

loaves made with new flour, which were baked with leaven, which, according to De Vaux, is

the only instance in which the use of yeast is ritually prescribed for an offering to Yahweh.18

This was an offering of two loaves of bread of the firstfruits (


;bikkrm: Lev 23:17, 21).

According to Roland de Vaux, this offering of leavened bread during the Feast of Pentecost is

associated with the eating of unleavened provisions during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when

unleavened bread was eaten at the beginning of the barley harvest as a sign of new beginnings,

and later leavened bread was offered at the end and fulfillment of the wheat harvest.19 The

Rabbis referred to the Feast of Pentecost as the Atzeret (solemn assembly) of the Passover and

15
See Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 23-27 (vol. 3B, The Anchor Bible: New York: Double Day, 2001),
1982: this is the first barley offering. See also Jacob Milgrom, A Continental Commentary: Leviticus: a
Book of Ritual and Ethics (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2004), 277. * Ruth and Naomi arrived in
Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22), and Ruth gathered until the end of
both the barley and wheat harvests (2:23).
16
See J. Van Goudoever, Biblical Calenders (Leiden: Brill, 1959), 239; * see also The Oxford
Handbook of Judaism and Economics (ed. A. Levine; New York: Oxford University, 2010), 188-189; *
see also Colin J. Humphreys, The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstruction the Final Days of Jesus
(Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2011), 69. * Van Goudover points out the parallel in the Gospel
of John 6:1-14 where Jesus feeds the five thousand during the Feast of Passover (five barley loaves
and two fishes) with the harvesting of the first sheaf of barley on the eve of the 16th of Nisan; Jesus
feeds the five thousand at the beginning of harvest time (239).
17
See Milgrom, Leviticus 23-27, 1990: this is the time of the first wheat offering.
18
De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2.493-494.
19
De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2.294.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

thus stressing the connection between the two festivals, one marking the beginning, the other

the climax of the grain harvest.20

The Feast of Pentecost was initially a farmer's feast, and the practice of offering the

firstfruits of the harvest to a deity was not uncommon. The date of the feast was based on the

weather and crop conditions, though the date of the Feast of Pentecost was later fixed in

connection with the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover. The offering of the firstfruits took

place on the Sunday after the "octave of the Passover," "on the 15th of the third month."21 The

feast eventually included various sacrifices and offerings, which also included one male goat as a

sin offering in order to make atonement (Num 28:30; Lev 23:19).22

In Exodus and Deuteronomy, the Feast of Pentecost was given a minimal composition

compared with the other great feasts. In Ezekiel, Pentecost is all together missing, where in the

prophets vision of the restored temple, the Feast of Pentecost appears to have no place in temple

worship (Ezk 45:21-25).23 However, this changes during the intertestamental period.

20
Bernard J. Bamberger, Commentary on Leviticus, The Torah: A Modern Commentary (ed. W.G.
Plaut; New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations: 1981), 924.
21
De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2.494, 492.
22
Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker
Book House, 1988), 1579: A sin offering of one male goat was presented at each of the sacred
holidays: the New Moon (Nm 28:15), each day of Passover (vv 2224), the Festival of Weeks (v 30),
and of Trumpets (29:5), the Day of Atonement (v 11), and each day of the Feast of Tabernacles (vv
16, 19).
23
According to Walther Zimmerli, Ezekiel, changes the calendar of the major feasts by a
reduction to the two great annual festivals...levels out these two festivals from the point of view of
the offerings demanded in the requirements and...by prefacing the sin offering of a bull gives to both
feasts a strong character of atonement. See Walther Zimmerli, Frank Moore Cross, and Klaus
Baltzer, Ezekiel: a Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Hermeneiaa Critical and Historical
Commentary on the Bible; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), 485486. *
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The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and Firstfruits in the Intertestamental


Period24
In this section I will investigate four texts from the Intertestamental Period that will lay a

foundation for understanding the Eucharist within the category of offering of firstfruits. All four

texts predate the 1st century CE and fit well between the section above on the feast in the Old

Testament and what will follow later on the New Testament. First I will discuss the Book of

Jubilees, then the Damascus Document, and finally the Rule of the Community and the Rule of

the Congregation. I will attempt to look at each of these text within their own context, after

which I then will summarize and make some general conclusions.

Book of Jubilees
In the Book of Jubilees, which is dated to the second century BCE, the Feast of Pentecost is on

stage and up front. Jubilees is called the Little Genesis, for it is a rewriting of Genesis 1

Exodus 14. The book was likely written in Palestine. The earliest texts of Jubilees have been

found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Feast of Firstfruits is understood as the feast of Oaths,

the time of the renewal of the covenant.25 The feast always occurs on the same date every year.

The offering of the firstfruits took place on the Sunday after the "octave of the Passover," "on the

15th of the third month."26 Noah is pictured as having celebrated the feast of the covenant on this

day with his sons (Jub. 6:18).27 The feast was originally celebrated in heaven from the first day

24
Here I am following Justin Taylor, Where Did Christianity Come From? (Collegeville: Liturgical
Press, 2001).
25
This connection is not made in the Pentateuch, unless one considers the concept of
atonement (Num 28:30; Lev 23:19) as opening the door to covenantal renewal (see Jub. 6:2, 14; CD
4.9).
26
De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2.494, 492. There is no reference to the seven weeks, nor is there any
explicit link with Passover.
27
James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament:
Expansions of the Old Testament and Legends, Wisdom, and Philosophical Literature, Prayers,
Psalms and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works (vol. 2; New Haven; London: Yale
University Press, 1985), 67. *
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

of creation (6.18).28 After the flood, Noahs deliverance is associated with the renewal: a new

world will emerge following the chaos and disappearance of the old world; Noah and his sons

are the new humanity saved from the deluge and celebrate the feast in order to renew the

covenant (6.17-18, 21).29 It was forgotten for a time, and then restored during the time of the

patriarchs.30 When the LORD enters into covenant with Abraham, he renews the feast (14:20-

21; see Gen 15). Isaac and Jacob also kept the feast (Jub. 6:19). Abram celebrated the firstfruits

of the harvest grain (15:1), and offered up a new sacrifice, the firstfruits of food, along with other

offerings, after which the LORD appeared to Abram and again entered into covenant with him

(15:1-5; see Gen 17). In the year that he died, Abraham observed the Feast of Pentecost with

both Isaac and Ishmael, which is also called the feast of the firstfruits of the harvest (Jub. 22:1-

2). Jacob will later celebrate the feast at Beer-sheba (44:1-4). The feast was again forgotten by

the Israelites. Then it was renewed through Moses, who was instructed to observe Pentecost in a

way that the covenant could be renewed every year (6:20-22; see Ex 34:22). The sacrifice that

was offered by Moses at Mount Sinai (24:1-11) took place on the fifteenth day of the third

month.31

This connection between the feast and covenantal renewal is not explicit in the

Pentateuch, but an early indication of this association may be found in the reform and renewal

during King Asa, who gathered Israel in the third month (2 Chr 15:10-15). According to the

Targum of Chronicles 15:11, this covenant took place in the Festival of Shabout, .32

28
In the beginning (
;r t), when God created heaven and earth, the first spoken into
existence is light ( ;r). In a sense, light is the first-fruit of the created world.
29
See Taylor, Christianity, 146.
30
Taylor, Christianity, 146.
31
Taylor, Christianity, 146.
32
Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon. Targum Chronicles. Hebrew Union College, 2005.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Regardless of the influence of 2 Chr 15:10-15, Jubilees clearly makes the connection between

the feast and the covenant and associates it with the promise of the new covenant (1.15-18),

which is found in the prophets (Ezek 36:22-32; Jer 31:31-34; Deut 30:6-10). Jubilees even

mentions "the holy Spirit" (Jub. 1:21, 23) in place of "the new spirit" of Ezekiel.33

Here is one final note. The Book of Jubilees does not associate the Feast of Pentecost

with the concept of atonement as in Num 28:30 and Lev 23:19. It does describe Noah sacrificing

a goat to make atonement for the land on the day he went out of the arkthat is, on the first day

of the third month (Jub. 6:1-2).

Damascus Document
The Damascus Document (CD), also known as the Zadokite Fragments, has been dated to the

early half of the first century BCE.34 The document was first discovered in Cairo Genizah,

where two medieval manuscripts were found (A from the tenth century and B from the twelfth

century); they were then published in 1910 by Solomon Schechter under the title Fragments of a

Zadokite Work; eight manuscripts were later found in Qumran Cave 4that contain substantial

parallels with Genizah documents and major additions, which include the beginning and ending

of the text.35 According to George Nickelsburg, the document is an exposition of the laws of the

33
Taylor, Christianity, 146: Taylor sees this as the "sign of belonging to the community and
Covenant" through forsaking sin and conforming to God's precepts.
34
Lawrence H. Schiffman, Zadokite Fragments (Damascus Document), ed. David Noel
Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1037: The text of the
Zadokite Fragments has to have reached approximately its present form (discounting medieval
expansions and scribal errors) by the date of the earliest manuscripts, ca. 7550 B.C.E. (Milik 1959:
38). See also Philip R. Davies, The Damascus Covenant: An Interpretation of the Damascus Document
(vol. 25; Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series; Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press, 1982), 203.
35
Joseph M. Baumgarten, Damascus Document, Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (vol. 1; ed.
L. H. Schiffman and J. C. VanderKam; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 166-167.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

community with a long admonitory introduction.36 Although the document does not explicitly

refer to the Feast of Pentecost and the offering of firstfruits, the reference is found in fragments

from Qumran, such as 4Q270: [Concerning the two] loaves of the sacred offering, it is for all the

houses of Israel which eat the bread [of the land to] raise ( )once a year.37

The Damascus Document clearly presents the community as a renewal of the covenant.

Although not explicit, the covenant was first kept by Noah. Afterwards Noahs sons and their

families strayed and were cut off (CD 3:1).38 Then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob became friends

and members of the covenant forever, though the sons of Jacob strayed (3:2-4). But to those

who remained faithful in the commandments, God raised up ( )his covenant with Israel

forever to reveal to them the hidden things with which all Israel had wandered (3:12-14). God

remembered the covenant with the forefathers ( )and raised up ( )individuals from

Aaron and Israel who left the land of Judah and lived in the land of Damascus (6:2-5). Those

who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus ) ) carefully

observed, among other things, to offer/raise up ()39 holy offerings ()40 according to

exact interpretation, to love one another, to help the poor and the needy, and to seek peace (6:19-

21). Those who enter the new covenant are linked with the covenant of Abraham (12:11), and

36
George W. E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature Between the Bible and the Mishnah: a Literary
and Historical Introduction (2nd ed.; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005), 123.
37
4Q270 f3ii:19-20: Florentino Garca Martnez and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea
Scrolls Study Edition (translations) (Leiden; New York: Brill, 19971998), 611. 4Q270 frag. 3 col.
II;* 4Q266 frag. 6 col. III; * 4Q267 frag 6.*
38
Florentino Garca Martnez and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition
(translations) (Leiden; New York: Brill, 19971998), 555.
39
The Hiphil...serves as a technical term for presenting an offering, particularly the heave
offering. Andrew Bowling, 2133 , ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K.
Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 838.
40
can refer to a number of holy things, among which is the bread of God ( )
which is from the holy of holies ()
as well as from the holy ()
(Lev 21:22)
the holy things which are for offerings (Num 18:8), and the firstfruits of the land (18:13, 9-10).
15
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

in essence are returning to the Law of Moses with all their heart, mind, and soul (15:8-10). God

established the covenant with the forefathers () 41 in order to atone ( )for sins (4.9).

Rule of the Community


A copy of the Rule of the Community (1QS), also known as the Manual of Discipline, was

among the earliest manuscripts that were discovered, photographed, and published from Cave 1

at Qumran.42 Ten manuscripts were found later in Cave 4 (4QS255-264 or 1Qa-j), and two

discovered in Cave 5 (5Q11 and 5Q12). The date of 1QS (in its present form) is from the first

century (100-75) BCE, and its origin goes back to the second century, for 4QS255 has been

dated to the middle of the second century BCE.43 The scroll of 1QS is a composite document,

whose history and development is complex.44

The community understood and expressed itself as the ( yad), which means unity,

alone, togetherness.45 The term appears sixty-three times in the scroll.46 Although some

scholars have suggested that it is possible to understand the community in light of ancient

Hellenistic communities and associations,47 it is better to understand the whole community after

41
Literally, first, former, beginning, can also mean first of the barley harvest (2 Sam 21:9) (BDB
911).
42
James C. VanderKam, Sinai Revisited, in Biblical Interpretation at Qumran (ed. Matthias Henze;
Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William
B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), 44.*
43
Michael A. Knibb, Rule of the Community, Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (vol. 2; ed. L.
H. Schiffman and J. C. VanderKam; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 796.
44
The Rule of the Community has been the object of intense study regarding its literary
development and textual developments and redactions: see Jerome Murphy-OConnor, La gense
littraire de la Rgle de la Communaut, Revue biblique 76 (1969): 528549; J. Pouilly, La Rgle de la
communaut de Qumran: son volution littraire, Cahiers de la Revue biblique 17 (Paris: 1976);
Sarianna Metso, The Textual Development of the Qumran Community Rule (vol. 21, Studies on the Texts of
the Desert of Judah; New York: Brill, 1997);* and Knibb, Rule of the Community, 2:795-796.
45
BDB 403.1.
46
VanderKam, Sinai Revisited, 45.
47
See Moshe Weinfeld, The Organizational Pattern and Penal Code of the Qumran Sect: Comparison with
Guilds and Religious Associations of the Hellenistic-Roman Period (vol. 2; Novum Testamentum et Orbis
16
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

the likeness of Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-20 and 24),48 where the community of Israel

responds as one ( ; ydw) to the promise of the covenant (19:5-8a). In the Rule of the

Community, those who joined the community separated themselves into the wilderness in order

to study and live perfectly the Law of Moses and the prophets (1QS 8:13-16). The community

saw itself as a holy temple ( : 8:5),49 and the holy of holies for Aaron ( : 8:6), to

offer a pleasing odor (8:9), and to atone ( )for the land and to announce judgment against the

ungodly (8:10). The community participated in the yearly renewal of the covenant (2:18-19;

5:20-24). Although there are two proposals for the date of the covenantal renewal (Day of

Atonement or the Feast of Pentecost),50 it is more certain that the renewal took place on the day

that the covenant was initiated shortly after Israel had arrived at Mount Sinai in the third month

(Ex 19:1, 10-11, 15). The earliest literature that attests to this association is the Book of Jubilees

as we seen above. In Jubilees all the covenants from Genesis to Exodus took place in the middle

of the third month, which turns out to be the fifteenth of that month.51 Two calendar documents

Antiquus; Fribourg: ditions Universitaires; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1986); see also
Matthias Klinghardt, The Manual of Discipline in the Light of Statutes of Hellenistic Associations,
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 722.1 (1994): 251-267.
48
VanderKam, Sinai Revisited, 48.
49
A number of passages speak of the sect itself as a holy house () , clearly a
metaphorical designation for the temple. See Lawrence H. Schiffman, Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies
in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism (Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature;
Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 87.
50
Lawrence H. Schiffman, Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of
Judaism (Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK:
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 87.
51
VanderKam, Sinai Revisited, 49-50: VanderKam continues, the precise date for the festival
was a disputed matter during and after the Second Temple period, but the writer of Jubilees seems to
have arrived at 3/15 as the correct time for the holiday through exegesis of the way the date in
Exodus 19:1 is worded. That verse, as we have seen, places the Israelites arrival in the Sinai
wilderness in the third month, with the covenant following a few days after. The verse does not,
however, specify a date in the month when they entered the region of Sinai; rather, it says on that
very day. The natural question to ask is: Which day? The expression on that very day is pointless
in a context where no definite date has been mentioned. In order to deal with this difficulty, the
writer of Jubilees employed an exegetical device that would later be called gematria, that is, adding up
17
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

from Cave 4 from Qumran also associate the Feast of Pentecost with the third month on the

fifteenth day (4Q320 f4iii.1-5 and 4Q321 f2ii.4-5).52 Those who enter the new covenant are

linked with the covenant of Abraham, and, in essence, are returning to the Law of Moses with all

their heart, mind, and soul.

The community participated in a communal meal that included the blessing of the first

fruits of bread and the new wine. They ate, blest, and took counsel as a community.

In every place where there are ten men of the Community council, there should not be
missing amongst them a priest. And every one shall sit according to his rank before him,
and in this way shall they be asked for their counsel in every matter. And when they
prepare the table to dine or the new wine for drinking, the priest shall stretch out his hand
as the first to bless the first fruits of the bread (< ) or the new wine for
drinking, the priest shall stretch out his hand as the first to bless the first fruits of the
bread ( > ) and the new wine () ( 1QS 6:2-6).53

The description of the community has parallels with other sources outside of Qumran,

such as Josephus54 and Philo, 55 which both describe the Essenes.56 For example, Josephus

states,

the numerical value of the letters in a word in order to derive added meaning from it. In this case the
problematic word so treated is the one translated that in the expression on that very day. The
letters of the word ( )add up to 12 ( = 7, = 5), so the author of Jubilees read the phrase to mean
that the Israelites reached the Sinai wilderness in the third month on the twelfth day. Then Moses is
told to prepare the people for an appearance by God on the third day (Exod. 19:1011, 15). The
author of Jubilees took those three days to be 3/1315, with the covenant being made on the last of
them.
52
James C. VanderKam, Shavuot, in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (vol. 2; ed. L. H.
Schiffman and J. C. VanderKam; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 871872: 4Q320
corresponds with the twenty-four priestly services in 1 Chr 24:7-19. Jeshua and the Feast of Weeks
(4Q320 f4iii.5) correlate with the fifteenth day of the third month.
53
Florentino, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 83.
54
See Josephus, Jewish Wars 119-161 (esp. 129-131).*
55
See Philo, Every Good Man is Free 75-91 (esp. 86 and 91).*
56
For the identification of the Qumran community with the Essenes and other hypotheses, see
James C. VanderKam, The Dead Sea Scrolls Today (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1994), 71-
98.*
18
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

After...purification, they assemble in a private apartment which none of the uninitiated is


permitted to enter; pure now themselves, they repair to the refectory, as to some sacred
shrine ( ). When they have taken their seats in silence (
), the baker serves out the loaves to them in order, and the cook sets before each
one plate with a single course. Before [the meal: ] the priest says a grace, and
none may partake until after the prayer. When breakfast is ended, he pronounces a further
grace; thus at the beginning and at the close they do homage to God as the bountiful giver
of life (Jewish Wars 2.129-131).57

Despite the above similarities, the account of Josephus of the Essenes lacks explicit reference to

the firstfruits of bread and the new wine. Nonetheless, there is another important document, the

Rule of the Congregation, which sheds more light on the communal meal of Qumran.

The Rule of the Congregation (1QSa = 1Q28a), which is also known as the Messianic

Rule, is dated from 100-75 BCE.58 It contains a description of the eschatological community,

which will experience the coming of the messiah and the messianic banquet.59 Once again, as in

1QS, the firstfruits of bread and the new wine appear. According to the Rule of the

Congregation,

[when] they gather [at the tab]le of community [or to drink the n]ew wine, and the table
of the community is prepared [and the] new wine [is mixed] for drinking, [no-one should
stretch out] his hand to the first-fruit ( )of the bread and of [the new wine] before
the priest, for [he is the one who bl]esses the first-fruit ( )of bread and of the new
win[e and stretches out] his hand towards the bread before them. Afterwar[ds,] the
Messiah of Israel [shall str]etch out his hands towards the bread. [And afterwards, they
shall ble]ss all the congregation of the community, each [one according to] his dignity.
And in accordance with this precept one shall act at each me[al, when] at least ten me[n
are gat]hered (1Q28a ii.17-21).60

What was the significance of these community meals? There are at least two proposals.

Lawrence H. Schiffman argues that the common meal was eschatological in nature, which

57
Josephus, The Jewish War: Books 17 (ed. Jeffrey Henderson et al.; trans. H. St. J. Thackeray;
vol. 1; Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA; London; New York: Harvard University Press;
William Heinemann Ltd; G. P. Putnams Sons, 19271928), 373.
58
Michael A. Knibb, Rule of the Congregation, Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (vol. 2; ed. L.
H. Schiffman and J. C. VanderKam; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 797.
59
Schiffman, Qumran and Jerusalem, 156.*
60
Florentino, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 103.
19
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

required the purity of food and drink (and members), but the meal had no real sacred

significance, nor was it understood as a replacement for the Jewish Temple rituals.61 Other

scholars, such as Hartmut Stegemann,62 Moshe Weinfeld,63 Mathias Delcor,64 and Karl Georg

Kuhn65 have argued that there is a deeper sacred or religious significance of the common meal. 66

Kuhn argues at one point that neither of the two Qumran passages seen above (1QS 6:2-6; 1Q28a

ii.17-21) would provide us with any information about the religious significance that the

community attributed to the common meal.67 However, in order to explain the religious meaning

of the meal, Kuhn points to a unique element in the Jewish text Joseph and Aseneth, which refers

to a special meal that includes eating the blessed bread of life, drinking from the blessed cup

of immortality, and anointing with the blessed ointment of incorruptibility (Jos. Asen. 8.5;

15:5, 11; 16:6).68 As others have pointed out, there is the problem concerning how to understand

61
Lawrence H. Schiffman and Chaim Potok, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism,
the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran (New Haven; London: Yale University Press,
1994), 335-337.
62
Hartmut Stegemann, The Library of Qumran (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1998 [Ger.
1993]), 45, 190-191: The common meals in the assembly hall were always preceded by a prayer
service. It is primarily of for this reason that the entire course of the assembly was regarded as an
act of worship requiring ritual purity (45); The order of seating at these meals strictly followed the
internal hierarchy established annually at the covenant renewal ceremony (191).
63
Moshe Weinfeld, The Organizational Pattern and Penal Code of the Qumran Sect: Comparison with
Guilds and Religious Associations of the Hellenistic-Roman Period (vol. 2; Novum Testamentum et Orbis
Antiquus; Fribourg: ditions Universitaires) Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1986.
64
Mathias Delcor, Repas cultuels, essniens et thrapeutes, thiases et aburoth, Revue de
Qumran 6 (1968): 401425.
65
Karl Georg Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, in The Scrolls and
the New Testament (ed. K. Stendahl; New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1992 [1957]), 65-93.
66
See Jodi Magness, The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Studies in the Dead Sea
Scrolls and Related Literature; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 2002), 114.
67
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 74.
68
James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament: Expansions of the
Old Testament and Legends, Wisdom, and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and Odes, Fragments of
Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works (vol. 2; New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1985), 212, 226, 229.
See Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 74-76.
20
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

this triad meal formula in Joseph and Aseneth: is this a cultic meal, an ordinary meal, or is it

symbolic, or even a metaphor?69

Be that as it may, it is better to try to understand the two passages from Qumran on their

own within the context of priestly terminology and the broader context of the Jewish Temple.

This approach was already begun by Kuhn himself, who commented that the Qumran

community,

separated from the Temple....discontinued the sacrificial cult, but continued to lead their
lives in accordance with priestly purity. They continued daily baths and sacral meals.
Removed from the Temple, these practices were given a deeper religious
significance....In place of the sacrificial cultus of the Temple, which was no longer
possible for them by reason of their distance from it, the baths, and apparently also the
communal meal, took on a new meaning, mediating salvation from God.70

, reshit (1QS 6:5) is the technical term in the


Kuhn also had pointed out that the term

sacrificial terminology of the Old Testament, and that the community retained this sacrificial

terminology for the cult meal, and that this is another indication that the cult meal is originally

derived from the priestly meal in the Jerusalem Temple.71 There is in fact a priestly context for

the use of the term


in a number of Old Testament texts, which are associated with the gifts

of firstfruits that are brought to the priests (Lev 2:11-16; Num 18:12-13) or simply into the

Temple (Ex 23:19; 34:26; Deut 26:2).72

Conclusions on the Qumran Community


I wish to put this within the context of Second Temple Judaism. A number of scholars have

shown that among some Jews there was opposition to the Jewish Temple, its practices, and its
69
See C. Burchard, Joseph and Aseneth, OTP 2.211-212 n. i; see also Randall D. Chesnutt,
Joseph and Aseneth. The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (vol. 3; ed. D. N. Freedman; New York:
Doubleday, 1992), 971.
70
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 68.
71
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 260 (nos. 22, 15), and 68.
72
See BDB 912.1. *
21
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

officials in the years surrounding the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 CE. This is found

in several Jewish sources, such as Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, the Targum of Jonathan,

Rabbinic literature, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.73 Within the context of this paper, I will look

briefly at the Qumran Community and its view of the Temple. According to N. T. Wright, the

temple was the focal point of every aspect of Jewish national life, and was in principle the

heart of Judaism.74 E. P. Sanders has argued, I think that it is almost impossible to make too

much of the Temple in first-century Jewish Palestine, and that modern people fail to appreciate

the significance of the Temple.75 Even Simeon the Righteous is to have said that there are three

things on which the world stands: on the Torah, on the Temple service, and on deeds of

loving kindness (m. Abot. 1:2).

