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Agreed Statement on the Eucharist

 
  1. We agree that in the Eucharist the Church assembled is carrying out the injunction of the Lord to do what he did in the Last Supper, in commemoration of him.

  2. We agree that just as bread and wine became Christ's body and blood at the Last Supper, so do bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ when the Eucharist is celebrated by our Churches.

  3. We agree that the power of the triune God effects the change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Traditionally, this has been attributed either to the Word or to the Spirit.

  4. We agree that the exercise of this divine power most properly is attributed to the Holy Spirit as source of God's action and grace in the Church. This corresponds well with the Spirit's role as life-giver, as overshadower in the incarnation, as sanctifier who sanctifies the bread and wine, become the body and blood of Christ, so that it sanctifies us when we receive it.

  5. We further agree that the consecration of the elements is effected through Christ, the risen Lord, true God and true man, who operates through the Spirit in the life of the Church. This corresponds well with Christ's role in the Last Supper.

  6. We recognize that some Fathers of the Church, such as John Chrysostom, Severus of Antioch, and Ambrose of Milan, have taught that the Eucharist is effected by the words of Christ, "This is my body . . . ; This is my blood." For when the priest pronounces these words during the anaphora, he does not do so in his own name but as representative of Christ and the Church. 

    But since what Christ did, once and for all, is made present now through the work of the Holy Spirit, other Fathers have held that the Eucharist is effected when the Holy Spirit has been invoked upon the gifts of bread and wine.
     
  7. We agree that in the anaphora or canon the account of institution, the anamnesis, and the epicletic prayers are all integral parts of a functional unity, and that the function of each can be properly understood only in the context of their mutual relations.

June 9, 1983



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