Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hoc Est Corpus Meum

When God, the Son of God, has wed
His holy Body to the bread,
By the Word which He has said,
We take and eat, and we are fed,
From His own hand, who is our Head


  1. Amen and amen.

    That poetic image of "wed" could spawn a second stanza in re: receptionism, "What God hath joined together. . . "


  2. Sort of reminds me of the poem attributed to Elizabeth I, when asked about her beliefs on the Eucharist (telling the Calvinists to leave her alone):

    "Twas God, the Word, that spake it,
    He took the Bread and brake it,
    And what the word did make it,
    That, I believe and take it."

  3. The verse which Eleanor cites was in actual fact written by John Donne to characterize Elizabeth I's views, as he saw them, and in fact they could be used as much against Catholics as against Calvinists (Donne himself was raised in a Catholic recusant family, but later was ordained in the Church of England, and although his "style" as a preacher and theologian was not at all "puritan," he was basically Reformed in his theological views).

    The verse is more "agnostic" about the Eucharistic Presence, than clear, and in this it may be typical of the dominant Anglican outlook.

  4. So how would an Easterner phrase it?

    Only when God the Spirit has wed
    Christ's sacred body to the bread
    Through the prayer which we have raised
    In which the Blessed Trinity is praised,
    Only then is it as Christ has said.



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