How did the Qumran Community understand themselves in relation to the Temple? They

literally separated themselves from Jerusalem and the Temple, going into the wilderness in order

to study and practice the law and the prophets (1QS 8:13-15). The community understood

themselves as a kind of temple (8:5), where they offered up spiritual sacrifices, made atonement,

and announced judgment (8:6-10; CD 6:19-21), offered up first-fruits during the Feast of

Pentecost, when renewing the covenant (1QS 2:18-19; 5:20-24; 4Q320 f4iii.1-5 and 4Q321

f2ii.4-5; CD 15:8-10), and participated in a pure and sacred meal of the blessed firstfruits of

bread and wine under the ministry of a priest on a more regular basis (1QS 6:2-6). They looked

forward to a coming eschatological meal of the blessed firstfruits of bread and wine with the

73
Craig A. Evans, Opposition to the Temple: Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jesus and the Dead
Sea Scrolls (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1992), 235-250;* E. P. Sanders, Jesus and
Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), 61-90; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Rethinking the
Historical Jesus: Volume Three (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2001), 498-501;* N. T.
Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (London: Society for Promotion Christian
Knowledge, 1992), 224-226.*
74
Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, 224, 226.
75
E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (London: Penguin, 1993), 262.
22
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

coming Messiah of Israel, who was subordinate to the priestly order (1Q28a ii.17-21). The

community also looked to the future restoration of an eschatological temple (11Q19 xxix: 7-12;

see also 4Q174),76 where there would be, among other sacrifices, the offering of the firstfruits of

bread and new wine on the day after the seventh Sabbath following Passoverthat is, on the

Feast of Pentecost (11Q19 xix:1-16). In other words, they saw themselves as the community

that already, but not yet fully, realized the covenant of a priestly people that was promised to

Moses in the Torah (CD 15:8-10; Exodus 19-20, 24). But, the community envisioned all this

outside the existing Temple in Jerusalem and its official priesthood.

The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and Firstfruits in the New Testament

John the Baptist and Jesus within the Context of Second Temple Judaism
John the Baptist and Jesus have been called the eschatological prophets, the eschatological odd-

couple, or simply two unique individuals, each in his own way, with a prophetic mission within

the context of Second Temple Judaism. John was a fiery eschatological prophet announcing the

imminent judgment upon Israel (Mt 3:7-12; Lk 3:7-9). He was the only son from a priestly line,

which allowed him, and in a sense required him, to become a priest in the Jerusalem Temple like

his father Zechariah. However, it seems that he turned his back on that priesthood and the

Temple, ending up in the wilderness, where eventually he proclaimed repentance and offered a

one-time baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Mk 1:4; Mt 3:1-3; Lk 3:3; Jn 1:26), calling them to

bear fruit worthy of repentance, (Q: Mt 3:8; see also Lk

3:8).77 John said and executed all this outside of Jerusalem and its Temple,78 on which,

76
On the eschatological Temple, see Schiffman, Qumran and Jerusalem, 294-297.*
77
NA27.
78
See John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Rethinking the Historical Jesus: Volume Two, Mentor, Message, and
Miracles (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1994), 24.*
23
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

according to Josephus, Herod had engraved near the entrance of the Temple a golden vine with

branches full of clusters of grapes.79

According to John Meier, John the Baptist is the one person who had the greatest single

influence on the ministry of Jesus, and one of the most certain things that we know about Jesus

is that he himself willingly submitted to the baptism of John in the Jordon.80 By being baptized

by John, Jesus was accepting Johns unofficial, charismatic baptism and its importance for

the salvation and remission of sins,81 thus he agreed with the Baptist and his message on the

following points: 1) the end of Israel, as they were experiencing it, was fast approaching; 2)

Israel had gone astray, and that all of Israel was in danger of facing the fire of Gods judgment

and their destruction; 3) there was the possibility of mercythrough repentance and a change of

heart, submitting to the one-time baptism of John, looking to the one who baptized in the Holy

Spirit; and 4) that John the Baptist had been sent by God, and finally that the Baptist was a or

the eschatological prophet sent by God (Mk 9:11-13; Matt 17:11-13).82

When talking about John and Jesus, what is certain from the Gospels is that John's

message flows into that of Jesus. Jesus will carry on Johns eschatological message, but with

differences. By way of comparison, John is the desert ascetic and Jesus is the kingly banquet

host. John is strict and Jesus is joyful. Jesus is the Son of Man bringing the joy of the kingdom

79
Antiquities 15.395; Jewish Wars 5.210; see also Tacitus, Historiae 5.5.
80
John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Rethinking the Historical Jesus: Volume Two, Mentor,
Message, and Miracles (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1994), 7.
81
Meier, A Marginal Jew, 2.110.* On reasons why Jesus agreed to be baptized into a baptism for
the forgiveness of sins, see 111-116.
82
Meier, A Marginal Jew, 2.109-110.
24
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

to humanity (Q: Matt 11:16-19; Lk 7:31-35).83 Jesus will announce the coming judgment, like

John before him, but Jesus begins his ministry with healings, miracles, compassion and mercy.84

How significant was the theme of judgment in the message of Jesus? A number of

scholars have recently shown that Judgment was an important portion of Jesus proclamation.85

For example, Marius Reiser has shown that in Q there are sayings and parables that comprise

223 verses, according to Luke; in Mark there are 171 verses; in special material in Matthew are

95 verses; and in special Lukan material there are 132 verses.86

N. T. Wright has gathered information from the parables of Jesus on the theme of

judgment, summarizing several of them as follows:

The seed was growing in secret, and when it was ripe the sickle would be put in, because
the time of harvest had arrived. The weeds would be gathered by the angels at the close
of the present age, and bound and burned. The net would drag in fish of every kind,
which would then be separated. Those who refused the invitation would be like
murderers who killed the messengers sent to them with invitations to a wedding feast: the
king would send his troops and deal severely with them. At the banquet, those who
insisted on the best seats would be humiliated; those who refused the invitation would be
replaced with others; those who were not ready, or worthy, would be excluded. When the
king came to his people, those who failed to do his bidding would incur judgment. The
parable of the wicked tenants sums up this, as so much else: the present hierarchy had
decided to try to keep the vineyard for themselves, but it was now to be given to others.
Their rejection of Jesus meant that now they would not only not be the heirs, they would
not be tenants either. Those who rejected the heaven-sent messengers would find the
kingdom of god taken away from them and apportioned elsewhere.87

83
Meier, A Marginal Jew, 2.255.*
84
See Walter Kasper, Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life (trans. W. Madges;
New York: Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2014), 65-68.*
85
Scot McKnight, A New Vision for Israel: The Teachings of Jesus in National Context (Grand Rapids,
MI; Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999), 139-149;* N. T. Wright, Stories of the Kingdom (3):
Judgment and Vindication, Jesus and the Victory of God, 320-368; * Marius Reiser, Jesus and Judgment:
The Eschatological Proclamation in Its Jewish Context (trans. L. M. Maloney; Minneapolis: Fortress Press,
1997 [Ger. 1990]).
86
Marius Reiser, Jesus and Judgment: The Eschatological Proclamation in Its Jewish Context (trans. L. M.
Maloney; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997 [Ger. 1990]), 303.
87
N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God; London:
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1996), 328.
25
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

There are sayings of Jesus that continued Johns message on bearing good fruit, which

reinstated their importance and the consequences for those who failed to produce them (Matt

7:15-20; 12:33-37; see also Lk 6:43-45). According to the Gospels, Jesus calls Israel to peace

(Lk 19:42; Matt 26:52), mercy (Matt 5:17; 9:13; 12:7; 18:33; 23:23; Lk 6:36; 10:37), and

forgiveness (Mk 11:25; Matt 6:14-15; 18:35), but if Israel does not respond to the message, then

destruction will come upon her (Lk 19:43-33; Matt 23:21-36). As Jesus is described coming

near to Jerusalem, he weeps over it, saying,

If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But
now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your
enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side.
They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not
leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your
visitation. (Lk 19:41-44: NRSV).88

Jesus and the Second Temple89


What was Jesus view toward the Temple? It seems complex. On the one hand, there are

sayings in Matthew which show that Jesus had respect for the altar () and the

88
NA27 lacks NRSV from God.
89
See note 71 above; see also N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (London: Society for
Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1996), 432-438,*, 490-495,* 510-528;* Brant Pitre, Jesus, The
New Temple, and the New Priesthood, Letter & Spirit: Temple and Contemplation: Gods Presence in the
Cosmos, Church, and Human Heart (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Read Publishing, 2008), 47-83;* The
Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide (trans. J. Bowden; ed. G. Theissen and A. Merz: Minneapolis:
Fortress Press, 1998 [Ger. 1996]), 431-439;* Jacob Neusner, Money-Changers in the Temple: The
Mishnahs Explanation, NTS 35.2 (1989): 28790; Bruce Chilton, The Temple of Jesus: His Sacrificial
Program within a Cultural History of Sacrifice (University Park, Pennsylvania: 1992), 92- 154; A Feast of
Meanings: Eucharistic Theologies from Jesus through Johannine Circles (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1994);
Jostein dna, Jesus Symbolic Act in the Temple (Mark 11:15-17): The Replacement of the
Sacrificial Cult by His Atoning Death, Gemeinde ohne Tempel: Community without Temple
(Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 118; ed. B. Ego, A. Lange and P. Pilhofer;
Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1999), 461-476.*

26
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Temple as the place where God dwells (Matt 23:19-21). But on the other hand, Jesus is

understood as greater than the Temple (12:8). In one triplet tradition, Jesus action in the Temple

shows zeal, driving out those who were selling and buying in the Temple and overturning the

tables, instead calling for the Temple to be a house of prayer (Mk 11:17; Matt 21:13; Lk 19:46),

but in another he is to have predicted the Temples destruction (Mk 13:1-2; Matt 24:1-2; Lk

21:5-6). After arriving to Jerusalem, Jesus,

Entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were
buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of
those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the
temple. He was teaching and saying, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house
of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den of robbers (Mk 11:15-17).

This action in the Temple has been interpreted in a variety of waysfor example, a

symbol of coming destruction, symbol of coming restoration, and a forerunner of the coming

new institution. Dominic Crossan argued that the action in the Temple is a deliberate symbolic

attack. It destroys the Temple by stopping its fiscal, sacrificial, and liturgical operations....[This]

symbolic destruction simply actualized what he had already said in his teachings, affected in his

healings, and realized in his mission of open commensality.90 N. T. Wright holds the view that

Jesus action was a prophetic critique of the present Temple, and that the action symbolized its

imminent destruction.91 E. P. Sanders argued that Jesus action both symbolized destruction

and also looked toward restoration.92 According to Sanders, Jesus did not wish to purify the

temple, either of dishonest trading or of trading in contrast to pure worship. Nor was he

opposed to the temple sacrifices which God commanded to Israel. He intended, rather, to

indicate that the end was at hand and that the temple would be destroyed, so that the new and
90
Dominic Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 131, 133.
91
N. T. Wright, Jesus and The Victory of God, 417-418.
92
Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 69-71.
27
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

perfect temple might arise.93 Like Sanders, who tried to move beyond the theme of destruction,

a number of scholars have suggested the movement beyond destruction towards the

establishment of the new institution of the Eucharist.94

After looking at the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and Exodus 30:16, Jacob Neusner comes to the

realization that the money-changers performed a vital service for the daily whole-offering to be

offered up in the name of the Jewish community in the Jewish Temple. This has a remarkable

significance for understanding Jesus action in the Temple. When Jesus enters the Temple and

overturns the table of the money-changers, this action is a prelude to a later event in the life and

ministry of Jesus. Jesus overturns one table in order to establish another. The place of sacrifice

for the atonement of sins will no longer be centered on the Jewish Temple; rather, the place of

sacrifice will focus on the person of Jesus.95 According to Neusner,

It was to be the rite of the Eucharist: table for table, whole offering for whole offering.
It...seems to me that the correct context in which to read the overturning of the money-
changers tables is not the destruction of the Temple in general, but the institution of the
sacrifice of the [E]ucharist, in particular.96

This perspective has merit for it fits well within the context of the Gospel of Mark, which has the

Last Supper (14:22-25) surrounded on both sides with sayings on the Temples destruction

93
Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 75.
94
The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide (trans. J. Bowden; ed. G. Theissen and A. Merz:
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998 [Ger. 1996]), 431-439;* Jacob Neusner, Money-Changers in the
Temple: The Mishnahs Explanation, NTS 35.2 (1989): 28790; Bruce Chilton, The Temple of Jesus:
His Sacrificial Program within a Cultural History of Sacrifice (University Park, Pennsylvania: 1992), 92-
154; A Feast of Meanings: Eucharistic Theologies from Jesus through Johannine Circles (Leiden; New York:
Brill, 1994); Jostein dna, Jesus Symbolic Act in the Temple (Mark 11:15-17): The Replacement of
the Sacrificial Cult by His Atoning Death, Gemeinde ohne Tempel: Community without Temple
(Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 118; ed. B. Ego, A. Lange and P. Pilhofer;
Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1999), 461-476.*
95
Jacob Neusner, Money-Changers in the Temple: The Mishnahs Explanation, NTS 35.2
(1989): 287290.
96
Neusner, Money-Changers in the Temple, 290.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

(13:1-31; 14:56-62; 15:29-30), and enclosed further with events surrounding the Temple,

including Jesus action in the Temple (11:15-19), and the splitting of the Temple curtain from

top to bottom (15:38-39).

Jesus and the Eucharist97


Views of Jeremias, Kuhn, Nodet and Taylor
What was the nature of the Last Supper? As it turns out, the answer to this question is highly

problematic. Any serious student of the liturgy of the Eucharist would eventually discover that

analysis of its origins and development in just the early centuries of Christianity is complex.

This is especially true when determining the roots of the Eucharist in the Last Supper.98

It is generally held that there are at least two traditions of the Lords Supper: one of these

is seen in Mark and Matthew, and the other in Paul and Luke. Which of the two is closer to the

original is uncertain. On the one hand, some scholars prefer the Pauline account as more

primitive. 99 On the other hand, a number of scholars credit Mark as being closer to the

original.100

97
A number of scholars have argued that there is a historical foundation for the Last Supper: 1)
see Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, 263-264: we cannot completely reconcile the versions with
one another, but Jesus said, something about the cup, the bread, his body and his blood (263); 2)
see also Meier, A Marginal Jew, 2.302-309: Meier discusses the criteria of multiple attestations,
coherence, and discontinuity; it was part of the ministry of Jesus to have meals with his disciples and
even sinners, and that the meals had eschatological meaning and significance of the coming kingdom
and salvation of God (303); the saying in Mk 14:15 is discontinues from the early churchs
Christology, soteriology, and eschatology (305, 307); 3) finally, see Schillebeeckx, Jesus, 206-218.
98
See for example, Paul F. Bradshaw, Eucharistic Origins (vol. 80; Alcuin Club Collections;
London: SPCK, 2004); Reconstructing Early Christian Worship (London: SPCK, 2009), 3-52; see also The
Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide, 405-439.
99
Joseph Jungmann, The Mass: An Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Survey (trans. J. Fernandes;
Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1976), 5-6; Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament
(vol. 1; trans. K. Grobel; New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1951), 150; see also James Dunn, The
Theology of Paul the Apostle (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1998), 607-608.
100
Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus (trans. N. Perrin; Philadelphia: Fortress Press,
1966), 189-191; Rudolf Pesch, On The Gospel in JerusalemMark 14:12-26 as the Oldest
29
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

What was the historical background and nature of the Last Supper? There are a number

of suggestions: 1) this was a Kiddush meal, which included a blessing of the meal on the Sabbath

or on a feast day; 2) it was a chaburah or a religious fellowship meal among friends; 3) that it

was an Essene meal, which was a daily religious or sacred meal of the Essenes found in

Jerusalem and Qumran; and 4), it was a Passover meal. There appears to be no evidence that the

Sabbath-Kiddush meal actually existed during the time of Jesus, but appears only later during the

late Tannaitic or perhaps Amoraic period,101 and there is no evidence for the chaburah meal.102

Thus, the first two are rejected for lack of evidence.103 That leaves two possibilities, a Passover

meal and/or a community meal, such as that which is found among the scrolls from the Qumran

community.

According to Joachim Jeremias, the Passover is the historical background for the Last

Supper. Jeremias makes fourteen observations, which support this conclusion.104 However, not

everyone agrees with Jeremias. Karl G. Kuhn, who we discussed earlier, argues that the meal

that lies behind the Last Supper is a communal meal, which has a form that corresponds to the

cult meal of the Essenes.105 Kuhn finds the remnant of the original formula for the Last

Supper within Mk 14:22-24, portions of which he is certain are from a pre-Marcan cult

Tradition of the Early Church, The Gospel and the Gospels (ed. P. Stuhlmacher; Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans Publishing, 1991), 117-139; esp. 122-130; Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal
Meal at Qumran, 80.
101
Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 28.
102
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 264 n. 68; see also Jeremias,
The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 31.
103
However, Edward Schillebeeckx has shown similarities between Jesus fellowship meals found
throughout the Gospels with the Last Supper itself. See Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus (trans. H.
Hoskins; New York: Seabury Press, 1979), 206-218, 306-312.
104
Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 41-62.
105
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 85; see also John Zizioulas,
the Eucharistic Communion and the World (London: New York: T&T Clark, 2011), 2-6.*
30
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

formula and from a Palestinian origin.106 For Kuhn, the words while they were eating are an

editorial comment made by Mark, and the words of the covenant are impossible in any Semitic

language.107 Therefore, whether he is right or wrong in his analysis, Kuhn reduces the text of

Mark 14:22-24 in such a way that parallels the community meal at Qumran, which included the

priestly blessing upon the firstfruits of bread and the new wine.

tienne Nodet and Justin Taylor have also not followed Jeremias conclusion that the

Last Supper was in fact simply a Passover meal.108 They challenge nearly all of Jeremias

fourteen points.109 They agree that Passover provides the general context of the Last Supper

narrative (especially Luke 22:15-20),110 but they also provide several difficulties (which they call

objections) for the Passover as the setting of the Last Supper:111

1. The Gospels speak of bread and not unleavened bread that is associated with
Passover.
2. Early Christians frequently celebrated the Lords Supper and not simply once a year as
with the Passover.
3. The chief priests and scribes decided not to arrest Jesus during the feast of Passover (Mk
14:2).
4. Pilates custom to release a prisoner (Mk 15:6), can only be understood so that the one set
free may celebrate the feast (m. Pesa. 8:6).
5. Christ is called our paschal lamb who has been sacrificed (1 Cor 5:7), suggesting that
he was crucified at the time that the Passover lamb was sacrificed, which agrees with
John.

106
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 81, 80.
107
Kuhn, The Lords Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran, 80.
108
tienne Nodet and Justin Taylor, The Origins of Christianity: An Exploration (Collegeville,
Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1998). I will not follow their thesis entirely, which argues that
Christianity originated from among the Essenes.
109
Nodet and Taylor, The Origins of Christianity, 94-104
110
Nodet and Taylor, The Origins of Christianity, 104.
111
Nodet and Taylor, The Origins of Christianity, 105-109. The numbering (1-7) is my own. I have
gathered together several of their points. I have simplified and the information is by no means
exhaustive.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

6. Christ is also called the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20); the
first fruits were offered on the day following the Sabbath (Lev 23:11); this is the 16
Nisan, which coincides with the Sunday of the resurrection, thus making the 14 Nisan
(Friday) the day of crucifixion.
7. According to Johns Gospel, Jesus is sent to be crucified at the sixth hour of the day of
preparation (19:14-16), in which the Passover lambs were sacrificed.

Most significant is the role of the covenant in the Last Supper (Mk 14:24; Matt 26:28; Lk

22:20; 1 Cor 11:25). It is the Feast of Pentecost (not Passover) that is associated with the

covenant and with the firstfruits,112 which we have seen above when discussing Jubilees and the

Qumran Community. Rabbi Eleazar would later hint at the link between Pentecost and the

covenant (b. Pesa 68b).

So what was the nature of the Last Supper according to Nodet and Taylor? They argue

that the tradition behind the Last Supper is actually independent of the Passover, rather, it is a

sort of community meal, which involves bread and wine and that,

The central meaning which it [Last Supper] symbolizes is connected with Pentecost,
signifying both the renewal of the Covenant (Sinai) and an anticipation of the Kingdom
(first-fruits).113

Summary and Integration


The account of the Last Supper is within the context of the Passover, according to the Synoptic

Gospels. The elements of bread and the cup/wine take on a new meaning within the broader

context of the Feast of Pentecost, at least in the mind of scholars who see the parallels.

However, I find it almost impossible to think that the context of the Passover was not in the mind

of Jesus during the Last Supper, and for that matter, also those who were present with Jesus and

112
Nodet and Taylor, The Origins of Christianity, 112-113.
113
Nodet and Taylor, The Origins of Christianity, 119-120.
32
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

in the minds of the authors of the Synoptic Gospel. But there are still difficulties in

understanding this account based simply on sola pesach. The supper has meaning beyond that

confine. The Last Supper needs to be understood in light of Pentecost, not simply Passover.

Analyzing and comparing the Last Supper alongside our understanding of the Feast of Pentecost

found in the Old Testament and in Jubilees and Qumran is helpful. There are similarities, but

there are differences. The same could be said if we compare the account with the community

meal of firstfruits found at Qumran. It needs to compared not only with the community meal

found at Qumran, that included the blessing of the firstfruits of bread and the new wine, but also

with the offering of firstfruits.

Here, I present a likely sketch. If we follow Johns chronology, we arrive at the

following. On Thursday the 13th of Nisan, Jesus offers his Last Supper. On Friday he is

crucified on the day of preparation of the Passover lambs on the 14th of Nisan. This agrees with

Paul who calls Christ our paschal lamb (1 Cor 5:7). On the Sabbath Jesus rests from his

labors. On Sunday, the day after the Sabbath (16th of Nisan), Jesus is raised like the first fruits of

the barely harvest (mer). This would again agree with Paul who calls Christ the firstfruits of

those raised from the death (15:20). Yet, this was only the beginning of Pentecost, whose climax

game fifty days later with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which was itself the firstfruits of the

eschatological future.

If we follow Markan priority for the Last Supper, Jesus takes bread, blesses it, breaks it,

and gives it to his disciples, giving a new meaning to bread by saying the words this is my

body (Mk 14:22), and to the cup with the words, this is my blood of the covenant, which is

poured out () for the sake of many, but saying this only after he had taken the cup,

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

given thanks, given it to them, and they all had drunk from it (vv 23-24). 114 All this is better

understood not only in the light of the death of Jesus and the Passover, but also in light of Easter

and Pentecost.

Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink
it new in the kingdom of God (Mk 14:25; see also Lk 22:18).115

This saying of Jesus shows that the Last Supper is to be understood not only in face of his

coming death, but also his future eschatological hope. The Last Supper and the crucifixion are

to be understood in the Eucharist as the offering of Jesus, who is the firstfruits of the

resurrection. The Last Supper and crucifixion also prefigure the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on

the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13), where the disciples are said to be filled with new wine.

This parallels Paul, who describes those who are partakers of Christ as having the first fruits of

the Spirit (Rom 8:23). Finally, but really initially, Jesus had already offered himself through

baptism (Mk 1:9-11; Matt 3:13-17; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 1:29-32), and would be the one who baptizes

in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8; Q: Matt 3:11 and Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33).

The oblation of Jesus seen in his baptism, ministry, Last Supper, and the cross leads to a

fuller realization through the resurrection, ascension, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which

all took place outside the actual liturgy of the Jerusalem Temple. This offering seemed destined

to take on new meaning especially after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Thus, the

saying of Jesus on making a proper offering at the altar () could naturally be

understood by the Matthean community as referring to the Eucharist (Matt 23:19), especially

after the Temples destruction. Furthermore, the Matthean community could have also

114
Sections of Mark are my translation based on NA27.
115
For arguments in favor of the authenticity of this saying within the context of the Last
Supper, see Meier, A Marginal Jew, 2.303-305.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

understood the saying of Jesus in Matt 5:23-24 about forgiving and being reconciled with brother

or sister before going to offer () the gift at the altar (), within the context of

prayer and the Eucharist. This certainly is the case in Early Christian Literature, for example in

the Didache, which says,

On the Lords own day gather together and break bread and give thanks, having first
confessed your sins so that your sacrifice () may be pure. But let no one who has a
quarrel with a companion join you until they have been reconciled, so that your sacrifice
may not be defiled (Did. 14.1-2).116

According to the Didascalia Apostolorum,

When approaching the Eucharist there needs to be reconciliation and peace. "As our
Savior said, 'If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother
keeps anger against you; leave your gift before the altar, and go, first be reconciled to
your brother and then come offer your gift.' But the gift of God is our prayer and our
Eucharist. If it be then that you have some grudge against your brother, or he against
you, your prayer is not heard, nor your Eucharist accepted, but you are found void of
prayer and of the Eucharist, because of the anger that you keep (Did. Apost. 11.43a).117

Cyril of Jerusalem also applies this text from Matthew for preparation of the Eucharist through

reconciliation and the holy kiss saying that,

It was this that Christ had in view when He said: If, when you are bringing your gift to
the altar, you suddenly remember that your brother has a grievance against you, leave
your offering by the altar; first go and make your peace with your brother, and then come
back and offer your gift (Cat. Lect. 23.3).118

But, where is the evidence that the Eucharist was understood as the offering of firstfruits?

