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O salutaris hostia: The Challenge of Eucharistic Adoration in Western Rite Orthodoxy

Issue: Vol 31 No. 1 (2012)

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v31i1.41


Though Western Rite Orthodox liturgies have been modified to remove elements of the rite which are grossly offensive to Orthodox theology, such as striking the filioque from the creed, and to make Orthodox theology more pronounced, such as adding a descending Spirit epiclesis, the majority of the liturgical texts remain unedited. However, this does allow certain unintended and longstanding elements to remain in the liturgy, even though they are directly contrary to the spirit of Orthodox teaching on the sacraments. Two obvious problems, related to one another, are the inclusion of the greater elevation, along with the ringing of bells, when the priest pronounces the verba during the Eucharistic prayer, and the inclusion of a liturgy for adoring the sacrament in Western Rite service books. This article argues that, in light of the specific history surrounding the elevation at the verba and the Orthodox custom regarding homage to the Eucharistic gifts, the retention of both is anomalous and should be eliminated for the sake of theological clarity.

Author: Jack Turner

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