By Lee Palmer Wandel
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Extra resources for A Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation
1000–1088), raised serious objections to the then dominant eucharistic theology of the ninth-century theologian, Paschasius (ca. 790–860). Berengar’s position was straightforward. The body and blood present in the sacrament cannot be the same as the historical body of Jesus. The historical body of Jesus must take up space and be seen, felt and tasted as a human body. This body can only exist in heaven. The presence on the altar is the spiritual body of Christ. Furthermore, the bread and the wine must continue to exist as bread and wine since they are symbols that point to the spiritual presence of Christ.
An elevation had always been part of the liturgy during the Offertory when the gifts were raised in a sign of thanksgiving to God. This second more dramatic elevation, however, performed a far different purpose. 13 The elevation quickly became a major focus for popular devotions, and gazing on the elevated host in prayer was understood to be a form of spiritual reception. ”14 The custom grew up of ringing the church bells during the elevation to alert people of the presence so they could make their petitions.
Constitutiones Concilii quarti Lateranensis una cum commentariis glossatorum (Vatican City, 1981), p. 42. For a fuller discussion of this decree and its implications, see Ian Christopher Levy, “The Eucharist and Canon Law in the Middle Ages,” in A Companion, pp. 426–428. 2, Magistri Ricardi de Mediavilla Super Quatuor Libros Sententiarum (1591; repr. Frankfurt am Main, 1963), pp. 128–129. the medieval inheritance 19 and only the priest could make this presence possible. The Eucharist became a moment of divine presence and clerical power.
A Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation by Lee Palmer Wandel