It came after the resurrection. It is found in the understanding that the Eucharist is an offering.

116
Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated
ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 266-267.
117
Didascalia Apostolorum in Syriac (trans. Margaret D. Gibson; London: Cambridge University,
1903), 63.* Edited by LFL.
118
Leo McCauley, Foreword to Catecheses 1318, in The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (ed.
Bernard M. Peebles; trans. Leo P. McCauley and Anthony A. Stephenson; vol. 64; The Fathers of
the Church; Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1970), 193.*
35
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

As we have seen above, this was the case in the Didache (14.1-2), which also points to the

Eucharist as fulfilling the words of Malachi:

This is the sacrifice concerning which the Lord said, In every place and time
offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is
marvelous among the nations (Did. 14.3).119

This association of the Eucharist with words from Malachi is also found among Justin Martyr, in

his Dialogue with Trypho,

By making reference to the sacrifices which we Gentiles offer to Him everywhere, the
Eucharistic Bread and the Eucharistic Chalice, He predicted that we should glorify His
name.(Dial. 41).120

It is Irenaeus of Lyon who not only associates the Eucharist with Malachi, but also with the

offering of firstfruits:

He directed his disciples to offer God the first fruits of his creation, not as if God needed
them but so they themselves would not be unfruitful or ungrateful. He took the bread,
which is created, and gave thanks, saying, This is my Body. Likewise for the cup,
which is part of the creation to which we belong, and he revealed it to be his Blood, and
he taught that it was the new offering of the new covenant. It is this very same offering
which the Church has received from the apostles and which throughout the world it offers
to God who feeds us with the first fruits of his gifts in the new covenant (Haer. 4.17.5).121

Irenaeus here uses the term firstftuits twice. The first time refers to the firstruits of

creation, which by context is bread and wine. The second time the term firstfruits takes

on a new meaning: the firstfruits of the gifts of the new covenant.

John of Damascus also uses the term firstfruits when referring to the Eucharist. But, he

makes a distinction between the offertory bread and the consecrated bread for which he says,

119
Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers, 67. Words are from Mal 1:11, 14.
120
Thomas B. Falls with Justin Martyr, The First Apology, The Second Apology, Dialogue with Trypho,
Exhortation to the Greeks, Discourse to the Greeks, The Monarchy or The Rule of God (vol. 6; The Fathers of
the Church; Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1948), 210.
121
Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.17.5 (Worship in the Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources;
ed. L. J. Johnson; vol. 1; Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2009), 77-78.
36
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

This bread is the first-fruits of the bread to come, which is the supersubstantial bread. For
supersubstantial either means that which is to come, that is, the bread of the world to
come, or it means that which is taken for the sustenance of our substance (De. Fide. Orth.
4.13).122

Thus, for John the offertory bread is not called the firstfruits, rather it is after the consecration

that the Eucharist becomes the firstfruits of an eschatological reality.

Penultimate Conclusion
The offering of Jesus is a complex reality. In the Lukan tradition, in a sense it even begins with

Mary who offers humanity the firstfruits of her womb (Lk 1:35, 38, 42). The offering of Jesus is

seen when he offered himself through baptism with sinful Israel, through the Father who offered

the firstfruits of the Spirit to the Son at his baptism, through Jesus life of ministry, through the

bread and wine of the Last Supper, through the cross and resurrection when he offered back to

the Father a new creation and new humanitywhich is more fully realized through the

ascensionand through the giving of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost. Like Israel in the wilderness

who responded to the covenant, or the Qumran community who renewed the covenant with

bread and wine outside the Jewish Temple, so the early believers in Jesus entered into covenant

renewal with the Father through the firstfruits of creation, through the risen Jesus and the Spirit,

and who were themselves a kind of firstfruits offered to the Father through baptism, the

Eucharist, and a life in the Spirit. In the Eucharist they offered to the Father the firstfruits of

creation, themselves, and the firstfruits of the Resurrection.

I finish with two prayers over the offerings found in the 2011 Roman Missal.

Sanctify by invocation of your name, we pray, O Lord our god, this oblation of our

service, and by it make of us an eternal offering to you. Through Christ our Lord.

122
John Damascene, Writings (ed. H. Dressler; trans. F. H. Chase Jr.; vol. 37; The Fathers of the
Church; Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1958), 360. John also
associated the Eucharist with words of Malachi.
37
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

(Prayer over the Offerings on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity)

Accept, O Lord, the offerings we have brought to honor the revealing of your beloved

Son, so that the oblation of your faithful may be transformed in the sacrifice of him who willed

in his compassion to wash away the sins of the world. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

(Prayer over the Offerings on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord)

38
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

CHAPTER TWO

THE EUCHARIST AS OFFERING OF FIRSTFRUITS AND THE ZEBACH


TD 123

A CATHOLIC-PENTECOSTAL PERSPECTIVE

Introduction

This paper will investigate the Epistle to the Hebrews and its relationship to both the

Eucharist, and the offering of firstfruits.124 One of the main problems for some Pentecostals and

even some Catholics is how to reconcile the repeated emphasis in the Epistle to the Hebrews that

Jesus offered himself "once" (7:27: 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10) with the notion that the Eucharist is an

offering. In contrast to scholars such as Ronald Williamson, who claim there is no connection

between Hebrews and the Eucharist, I want to suggest that there is a relationship between the

Eucharist and Hebrews. In Hebrews, there is evidence that the author explains Jesus as the

firstfruits of the new humanity, who has ascended on high and who holds the priesthood

permanently through whom the church offers the Zebach td (


) , the offering of praise

and prayer of thanksgiving, which finds its enduring significance through charity.

123
Presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies to the
Ecumenical Studies Group by Lawrence Francis Ligocki.
124
This paper is a continuation of previous work on the Eucharist as the offering of firstfruits.
39
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

This paper is divided into three parts: 1) the offering of Christ; 2) the offering of the

community; and 3) the offering of the Zebach Td. The first will establish the one-time

sacrifice of Christ; the second and third will support the argument that the Eucharist is the

offering of firstfruits. The paper begins with a short discussion on Hebrews and the Eucharist,

then proceeds through the body of material, during which I will discuss Hebrews within the

context of literature from Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity.

Epistle to the Hebrews


The Epistle to the Hebrews is both fascinating and mystifying. Its author writes in a

unique style that is highly literate with comprehension of the Greek language, rhetoric, and

Jewish thought. It has been called the most elegant and sophisticated, of early Christian texts,

yet also the most enigmatic.125 The work is well constructed with a parallel structure that

centers on Christs high priesthood and the theme of sacrifice (Heb 4:14-10:39).126 The book's

authorship is uncertain; its view of Jewish worship at first appears negative; and its relationship

to the Early Christian Eucharist is debated. What is certain is the works high regard for the

supremacy of Christ, the one-time sacrifice of Christ, the use of cultic language, the comparison

of Christs priesthood with Melchizedek, and the works undeniable criticism of the cultic

worship associated with the wilderness Tabernacle. Although the book is critical of this worship

and its priesthood, the Second Jewish Temple is not mentioned. It is also unclear whether the

Jewish Temple is still standing when the book was written.127 The book is difficult to date

precisely, but is safe to say it was written sometime between 60 to 90 CE.128

125
Harold W. Attridge and Helmut Koester, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle
to the Hebrews (Hermeneiaa Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Philadelphia:
Fortress Press, 1989), xxviii, 1.
126
Raymond Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Doubleday, 1997), 690.*
127
This raises the question of the date of the book in relation with the destruction of the Jewish
Temple in 70 CE. Was it written before, during, or after? The destruction of the temple is not
40
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Hebrews and the Eucharist


Since this study is on the Eucharist as the offering of firstfruits, let us look at the

relationship between the Epistle and the Eucharist. Hebrews does not mention the Eucharist by

name. This has not prevented some scholars from arguing that the Eucharist is an important

background for the Epistle. In the 19th century, John Mason Neale held the view that the Epistle

to the Hebrews drew upon the primitive Liturgy of Saint James, which he considered the early

Eucharistic prayer associated with both James and the city of Jerusalem.129 If Neale was correct,

then Hebrews could be understood within the context of the Eucharist. John Edward Field later

maintained that there are numerous illusions to the Eucharist in the Epistle to the Hebrews130

following to a certain degree the view of Neale stated abovethat is, that important passages in

Hebrews were derived from this primitive liturgy.131 However such dependence is difficult to

accept today. Scholars such as Gregory Dix132 and Louis Bouyer133 have argued that the Liturgy

of Saint James, as we now have it, is from the 5th century. Furthermore, Edward Yarnold has

pointed out that, we do not possess a text of the Jerusalem liturgy of the fourth century, that the

Liturgy of Saint James has come down to us in a later form, and that this liturgy as we have it

has been developed from Cyril of Jerusalems Mystagogical Catechesis, which is dated to the 4th

mentioned, which leads some scholars to conclude that the epistle was written before. However,
this is not conclusive, and some scholars would date the epistle after 70 CE. It is a though issue to
decide.
128
Brown, Introduction to the New Testament, 696.
129
John Mason Neale, Essays on Liturgiology and Church HistoryWith an Appendix (2nd ed; London:
Saunders, Otley, and Co., 1867 [1863]). See pages 419-421. *
130
John Edward Field, The Apostolic Liturgy and the Epistle to the Hebrews (London: Rivingtons,
1882).
131
Field, The Apostolic Liturgy and the Epistle to the Hebrews, vi-vii: Field states, I accept [Neales]
main position, that certain important passages occurring both in the Liturgy of S. James and in the
Epistles of S. Paul [here Field attributes both 1 Corinthians, Colossians and Hebrews to Paul] are
taken by the Apostle from the Liturgy and not by the Liturgy from the Apostle; and I have
attempted to strengthen the proof of this theory.
132
Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (2nd ed.; New York: Continuum, 2003 [1945]), 176.*
133
Louis Bouyer, Eucharist (trans. C. U. Quinn; Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press,
1968 [French: 1966]), 268-280 (esp. 277).
41
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

century.134 The point is that the earliest texts associated with the Liturgy of Saint James and its

Eucharistic prayers are dated centuries after Hebrews, meaning these texts could not have

influenced Hebrews.

In the last fifty years, scholarship has again investigated the relationship between the

Epistle and the Eucharist. On the one hand, Ronald Williamson claimed that there is no

association between Hebrews and the Eucharist,135 and more recently Craig Koester thinks it is

best not to assume illusions to the Lords Supper in the Epistle.136 On the other hand, James

Swetnam has argued that the Eucharist is the central point of the Epistle and that there are

plausible grounds for seeing Eucharistic allusions in Heb 9:20 and 13:7.137 While some of

Swetmams earlier work138 was questioned by Williamson, as mentioned above, more recently

Paul Williams has lent support to Swetnams work.139 Arthur Just has also built on the work of

Swetnem, arguing that the Epistle was written within a liturgical context for Christians who

celebrated the Eucharist on a regular basis.140 Albert Vanhoye also understands the Epistle as

134
Edward J. Yarnold, The Liturgy of the Faithful in the Fourth and Early Fifth Centuries, in
The Study of Liturgy (rev. ed.; eds. C. Jones et. al.; New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 239-
240.
135
Ronald Williamson, The Eucharist and the Epistle to the Hebrews, NTS 21.2 (1975): 300-
312. For a criticism of R. Williamson, see Hahn, Appendix: Jesus Death as Liturgical Sacrifice in
Hebrews, in Kinship by Covenant, 330-331. *
136
Craig R. Koester, Hebrews (vol. 36; The Anchor Bible; Doubleday: New York, 2001), 128.*
137
James Swetnam, Christology and the Eucharist in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Biblica 70.1
(1989): 74-95 (esp. 93-94): Swetnam argues that the Eucharist is not made more specific possibly
because of the writers pastoral concerns or possibly the author is following the discipline of the
secret.
138
James Swetnam, The Greater and More Perfect Tent: A Contribution to the Discussion of
Hebrews 9:11, Biblica 42 (1966): 91-106; On the imagery and Signficance of Hebrews 9:9-10,
CBQ 28 (1966): 155-157.
139
Paul Williams, The Eucharist in the Epistle to the Hebrews, LTR 12 (1999-2000): 95-103.
140
Arthur A. Just, Entering Holiness: Christology and Eucharist in Hebrews, CTQ 69:1 (2005):
75-95: Just states, This essay will show how the Christology of Hebrews suggests a eucharistic
reading of this Epistle; that is, to understand the high-priestly Christology of Hebrews is to affirm
that the hearers believed that this Christology was enfleshed at the altar (76). I thank Dr. Phil
Mayo who first shared this article with me.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

being preached by the author during Eucharistic celebrations and that the Epistle is inviting the

community to come near to and into contact with God in the Eucharist.141 Swetnem himself has

continued his work dealing specifically with a liturgical approach to Hebrews 13.142

A slightly different approach than the above scholars is taken by Barnabas Lindars, who

argues that Hebrews has influenced Christian liturgical text throughout history, including the

Liturgy of Saint James, the early Roman Liturgy, and the more modern hymn writers, such as

William Brights Once, only once, and once for all, which applied Hebrews theology to

Eucharistic worship in 1866.143

We will now look at the Epistle of Hebrews and its authors presentation of the one-time

sacrifice of Christ and the continual sacrifice or offering of the community. This will lay the

141
Albert Vanhoye, Structure and Message of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Rome: Pontificio Istituto
Biblico, 1989). This is a publication of two previously published books by Albert Vanhoye, Le
message de l'ptre aux Hbreux (Paris 1977) and A structured Translation of the Epistle to the Hebrews
(Rome, 1964).
See also Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, Let us Receive Christ Our High Priest, Preached February
10-16, 2008 for the Spiritual Exercises with Pope Benedict XVI. Trans. J. Wallace. While commenting
on Heb 10:19-25, Vanhoye states, As we have already seen, the High Priest could only enter once a
year into the Most Holy part of the Temple, and only for the purpose of observing a whole series of
minutely prescribed rites. Now, instead, we are all invited to come near to God, to enter into
intimate contact with him. We have good reasons for thinking that the author made this exhortation
during a Eucharistic celebration, perhaps even during several Eucharistic celebrations because, as I
have already said, he was a travelling apostle; we see that at the end. It seems to me very probable to
me that he composed this magnificent homily in order to preach it in Christian assemblies that
involved the celebration of the Eucharist. This phrase corresponds perfectly to the Eucharistic
dynamism in every way. The author speaks here of the blood of Christ, the flesh of Christ, (just like
in Jesus discourse on the bread of life) and the person of Christ the Priest. He says that these three
realities are now available to us. Where are they available? They are available in the Eucharistic
celebration (78-79).
142
James Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, Letter & Spirit: The Authority of
Mystery: The Word of God and the People of God (vol. 2; ed. S Hahn; Steubenville: Emmaus Road Press,
2006), 159-173. * See also James Swetnam, Zebach td [ ] in Tradition: A Study of Sacrifice
of Praise in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, Filologia Neotestamentaria 15 (2002): 65-86. *
143
Barnabas Lindars, The Theology of the Letter to the Hebrews (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991), 141-142. * & % $
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Christological foundation found in Hebrews for the communitys worship that is expressed in the

Eucharist.

I. Offering of Christ
Jesus as One Time Sacrifice
In the Epistle, offering appears twenty-nine times in chapters 5, 7-13. Hebrews

compares and contrasts the worship that took place in the Tabernacle with the worship that takes

place in the New Covenant. On the one hand, in the Tabernacle both priests and high priests

offer gifts and sacrifices for the sins of themselves and the people (Heb 5:1, 3; 7:27, 8:3-5; 9:7,

9; 10:1, 2; 11). On the other hand, in the New Covenant Jesus offers the gift of himself through

his life, death, and ascension. In the days of his flesh, he offered (: ) up

prayers and supplications" (5:7). Jesus offered (: ) himself up, doing this only

once, (7:27). He offered (: ) himself to God through the

eternal Spirit (9:14), and has no need to offer () himself again and again (9:25). And

when Jesus offered (: ) once for all time, he sat down at the right hand of

God (10:12). After having been offered () once to bear the sins of many, he will

appear a second time (9:28). Through the offering () of the body of Christ once for

all, the people of the New Covenant have been sanctified according to Gods will (10:10), for by

a single offering () he has perfected for all times those who are sanctified (10:14).

According to Hebrews Jesus suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify () the

people by his blood (Heb 3:12), a term that carries with it the meaning not only to sanctify in a

moral sense but in a cultic sense too.144 Through his death and through the blood of the covenant

144
BDAG 10.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Jesus was sanctifying a priestly people for himself and giving them an eternal kingdom

(12:28)that is, a priestly people who would make offerings like those of Jesus (2:11-12; 13:15-

16).

If the community is a priestly people, what are they to offer? We will return to the

answer below in section II. For now two things are certain for the author of Hebrews. First, the

references above emphasize the one-time () offering of Jesus, which on a literary basis is

made several times (7:27: 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10). Secondly, although this offering is the sacrifice

Jesus made on the cross for the purification of sins through sufferings and for atonement (1:3;

2:10, 17; 9:26-28; 10:29; 12:2), it was an offering made to God through the eternal spirit (9:14)

and finds its fuller fulfillment in his ascension into heaven (1:3-4; 4:14; 6:19; 7:26: 8:1; 9:24;

12:2), to which his heavenly bound priestly community is also called and called to confess,

(3:1; 4:14; see also 12:22-23; 13:14-16).

Jesus as First Fruits of the New Creation


In Hebrews 1:6, Jesus is called the (firstborn), which here most likely refers

to Jesus having been raised from the dead,145 and, as such, He is the firstborn of a new

humanity146 or in other words the firstfruit of the new creation (Col 1:5; Rev 1:5). In a later

passage, those who have responded to Jesus have come to the (church of

the firstborn), who are enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:23), which most likely refers to the believers

(Lk 10:20; see also Phil 4:3 Rev 3:5; 13:8; 20:12) who are members of the assembly of the

firstborn. Jesus is also called (2:10), referring to him as the pioneer of salvation

through both the sufferings of the cross and the resurrection (13:20).147 Again in a later passage,

145
Contrary EDNT 3.190.
146
BDAG 894.
147
EDNT 1.163,
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Jesus is not only called the pioneer (), but also the perfecter () of faith, to whom

the community is looking () as they run () the race with patient endurance (12:2).

Jesus is also called , forerunner (6:20). In the entire NT, is only used here in

Hebrews. It appears three times in the LXX. In Numbers 13:20 it is used as a translation for the

Hebrew word for firstfruits ( bikkrm),148 where Moses encourages Israels early
,

explores to enter into the promised-land and among other things to bring back some of the

firstfruit of the soil (Num 13:21-24). According to Pliny the Elder, when the fig-tree produces its

early fruit, the Atheneans call them forerunners (prodromos).

Conclusion on the Offering of Christ


Jesus, then, is the firstfruits of the new creation having been raised from the dead; in

other words, he is the pioneer and forerunner of the resurrection. As the firstfruits, Jesus was

finally raised into heaven itself (1:3-4; 4:14; 6:19; 7:26: 8:1; 9:24; 12:2), to which his heavenly

bound community is also called; and he is the firstfruits of the resurrection through which the

community is called and called to confess, (3:1; 4:14; see also 12:22-23; 13:14-15). If

Jesus is the firstfruits, is the priestly communitys confession and praise likened to firstfruits?

The answer below will be yes! The communitys offering is like the firstfruits.

II. Offering of the Community


What does the community offer? What is offered is greater than the sum of its parts. I

am certain that it cannot be exhausted with what follows below, but I suggest three dimensions:

(1) offering of self, (2) offering of the Zebach Td, and (3) offering of works of charity (or

fruits of righteousness).

148
HRCS 1206.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Offering of Self
The first dimension is the priestly gift of self of the communities members. It is the

offering of self. Hebrews uses the term (approach) in a cultic sense for approaching

Gods presence (Heb 7:25; 11:6), approaching the throne of grace (4:16), and to come to God in

a cultic sense (10:22).149 The community has not approached Mount Sinai (12:18), but has

come to () Mount Zion (v 22). According to Robert Daly, only priests had the

right to draw near to the sanctuary and the altar to serve God, yet this cultic act of drawing

near is repeated by the author of Hebrews using in the cultic sense.150 Thus, as

Hebrews stresses the one-time event of the sacrifice and ascension of Christ (as noted above), the

Epistle also points out the continual need for the priestly community to approach God (7:25:

;151 11:6: 152). In other words, the Church offers itself by drawing

near and coming into the presence of God. It is an oblation of self to God in response to what

God has done through Jesus. It may well be that initially individuals offered themselves through

, baptism to become part of the priestly community (6:2). Yet, there are at least two

other dimensions of the communitys offering.

We Have an Altar
The second dimension of the communitys offering is the offering of praise, and

according to the Epistle, the offering of the community is associated with an altar. William Lane

has noted the parallelism in Hebrews 13:10-16 that is divided into the two following parts: the

first portion is in the form of exposition, which begins with we have an altar (10-12); the

149
BDAG 878.
150
Robert Daly, Christian Sacrifice: The Judaeo-Christian Background before Origen (vol. 18; Studies in
Christian Antiquity; Catholic University Press, 1978), 275-276, 273-274.
151
Verb, present (middle or passive), participle, plural, accusative, masculine. See also 10:1.
152
Verb, present (middle or passive), participle, single, accusative, masculine.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

second is in the form of exhortation, which concludes with sacrifices (13-16). Within the

parallelism are three portions of texts (A A`; B B`; C C`) that are arranged within its

chiastic structure.153 Both parts are positioned between the imperatives, remember your

leaders (v. 7) and obey your leaders (v. 17).

We Have an Altar for Offering

A (13:10) We have an altar () from which those who [minister] in the


tent have no right to eat.
B (13:11) For () the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the
sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the
camp.
C (13:12) Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the
people by his own blood.
C (13:13) Let us then [go out] () to him outside the camp and bear the
abuse he endured.
B (13:14) For () here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city
that is to come.
A (13:15-16) Through him, then, let us continually offer () a sacrifice of
praise ( ) to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his
name. Do not neglect to do good () and to share what you have
(), for such sacrifices () are pleasing to God.154

This brings us to the outer parallel between the proposition in v. 10 and the exhortations

(vv. 15-16). The assertion that we have an altar, (13:10a) is the determining

thesis that sheds light on 13:15-16.155 In other words, the proposition that we have an altar

justifies the exhortation of the two subjunctive hortatives156 to go out (: v 13) to

him, and to offer (: v. 15-16) to God the types of sacrifice that are pleasing to

153
William L. Lane, Hebrews 913 (vol. 47B; Word Biblical Commentary; Dallas: Word,
Incorporated, 1998), 503.*
154
I have used the NRSV for the text with my alterations marked with [] and additions from
NA26 Greek text marked with ().
155
Lane, Hebrews 913, 503.
156
Max Zerwick, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament (trans. M. Grosvenor; 4th ed.;
Roma; Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1993), 688-689.
48
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

God. The inner parallelism focuses on the object of Jesus. The communitys worship is centered

on his death, resurrection, and ascension.

Assertion We Have an Altar

We have an altar () from which those who [minister] in the tent have no right to eat
(Heb 13:10).

What is the altar? Two things are certain. On the one hand, it is not the altar

associated with the Levitical priesthood and the tabernacle (Heb 7:11-14: 13:10). On the other,

its meaning and interpretation has taken on a life of its own. There are four basic interpretations:

(1) the cross, (2) a heavenly altar, (3) the Eucharistic table, and (4) the human heart.

The first view has the strength of identifying the centrality of Christ sacrificial death on

the cross, which has a biblical and historical foundation (Heb 13:12; Jn 19:17-18; see also Mk

15:22-24; Matt 15:22-24; Lk 23:33). A weakness is found in the difficulty of describing the

continued benefits of the cross. If Christ died only once on the altar of the cross, how is the

community to participate in the event? Thus, some scholars find it helpful to interpret altar as

either symbolic language or as having a spiritual meaning. Another approach is to understand

the altar as the body of Christ upon who was sprinkled the blood of the covenant. Thus, Christ is

the offeror, the offer, and the altar. The second view has the strength of continuity with the first.

Through the resurrection and ascension, Christ mediates grace and mercy from his heavenly

throne much like Melchezidek shared bread and wine and a heavenly blessing with Abram (Heb

4:16; 5:1-10; 7:1-10).157 The third viewthat of the Eucharist tabledevelops the second. It

has the strength of associating the altar with the Eucharist, and understands eating as feeding

157
Of course a weakness in this association with bread and wine is that Hebrews does not
explicitly link Christ priesthood with them, but this should not be a huge problem. When discussing
Melchizedek, the author of Hebrews does not mention him bringing out bread and wine (Gen
14:18-20).
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

on the earthly and heavenly mystery of Christ, and also accommodating the reality of the

Eucharist, the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ. The strength of this view is it is found in

early liturgical text in the fourth century such as the Liturgy of Saint Basil, the Roman Rite, and

the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions. In his work, The Eucharist: the Sacrament of the

Kingdom, Alexander Schmemann speaks of the ancient eucharistic experience, to which the

very order of the eucharist witnesses, indicating that it speaks of our ascent to the place where

Christ ascended,158 and through thanksgiving the meaning of the eucharist as the ascent of the

Church to the heavenly altar, as the sacrament of the kingdom of God, is fulfilled.159 A

weakness of this view is that presently the earliest evidence for an early Eucharistic altar comes

from the second and third century.160 However, this does not seem insurmountable. The author

of Hebrews uses the term , which designates a place of sacrifice.161 The fourth

viewthat of the human heartargues that the altar is the interior heart of the individual. The

strength in this view is that it has a biblical basis in Hebrews and is supported by some of the

early patristic fathers. Its weakness, though, is that it is simply too subjective. If each individual

heart was an altar, then there would be altars. There is something more objective: be it the

memorial of the cross, the ascended Lord, the participation in the Eucharist, something that is

eaten (13:10) and something that is heavenly (3:1; 6:4).

In closing this portion, it is worth noting that the Catechism of the Catholic Church

describes the altar of the New Covenant as the Lords Cross and the table of the Lord,162

158
Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom (trans. P. Kachur; Crestwood,
New York: St. Vladimirs Seminary Press, 1988), 60.*
159
Schmemann, The Eucharist, 199. *
160
I have in mind archeological evidence.
161
It seems natural that a place associated with the sacrificethat is, the Eucharistwould
naturally grow and develop into some kind of altar centered on the offering.
162
CCC 1182. *
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

and that the Christian altar is the symbol of Christ himself.163 This confirms, at least to my

minds eye, that the altar in Heb 13:10 is not easily defined as simply earthly or heavenly,

rather the altar is somewhat mysterious.

First Exhortation Let Us Go Out


Let us then [go out] to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no
lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come (Heb 13:13-14).

Concerning the phrase outside the camp in Hebrew 13:11, 12, 13, there at least four

interpretations: (1) going beyond the earthly world seeking the heavenly city; (2) to go outside

the world of Judaism and Jewish traditions; (3) going outside sacred and cultic space into the

secular and profane world; and (4) outside the city and to the marginalized and suffering. There

is not room to discuss all of these interpretations in detail. Let it suffice to say there may be truth

in all of them. However, the one view that I want to discuss is the second. This is important for

understanding the worship described in 13:1-16 within the context of Second Temple Judaism.

This view explains going out to mean leaving Judaism and Jewish traditions. Simon

Kistemaker argues that, the Jewish Christian must leave the family structure in which he

learned the precepts and commandments, the ceremonies and traditions, the prejudice and pride

of the Jew.To go to one who bears the curse of God is to share the disgrace he bore. By

choosing for Christ, the Jew rejects Judaism and thus faces expulsion, alienation, and at times

persecution.164 For Jamieson, Fausset, and Brownjust as the bodies of the animals, whose

blood is taken into the sanctuary, and the bodies burned outside the campso also Jesus suffered

outside the gate of ceremonial Judaism, of which His crucifixion outside the gate of Jerusalem

163
CCC 1383. *
164
Simon J. Kistemaker and William Hendriksen, Exposition of Hebrews (vol. 15; New Testament
Commentary; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 19532001), 422.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

is a type.165 Westcott states, Christians are now called upon to withdraw from Judaism even in

its first and purest shape. It had been designed by God as a provisional system, and its work was

done.166

There is certainly some truth in this view. However, Jesus was a Jew. This point was

emphasized by both Jewish and Christian scholars during the second half of the last century

including Geza Vermes,167 E.P. Sanders,168 and Harvey Cox.169 Christians have had to struggle

for centuries with the fact that Jesus was Jewish and remained so throughout his entire life.170

So, going out to him does not necessarily mean abandoning everything that is Jewish and from

early Semitic tradition. This is especially true when Hebrews is understood in the context of

Second Temple Judaism. Case in point: Hebrews emphasizes the importance of understanding

Jesus in light of the high priesthood of Melchizedek (Heb 5:6; 6:20; 7:11-28). The coming high

priest like Melchizedek was also important to some in Second Temple Judaism. Among the

discoveries from the Second Temple period and the Qumran Scrolls is 11Q13, also known as

11QMelch, dated to around 1st century B.C.E., which is an eschatological text in which

Melchizedek is explained as a heavenly high priest, who is closely associated with the Day of

Atonement in the last days, and who brings both grace and judgment.171 In the New Testament,

165
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the
Whole Bible (vol. 2; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 480. *
166
Brooke Foss Westcott, ed., The Epistle to the Hebrews the Greek Text with Notes and Essays (3d ed.;
Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament; London: Macmillan, 1903), 444.
167
Geza Vermes, Jesus the Jew (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981 [orig. 1973]); and The Religion of Jesus
the Jew (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993).
168
E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985).
169
Harvey Cox, Rabbi Yeshua Ben Yoseph: Reflection of Jesus Jewishness and the Interfaith
Dialogue, Jesus Jewishness: Exploring the Place of Jesus in Early Judaism (vol. 2 of Shared Ground Among
Jews and Christians; ed. J.H. Charlesworth; New York; Crossroad, 1991), 27-62.
170
Cox, Rabbi Yeshua Ben Yoseph, 32.
171
According to Annette Steudel, 11Q13 ii.18 contains the oldest known explicit citation from
the Book of Daniel. See Annette Steudel, Melchizedek, Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (vol. 1; ed.
L.H. Schiffman and J.C. VanderKam; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 1.356.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Melchizedek is only discussed in Hebrews 4-10, and according to Annette Steudel, the influence

of Qumran ideas on the Christology of Hebrews often has been assumed, and indeed there are

some characteristic parallels in the concept and the use of the figure of Melchizedek, but there

are also differences.172 Joseph Fitzmyer has argued that 11Q13 displays an almost

contemporary Jewish understanding of Melchizedek, with material that has been incorporated

into Heb 7.173 Larry Hurtado has also commented on the similarities and differences between

Hebrews and 11Q13; he presents three possibilities: (1) Hebrews reflects a Christian adoption of

ideas from Qumran about Melchizedek; (2) the biblical texts on Melchizedek (Gen 14:17-21; Ps

110:4) may have generated a variety of interpretations, from which both Hebrews and 11Q13 are

the only two surviving examples (each developing independent of the other); and (3) Hebrews

and 11Q13 are the only two texts from this period (ca. 100 B.C.E. 100 C.E.) that demonstrate

interest in Melchizedek, and that it is purely coincident that both are extent.174 We will return to

the importance of Second Temple Judaism in relations to Hebrews when we discuss the nature of

the sacrifice of praise. However, let us look at the second exhortation from Heb 13:15).

III. Offering of the Zebach Td


Second Exhortation to Offer a Sacrifice of Praise
Through him, then, let us continually offer () a sacrifice of praise ( ) to
God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name (13:15).

We discussed above the parallel between the assertion we have an altar (v. 10) and the

exhortation to offer up worship (v. 15). This brings us to the second dimension of the

172
Steudel, Melchizedek, 1.356.
173
Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Further Light on Melchizedek from Qumran Cave 11, JBL 86 (1967):
31. *
174
Larry W. Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI;
Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), 501. * Of the three
possibilities, Hurtado finds the second more probable, and the third as the most unlikely.
53
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

communities offering, that is, the , sacrifice of praise. In other words, what

does the community continually offer in its worship?

What is the Nature of the Sacrifice of Praise


The sacrifice of praise is rooted in the Hebrew phrase , zebach td or simply

td (Lev 7:13-15 (2x); Ps 50:23), which is translated sacrifice of thanksgiving, offering of

thanksgiving, or simply thank offering. In the LXX it is translated as , meaning

sacrifice of praise, which appears in Heb13:15. The Vulgate translates Heb 13:15 primarily with

hostiam laudis, but there are variant readings sacrificium laudis and laudes hostias.175

In Leviticus, the sacrifice of thanksgiving was included under and as part of the

peace offering (7:11; see also chap. 3). The thank offering included, among other things,

unleavened bread (LXX, ; Vulgate, panis; MT, [ cakes]) that were mixed with oil (v.

12), and also leavened bread (LXX, ; Vulgate, panis; MT, [ cakes of

unleavened bread]) (v. 13). From the animal that was sacrificed for the peace offering (chap. 3),

the priest sprinkled the blood, and the flesh was to be eaten on the day of the sacrifice (vv. 14-

15). The sacrifice of thanksgiving seems to be the more primitive, for according to Jacob

Milgrom, the tradition that the thank offering is an independent offering, separate from the

peace offering is found in all other sources, 176 which even includes rabbinic sources (m.

Zebachim 5:6-7).177 A later rabbinic tradition taught that according to Rabbi Mehahm the

Galilean, in the time-to-come all offerings will cease except the thank-offering, this will never

175
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews, 168.
176
See Lev 22:19 (H not P); Jer 17:26; 2 Chr 29:31-33; 33:16.
177
Jacob Milgrom, A Continental Commentary: Leviticus: a Book of Ritual and Ethics (Minneapolis,
MN: Fortress Press, 2004), 71.
54
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

cease (Midrash Tehillim 56.4; 100.4).178 The point is that the peace offering included a

bloody sacrifice and a bloodless sacrifice. And if Milgrom is correct, and I understand him

correctly, behind the priestly tradition of Lev 7 lays a more primitive thank offering that was

from a bloodless rite. Regardless, the priestly tradition in Lev 7 presents the zebach td as a rite

of sacrifice that includes material offerings from the created order.

The sacrifice of praise also appears in a number of the Psalms (26:7; 42:4; 50:14, 23;

69:30, 34; 107:22; 116:17; 147:7). These all contain hymns and songs of praise and

thanksgiving. Sometimes there is a tendency to argue that the Psalms above allegorize or

spiritualize the sacrifice of praise, thus outright rejecting any type of material sacrifice. While it

is true that among these Psalms there is emphasis on the singing of songs of praise and

thanksgiving (26:7; 42:4; 69:30; 107:22; 147:7), and criticism of animal sacrifice (69:31; 50:7-

13), nowhere in these Psalms is there an attack or sign of disapproval of the offering of the bread

associated with the zebach td. Furthermore, one of these Psalms shows a parallel between the

zebach td and the lifting up of the cup of salvation (116:13-17). This reference to the cup in v.

13 is among the positively connotated passages regarding the cup, with parallels in Pss 16:5

178
See The Midrash on Psalms (2 vols.; ed. L. Nemoy et. al.; trans. W. G. Braude; Yale Judica
Series, vol. 13; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959), 1.498, 2.148; saying attributed to Rabbi
Menahem the Galilean. Menahem the Galilean is to have also said, [To invite] one to go before the
ark they do not say [to him], Come and pray. Rather they say [to him], Come and draw near. Come
and make our offerings for us, provide for us, fight for us, make peace for us (y. Ber. 4:4, III.1.A).
The Talmud continues, others say [the text of the short Prayer is as follows]: The needs of your
people Israel are great and their ability [to express them] is limited. But let it be your will, Lord our
God, and God of our fathers, that you provide for each and every creature his needs, and for each
and every person that which he lacks. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my
supplications [Ps. 28:6]. Blessed art thou, O Lord who hears [our Prayer]. [T. 3:7F.]: see Jacob
Neusner, The Jerusalem Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson
Publishers, 2008).
55
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

and 23:5.179 The cup may be associated with a drink offering, which is called the cup of

salvation (v. 13),180 or may be the cup that is raised up and drank with thanksgiving for the

received benefits and joy of salvation.181 Thus, the zebach td is an offering of praise and

thanksgiving that also contains a ritual offering of bread and possibly wine.

There are a number of texts from Second Temple Judaism that enhance our

understanding of the sacrifice of praise within early Judaism as both the fruit of the lips and

the fruits of charity (1QS 9:4-5; 1 QHodayot; Sirach 35:1-10; Psalms of Solomon 15:3).

Robert Daly has suggested that the texts from the Rule of the Community (1QS 9:4-5;

10:6) are so much akin to Heb 13:15 that they have to be considered part of its background and

possibly even its source in some indirect way.182 Daly points out that only in 1QS 9 and 10 is

the phrase fruit of lips so inclined toward a sacrificial meaning as in Heb 13:15.183 Here

three things stand out. First, these sections from the Rule of the Community (1QS 9:4-5; 10:6)

are an important historical background for Heb 13:15. Secondly, it is surely possible that they

had an influence in some indirect way, but it seems at present difficult to show. It is better to use

a more comparative approach in saying that the parallels are undeniable. Finally, there are also

strong parallels in the Thanksgiving Hymns between fruit of the lips in Heb 13:15 and fruits

of the lips in 1QHa 9:28-33, and to a lesser degree in 19:3-8.

179
Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and Erich Zenger, Psalms 3: A Commentary on Psalms 101150 (ed.
Klaus Baltzer; trans. Linda M. Maloney; HermeneiaA Critical and Historical Commentary on the
Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011), 218.
180
Willem A. VanGemeren, Psalms, in The Expositors Bible Commentary: Psalms, Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (vol. 5; ed. F. E. Gaebelein; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing
House, 1991), 727.
181
Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament (vol. 5; Peabody, MA:
Hendrickson, 1996), 716.
182
Daly, Christian Sacrifice, 283.
183
Daly, Christian Sacrifice, 283.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

A. Offering of the Sacrifice of Praise


How are we to interpret the sacrifice of praise in Heb 13:15? There are generally two

interpretations: 1) a liturgical rite, with the Eucharist as the chief explanation; and 2) some sort

of verbal and spiritual offering simply from the lips.

Spiritual Offering of Praise


According to Ellingworth, the language in this verse is not typical of Hebrews, and is

perhaps influenced by a liturgical tradition.184 He also thinks the phrase sacrifice of praise

neither requires nor excludes association with the Lords Supper.185 Attridge argues that the

metaphorical characteristic of sacrifice of praise is seen in the appended phrase, that is, the

fruit of lips that confess his name (v. 15),186 and that the nature of the praise appears to be

primarily prayer rather than a ritual act.187 Attridge questions if the author of Hebrews is even

making allusions to the Lords Supper.188 William Lane argues that the offering of Christian

consistsin the verbal response of praise and gratitude to God (cf. 12:28).189 Johnson also

maintains verbal praise stating that the sacrifice is one,

consisting in praise, the fruit of lips confessing his name, Hebrews joins a broad stream of
Greco-Roman and Jewish piety that regarded moral virtue and verbal praise as more appropriate
offerings to the Divine than animal sacrifices.190

184
Paul Ellingworth, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International
Greek Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press,
1993), 719. *
185
Ellingworth, Hebrews, 719.
186
Attridge, Hebrews, 400. *
187
Attridge, Hebrews, 400, 401. *
188
Attridge, Hebrews, 400.
189
Lane, Hebrews 913, 549.
190
Luke Timothy Johnson, Hebrews: A Commentary (ed. C. Clifton Black, M. Eugene Boring, and
John T. Carroll; 1st ed.; The New Testament Library; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press,
2012), 349. Johnson cites a number of examples: Epictetus, Enchiridion 31.5; Apollonius of Tyana,
Letter 26; Sir 34:1835:11; Pss. Sol. 15:3; T. Levi 3.56; 1QS 9:45, a perspective found in other New
Testament writings as well (Rom 12:12; Phil 2:17; 4:18; 1 Pet 2:5; John 4:24).
57
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Liturgical Offering of Praise


The other interpretation, held by fewer scholars, understands sacrifice of praise within

the context of a liturgical rite of the Eucharist. James Swetnam has made a strong case for its

defense and reasonableness in A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13,191 in which he

investigates the perspective of the following topics: 1) the structure of chapter 13 of Hebrews;192

2) the association of the biblical sacrifice zebach td with the Sacrifice of Praise in

Hebrews;193 and 3) the zebach td and the Sacrifice of Praise in the Latin Rite of the Catholic

Church.194 In the heart of the Latin Eucharistic Prayer is the phrase, Qui tibi offerunt hoc

191
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, Letter & Spirit 2 (2006): 159-173.
192
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, 159. Swetnam will later describe this first
topic on the structure of Hebrews 13 as the first stage of the paper: The first stage approached the
text in the perspective of its structure. Any text is presumed to have a structure or at least a non-
structure. Determining the structure of a text generates perspectives, for a structure indicates the
authors points of view. The structure which emerged from a study of formal criteria as well as
content showed that the author was basing his exposition on the centrality of the death of Jesus and
its role in Christian liturgy (vv. 1114). Flanking this central concern were verses concerned with
eating (vv. 910) and verbal prayer (vv. 1516). Serving as a frame for all of this were verses which
emphasized the role of the leaders of the community (vv. 7 and 17). Verses 15a indicated the
authors concerns about moral conduct; vv. 5b6 indicated his concern for Scripture; vv. 1819
indicated the authors personal reliance on the community in prayer; and vv. 2021 indicated his
concern to invoke Gods blessing in Christ on the addressees (172).
193
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, 165. Swetnam will later describe this
second topic on the Jewish td as the second stage of the paper, which is the attempt to make
chapter 13 more intelligible, approached the central portion of the text, vv. 717, from the
perspective of the Jewish td ceremony. This resort to the td was justified by the occurrence of the
phrase in v. 15. Thus the perspective of the sacrifice of praise was used to evaluate
the structure resulting from a study of formal indications in the text combined with content. This
use of the td perspective seemed confirmed by the apparent coincidence of its three elements
bloody sacrifice, food, and verbal prayer/hymnswith the three elements of eating, bloody death,
and verbal prayer resulting from the analysis of structure (172).
194
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, 168. He will finally describe this third
topic on the Roman Rite as the third state of the paper, which approached the entire text, vv. 121,
from the standpoint of the Latin Mass of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. The justification
for this approach was the coincidence of the five sections of these verses with the basic outline of
the Latin liturgy: act of repentance; reading from Scripture; central sacramental action; prayer based
on remembrance of the living; final blessing (172).
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

sacrificium laudis (we offer you this sacrifice of praise).195After sequencing through the above

three topics, and correlating parallels between them, Swetnam concludes that Heb 13:1-21 is a

sophisticated presentation of the Eucharistic liturgy of the church, carefully structured and

carefully argued.196 Swetnam does not argue that an early liturgical rite directly influenced the

Epistle, or vice versa, but that the parallels and coincidences in so many areas make total

isolation and independence highly improbable.197 This approach opens the door for considering

the offering of the sacrifice of praise to have been not simply a spiritual and verbal offering but

also the offering of bread and, possibly, a cup of wine, which was at the heart of the zebach

td.198

Conclusion on the Offering of Praise


Since the community is called to acknowledge the crucified (1:3; 2:10, 17; 9:26-28;

10:29; 12:2) and risen Christ (1:3; 4:14; 6:19; 7:26: 8:1; 9:24; 12:2), who is the risen firstfuits

(1:6; 2:10: 6:20: 12:2, 23; 13:20), we can consider that in Heb 13:15 the sacrifice of praise and

fruit of the lips are firstfruits of the community through the risen Christ (3:1; 4:14; see also

12:22-23; 13:14-15). In other words, they offer Christ to the Father through their praise. This

offering comes from the heart strengthened through grace (13:9). When thanking God with this

new song of praise, the fruit of the lips are the firstfruits from a holy and righteous heart (Pss.

195
James Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews, Letter & Spirit: The Authority of Mystery:
The Word of God and the People of God 2 (2006): 169.
196
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, 172.
197
Swetnam, A Liturgical Approach to Hebrews 13, 172: Swetnam concludes with, no
statement was made about whether the epistle was influenced by the liturgical act or vice versa. The
only thing asserted was that a coincidence in so many variables of such a varied nature seems
improbable.
198
See Appendix One.
59
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Sol. 15:3).199 It is an offering from the created order and not simply something spiritual and

verbal. In the words of the Catholic Catechism,

In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through
the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of
praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in
humanity (CCC 1359).200

There is also the possibility that something more is taking place. While Jesus offered

himself once to make atonement (7:27: 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10), he continually bears all of creation.

God created the universe through him (1:2), and he also sustains all things, ,

(lit. bearing or moving all things) by his powerful word (v. 3; see Col 1:16; 1 Cor 8:6). All of

creation came through the praise of his lips and are sustain and moving toward her final inheritor

(Heb 1:2). In the words of Pope Francis, the ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness

of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all

things.201

It is certainly possible that the offering of the sacrifice of praise in 13:15 also included

the offering of bread and wine in their expressing praise and thanksgiving. Through the eyes of

faith and their encounter with Christ, the community had the substance () of the things

hoped for, things not seen with the visible eyes (Heb 11:1). In other words, with the eyes of faith

they came to know the reality of Christ crucified, resurrected, and ascended on high. Yet, the

community was not to be so heavenly minded that they were no earthly good to others. We will

see shortly that the communitys worship included works of charity and mercy, which are

themselves sacrifices of praise.


199
Ken Penner and Michael S. Heiser, Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with
Morphology (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2008), Ps Sol 15:3.
200
Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed.; Washington, DC: United States
Catholic Conference, 2000), 342343: The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished
by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. *
201
Pope Francis, Laudato Si', 83.
60
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Firstfruits of the Eucharistic Prayer


I wonder if Heb 13:15 is one of the earliest exhortations we find within the early streams

of liturgical prayer that were developing during the first two centuries of Christianity. I have in

mind three examples for parallels. First, the exhortation on how to give thanks in the Didache,

, , concerning the Eucharist, in this manner give

thanks (Did. 9.1), which is followed with a liturgical prayer (9.2-10.6)202 that even includes

the exhortation to allow the prophets, , to give thanks in the

manner they wish (10.7). Scholars both ancient and modern have pointed out the parallels

between Hebrews and 1 Clement.203 Both Hebrews and 1 Clement use the term ,

sacrifice of praise, (35:12; Heb 13:15); but only 1 Clement contains a liturgical-like prayer (59.3-

61.3) that actually contains words of praise to God, a prayer that acknowledge that it is

, through the High Priest Jesus Christ, that the community makes its confession and

praise () (61.3), though this is similar with Hebrews exhortation to offer up

, sacrifice of praise through him ( ) (13:15).204 The final example is from the

early Christian text the Odes of Solomon. Scholars such as Jean Carmignac,205 James

Charlesworth,206 and Michael Lattke207 have commented on the parallels between the Odes and

202
Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 259-263. *
203
Eusebius, Hist. eccl., 3.38; Attridge, Hebrews, 6-7; Andreas Lindemann, The First Epistle of
Clement, in The Apostolic Fathers: An Introduction (ed. Wilhelm Pratscher; trans. Elisabeth G. Wolfe;
Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2010), 59.
204
Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 22. * References for 1 Clement
are taken from Holmes edition.
205
Jean Carmignac, Les affinits qumrniennes de la onzime Ode de Salomon, RevQ 3
(1961): 71102: Carmignac compared Ode 11 with the Qumran hymn 1QH.
206
James H. Charlesworth, Solomon, Odes of, ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible
Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 114; * see also James H. Charlesworth, Qumran, John and
Odes of Solomon, in John and Qumran (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1972),
135.
61
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Qumran Scrolls. The Odist prays, open to me the harp of the Holy Spirit, so thatI may praise

you, O Lord, and according to the multitude of your merciesgrant unto me, and hasten to

grant our petitions (14.8-9).208 My heart was pruned and its flower appeared, then grace

sprang up in it, and it produced fruits for the Lord (11.1). The Odist proclaims, I shall open my

mouth, and his spirit will speak through me, the praise and beauty of the Lord (16.5). The Odist

states, He has filled me with words of truth, that I may proclaim him. And like the flowing of

waters, truth flows from my mouth, and my lips declare his fruits (12.1-2). Finally, the Odist

realizes that those who participate in the Lords offering are called to show compassion, justice,

and truth, and not to oppress any one (20.5-6), for the offering of the Lord is righteousness, and

purity of heart and lips (20.4).

From the three examples above, only the Didache gives evidence for the early formation

of a Eucharistic prayer. The other two, 1 Clement and the Odes of Solomon, are not explicitly

Eucharistic, but they provide early examples of verbal offerings of praise and thanksgiving that

are reminiscent of Heb 13:15.

Thus, within Heb 13:15, have we discovered an important component for understanding

the origins of the early Eucharistic prayer? Be that as it may, there is a final dimension of the

communitys worship that includes another dimension of the offering of the sacrifice of praise.

207
Michael Lattke and Harold W. Attridge, Odes of Solomon: A Commentary (Hermeneiaa Critical
and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009), 153 n.15. *
208
James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament: Expansions of the
Old Testament and Legends, Wisdom, and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and Odes, Fragments of
Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works (vol. 2; New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1985), 748. * All the
following sections from the Odes of Solomon are from or based on Charlesworths edition.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

B. Offering through Works of Charity and Mercy as Sacrifice of Praise


Sacrifice of Praise as Charity
Do not neglect to do good () and to share what you have (), for such
sacrifices () are pleasing to God (Heb 13:16).

The Greek word means rendering of service, well doing, a good deed

(BDAG 410). In the New Testament, it is a hapax legomenon. In another early Christian text,

Ignatius of Antioch uses it to describe a good work in the service of God (IPol. 7.3). The word

means communion, fellowship, or sharing.209 The community already had been

encouraged to practice hospitality (13:2), and here in v. 16 they are commanded to do good

and to share, and, according to Kistemaker, here the author of Hebrews sees these deeds of

love and mercy as sacrifices of praise.210 According to Leon Morris, this means that they offer

no animals but make their response to what Christ has done for them in praise, good deeds, and

works of love and charity.211

Sacrifice of Praise as Worship


Thus according to Heb 13:15-16, when the community shares and exercises charity to

others (through Christ), they are really worshiping God, and fulfilling the sacrifice of praise.

Through Christ they are receiving an eternal kingdom (12:28), mercy and grace (4:16), Through

Christ they offer acceptable worship to God (12:28; 13:16), and rendering service to others

(12:8; 13:16). There is an unmistakable parallel in vv. 15-16 with the great commandment (Matt

22:36-40). This can be extended to 1 John, where those who say they love God must also love

one another (4:19-21). In the words of Pope John XXIII, it is charity alone that makes it

209
BDAG 552.
210
Kistemaker, Hebrews, 424. *
211
Leon Morris, Hebrews, in The Expositors Bible Commentary: Hebrews through Revelation (ed.
Frank E. Gaebelein; vol. 12; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 152.
63
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

possible for us to love God above all else, and makes us ready and glad to do all the good we can

to others in a spirit of generosity.212

Worship and Marriage


The exhortation to communion and sharing in Heb 13:16 raise a question. If works of

charity and sharing of goods are acceptable worship, is it possible that marriage and the marital

bed are a form of worship (Heb 13:4) that finds deeper meaning from the Eucharist? Earlier, the

community is called , to worship the living God (9:14), with

, acceptable worship (12:28), and to do good and to share with others, for such

sacrifices , are pleasing to God (13:16). However, although they shared

nearly all things in common, they were not to share everything.

Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed () be kept undefiled
(); for God will judge fornicators and adulterers (13:4).

In the Letter to Diognetus, Christians are described as those who live in the flesh, but not

according to the flesh, and that they setup and share a common table, but not their marriage bed

() (Diogn. 5:7).213

The word in Heb 13.4 means pure in either a religious or moral sense.214 In the

Clementine Vulgate from 1592, we find thorus immaculatus,215 and the BSV, inmaculatus. 216

Finally, much of Heb 13 is sandwiched between the adverb (pleasing or acceptable),

let us offer to God acceptable worship (12:28), and the verb (pleasing), do good

and share for such sacrifices are pleasing to God (13:16). If marriage and the marriage bed

212
John XXIII, Aeterna Dei Sapientia (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1961). *
213
Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers, 541.
214
BDAG 54.
215
Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam. (Ed. electronica.; Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible
Software, 2005), Heb 13:4.
216
Biblia Sacra Vulgata: Iuxta Vulgatem Versionem (electronic edition of the 3rd edition.; Stuttgart:
Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1969), Heb 13:4.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

were not forms of worship for the community, they were at least understood within the context

of worship.

Conclusion
According to Hebrews, Jesus Christ offered himself once in order to make atonement for

sin. Through his resurrection and ascension into the heavenly tabernacle, Christ is also the

firstfruits of the eternal priesthood, through whom the Church offers a sacrifice of praise

through its priestly service, worship, liturgical traditions, and also through its works of charity,

mercy, and justice. Not all Christians will agree that Heb 13:15 is the basis or even concerned

with the Eucharist, as does Catholic tradition. 217 However, all Christian should be able to agree

that Heb 13:15 is the basis for other liturgical prayer such as the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine

Office),218 and the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Through Christ, the Church

expresses her praise and thanksgiving to God the Father for both the goodness and beauty of

creation, and for the wonders of salvation brought about through the crucified, risen, and

ascended Lord. This is not merely a human work. The author of the final benediction of

Hebrews states the conviction that it is God, who through the blood of the covenant raised up

Jesus from the dead, will also raise up the community, making them complete in everything good

( ), to do his will ( ), working among them what is pleasing

in his sight, through Christ, to God be the glory forever (13:20-21). After which the author

finishes with the liturgical expression , may it be so.219

Finished on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 10, 2016

217
CCC 1359. *
218
Pius XII, Mediator Dei 139; * Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, n. 62. *
219
BDAG 53.
65
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Accept, O Lord, the offerings we have brought to honor the revealing of your beloved

Son, so that the oblation of your faithful may be transformed in the sacrifice of him who willed

in his compassion to wash away the sins of the world. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

(Prayer over the Offerings on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord)

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

CHAPTER THREE

THE EUCHARIST AS SACRIFICE:

A CATHOLIC-PENTECOSTAL PERSPECTIVE220

Introduction
Although Pentecostals have made headway and avenues throughout culture, one journey they are

hesitant to make is a deeper participation in the Eucharist as a sacrifice. Some might even argue

that the Eucharist is not a sacrifice at all. However, I will argue for the sacrificial nature of the

Eucharist. I will investigate the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the Roman Rite showing sacrificial

dimensions. This is a daunting task since the General Instruction of the Roman Missal reaffirms

the sacrificial nature of the Mass (GIRM 2).221 I will approach this from the mindset of the royal

or common priesthood of the faithful, but without denying the importance and role of the

ministerial priesthood (LG 10).222 I may not answer all questions concerning the sacrificial

220
Presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies to the
Ecumenical Studies Group by Lawrence Francis Ligocki.
221
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican,
Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical
Edition; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 19.
222
Lumen Gentium makes clear the relationship between the ministerial priesthood and the
common priesthood: Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the
common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless
interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ.
The ministerial priest, by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting in
the person of Christ, he makes present the Eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of
67
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

nature of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but I hope to blaze the trail for others to follow, and to

encourage others to study, to live, and to participate in the liturgy as a holy and living sacrifice

acceptable to God through Christ.

Liturgy of the Roman Rite


The Liturgy
The term , liturgy is a composition of the Greek words / people +

work meaning public work or public service in the classical world; but, the term liturgy

can also refer to ritual, cultic, or priestly services.223 In the LXX, the word means ministry or

service in the tabernacle or the temple.224 In the NT, the term is used to explain public service,

ritual or cultic services, and other kinds of service.225 In the book of Acts, the word describes the

community worshiping the Lord where there were prophets and teachers (13:1-2). In the

Didache, genuine prophets were given the firstfruits (13:1-7), and firstfruits may have been

used for the Eucharist () by these prophets (10:7; 9:1-10:6). Bishops and deacons

were also to be appointed to serve the community as the ministers () of the prophets

and teachers (15:1). Although the ministry of the prophets declined in the early church in this

regard, the ministry of the bishops and deacons continued.

In the Eastern Church, came to mean both the sacred Christian rites in

general, and the Eucharist in particular for example, the liturgy of St James, of St John

all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the
Eucharist. Catholic Church, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: Lumen Gentium, in Vatican
II Documents (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011).
223
William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 590.
224
Ex 37:19; Num 18:6; 1 Chr 6:17; 2 Chr 8:14; 2 Macc 3:3; Sir 50:19.
225
BDAG 590-592.
68
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Chrysostom, of St Mark, and of St Basil; it was not until the 16th century that the term was

associated with the Latin Mass.226 The term liturgy became part of official Church teaching,

for example with Pope Pius IX, when speaking of the Catholic liturgies.227

The Origin and History of the Roman Rite


The Roman Rite is an ancient rite that is over 1500 years old. According to Edmund Bishop,

the genius of the native Roman Rite is marked by simplicity, practicality, a great sobriety and

self-control, gravity and dignity.228

In the early centuries, Christians in the city of Rome celebrated the liturgy in Greek; then

in the middle of the third century, while a Latin version of the Scriptures was used for the

readings, the forms of prayer were still celebrated in Greek; though little has survived from the

Greek form.229 However, a brief section from the Roman Eucharistic prayer in Greek is found in

the writings of Marius Victorinus around the year 360.230 We do have access to a reconstructed

Greek text of the Apostolic Traditions, dated to ca. 250; however recent scholarship has

226
Anscar J. Chupungco, A Definition of Liturgy, in Introduction to the Liturgy (vol. 1 of
Handbook for Liturgical Studies; ed. A. J. Chupungco; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1997), 3-4.
227
Inter Multiplices 2, Encyclical of Pope Pius IX Pleading for Unity of Spirit (March 21, 1853);
see Claudia Carlen, ed., The Papal Encyclicals: 17401878 (Ypsilanti, MI: The Pierian Press, 1990), 315;
see also Omnem Sollictudinem, Encyclical of Pope Pius IX on the Greek-Ruthenian Rite (May 13,
1874) (Carlen, The Papal Encyclicals, 439).
228
Edmund Bishop, The Genius of the Roman Rite, in Liturgica Historica: Papers on the Liturgy
and Religious Life of the Western Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1918), 12. The paper was
first read at the meeting of the Historical Research society at Archbishops House, Westminster on
May 8, 1899.
229
Anscar J. Chupungco, History of the Roman Liturgy until the fifteenth Century, in
Introduction to the Liturgy (vol.1; Handbook for Liturgical Studies; ed. A. J. Chupungco; Collegeville:
Liturgical Press, 1997), 132.
230
Against Arius 2.8. Marius Victorinus, Theological Treatises on the Trinity (ed. Hermigild Dressler;
trans. Mary T. Clark; vol. 69; The Fathers of the Church; Washington, DC: The Catholic University
of America Press, 1981), 210: The prayer of oblation, understood in that way, is addressed to God:
soson periousion laon zltn kaln ergn (save a people around your substance, a pursuer of good
works).*
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

questioned its use and influence in Rome.231 One of the earliest patristic texts that is associated

with Rome and is liturgical in nature is 1 Clement 59.3-61.3, which is written in Greek and dated

ca. 96. However, although it is liturgical, it is not generally associated with the liturgy of the

Eucharist, though it can be argued that it is an exemplary model of prayer, praise, and a sacrifice

of thanksgiving.

The Roman Rite most likely began to take its essential shape in the fourth century, which

began with liturgical reforms of Pope Damasus I (366-384) who is credited with giving the

liturgy its Latin form.232 Popes Innocent (402-417), Celestine (422-432), Leo the Great (440-

461), Gelasius (492-496), Vigilius (537-555), and Gregory the Great (590-604) all contributed

significantly to the formation of the Roman Rite and other liturgical writings.233 During the

second half of the first millennium, Sacramentaries began to emerge that contained prayers and

texts used for celebrating the Eucharist on various days and feast days: for example, the Leonine

or Verona Sacramentary, the Gelasian Sacramentary, and the Gregorian Sacramentary. 234 There

is also the Ordines Romani that contains descriptions and directions for the celebration of the

Roman Rite in Rome by the Pope. These Ordines became fifteen in number dating from the 6th

15th centuries. Among these is the Ordo Romanus Primus, which is considered one of the

231
Paul F. Bradshaw, In Search for the Origins of Christian Worship (2nd ed.; Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2002), 81.
232
Johanness H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration (Collegeville: Liturgical
Press, 1992), 170.
233
Keith F. Pecklers, Liturgy: the Illustrated History (Mahwah, NJ; Paulist Press; Libreria Editrice
Vaticana, 2012), 82.
234
Frank C. Senn, Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical (Minneapolis: Fortress, Press, 1997),
176-177. See also Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (Second Edition.; Westminster: Dacre Press,
1945), 565-568, 570-573.
70
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

earliest and dated around 700, though some of the material may go back to the time of Pope

Gregory the Great.235

Beginning in the 8th century, the Franks began to adopt the Roman Liturgy as was the

case with Bishop Chrodegang of Metz (d. 766).236 In 785, Charlemagne received a Gregorian

sacramentary (actually Hadrians sacramentary) from Pope Hadrian; Charlemagne decreed that

the work become the model for the Franks; within a century, the Franks began to study and foster

the Roman Liturgy through their writings and commentaries.237 Among the most influential

were Amalar of Metz (ca. 780-850),238 and Remigius of Auxerre (ca. 841-908).239

This brings us to what Theodor Klauser considered a period of development of the

Roman Liturgy under the leadership of the Franks and Germans from the time of Popes Gregory

the Great to Gregory VII (590-1073).240 Although this was a period of growth and development,

some important aspects began to be eclipsed, for example, the decline of the Prayer of the

Faithful. This period was followed by a time of dissolution, elaboration, reinterpretation, and

misinterpretation of the Roman Liturgy, which Klauser dates from Pope Gregory VII to the

Council of Trent (1073-1545).241 During this time there was the growth of the private mass

and the decline of the offertory procession in which the faithful had an active part.

235
Edward G. C. F. Atchley, Ordo Romanus Primus (vol.7; Library of Liturgiology & Ecclesiology for
English Readers; ed. V. Staley; London: Alexander Moring, 1905). *
236
Pecklers, Liturgy, 105: Bishop Chrodegang of Metzvisited Rome in 753 and subsequently
introduced Roman chant and the Roman Order of Mass to his diocese when he returned home.
237
Emminghaus, The Eucharist, 66-67. As early as 754, Roman liturgical texts were coming into
Gaul during the time of King Pepin (66).
238
Amalar of Metz, On the Liturgy (2 vols. Dumbaton Oaks Medieval Library 35, 36; ed. and trans. E.
Knibbs; Harvard University Press, 2014).
239
Jean-Paul Bouhot, Les sources de lExpositio missae de Remi dAuxerre, Revue des tudes
Augustiniennes 26 (1980): 141-151.
240
Theodor Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy: An Account and Some Reflections (2nd ed.;
trans. J. Halliburton; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 45-93.
241
Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy, 94-116.
71
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Following the Council of Trent (1545-1563), Pope Pius IV took up the task of reforming

the liturgy. The revised Roman Rite, known as the Tridentine Mass, was promulgated by Pope

Pius V in 1570 and was based on manuscripts found in the Vatican Library and elsewhere, on

ancient and competent authorities, and on the form and rite of the fathers.242 According to Keith

Pecklers,

At the heart of the Tridentine liturgical reform was a desire to return to the classic Roman
Rite in order to show the Protestants its great value. The project of classic reform,
however, ultimately proved impossible. For one thing, it was too difficult to delineate and
separate the original norms, but the bishops also sensed the need to avoid liturgical
archaeology. Thus, liturgical texts were not changed, and the medieval liturgy rather than
the patristic was chosen as the basis for that conciliar reform.243

As it turned out, the 1570 Roman Rite differed little from the first printed edition of the Missale

Romanus in 1474,244 which faithfully followed the Roman Liturgy from the time of Pope

Innocent III (1198-1216).245 What was called the Roman Rite was actually an amalgamation

of various rites in hybrid form. 246

242
Pope Pius V, Quo Primum (July 14, 1570): Pope Pius V states, We decided to entrust this
work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient
codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere.
Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same
sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy
Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious
study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as
possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers
to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration
of Masses. Online source: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius05/p5quopri.htm. December 26,
2016.
243
Pecklers, Liturgy, 136.
244
Missale Romanum Mediolani 1474 (vol. 1; ed. R. Lippe; Henry Bradshaw Society; London:
Harrison and Sons, 1899).* This is a reprint of the copy of the Milanese edition of 1474, which was
preserved in the Ambrosian Library in Milan.
245
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal 7 in The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy
Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction
of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical Edition.; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops, 2011), 2021: Moreover, manuscript books in the Vatican Library, even though they
provided material for several textual emendations, by no means made it possible to pursue inquiry
72
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

The Liturgical Renewal


The Liturgical Renewal of the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought renewed interest among a

number of monasteries in Europe and America, including the Order of Saint Benedict (OSB).

Monks such as Lambert Beaudin, OSB from the Keizerbsberg Abby in Belgium, Odo Casel,

OSB from Maria Laach in Germany, Pius Parsch from the Augustinian Klosterneuburg

Monastery in Austria, and Virgil Michel, OSB from Saint Johns Abbey in Minnesota all made

significant contributions to the Liturgical Renewal.247 In principle, the source of this renewal is

attributed to Pope Pius X and his Tra Le Sollecitudini (On Sacred Music), which encouraged

active participation of the faithful in the divine mysteries and the Churchs common and solemn

prayer as the primary source for Christian life, so that worship might ascend as a sweet odor to

the Lord. 248 Pope Pius XIIs two encyclicals Myststici corporis (1943), and Mediator Dei

(1947), helped guide and encourage the renewal of the liturgy.249 According to Pope Pius XII,

The sacred liturgy isthe public worship which our Redeemer as Head of the Church renders to
the Father, as well as the worship which the community of the faithful renders to its Founder, and
through Him to the heavenly Father. It is, in short, the worship rendered by the Mystical Body of
Christ in the entirety of its Head and members (Mediator Dei 20).250

into ancient and approved authors further back than the liturgical commentaries of the Middle
Ages.
246
Pecklers, Liturgy, 118.
247
Kenan B. Osborne, Christian Sacraments in a Postmodern World: A Theology for the Third Millennium
(New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999), 1011.*
248
Tra Le Sollecitudini (November 22, 1903): Filled as We are with a most ardent desire to see
the true Christian spirit flourish in every respect and be preserved by all the faithful, We deem it
necessary to provide before anything else for the sanctity and dignity of the temple, in which the
faithful assemble for no other object than that of acquiring this spirit from its foremost and
indispensable font, which is the active participation in the most holy mysteries and in the public and
solemn prayer of the Church. And it is vain to hope that the blessing of heaven will descend
abundantly upon us, when our homage to the Most High, instead of ascending in the odor of
sweetness, puts into the hand of the Lord the scourges wherewith of old the Divine Redeemer drove
the unworthy profaners from the Temple. Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred
Liturgy. Accessed November 6, 2016. *
249
Keith F. Pecklers, Liturgy: The Illustrated History (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press; Libreria Editrice
Vaticana, 2012), 170.*
250
Claudia Carlen, ed., The Papal Encyclicals: 19391958 (Ypsilanti, MI: The Pierian Press, 1990),
122.*
73
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Following the publication of Mediator Dei, Pius XII appointed a commission for the

reform of the liturgy on May 28, 1948.251 The commission was chaired by Cardinal Clemente

Micara; it existed for twelve years and held eighty-two meetings during which the commission

worked in complete secrecy.252 The commission brought about a number of reforms, most

notably was the restoration of the Easter Vigil (1951); the work of the commission also helped

set the stage for the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.253

The Second Vatican Council


The first of the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council promulgated on

December 4, 1963, was Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).

Although the document is most known for the restoration of the liturgy into the vernacular

(native) language of the people, which at present I have found twenty-four spoken and one in

ASL,254 the constitution clearly expresses the desire of the council that all the faithful be led to

the full and active participation in the liturgy (SC 14).255 This participation is rooted in their

Christian baptism, which is their right and duty to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy

nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet 2:9). This participation is the primary and essential source for

the true Christian spirit (SC 14).256 The faithful are to,

Come to him, a living stonechosen and precious in Gods sight, and like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:4-5).

251
Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 (trans. M. J. O`Connell; Collegeville:
Liturgical Press, 1990), 8.
252
Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, 9.
253
Pecklers, Liturgy, 171.
254
Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, French,
Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, Old Slavonic, Croatian, Lithuanian,
Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Ghanaian, and ASL.
255
Sacrosanctum Concilium 14: Catholic Church, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy:
Sacrosanctum Concilium, in Vatican II Documents (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011).
256
est enim primus, isque necessarius fons.
74
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

According to Robert Daily, this passage is a focal point of the universal priesthood of

believers, which has been recovered and renewed in Catholic theology since the Second Vatican

Council.257 Martin Luther understood this passage to mean that there is only one priesthood,

but unfortunately he also used it to attack ministerial priesthood.258 Based on 1 Pet 2:9, Luther

also argued that all believers in Christ are priests and kings in Christ.259 However, Paul

Achtemeier seems correct in arguing that the point of the passage is not that each Christian is a

priest, rather the priesthood is to be understood in this context only as corporate and with a

function to be a witness to all humanity.260 This is not to say that each individual does not

have a special charism or gift to offer to God in Christ and to serve one another with (4:10-11).

We are to proclaim Gods mighty acts and wonderful mercy around the world (2:9-10).

This conscious participation is the way of prayer and contemplation, the lifting of mind

and heart in humility, in order to prepare the way for covenantal communion with God through

Christ in the Holy Spirit and in the Church. 261 This life of contemplation informs the active life.

The Second Vatican Council and the Reform of the Roman Rite
As was pointed out above, the Liturgical Renewal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,

the writings of Popes Pius X and Pius XII would eventually lead to Pius XII appointing a special

commission to reform the liturgy on May 28, 1948. During the Second Vatican Council (1962

257
Robert Daily, Sacrifice Unveiled: The True Meaning of Christian Sacrifice (London: T&T Clark,
2009), 59.
258
Martin Luther, Luthers Works, Vol. 30: The Catholic Epistles (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C.
Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 30; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 53. *
259
Martin Luther, Luthers Works, Vol. 31: Career of the Reformer I (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton
C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 31; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 354. *
260
Paul J. Achtemeier, 1 Peter: A Commentary on First Peter (ed. Eldon Jay Epp; Hermeneiaa
Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996), 156. *
261
CCC 2559-2565. Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd Ed. Washington, DC:
United States Catholic Conference, 2000.
75
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

1965), calls were again made to restore the Roman liturgy to its classical and pristine form.262

With the help of the Liturgical Renewal, numerous scholars discovered and made known other

ancient Roman and Ambrosian Sacramentaries, along with other Hispanic and Gallican liturgical

texts; there were also discoveries of liturgical traditions and documents from the early centuries,

before the period of formation of the liturgical rites of East and West; further Patristic studies

shed new light on the theology of the mystery of the Eucharist found in the illustrious Fathers

of Christian antiquity, such as Saint Irenaeus, Saint Ambrose, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, and

Saint John Chrysostom.263 As noted above, the first document promulgated by Pope Paul VI

from the Second Vatican Council was Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution of the Sacred

Liturgy, hereafter SC), which was set forth on December 4, 1963. In the very opening of the

document, the Council states four purposes.

This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing
vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own
times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote
union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole
of mankind into the household of the Church. The Council therefore sees particularly
cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy (SC 1).264

When discussing the reform of the sacred liturgy, the Council states that, the liturgy is

made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change,

and in the restoration of the liturgy both texts and rites are to be drawn up that express

more clearly the holy things they signify so that the Christian people should be able to

understand them, and be able to take part in them fully and actively as a community

(SC 21). The Council then presents general norms for the reform of the liturgy and

262
Pecklers, Liturgy, 118.
263
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal 8-9.
264
Sacrosanctum Concilium 1.
76
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

addresses both the importance of preserving tradition and the need to be open to progress.

The Council states,

That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress,
careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be
revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral. Also the
general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in
conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the
indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good
of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new
forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing (SC
23).265

When discussing the sacred mystery of the Eucharist, the document states,

The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of
its several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more clearly manifested,
and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.
For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their
substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were
added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other elements which have
suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which
they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary (SC 50).266

The history, background, and workings of the reform of the liturgy have been

chronicled,267 scrutinized,268 and sometimes heavily criticized.269 In recent years there have also

been responses to the critics.270 The implementation of the liturgical reforms was overseen by

Pope Paul VI; the work was carried out by special commission (led by Father Annibale Bugnini),

which first gathered in Rome in April 1964 and several other times until the works completion

265
Sacrosanctum Concilium 23.
266
Sacrosanctum Concilium 50.
267
Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, 337-405.
268
Alcuin Reid, Sacrosanctum concilium and the Reform of the Ordo Missae, Antiphon 10.3 (2006):
277-295.*
269
Michael Davis, The Missal of 1962 A Rock of Stability, Latin Mass Magazine (2001).
Online Source: http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_2001_sp_davies.html.
December 28, 2016.
270
John F. Baldovin, Reforming the Liturgy: A Response to the Critics (Collegeville: Liturgical Press,
2016); * Keith F. Pecklers, The Genius of the Roman Rite; On the Reception and Implementation of the New
Missal (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009); Piero Marini, A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of
the Liturgical Renewal, 1963-1975 (ed. M. R. Francis et. al; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2007). *
77
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

and approval by Pope Paul VI on November 6, 1968.271 The new Missale Romanum (Roman

Missal) was approved by Pope Paul VI on April 3, 1969.272 It was promulgated in 1970,

followed by several editions.273 The most recent edition is the 2008 Missale Romanum, which is

the third Latin edition promulgated by Pope Paul II. 274 In between the calling of the Council and

the promulgation of the 1969 Missale Romanum in 1970, there were other liturgical texts based

on the 1570 edition of Pope Pius V: 1) the 1962 Missal, which is still lawful and is used today by

Catholics devoted to this form of the Roman Rite;275 2) the 1965 Missal;276 and 3) the 1967

Missal.277 Much of the criticism came from those who saw omissions, additions, replacements,

and combinations, which they argued were not faithful to the reform set out in Sacrosanctum

Concilium (SC 23, 36, 50).278

Nearly forty years after the completion of the special commission, Piero Marini argued

that there were tensions between the curias Congregation for Rites, who wanted to lead the

liturgical reform, and the special commission headed by Father Bugnini, and that it was the later

271
Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, 338, 383.
272
Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969) in The Roman Missal:
Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope
Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical Edition; Washington D.C.:
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 11-15. *
273
First Latin Edition, 1970; Amended First Latin Edition, 1971; Second Latin Edition, 1975;
Third Latin Edition, 2001; Amended Third Latin Edition, 2008. The first, second, and third editions
were all promulgated on the Thursday of the Lords Supper during Holy Week.
274
Missale Romanum: Ex Decreto Sacrosancti cumenici Concilii Vaticani II Instauratum Auctoritate Pauli
PP. VI Promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II Cura Recognitum (3rd ed.; Vatican City: Libreria Editrice
Vaticana, 2008).
275
Ordo Missae (April 11, 1962). Online Source:
http://www.catholicliturgy.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/textcontents/index/4/subindex/66/textind
ex/17. December 27, 2016. See Missale Romanum: Ex Decreto SS. Concilii Tridentini Restitutum
Summorum Pontificum Cura Recognitum. Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1962.
276
Ordo Missae (1965). Online Source: Corpus Christi Watershed.org: vol. 1:
http://www.ccwatershed.org/media/pdfs/13/11/15/17-54-56_0.pdf; vol. 2:
http://www.ccwatershed.org/media/pdfs/13/11/18/11-49-24_0.pdf. December 27, 2016.
277
See Alcuin Reid, Sacrosanctum concilium and the Reform of the Ordo Missae, Antiphon 10.3
(2006): 277-278.* On the variations and simplification in the 1967 Ordo Missae, see 290-292.
278
They were also unhappy with changes from the 1962 Latin Rite.
78
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

who realized the liturgical reform envisioned by Sacrosanctum Concilium.279 Others, such as

Malcolm Ranjith280 and George Weigel,281 would disagree. Thankfully, there are signs of hope.

In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI made it clear that the 1962 Roman Rite (the extra ordinary form)

and the 1970 Roman Rite (the ordinary form) are not two rites but a twofold use of the one

and same rite.282

Be that as it may, in what follows I will be following the 2011 Roman Rite,283 which is

the English translation of the 2008 Latin Missale Romanum, which is the most recent Latin

version.284 This is the Latin version following the Second Vatican Council. On occasions, I may

refer to the 1962 Latin Missale Romanum for comparisons and contrasts.

The Order of the Roman Rite


The Order of the Mass has four major parts: 1) the Introductory Rites; 2) the Liturgy of the

Word; 3) the Liturgy of the Eucharist; and 4) the Blessings at the End of Mass and Prayers over

the People. Following the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the Liturgy of the Eucharist

itself has within it three important parts: A) the Preparation of the Gifts, bread and wine are

brought to the altar; B) the Eucharistic Prayer, prayers, and thanksgivings are given to God for

279
Marini, A Challenging Reform, 1-13 (esp. 13).
280
Malcolm Ranjith, True Development of the Liturgy, First Things (May 2009): Online Source:
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/05/true-development-of-the-liturgy. December 28,
2016.
281
See Shawn Tribe, George Weigel Reviews Marinis A Challenging Reform, New Liturgical
Movement (February 10, 2008): Online source:
http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2008/02/george-weigel-reviews-
marinis.html#.WGRVBRsrLyQ. December 28, 2016.
282
Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter on Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007): Online source:
http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/letters/2007/documents/hf_ben-
xvi_let_20070707_lettera-vescovi.html. December 28, 2016.
283
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican,
Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical
Edition; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 3.
284
Catholic Church, Missale Romanum: Ex Decreto Sacrosancti cumenici Concilii Vaticani II
Instauratum Auctoritate Pauli PP. VI Promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II Cura Recognitum (Editio Typica
Tertia.; Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2008), 5.
79
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

the work of salvation, and the offerings becoming the Body and Blood of Christ; and C) the

Communion rite in which the faithful, though many, receive the one bread of the Lords Body

and the one chalice of the Lords Blood.285 In what follows I will focus on part A: the

Preparation of the Gifts, which is sometimes referred to as the Offertory. In recent years, it has

become customary to refer to this portion as the Preparation of the Gifts, rather than calling it the

Offertory, in order not to confuse it with the sacrifice (sacred action) during the Eucharistic

Prayer.

Preparation of the Gifts/Offertory


During the early centuries of Christianity, there are witnesses to an offertory. 286 As early as the

first century, the bishop offered gifts.287 Justin Martyr refers to the bread and chalice that are

presented to the presider who then offers up prayer and praise.288 Irenaeus of Lyon refers to the

churchs offering of the firstfruits in the bread and the cup to God the father.289 The Apostolic

Tradition describes how the oblation is brought to the bishop who places his hands on them and

prays a prayer of thanksgiving.290 This description of the oblation and prayer of thanksgiving is

found in numerous versions of the Apostolic Tradition including the Latin, Sahidic, Arabic, and

Ethiopic versions with slight variations.291 In the Prayers of Sarapion, the bishop prays,

fillthis sacrifice with your power and your partaking: for to you we offered this living
285
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican,
Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical
Edition.; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 35.
286
Here I am following Edward Yarnold to a certain degree. See his work The Awe-Inspiring Rites
of Initiation (2nd ed.; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2006 [1994]).
287
Clement of Rome, First Clement 44.4.* Dated ca. 96.
288
Justin Martyr, First Apology 65, 67.* Dated ca. 150.
289
Irenaeus of Lyon, Against Heresies 4.17.5. Dated ca. 180.
290
Apostolic Tradition 4.* Dated from ca. 250 to the 4th century.
291
Paul F. Bradshaw, Maxwell E. Johnson, and L. Edward Phillips, The Apostolic Tradition: A
Commentary (ed. Harold W. Attridge; Hermeneiaa Critical and Historical Commentary on the
Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 38.*
80
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

sacrifice, this bloodless offering.292 During the Easter Season, Augustine addresses the faithful,

in which he likens their lives with the bread and the wine when addressing the faithful about the

Eucharist, explaining, there you are on the table, and there you are in the chalice.293 These

brief references to the offering do not reveal an elaborate offertory, presentation of the gifts, or

what would become important in the eastern church known as the Great Entrance, but they do

give evidence of an offering accompanied with prayer by the one presiding during worship.

Procession of the Offerings in the West


In the West, as early as the third century, there are descriptions of the participation of the faithful

in bringing the gifts to the altar by writers such as Cyprian,294Augustine,295 and Gregory the

Great.296 Gregory of Tours describes how a widow continually brought a liter of Gazan wine to

the sanctuary of the Holy Basilica.297 This participation developed into an elaborate procession

in some areas of the West such as Africa, Rome, and Gaul.298 In the Old Gallican Liturgy, the

gifts were already being viewed in anticipation of what was to happen through the

consecration.299

292
See R. C. D. Jasper and G. J. Jasper and Cuming, Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed (3rd
ed.; rev.; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1990), 77, 74. Dated to ca. 350.
293
Augustine, Sermon 229.*
294
Cyprian of Carthage, On Works and Alms, 15 (ANF 5.480).*
295
Augustine, Confessions 5.9.17.
296
Anonymous Monk of Whitby, The Earliest Life of Gregory the Great 19 (trans. And ed. B
Colgrave: London: Cambridge University Press, 1968), 107.*
297
See Cabi, The Eucharist, 78. Cabi refers to a source that I was not able to track down:
Gregory of Tours, Liber miraculorum in Gloria confessorum 64 (ed. B. Krusch; MGH SRM 1; 1885), 785-
786. However, I did find it as follows: Gregorii Episcopi Turonesis, Miracula et Opera Minora, Liber
in Gloria Confessorum 64, (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum 1.2; ed. B.
Krusch; Hannover; Hahns Books, 1969 [1885]), 235-336.
http://www.mgh.de/dmgh/resolving/MGH_SS_rer._Merov._1,2_S._336. December 30, 2016.
298
Cabi, The Eucharist, 78.
299
Cabi, The Eucharist, 79.
81
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Procession of the Offerings in the East


In the East, there is no mention of the involvement of the people in the offertory procession.

Rather, it is the deacons who present the gifts. Theodore of Mopsuestia sees symbolism in the

deacon bringing the offerings on the patens and in the chalices symbolizing Christ going to his

passion.300 Narsai of Nisibis encourages his hearers to see the procession of the deacon with the

bread on the paten and the wine in the cup as Jesus going forth to suffer.301 This procession and

symbolism prefigures the Byzantine rite of the "Great Entrance" that is found in the eighth

century,302 and also the Byzantine Prothesis.303 In an early manuscript that may have prefigured

the Prothesis, we find, ,304 which may

refer to the Patriarch who made prayer over the holy bread of presence, or to an exhortation to

pray that which the Patriarch does over the presentation of the holy bread.305 There is a most

curious parallel with the , the bread of presence (Mk 2:26; Mt 12:4;

Lk 6:4). Another close parallel is found in Second Temple Judaism, , bread of

presence (1 Chron 13:11).

300
Theodore of Mopsuestia, Homily 15: On the Eucharist 25 [5th cent.] in Worship in the Early
Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources (vol.3; ed. L. J. Johnson; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009),
261-262. Here after WEC. Theodore was a Nestorian. One wonders his influence in regards to the
Eucharist among Orthodox Catholics.
301
Narsai of Nisibis, Homily 17: Exposition of the Mysteries [5th cent.] in WEC 3.290. Narsai is from
the Assyrian Church (5th cent.). See also Edmund Bishop, The Liturgical Homilies of Narsai (ed. J.
Armitage Robinson; trans. R. H. Connolly; vol. 8, No. 1; Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical
and Patristic Literature; Cambridge: Cambridge at the University Press, 1909), 1. * He is known as
the Harp of the Holy Spirit
302
Cabi, The Eucharist, 79.
303
Prothesis is both a small chapel to the left of the sacred altar, which includes a table; Prothesis
is also the action and prayers during the preparation of the gifts of bread and wine.
304
On the development of the Byzantine Prothesis, see F. E. Brightman, ed., Liturgies: Eastern and
Western (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896), 539-531. * See Jacobus Goar, Sive Rituale
Graecorum (2nd ed.; Bartholomaei Javarina, 1730), 153. *
305
The first option is my poor attempt to translate, and the second was with the help of my
friend Amy Anderson.
82
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

The Divine Liturgy, celebrated by the Orthodox Church, is divided into three parts; the

first being the Prothesis which takes place in a separate area called by the same name in which

there is a table that is known as the Table of Prothesis.306 This is followed by the second part

known as the Liturgy of the Catechumens, which is followed by the third part, the Liturgy of the

Faithful. In the 14th century, Nicholas Cabasilas described the Prothesis in which the offering of

bread and wine is prepared, comparing the bread and wine with the offering of firstfruits.307

During the Prothesis, the (Proskomide), oblation takes place that prepares the

bread and the wine for the Eucharist. It is also at the beginning of the Proskomide that the

faithful may bring gifts to the priest and the deacons so that the Eucharist can be prepared.308

Decline of the Offertory in the West


The offertory procession declined in the West during the Middle Ages. A number of factors led

to the decline: 1) the offertory procession had become time consuming; 2) the use of unleavened

bread in the Eucharist, which prevented using bread provided by the faithful; and 3) the rise of

private masses.309 In the Late Middle Ages, the offertory was revived within the papal Mass

during canonizations; such is the case of the canonization of Bridget of Sweden by Pope

Boniface IX in 1391; however, the procession took on a more complex allegorical meaning; for

example, candles, bread, and wine were brought forward to the papal altar, where others waited

with a candle and a cage of doves; the lighted candles may have represented faith, the bread

symbolized hope, the wine represented love, and the doves the innocence of the saint who is

306
R. M. French, Introduction, A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy (trans. J. M. Hussey and P. A.
McNulty; Crestwood, New York: St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 1977), 2, 4.
307
Nicholas Cabasilas, A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy 2-11 (trans. J. M. Hussey and P. A.
McNulty; Crestwood, New York: St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 1977), 31-42.
308
John D. Zizioulas, The Eucharistic Communion and the World (ed. Luke Ben Tallon; London;
New York: T&T Clark, 2011), 6162.
309
Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy, 109-110.
83
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

being canonized.310 Following the Second Vatican Council, the faithfuls participation in the

Presentation of the Gifts was restored.

Significance of the Preparation of the Gifts/Offertory


In the early centuries the oblations for the offertory were the works of the faithfuls own hands;

in giving at the offertory, they gave something of their own substance, which according to

Theodore Klauser, served to enhance the symbolism of the offertory gift, and the giving of

themselves.311 Robert Cabi argues that through the faithfuls contribution of bread and wine

(and with their intentions), they shared and gathered the fruits of the Eucharist.312 Recent Papal

writings have pointed out the importance of the faithfuls role in the Preparation of the Gifts, as

we shall see below shortly.

Significance of the High Priesthood of Christ


The participation of the faithful in the offering of the Eucharist is rooted in their participation in

the common or royal priesthood because of their baptism (LG 10). According to Hebrews,

Christ is the High Priest (Heb 5:5). He has made the People of God a kingdom and priests to

God the Father and to reign on the earth (Rev 1:6; 5:9-10). They are being built into a spiritual

house and a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus (1

Pet 2:4-5).313 They are to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God

as their spiritual worship (Rom 12:1).314 The kingdom they are receiving is unshakable for

which they give thanks and offer to God an acceptable worship (Heb 12:28).315 They are to

offer a sacrifice of praise to God through Christ and to do good and share with others for such

310
Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy, 112-113.
311
Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy, 109.
312
Cabi, The Eucharist, 80-81.
313
Acceptable ().
314
Acceptable ().
315
Acceptable ().
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

sacrifices are pleasing to God (Heb 13:15-16).316 Thus, by reason of their baptism into Christ,

they are able to share in a special way in the one priesthood of Christ (LG 10). However,

according to Lumen Gentium, during the Eucharist the faithful make their offering in union with

the ministerial priesthood, which is related with the common priesthood, but with differences:

Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common
priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless
interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood
of Christ. The ministerial priest, by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the
priestly people; acting in the person of Christ, he makes present the Eucharistic sacrifice,
and offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal
priesthood, join in the offering (oblationem) of the Eucharist.317

In his 1980 Apostolic Exhortation Dominicae Cenae (On the Mystery and Worship of the

Eucharist), Pope John Paul II addressed the role of the common priesthood in union with the

ministerial priesthood. Although the high point in the Eucharistic prayer is the consecration of

the bread and wine at the hands of the celebrant and the prayer for the Holy Spirit, the faithful

already participate in the offering during the presentation of the gifts. He states,

The celebrant, as minister of this sacrifice, is the authentic priest, performing-in virtue of
the specific power of-sacred ordination-a true sacrificial act that brings creation back to
God. Although all those who participate in the Eucharist do not confect the sacrifice as
He does, they offer with Him, by virtue of the common priesthood, their own spiritual
sacrifices represented by the bread and wine from the moment of their presentation at the
altar. For this liturgical action, which take a solemn form in almost all liturgies, has a
"spiritual value and meaning." The bread and wine become in a sense a symbol of all
that the Eucharistic assembly brings, on its own part, as an offering to God and offers
spiritually.318

In his 2007 Encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis (hereafter SC), Pope Benedict XVI addressed the

bishops, clergy, consecrated persons, and the lay faithful concerning the Eucharist as the source

316
Pleasing ().
317
Catholic Church, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: Lumen Gentium, in Vatican II
Documents (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011): Concerning the faithful it states, fideles
vero, vi regalis sui sacerdotii, in oblationem Eucharistiae concurrunt.
318
Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae II.9 (February 24, 1980). Online Source:
https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1980/documents/hf_jp-
ii_let_19800224_dominicae-cenae.html. January 4, 2017.
85
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

and summit of the Churchs life and mission. When reflecting on the presentation of the gifts he

states,

This is not to be viewed simply as a kind of interval between the liturgy of the word
and the liturgy of the Eucharist. To do so would tend to weaken, at the least, the sense of
a single rite made up of two interrelated parts. This humble and simple gesture is actually
very significant: in the bread and wine that we bring to the altar, all creation is taken up
by Christ the Redeemer to be transformed and presented to the Father. In this way we
also bring to the altar all the pain and suffering of the world, in the certainty that
everything has value in Gods eyes. The authentic meaning of this gesture can be clearly
expressed without the need for undue emphasis or complexity. It enables us to appreciate
how God invites man to participate in bringing to fulfilment his handiwork, and in so
doing, gives human labour its authentic meaning, since, through the celebration of the
Eucharist, it is united to the redemptive sacrifice of Christ (SC 47).319

In the offering bread and the wine, the faithful are offering the firstfruits of the earth from the

created orderthat is, creation. Humanity may be thought of as a high point, with its strengths

and shortcomings, but human nature is totally dependent on the Creator and the created order.

Alongside the simplest forms of life (biological), humans owe their existence and gratitude to

God. Humans are not self-sustaining, and to think as such is self-deceiving. We offer to God

what God has first given to us from the created order and the order of grace, along with

ourselves. In a sense, we offer Christ, who is the firstfruits of the new creation, to the Father,

along with ourselves, and in return we share in the firstfruits, gifts, and charisms of the Holy

Spirit. We acknowledge the supremacy of Christ, who is the vine, and we are the branches. If

we abide in him, and He in us, we will bear much fruit, and without him, we can do nothing (Jn

15:5).

Through baptism, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and faith in the crucified, risen, and

ascended Christ, we not only make our offering, we also anticipate the eschatological fulfillment

of all things, and so we lift our hearts and minds to heaven. We are hoping and looking for the

319
Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2007).
86
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

coming Son of Man, Son of God, the coming resurrection, and the final restoration of all things

in God.

The way has already been prepared for us from the very beginning (Mk 1:1-8). In the

Introductory Rite, we begin, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
320
which reminds us of our baptism into Christs death and resurrection and in the divine name

of the Holy Trinity (Mk 16:16; Rom 6:3-4). More importantly, this should remind us of Jesus

Baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist that revealed both the opening of the heavens and the

Mystery of the Trinity (Mk 1:9-11). Then the presider extends his hand and greets us with the

words, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy

Spirit be with you all, 321 which reminds us that we are to participate in communion with the

Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.322 To which we respond, Amen.

Then follows the Penitential Act, during which we confess our sins and pray for Gods

mercy, which is reflected in Psalm 51.323 We then either sing or say the Gloria, a hymn that is

a kind of sacrifice of praise in which we contemplate the Lamb of God who having been

crucified is now seated at the right hand of the Father.324

2008 MISSALE ROMANUM 2011 ROMAN RITE


Dmine Fili Unignite, Iesu Christe, Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Dmine Deus, Agnus Dei, Flius Patris, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
qui tollis peccta mundi, you take away the sins of the world,
miserre nobis; have mercy on us;

320
The Order of Mass, 1.
321
The Order of Mass, 2: this is the first of three options. The second is Grace to you and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The third is The Lord be with you. To which
the people respond, And with your spirit.
322
See 2 Cor 13:13; Jn 1:1-3; 3:24; 1 Cor 10:16.
323
The Order of Mass, 3-7.
324
The Order of Mass, 8.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

qui tollis peccta mundi, you take away the sins of the world,
sscipe deprecatinem nostram. receive our prayer;
Qui sedes ad dxteram Patris, you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
miserre nobis. have mercy on us.
Qui sedes ad dxteram Patris, miserre nobis.
For you alone are the Holy One,
Quniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dminus, you alone are the Lord,
tu solus Altssimus, Iesu Christe, cum Sancto you alone are the Most High,
Spritu: in glria Dei Patris. Jesus Christ,
Amen.325 with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.326

The Liturgy of the Word


We now enter the second major part of the Roman Rite. In the Liturgy of the Word, we hear

readings from the Sacred Scriptures, sing from the psalms, and hear a homily and exhortation

either by the priest or the deacon and are encouraged to imitate the words contained in them.327

During this time the seeds of the Word of God are being sown into our hearts, which have been

cultivated through repentance. It is important that the seeds of the Word of God are sown into

our hearts, so that they bear fruit in the Liturgy of the Eucharist that will follow and throughout

our lives. Following the homily, we either sing or speak the Creed, which is also called the

Symbol or Profession of Faith; in general we recite the Nicene-Constantinople Creed, but during

Lent and Easter Time, we may recite the Apostles Creed. During this time we contemplate the

325
Catholic Church, Missale Romanum: Ex Decreto Sacrosancti cumenici Concilii Vaticani II
Instauratum Auctoritate Pauli PP. VI Promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II Cura Recognitum (Editio Typica
Tertia.; Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2008), 510.
326
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican,
Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical
Edition; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 522.
327
The Order of Mass, 10-17.
88
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Trinitarian Faith of the Creed. We then pray the Universal Prayer, which is known as the Prayer

of the Faithful.328

Importance of the Art of Listening


According to Pope John Paul II, the sharing of all the baptized in the one priesthood of Jesus

Christ, is the key to understanding the Second Vatican Councils call for active participation

that is fully conscious, which includes the art of interior listening, a subconscious

experience, and a balance between sparseness and excessiveness of emotion that feeds the heart

and the mind, the body and the soul (SC 14).329 The faithfuls participation should be above all

internal in that they join their mind with what they hear and pronounce, cooperating with the

Holy Spirit, and also external to show the internal participation by gestures and bodily attitudes,

by the acclamations, responses and singing.330 The faithful should learn to unite themselves

interiorly to what the ministers or choir sing, so that by listing to them they may raise their minds

to God.331

The Liturgy of the Eucharist


We come now to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We will now look at examples of prayers that

have been associated with the Preparation of the Gifts/Offerings/Oblation. I use the term

oblation to designate the internal or spiritual offering that the faithful make concurrent with the

presider who leads the worship. As the minister prepares the altar for the celebration of the

328
The Order of Mass, 18-19. Then follows the Prayer of the Faithful.
329
Pope John Paul II, Address to the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the United States of American
(Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska) (October 9, 1998), no. 3: Online Source:
https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/speeches/1998/october/documents/hf_jp-
ii_spe_19981009_ad-limina-usa-2.html. January 6, 2017.
330
Sacred Congregation for Rites, Musicam Sacram 15 (March 5, 1967). See Austin Flannery,
Vatican Council II (vol. 1; ed. A. Flannery; rev. ed.; Northport: Costello Publishing Company, 1998),
84.
331
Sacred Congregation for Rites, Musicam Sacram 15.
89
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Eucharist, the offertory chant begins. During the early centuries, the offertory took place in

silence, and all attention was centered on the procession and on the gifts.332 It was not until the

time of Augustine that we have possible evidence of an offertory chant in the West.333 In the

East, there was no lengthy offertory chant in the Prayer of Sarapion, or the Apostolic

Constitutions 8, but there is one found in a 9th century manuscript of the Divine Liturgy of Saint

Basil, which likely is an ancient offertory prayer said in the East.334 The prayer begins,

O Lord our God, you have created us and brought us into this life, and have
shown to us the way to salvation, be gracious to us and reveal to us your heavenly
mysteries, . You have made us to stand in this
service in the power of the Holy Spirit, .
Be pleased, therefore, O Lord to make us servants of your new covenant, and
ministers () of your holy mysteries.
Receive us and draw us near to your holy altar according to your abundant mercy,
so that we might be worthy to offer to you this reasonable and bloodless sacrifice
( ), for our own sins and the
ignorance of the people. Receive it up to your holy, heavenly, and spiritual altar
in a sweet smelling odor, and send down to us in return the grace of the Holy
Spirit.335
This prayer acknowledges God as both creator and savior. The prayer asks God to be drawn to

the holy altar through the abundant mercy of God so that the community might be worthy to

offer (), a reasonable and bloodless sacrifice.

In the West, offertory prayers were eventually introduced into the Roman Rite. We will look

at three. The first is found in the 1570 Missale336 Romanum, but it was omitted from the 2008

332
Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, 492-498.
333
Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, 492.
334
Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, 498.
335
F. E. Brightman, ed., Liturgies: Eastern and Western (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896), 319. * My
translation with the help of aids.
336
Private prayers were added to the Mass in order to interpret various liturgical actions with a
sense of symbolism; for example, during the presentation of bread and wine at the offertory, there
were prayers of offering (Susicipe, Offerimus), along with the epicletic formula Veni sanctificator,
90
Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Missale Romanum, and thus from the new 2011 Roman Rite with a few exceptions. The second

is a new prayer that was added to the new Roman Rite. The third is an ancient prayer that was

retained in the 2008 Missale Romanum, thus found in the recent Roman Rite.

Suscipe sancte Pater, Accept Holy Father


The 1570 Missale Romanum contains an interesting offertory prayer known as the Suscipe sancte

Pater (Accept, Holy Father) from a Carolingian prayer concerning the bread.337 It first appears

with variations in the prayer book of the Emperor Charles the Bald (875-877),338 who prayed the

prayer during the offering at Mass.339

Suscipe Sancta Trinitas atque indivisa unitas Accept Holy Trinity, and undivided unity, this
hanc oblationem quam tibi offero per manus oblation which I offer to you through the
Sacerdotis tui, pro me peccatore, & miserrimo hands of your priest for me a sinner, and most
omnium hominum. miserable of all humans.

This offertory prayer above from Charles is addressed to the Holy Trinity and simply refers to

the oblation that is offered through the hands of the priest. The offertory prayer below from

the 1570 Missale Romanum is addressed to the Holy Father, Almighty, Eternal God and refers to

the offering of the immaculate sacrifice.

Suscipe, sancte Pater, omnipotens, aeterne Accept, Holy Father, Almighty, Eternal God,
Deus, hanc immaculatam Hostiam, quam ego this immaculate sacrifice, which I, your
indignus famulus tuus offero tibi Deo meo unworthy servant, offer to you my living and
vivo et vero pro innumerabilibus peccatis et true God, for my innumerable sins and

arriving ultimately with Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem; these were part of what became known
as a little canon (Emminghaus, The Eucharist, 78, 167).
337
Michael Witczak, History of the Latin Text and Rite, in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of
the Roman Missal (ed. E. Foley, et. al.; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2011), 204.
338
Adrian Fortescue, The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy (London: Longmans, Green and Co.;
1922), 305. * For the Latin text, see Sartorius, Liber Precationum Quas Carolus Calvus Imperator
(Ingolstalt, 1583), 112-113.
339
See Sartorius, Liber Precationum Quas Carolus Calvus Imperator (Ingolstalt, 1583), 112-113:
Suscipe Sancta Trinitas atque indivisa unitas hanc oblationem quam tibi offero per manus Sacerdotis
tui, pro me peccatore, & miserrimo omnium hominum (Accept Holy Trinity, and undivided unity,
this oblation which I offer to you through the hands of your priest for me a sinner, and most
miserable of all humans). *
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

offensionibus et negligentiis meis et pro offenses and my negligence, and for all
omnibus circumstantibus, sed et pro omnibus gathered around, and for all faithful
fidelibus Christianis vivis atque defunctis: ut Christians living and dead, so that it might to
mihi et illis proficiat ad salutem in vitam profitable to me and to them for salvation in
aeternam. 340 eternal life.

The question arises, why was this offertory prayer excluded from the New Roman Rite?

According to Lucien Deiss, the old offertory resembled a magnificent garden in which

tradition, from throughout the ages, had planted the most marvelous flowers.341 The problem

was they were located out of place; this includes the above prayer, Suscipe, sancta Pater.342 It is

not surprising that those who bemoan the new Roman Rite see great value in such prayers.343

Although the expression hanc immacluatam hostiam anticipates the consecration, it is

considered to be out of place.344 As pointed out above, the prayer was omitted from the 2008

340
C. E. Hammond, ed., Liturgies: Eastern and Western (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1878), 312313.
The prayer continues by asking God to look upon the community and its worship, and to accept
them just as God accepted the gifts of Abel, the sacrifice of Noah, the burnt offering of Abraham,
the priestly service of Moses and Aaron, the peace offerings of Samuel, and finally the true worship
of the Apostles, asking that God might accept from the hands of sinners the gifts in the Lords
goodness in order that they might blamelessly perform the liturgical service at Gods holy altar and
that they might find the reward of the faithful and enlightened stewards in the day of Gods
righteous reward, through the compassionate mercy of Gods only begotten Son with whom be
blessed with the all-holy, good, and life giving Spirit. To which the people respond Amen.
341
Lucein Deiss, The Mass (trans. L. Deiss et. al.; Collegeville; Liturgical Press, 1992), 49.*
342
Deiss, The Mass, 50.
343
See for example, Rama P. Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition (rev.; World
Wisdom, Inc.: 2006), 258: Coomaraswany includes the Suscipe sancta Pater as one of the prayers
deleted by those he calls innovators who purged the mass of Catholic doctrines. See also Michael
Davies, Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II: The Destruction of Catholic Faith through Changes in Catholic
Worship (Charlotte: Tan Books, 2003).
The Suscipe sancta Pater was held in high regard by Dom Prosper Gueranger. In his The Holy Mass
(1885), Dom Gueranger states, in orderto understand all these Prayers which now follow, we
must keep steadily before us the Sacrifice itself, although it is not as yet offered in all its august
reality. As a first instance, we have in this Prayer the Host spoken of as being presented to the
Eternal Father, although our host at this moment is not yet the Divine Host Itself. And is said that
the host is without spot: immcaulatam hostiam; in these words allusion is made to the victims of the
Old Testament, which were obliged to be without blemish, because they were a type of Our Lord,
Who was one day to appear before us as the Immaculatus.
344
Fortescue, The Mass, 305.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Missale Romanum, except for simplified and variant forms that are found in the memorial of the

Martyrs Saint Andrew Dng-Lac and Companions, the Common of Martyrs, and in the Easter

Vigil during the blessing of the fire and the preparation, prayer and offering of the Easter

candle,345 where the light from the candle comes to represent the inner illumination and

presence of the light of Christ in our hearts and in our lives.346 However, the above offertory

prayer remains in the extraordinary form of the1962 Missale Romanum.347

Benedctus es, Dmine, Blessed are you


This brings us to the second example. This new form of prayer, which was adopted for use in

1968, is based on an ancient Jewish prayer and early prayers from the Didache.348 After the

presentation of the gifts and the preparation of the altar, the presider, who is standing at the altar,

takes (accipit) the paten (golden or silver plate) with the bread and raises it slightly above the

altar with both hands, saying,

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,


for through your goodness we have received
the bread we offer you:
fruit of the earth and work of human hands,
it will become for us the bread of life.349
After which the people respond, Blessed be God forever.350 The presider then takes (accipit)

the chalice and raises it slightly above the altar, saying,

345
Catholic Church, Missale Romanum: Ex Decreto Sacrosancti cumenici Concilii Vaticani II
Instauratum Auctoritate Pauli PP. VI Promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II Cura Recognitum (Editio Typica
Tertia.; Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2008), 872, 909, 349, 355.
346
Kevin W. Irwin, Models of the Eucharist (New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2005), 103.
347
Catholic Church, Missale Romanum: Ex Decreto SS. Concilii Tridentini Restitutum Summorum
Pontificum Cura Recognitum (vol. 1; Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1962), lviii, 220.
348
Michael Witczak, Liturgy of the Eucharist, in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of the Roman
Missal. (ed. E. Foley and et. al.; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2011), 205.
349
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican,
Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II (Third Typical
Edition.; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), 529. Normally
the priest says this prayer in a low voice; if, however, the Offertory Chant is not sung, the priest may
speak it aloud, after which the people make the acclamation, Blessed be God forever.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,


for through your goodness we have received
the wine we offer you:
fruit of the vine and work of human hands,
it will become our spiritual drink.351
After which the people respond, Blessed be God forever.352

According to Geoffrey Wainwright, the offering of creation and of ourselves for

transformation in the new Roman prayer is beautifully expressed.353 He continues that this is

the focus for everyday existence in the principle referred to in 1 Timothy that, everything

created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving;

for it is sanctified by Gods word and by prayer (1 Tim 4:4-5).

This new prayer also has a firm foundation elsewhere in the New Testament. While

rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, Jesus prays, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, after

which Jesus acknowledges that all things () were given to him by the Father (Lk 10:21-22;

Matt 11:25: 12:1). All things () came into being through him, and for him, and in him all

things () are held together (Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:16-17), and through him God was pleased to

reconcile to himself all things (), whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the

blood of his cross (v. 20).

The new prayer is set within the context of creation, in the world for which Christ has

now finished his redeeming work, in the world from which we now look in faith, hope, and
350
The Order of Mass, 23.
351
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the
Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul
II (Third Typical Edition.; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011),
529. Normally the priest says this prayer in a low voice; if, however, the Offertory Chant is not
sung, the priest may speak it aloud, after which the people make the acclamation, Blessed be God
forever.
352
The Order of the Mass, 25.
353
Geoffrey Wainwright, Worship with One Accord: Where Liturgy and Ecumenism Embrace
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1997) 210.
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anticipation for the final destiny in Gods kingdom.354 Yet, the prayer also keeps us rooted in

lifes experiences. According to Archbishop Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, as fruit of the

earth, the bread and the wine represent the creation which is entrusted to us by our

Creator.The Eucharist commits us to working so that the bread and wine be fruit of a fertile,

pure and uncontaminated land.355 Finally, the prayer reminds that created things have the

potential to be sacred. In one of the more famous sayings of Benedict of Nursia, monks were to

regard, all utensils and goods of the monastery as sacred vessels of the altar.356

Orte, fratres, Pray brethren


This brings us to the third and final example. According to Johannes Emminghaus, the Orte,

fratres is the oldest addition to the Roman Rite found in the Frankish liturgy; it is first found in

Amalar of Metz (9th century).357 Following the Second Vatican Council, the prayer was the

object of discussion during the reform of the liturgy. Pope Paul VI favored its retention, pointing

out that the prayer was a beautiful, ancient, and appropriate dialogue between celebrant and

congregation, and that its removal would be the loss of a pearl.358 In the end, the prayer was

kept.

354
Wainwright, Worship with One Accord, 210.
355
See John L. Allen, Bishops Synod on the Eucharist, National Catholic Reporter (October 6,
2005): Online Source: http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/sb100605.htm. January 7,
2017: Barreto Jimeno also said, For that reason the Eucharist has a direct relationship with the life
and hope of humanity and must be a constant concern for the church and a sign of Eucharistic
authenticity.[In] the Archdiocese of Huancayo, the air, the ground and the basin of the river
Mantaro are seriously affected by contamination.
356
The Rule of Saint Benedict 31.10. See also Zechariah 14:20-21.
357
Emminghaus, The Eucharist, 168.
358
Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, 379.
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Following two short prayers recited quietly,359 the presider stands at the altar facing the

people, and first extending, then joining together his hands, he says,

Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters),


that my sacrifice and yours
may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.360

The people then rise and respond,


May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good
and the good of all his holy Church.361

After the presider finishes the Prayer over the Offering, the people respond, Amen.

Both Emminghuas362 and Cabi363 have argued that the original intent of this prayer was

for the priest to invite the fellow clergy, who were also present, to pray for him so that the

sacrifice might be acceptable to God. Be that as it may, Remigius of Auxerre makes it clear that

in the 9th century it is the people who are addressed and exhorted to prayer.364 The people are

invited to join their innermost offering in their heart with the oblation in order that their gift

might be acceptable to the Lord.365

359
In spritu humilittis (The Order of Mass 26) and Lava me (The Order of Mass 28).
360
The Order of Mass 29.
361
The Roman Missal: Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the
Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul
II (Third Typical Edition; Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011),
530.
362
Emminghaus, The Eucharist, 168.
363
Cabi, The Eucharist, 206.
364
Remigius of Auxerre, Expositio missae 40 (PL 101.1251C-1252B). See also Jean-Paul
Bouhot, Les sources de lExpositio missae de Remi dAuxerre, Revue des tudes Augustiniennes
26 (1980): 145-146.
365
See Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, 2.96.
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Pope Pius XII later discussed the Orate, fratres, within a context of the faithfuls

baptism, who become part of the Mystical Body of Christ, and so participate in Christs

priesthood, offering up Christ and themselves to the Father, along with the presider who has

received the sacerdotal power and leads the Eucharistic Worship.366

It does not seem unreasonable to understand the faithfuls active and conscious

participation in the Orate, fratres as the expression and intention of the faithful to offer

themselves along with Christ as a living, spiritual, and reasonable sacrifice. The way has been

prepared for them and already anticipates the memorial sacrifice of Christs death, resurrection,

and ascension that is celebrated in the words and the hands of the presider in the Eucharistic

Prayer,367 in the faithfuls reception of communion in the Communion Rite,368 and the blessing

and dismissal of the Concluding Rites.369

Conclusions
This paper has focused on the first major part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The three

Eucharistic Prayers and the Communion Rite still need to be addressed at another time. The

prayer and desire to restore unity among all Christians was the reason to hold the Second Vatican

366
Pius XII, Mediator Dei 85-104.
367
The Order of Mass, 31-123. This section ends with the doxology spoken by the celebrant alone
or with the concelebrants:
Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
for ever and ever.
The people acclaim:
Amen.
368
The Order of Mass, 124-139.
369
The Order of Mass, 140-146.
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Council.370 I am convinced that there already exist certain, but imperfect unity among baptized

faithful Christians. I know a number of Pentecostals and Evangelicals who attend the Eucharist

and participate in a deep and spiritual manner, without receiving communion. Therefore, I

wanted to share my own knowledge and experience from a life of prayer, work, and study as one

who offered his life at the altar.

In the Eucharist, we repent and seek the reparation operation. As believers, we are called

to participate in the divine life of the Holy Trinity, presenting our bodies as holy and living

sacrifices acceptable to God, offering spiritual sacrifices, the sacrifice of praise, and the sacrifice

of doing good and sharing with others. In the Eucharist, both the ministerial priesthood and

royal priesthood participate in their own unique way in the one High Priesthood of Christ. We

do this through the presence, power, and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom we believe was

present and hovered over creation, overshadowed Mary, entered into Jesus at his baptism, was

with Jesus when offering the Mystical Body to the Father, came upon the early believers, and is

to be poured upon all flesh. In the Eucharist, we offer creation, Christ, and ourselves to the

Father, praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and renewing of the face of the earth. As

believers, we are called to be a living liturgy, called to worship, called to service, called to be a

holy and living sacrifice, priests in the inner court of the temple, and prophets into the streets and

to the world to the glory of God the Father. Even if it costs us our life, we already participate

and have hope in the firstfruits of the resurrection.

370
See John 17:20-24. See also Pope John XXIII, Ad Petri Cathedram 59-62.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

APPENDIX

THE EUCHARIST AS SACRIFICE, PERSONAL REFLECTIONS AND


TESTIMONY

WITH THOUGHTS ON THE 500TH YEAR COMMEMORATION OF THE


PROTESTANT REFORMATION 1517

Introduction
As I was finishing the third and final portion of this project for the Ecumenical Studies Interest

Group, which I presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, I

omitted an important part of the project. I did this in part because the third portion had become

over twice the length that I felt was presentable to the Ecumenical Studies Interest Group. The

other reason was that the topic of the Nature of Sacrifice was developing nicely and was taking

on a certain beauty and shape of its own that would complement the project as a whole. My

intent was to finish working on the topic of the Nature of Sacrifice and its relationship with the

topic of the Eucharist as Sacrifice. This appendix begins that purpose.

It had always been one of my goals to finish this project in light of the 500th year

commemoration of the Protestant Reformation of 1517. This ambition grew out of conversations

that I had with Glen Menzies Ph.D. and Christopher A. Stephenson Ph.D. several years ago when

they were so gracious and kind to share hospitality and conversation during the 40th Annual

Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Memphis, TN, in March 2011. Dr. Stephenson

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brought a unique perspective to our discussions. As an ordained bishop, Stephenson is an active

member of the East Cleveland Church of God congregation. Both Stephenson and his gracious

wife Lisa P. Stephenson earned their Ph.D.s from Marquette University and are both faculty

members of the Department of Theology at Lee University. This background brought

encouragement to me for they were from the Church of God, yet spent time at Marquette

University in Milwaukee, WI, which is a Jesuit Catholic institution. I have known Glen

Menzies for nearly 30 years. I was Glens Teaching Assistant and later taught as adjunct faculty

at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN, for close to 20 years, during which time Glen

was Dean of the Institute for Biblical and Theological Studies from 20112016. I consider it an

honor and a privilege to have been able to work and teach at an Evangelical-Pentecostal school

of higher education as a Catholic scholar. The open and honest conversations among colleagues

were refreshing. As iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17), so our intellects sharpened one another.

As a Catholic, I also found support from the friendship of John Davenport Ph.D., who

was Chair of Arts and Sciences under whom I taught Church History and Ancient Philosophy as

an adjunct faculty for several years. Johns wit, intelligence, and love of church history were

pleasant surprises for he was also a practicing Catholic, with whom I shared a great appreciation

and love, among other things, for the Orthodox Church, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the

Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians. I also found support

and friendship from among the leadership of Dr. Thomas A. Burkman, who for years was Vice

President of Academic Affairs, Cheryl Book, who for many years was Vice President of

Business and Finance, and Dr. Gordon Anderson, who was president of the university during my

time teaching at North Central. This spiritual, professional and academic environment allowed

me to work, struggle, teach, and grow as a Catholic and to learn and glean from the schools

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions. There are many other friendships that I made during my

time at the university with whom I was able to converse as a Catholic. I learned that it is

possible for Catholics and Pentecostals to live, work, share, and worship together despite our

differences. At present, there already exists a certain but imperfect communion among

Christians.

500th Year Commemoration


The 500th year commemoration of Martin Luther and the start of the Protestant Reformation that

happened on October 31, 1517, takes place this year. Some see Martin Luther as a hero and

others as a villain, some as a champion of Christian freedom and others as one of the most

divisive figures in church history. Nonetheless, the historical fact exists that long before the

Protestant Reformation, there was a general sense among some individuals that the Catholic

Church was in need of reform. Three examples will suffice.

The first is the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. This is the notable time in history

when the papacy moved to Avignon France (13051377) where it came under the influence of

French authorities. During this time a number of abuses arose in the church that included,

among other things, nepotism, simony, and a kind of absenteeism. However, with the help of

two remarkable women, Catherine of Siena and Bridget of Sweden, Pope Gregory XI returned to

Rome.

The second example is the Western Schism. After the death of Pope Gregory XI, Urban

VI was elected the new Pope in 1378, who intended to end French influence over the papacy and

to reform the church. However, in doing so, he made enemies among a number of cardinals who

declared their election of Urban as void and elected a new pope, Pope Clement VII. A few

months later, Clement VII and his cardinals left for Avignon, thus ushering in the Western

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Schism. In effect, there were now two popes (one in Rome and one in France). Eventually, a

third line of popes would arise from the Council of Pisa in 1409. This schism was resolved with

the help of John Gerson, Chancellor of the University of Paris, and the Council of Constance

where members of the Church worked to end the crisis. In the decree Sacrosancta (1415), the

council called for reform in both head and members. I might be stretching it a bit, but I interpret

this document to be a call for universal holiness among all members of the Church. In essence,

Sarosancta was calling for reform within the Church. The third example is the Renaissance

Popes. They were the twelve popes between the year 1417 and the eve of the Protestant

Reformation. These popes wanted to turn Rome into a center of the Renaissance. Some of these

Popes are considered to have been more spiritual than the others, and the others were more

worldly for which they were criticized. During this time, the Dominican Preacher Savonarola

adopted an apocalyptic style of preaching announcing not only coming judgment upon the

church but also a coming renewal within the church much like the day of Pentecost.371 There

were others who were calling for reform such as John Wycliffe and John Huss.

There was, thus, a general sense that there was need of reform. In the words of one

theologian, reform came, but it arrived with a vengeance. Martin Luther and his 95 theses!

One of the most unfortunate results of the Protestant Reformation was the many different

views that emerged among Protestants concerning the nature and meaning of communionthat

is, the Eucharist. What is meant to be a source of unity among Christians was viewed as though

through a broken lens. Lutheran, Anglican, Reform, Zwinglian, and Anabaptist not only

371
Girolomo Savonarola, Selected Writings of Girolamo Savonarola: Religion and Politics, 14901498
(trans. and ed. by A. Borelli and M.P. Passaro; Yale University, 2006), 174: In A Dialogue Concerning
Prophetic Truth (14961497), Savonarola speaks of the renewal of spirit and of Christian life, that
will be poured out through the whole world through the grace of the Holy Spirit, just as was done
in the times of the Apostles.
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disagreed with Catholics, but they even disagreed among themselves. How is it possible then to

claim that presently there already exists a certain but imperfect communion among Christians?

There were attempts to restore unity between Catholics and Protestants. This was sought

to some degree even as early as the Council of Trent (15451563), though without lasting

success. Other attempts were made, such as the work, teaching, and writings of Elena Guerra

and Pope Leo XIII in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,372 who have been called forerunners

of the charismatic renewal, calling for devotion to the Holy Spirit. It was not until the Second

Vatican Council (19621965) that Christian unity became one of the main goals of the Catholic

Church. Before convening the council, there was offered up a prayer for a renewal of Gods

wonders and a new Pentecost.373 After the Second Vatican Council had begun, the four goals of

the council were stated: 1) to renew the life of the Christian faithful; 2) to adapt to the needs of

the times those institutions subject to change; 3) to foster unity among all Christians; and 4) to

strengthen the evangelical outreach of the Church to all peoples, nations, tongues, and tribes.374

372
See Val Gaudet, A Woman and the Pope: Elena Guerra and Pope Leo XIII: forerunners of
the Charismatic Renewal in the Church Today, New Covenant (Oct., 1973): 46. * See also Pope
Leo XIII, Divinum illud munus 3 (1897) in Claudia Carlen, ed., The Papal Encyclicals: 18781903
(Ypsilanti, MI: Pierian Press, 1990), 410. *
373
Open the Windows: The Popes and Charismatic Renewal (ed. K. McDonnell; South Bend, Indiana:
Greenlawn Press, 1989), 1.
374
Catholic Church, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium, in Vatican II
Documents (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011): This sacred Council has several aims in
view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more
suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster
whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to
call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. The Council therefore sees particularly
cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy (SC 1).
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Second Vatican Council


The Second Vatican Council argued that the Catholic Church is linked in many ways with

those who are baptized and are named Christians (LG 15).375 Those who believe in Christ and

are truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is

imperfect (UR 3).376 In 1993, The Ecumenical Directory confirmed that despite serious

difficulties that do not allow for full ecclesial communion, all those who have been baptized into

Christ share many elements of the Christian life.377

In his 1995 encyclical on Christian unity Ut Unam Sint (That They Might Be One), Pope

John Paul II reaffirmed that to the extent that these elements are found in other Christian

Communities, the one Church of Christ is effectively present in them. For this reason, the

Second Vatican Council speaks of a certain, though imperfect communion (UUS 11).378

More recently, in his 2013 encyclical Evangelii Gaudium (Gospel of Joy), Pope Francis has

argued,

How many important things unite us! If we really believe in the abundantly free
working of the Holy Spirit, we can learn so much from one another! It is not just
about being better informed about others, but rather about reaping what the Spirit
has sown in them, which is also meant to be a gift for us.Through an exchange
of gifts, the Spirit can lead us ever more fully into truth and goodness (EG
246).379

During the week of prayer for Christian unity, on January 20, 2016, Pope Francis pointed out

that Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants share in one Baptism, and that, the mercy of God, who

375
Lumen Gentium 15. *
376
Unitatis Redintegratio 3. *
377
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Directory for the Application of Principles and
Norms on Ecumenism (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1993), n. 104.a. *
378
John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995), n. 11. *
379
Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (Apostolic Exhortation; Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana,
2013), 184.
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acts in Baptism, is stronger than our divisions.380 Although Pentecostals are not mentioned

explicitly, Pope Francis has had good relationships with Pentecostals, both in his home country

of Argentina and also in Italy. To the surprise of many, Pope Francis sent greetings to a

gathering of Pentecostal leaders in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 14, 2014.381 In July 2014, the

Pope addressed the Pentecostal community of the Evangelical Church of Reconciliation in

Caserta, Italy, greeting them as Brothers and Sisters in which he encouraged the community and

asked forgiveness for the way some Catholics have mistreated Pentecostals labeling them as

enthusiasts and madmen.382

Christian Elements
What are some of the common elements that the Second Vatican Council acknowledges as

existing outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church? Belief in God the Father

Almighty, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior; in the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit;

the Word of God (the Sacred Scripture); Faith, hope, and charity; prayer and worship; life in the

Spirit; works of charity; and works of justice.

Christian Ecumenism
My involvement in ecumenism has been on a grassroots level, and yes, the pun is intended. For

me there needed to be a spiritual ecumenism, an inner dialogue with the Catholic tradition I grew

up in, and an outer dialogue with those other Christian traditions that I encountered (for example,

Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical, and Pentecostal). It has not been a dialogue of things

that we agree on or the differences of doctrine, but a dialogue of the whole person, a dialogue of
380
Pope Francis, General Audience for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 20,
2016; online source: Vatican Website. * Accessed March 27, 2016.
381
We are brothers, Pope Stresses in Message to Pentecostals, Catholic News Agency, Online
source: *, Dated February 25, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2016. Those addressed included the
Pentecostal minister Kenneth Copeland.
382
Popes Address to Pentecostal Community in Caserta, Zenit, Online site: * Dated July 29,
2014, Accessed March 28, 2016.
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love.383 My experience was based on an encounter with Christ in my Catholic tradition and with

other Christians that I met, the sermons that I heard, and works that I studied.

By far the longest, and probably one of the most profound, is the exchange between

Pentecostals with whom I have lived, studied, worked, and taughtfor the last thirty years at

what has come to be called North Central University. In my early years there, some friends and

students were open to me being Catholic, but others were not. One fellow student sat down with

me in Carlson Hall lobby and expressed with me her concern for my well-being and salvation.

Another friend of mine from North Central told me that he did not think I would remain

Catholic, but would quickly leave the Catholic Church. Another individual at North Central

point blank asked me, which are you going to choose, Catholic or Pentecostal? I later thought

to myself, why does it have to be either or? Why it is that no one wants to stand in the

gap? Where is the peace maker, the bridge builder, where is the one who cries out to God for

justice, mercy, and unity? Where are the prophet, the priest, and king? I say all this not to say

that all is perfect among the members of the Catholic Church. For the church, according to the

Decree on Ecumenism, is in need of a constant reform.384

My dialogue with Pentecostals has brought an awaking, renewal, reviving, and

restoration in my own Christian life, bringing forth renewed life and vitality. It has taken years

of listening, studying, prayer, and contemplation. It was at times extremely trying, challenging,

and difficult. Yet from out of the pain came fruits of righteousness. It would be difficult to

count all the ways. However, let me give some examples.

383
Ut Unam Sint 47.
384 Catholic Church, Decree on Ecumenism: Unitatis Redintegratio, in Vatican II Documents (Vatican
City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011): Christ summons the Church to continual reformation (perennem
reformationem) as she sojourns here on earth. The Church is always in need of this, in so far as she is an
institution of men here on earth (UR 6).

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Hospitality
During my first two years at North Central, I traveled with their worship touring group One

Accord. A majority of the time we would travel by day, minister at churches and youth groups

in the evening, and stay in host homes at night. My experiences were quite positive. Hosts

provided us with a place to stay, a meal if we were hungry, and often entertained us with graceful

conversations. The experiences of having someone share their home and table was quite

profound and memorable.

Working Together
In a sense, I could have been a poster child for where North Central may be headed in the future

in developing the area of the sciences. Some of my undergraduate studies were in electrical

engineering and the sciences. When Vern Kissner, who was head of Plant Operations, learned

that I was a techie, he asked if I could look at one of the stereos in a music room on campus.

This set of skills would later allow me to work for North Central during the summers doing

electrical installs and troubleshooting. I often worked alongside fellow employees and student

workers from North Central. I was able to talk and share my faith as a Catholic with

Pentecostals; we were able to encourage and build one another up.

Listening
I could not count the number of times that I experienced in the words of John Wesley, I found

my heart strangely warmed when hearing the Word of God preached in North Central chapels.

It became clear to me that among Pentecostals there are those who hold the Divine Scripture in

high regard.

Worshiping
From a Catholic perspective, the Church in Christ is a sacrament (Gr. Mysterion)that is, a sign

and instrument of communion with God and unity among all peoples, nations, tongues, and

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

tribes. The Eucharist is the heart of Catholic Orthodox worship. It is the source and summit of

our life with the Triune God (LG 11).385 It is an offering of praise and thanksgiving for Gods

creation and salvation. It is a spiritual or reasonable sacrifice (1 Pet 2:5; Rom 12:1). It is a

sacramental form of worship and offering in which we participate in the Word of God and the

Work of God, with the presider, with the crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ, the Son of

God and Son of Man, body, blood, soul, and divinity. It is an offering of our hearts, minds, soul

and strength, an offering of the firstfruits of creation (bread and wine), through Christ, in the

Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Although the Eucharist is rooted in the paschal

mystery, it finds its apex in the Feast of Pentecost, which begins with Jesus being raised from the

dead and ascending on high, culminating with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.386

I have also experienced something similar worshiping with Pentecostals. For example,

when I was a student at North Central in the late 1980s, I sat in the pews during chapel next to a

friend of mine from One Accord, Diane Vagle, who married Dan Larson, both of whom now

pastor at Family Life Community Church in Seattle, Washington.* While Diane raised her

hands, heart, and voice to worship God, I came to realize that the same crucified and risen Christ,

whom I came to know and worship within a Catholic liturgical tradition, was the same risen Lord

being worshiped during chapel through the fruit of human lips and human limbs. It seemed to

have a different cultural context but pointed to the same risen Lord.

385
Lumen Gentium 11;* See also John Paul II, The Eucharist is the Source of the Churchs Life,
April 8, 1992, Audiences of Pope John Paul II (English) (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014);
* John Paul II
386
John Paul II, Pentecost: Gods Gift of Divine Adoption, July 26, 1989, Audiences of Pope John
Paul II (English) (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014): This work of the Holy Spirit has its
new beginning at Pentecost in Jerusalem, at the apex of the paschal mystery. From then onward
Christ is with us and works in us through the Holy Spirit, putting into effect the eternal design of the
Father, who has predestined us to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5). Let us never
tire of repeating and meditating on this marvelous truth of our faith. *
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Sharing Gifts
In the early 90s, I traveled to Malawi, Africa, for a cross-cultural mission opportunity.

Professor Doug Lowenberg led the group. If I remember correctly, we would spend the

weekends as a team, but during the week, we would travel to preaching points in small villages

where we spent our time preaching, praying, and spending time with the Africans. A couple

notable experiences are worth commenting on. We often stayed in areas that had no electricity,

plumbing, or sewer systems. The evening nights were filled with wonders. Looking up at the

stars from dark surroundings and from the southern hemisphere was amazing. The heavens just

look different. I saw something that I had never seen before with my own eyes: the Southern

Cross. In the words of the songwriter, When you see the Southern Cross for the first time You

understandwhy you came this way 'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from is.as big as

the promise, the promise of a comin' day (Crosby, Stills & Nash).

During one service, we invited individuals to come forth and pray for the baptism in the

Holy Spirit. One woman came forward, and we prayed for her. At some point she began to say,

"thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus." The interpreter turned to me, and we looked

at each other with a sense of amazement. Later I asked the woman through the interpreter what

had happened. She did not know English, so the interpreter asked the question and also translated

for me her response. She had been filled with the Holy Spirit before, but she came up to pray for

a refilling. During the prayer, she began to speak in an unknown tongue, which we heard as a

prayer of praise and thanksgiving. Here I would later realize that, she was sharing with me her

gift, and that she was a sign and instrument to me of the unity that already exists among us. I

have often wondered how many and how much of the ancient Eucharistic prayers have their

origin in ancient spiritual gifts.

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In closing this section, I want to reaffirm that what unites Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and

Catholics is greater than what divides us. We both have a wonderful opportunity to listen and

learn from one another. But we must listen in humility. Although there is not yet full unity,

there are many opportunities to pray, work, study, dialogue together, and to bear witness to one

another and to the resurrected and risen Christ. One important area for dialogue and

conversation is the Eucharist as Offering and Sacrifice.

Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue on the Eucharist as Sacrifice


Although there exists a certain but imperfect unity among Christians, there are important and

weighty differences. One of these is the significance, meaning, and importance of the Eucharist.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Churchs understanding and teaching of the

Eucharist, with particular attention to other baptized Christians who are not in full communion

with the Catholic Church, has been presented in a number of important sources including the

Decree on Ecumenism (1964),387 the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992),388 the New

Ecumenical Directory (1993),389 the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II, That They May be One

387
Catholic Church, Decree on Ecumenism: Unitatis Redintegratio, in Vatican II Documents
(Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011): n. 22.*
388
Sections 13221419: see Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed.;
Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), 334356.*
389
Sections 92101, 102107, 129136, 159160: see Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian
Unity, Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice
Vaticana, 1993).*
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

(1995)390 and Ecclesia de Eucharistia (2003),391 and the more recent apostolic exhortation on the

Eucharist by Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (2007).392

As early as 1964, the Decree on Ecumenism expressed the Second Vatican Councils

view on an ecumenical Eucharist among Christians.

.Though the ecclesial Communities which are separated from us lack the
fullness of unity with us flowing from Baptism, and though we believe they have
not retained the proper reality of the eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially
because of the absence of the sacrament of Orders, nevertheless when they
commemorate His death and resurrection in the Lords Supper, they profess that it
signifies life in communion with Christ and look forward to His coming in glory.
Therefore the teaching concerning the Lords Supper, the other sacraments,
worship, the ministry of the Church, must be the subject of the dialogue (22).393

In the United States, a series of dialogues began in 1965 between Catholics and

Lutherans and continued to 2010.394 In 1967, the third series tackled one of the thorniest issues

separating the church since the Reformation, that is the topic of the Eucharist as Sacrifice. The

conversations during this third series on the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist took place during

the 450th commemoration of the Protestant Reformation, showed signs of Christian

See also the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, The Ecumenical Dimension in the
Formation of Those Engaged in Pastoral Work (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana), 1998.*
390
Sections 2328, 6470, 72, 87, 97: see John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint (Vatican City: Libreria
Editrice Vaticana, 1995).*
391
Sections 4346: see John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice
Vaticana, 2003).*
392
Sections 1517: Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana,
2007).*
393
Decree on Ecumenism, 22. *
394
These included topics such as the Nicene Creed, Baptism, the Eucharist, Papal Primacy,
Justification by Faith, Scripture and Tradition, and important topics too. See the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops, Documents Produced by the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue in the
United States, Online Source: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-
interreligious/ecumenical/lutheran/lutheran-documents.cfm. Accessed April 10, 2017.
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understanding and fellowship, and resulted with signs of convergence and growing unity, while

also pointing out differences and areas of disagreement.395

There also has been international dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics on the

European continent that began in 1967 and continues even today with the vision of the

commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.396 This involved a meeting in Sigtuna, Sweden, in

1978 that resulted in a document that discussed the Eucharist, which includes agreements on the

Eucharist and differences that still need to be overcome.397 A more recent publication is the

Report of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity that is entitled From Conflict to

Communion (2013), which also has sections that deal with the Eucharist and sacrificial

dimensions.398 Although a joint and shared Eucharistic communion is not a present reality

between Catholics and Lutherans because of obstacles, there are those who anticipate a shared

395
Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue III: The Eucharist as Sacrifice (October 1, 1967). See
the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Eucharist, http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-
and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/lutheran/eucharist.cfm. Accessed April
10, 2017.
396
See the Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue, Online Source:
https://www.lutheranworld.org/content/lutheran-roman-catholic-dialogue. Accessed April 10,
2017. These meetings have been the joint effort of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU).
397
Joint Roman Catholic/Lutheran Commission, The Eucharist (1978), Online Source:
http://www.prounione.urbe.it/dia-int/l-rc/doc/e_l-rc_eucharist.html. Accessed April 10, 2017.
See especially sections 5664 that addresses the topic of the Eucharist as Sacrifice.
398
This document is found on both the Vaticans website and the Lutheran World Federations
website. See From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017,
Online Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/lutheran-fed-
docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_2013_dal-conflitto-alla-comunione_en.html; see also From Conflict to
Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017 (Leipzig: Evangelische
Verlagsanstalt, 2013). A PDF version is available online:
https://www.lutheranworld.org/content/resource-conflict-communion-basis-lutheran-catholic-
commemoration-reformation-2017. Accessed April 10, 2017. The document is also the joint effort
of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
(PCPCU).
For a discussion on the Eucharist, Luthers understanding of the Lords Supper, and Luthers
view of the Eucharistic sacrifice, see sections 140148; for the Catholic concerns, see sections 149
152; for the agreement from the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue on the Eucharist, see sections
153161.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

Eucharistic communion in the near future.399 There is also a news report from Austen Ivereigh

that during his papal visit to Sweden on October 31, 2016, Pope Francis and Rev. Martin Junge,

General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, have agreed to work together for a shared

Eucharist.400 On November 1, 2016, Cindy Wooden reported that Cardinal Kurt Koch,

President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, made a distinction between

Eucharistic hospitality that is for individual persons, and Eucharistic communion that is the

goal of ecumenical dialogue and will be a visible sign of ecclesial communion.401

Pentecostal-Catholic Dialogue
The International Catholic-Pentecostal dialogue between Pentecostals and Catholics began in

1972. Conversations were initiated in 19691970 when the Reverend David J. Du Plessis

expressed interest to the Vatican in opening dialogue with the Catholic Church. With the help of

Father Kilian McDonnell, OSB, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,

Pentecostals and Catholics officially opened conversations and meetings that have occurred

throughout the years through six phases and have resulted in the publication of numerous reports.

The goal of the dialogue was not structural union, but its objective was the growth among

Pentecostals and Catholics in prayer and common witness. 402

399
See the joint article by Catholic Bishop Anders Arborelius and Lutheran Archbishop Jackeln,
in An Important Ecumenical Sign, The Lutheran World Federation (October 18, 2016), Online
Source: https://www.lutheranworld.org/news/important-ecumenical-sign. Accessed April 10,
2017.
400
Austen Ivereigh, Catholic and Lutheran Churches Pledge to Work for Shared Eucharist,
Crux (October 31, 2016), Online Source: https://cruxnow.com/papal-visit/2016/10/31/catholic-
lutheran-churches-pledge-work-shared-eucharist/. Accessed April 10, 2017.
401
Cindy Wooden, Vatican Cardinal Explains Limits of Eucharistic Sharing, Catholic News
Service (November 1, 2016), Online Source:
http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/vatican-cardinal-explains-limits-of-
eucharistic-sharing.cfm. Accessed April 10, 2017.
402
There have been several topics discussed periodically in six phases over the years: 1)
introduction and discussions on various topics such as baptism, scripture, tradition, worship,
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

There has not been a single phase from the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue

that deals exclusively with the topic of the Eucharist or the Lords Supper. However, it is

apparent that the topic did come up throughout the dialogues as seen in the final report

documents and often with insight, clarity, and perspective. However, a developed discussion on

the Eucharist as Sacrifice has not yet come up.403 Hopefully, something develops in the future.

Be that as it may, here are several examples of discussions from the International Catholic-

Pentecostal Dialogue on the Eucharist that demonstrate there is a growing consensus and

understanding, though full and visible communion has not yet been reached.

Public worship should safeguard a whole composite of elements: spontaneity, freedom,


discipline, objectivity. On the Roman Catholic side, it was noted that the new revised
liturgy allows for more opportunities for spontaneous prayer and singing at the Eucharist
and in the rites of penance. The Pentecostal tradition has come to accept a measure of
structure in worship and recognizes the development in its own history toward some
liturgy (sec. 32).

Corporate worship is a focal expression of the worshipper's daily life as he or she speaks
to God and to other members of the community in songs of praise and words of
thanksgiving (Eph 5, 19-20; 1 Cor 14, 26). Our Lord is present in the members of his
body, manifesting himself in worship by means of a variety of charismatic expressions.
He is also present by the power of his Spirit in the Eucharist. The participants recognized
that there was a growing understanding of the unity which exists between the formal
structure of the eucharistic celebration and the spontaneity of the charismatic gifts. This

discernment of spirits, prayer and praise, and a discussion on the Christian experience of the Spirit
of God and discussion on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (19721976); 2) Christian experience of
the Holy Spirt with discussion on speaking in tongues, faith and experience, Scripture and tradition,
exegesis, biblical interpretation, faith and reason, healing, Community worship and communication,
tradition and traditions, perspectives on Mary, ministry in the Church, ordination, apostolic
succession, recognition of ministries, 19771982); 3) Perspectives on koinonia (or communio),
koinonia and the Word of God, The Holy Spirit and the New Testament vision of koinonia,
koinonia and baptism, koinonia in the life of the Church, koinonia and the communion of the saints
(19851989); 4) on evangelization, proselytism, and common witness (19901997); 5) on becoming
a Christian with insights from Scripture, patristic writings, and contemporary reflections (1998
2006); and 6) on the charisms in the life and mission of the church (20112015).
See Dialogue with Pentecostals, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Online
Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/sub-
index/index_pentecostals.htm. Accessed April 11, 2017.
403
See Appendix B below for examples from the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue on
the topic of the Eucharist or Lords Supper.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

unity was exemplified by the Pauline relationship between chapters eleven to fourteen of
I Corinthians (sec. 34).404

Both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics celebrate the Lord's Supper/Eucharist with
notable difference in doctrine and practice. Roman Catholics regard the Eucharist as a
sacramental memorial of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary in the Biblical sense of the word
anamnesis. By God's power, in the Eucharistic celebration Jesus is present in His death
and resurrection. This sacred rite is for Roman Catholics a privileged means of grace and
the central act of worship. It is celebrated frequently, even daily. Among Pentecostals, the
Lord's Supper does not hold an equally predominant place in their life of worship. Most
Pentecostals celebrate the Lord's Supper as an ordinance in obedience to the command of
the Lord. Other Pentecostal churches believe this memorial to be more than a reminder of
Jesus' death and resurrection, considering it a means of grace (sec. 45).

Generally Pentecostals practice "open communion", that is, anyone may participate in the
Lord's Supper provided they acknowledge the Lordship of Christ and have examined
their own dispositions (1 Cor 11 :28). Except in certain cases of spiritual necessity
determined by the Church, the Roman Church admits to communion only its own
members provided they are free from serious sin. This is not meant to be a refusal of
fellowship with other Christians, but rather expresses the Roman Catholic Church's
understanding of the relationship between the Church and the Eucharist (sec. 46).405

The doxological praise of God is at the heart of both Catholic and Pentecostal life.
Corporate praise in a Pentecostal congregation and sacramental and liturgical worship in
Catholic churches are indeed the source and summit of our spiritual lives. It not only
expresses our thanksgiving and praise to God but shapes our very being as disciples and
communities. The divine presence itself, whether in the eucharist or in the high praises of
God's people, is transformative "into the same image from one degree of glory to
another" (2 Cor 3:18). Pentecostals and Catholics are especially aware of this. Living the
liturgical year and participating in the eucharist shapes the Catholic ethos. The
Pentecostal imagination is formed by the manifestation of spiritual gifts amid the jubilant
praise of those upon whom the Spirit has fallen. Yet many Catholics also have come to
know the charismatic presence of the Spirit and Pentecostals are formed by their devout
celebration of the Lords Supper. We affirm together that we desire to be a People who
reflect God's presence to the world by being in his presence. "Therefore, since we are

404 Final Report of The Dialogue between The Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity of The Roman
Catholic Church and Leaders of Some Pentecostal Churches and Participants in The Charismatic Movement
Within Protestant and Anglican Churches: 19721976, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,
Online Source:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/pentecostals/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_1972
1976_final-report-pentecostals_en.html. Accessed May 11, 2017.
405
See Final Report of the Dialogue between the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity of
the Roman Catholic Church and Some Pentecostals 19771982, Pontifical Council for Promoting
Christian Unity, Online Source:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/pentecostals/rc_pc_chrstuni_do
c_19840509_final-report-pentecostals_en.html. Accessed April 11, 2017.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God
an acceptable worship with reverence and awe" (Heb 12:28) (sec. 136).406

The Topic of the Eucharist as the Offering of Firstfruits


The reasons that I chose the topic of the Eucharist as the Offering of Firstfruits are both simple

and complex. My life journey as a Catholic had opened to me shared experiences among

Pentecostals. Although Pentecostals have their own unique culture and worship style, which

some Catholics might find uncomfortable, they have visible elements that are common with

Catholics: for example, the Word of God, hospitality, praise and thanksgiving, the use of music

in worship, and the importance of the Holy Spirit. The complexity has been the different views

and practices between Catholics and Pentecostals concerning the Eucharist. Among Catholics,

the Eucharist is considered the source and the summit of the Churches' worship. For

Pentecostals, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is emphasized, and it is the Holy Spirit that is the

source of the communities free/spontaneous worship and praise. This is not to say that the Holy

Spirit is not important in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Nor does it mean that Pentecostals do not

have room for the Lord's Supper in their worship, for on occasions they do celebrate it with the

words of institution. Christopher Stephenson has reminded us that Pentecostal churches often

have an altar inscribed with the words, "Do this in remembrance of me."

I have to admit that my own experience as a Catholic colored my encounter with

Pentecostals. At first, it was at times challenging and difficult, but over the years it became

rewarding and fruitful. It gradually became clear to me that in regard to worship Catholics and

Pentecostals share in a common reality, the crucified, risen, and glorified Christ. However, there

406
See On Becoming a Christian: Insights from Scripture and the Patristic Writings: with Some
Contemporary Reflections: Report of the Fifth Phase of the International Dialogue Between Some
Classical Pentecostal Churches and Leaders and the Catholic Church (19982006), Pontifical
Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Online Source:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/eccl-comm-
docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20060101_becoming-a-christian_en.html. Accessed April 11, 2017.
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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

were some important differences in belief and practices on the level of visible signs, verbal

expressions, preparations, and the manner in which communion with God is expressed,

specifically the differences in belief and practices regarding the Eucharist or the Lords Supper.

On the one hand, Catholics have a body of authoritative teaching rooted in biblical and ancient

traditions expressed most recently in the Second Vatican II documents, the Catholic Catechism,

and recent post-conciliar thought expressed in Papal documents. On the other hand, the

Pentecostals do not have a unified and authoritative body of literature outside of the written

Word of God.407 Pentecostals have also had unique developments during the twentieth century

that demonstrate some differences.408

As a result, I had to find something that Catholics and Pentecostal share in common. It

became clear to me that it had to be rooted in and founded upon the Holy Scriptures. Although

407
See Christopher A. Stephenson, Proclaiming the Mystery of Faith Together: Toward Greater
Common Witness between Pentecostals and Roman Catholics on the Lords Supper, Journal of
Ecumenical Studies 48:1 (2013): 8596.
408
In the last century, the Pentecostal experience has been described by some in the context of
three periods or waves.
The first-wave Pentecostals who experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit stressed an
essential link with speaking in tongues. These Pentecostals have their roots going back to Charles
Parham and his Bible school students in Topeka Kansas, where the first person to be filled with the
Holy Spirit and speak in tongues wasAgnes Ozman on January 1 (New Years Day) in 1901.
Another one of Parhams students, William Joseph Seymour, led a revival in 1906 at the Azusa
Street Mission in Los Angeles from which Pentecostalism spread throughout the world. These
individuals were often shun from their denominations and formed groups such as the Assemblies of
God, the Church of God, and other important groups.
The second-wave emerged in the 1960s in the Charismatic renewal that spread across various
mainline denominations which included Lutherans, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, and others.
These individuals experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit. They often spoke in tongues.
However, they did not necessarily stress that speaking in tongues was an essential sign of Spirit
baptism.
The third-wave describes Evangelicals and others who, beginning in the 1980s, opened up to
the workings of the Holy Spirit as experienced by Pentecostals and charismatics. This group
emphasizes the importance of charismatic and supernatural gifts. Although there is not a strong
emphasis on speaking in tongues, as with the first-wave, there is a strong emphasis on signs and
wonders that accompany power evangelism. Those involved in the third-wave seem to have a
certain disposition and uneasiness with identifying themselves as Pentecostals.
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this is not entirely true, some Catholics tend to stress Christs passion, sufferings, and Passover

to the exclusions of Christs resurrection, ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the

day of Pentecost. Something similar might be said, though again not entirely true, that

Pentecostals stress the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at the expense of Christs passion, sufferings,

and the Passover. What I decided to do was to seek a way of reconciliation and thus avoid these

two extremes.

As a result, Passover and Pentecost became two poles that I would seek to contemplate

and seek a way to correlate. This approach resulted in working to understand these two feasts

within the historical context of Early Judaism, also known as Second Temple Judaism.

Inadvertently, this brought Early Judaism into the project as the third dialogue partner. As a

result, this developed into the first part of the project that sought to understand the Eucharist

within the context of the Jewish feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and the offering of the firstfruits.

This brought me to eventually realize that this would lead to a richer understanding of Jesus

within the context of Second Temple Judaism, which would help me understand the Eucharist in

Early Christianity.

In other words, my original quest was to bridge the gap between Catholics and

Pentecostals but resulted in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance of Early

Judaism. This led me to find links between Second Temple Judaism and the Eucharist. Which

ultimately brought me to study three important relationships: first between John the Baptist,

Jesus, and the Jewish temple; second, the relationship between the Jewish temple and the

Eucharist; and finally, the relationship between the Eucharist and the Jewish feasts of Passover

and Pentecost, which resulted in the project the Eucharist as the Offering of Firstfruits.

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Lawrence Francis Ligocki, Eucharist as Offering.

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