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Dominicae Cenae (English: The Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist) is an apostolic letter written by Pope John Paul II concerning the Eucharist and its role in the life of the Church and the life of the priest. It also touches on other Eucharistic topics.
It was promulgated on February 24, 1980, the Second Sunday of Lent. It is the second letter issued during Pope John Paul II's pontificate.
Dominicae Cenae is divided into four major sections:
1. THE EUCHARISTIC MYSTERY IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH AND OF THE PRIEST
2. THE SACRED CHARACTER OF THE EUCHARIST AND SACRIFICE
3. THE TWO TABLES OF THE LORD AND THE COMMON POSSESSION OF THE CHURCH
The Eucharist is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper; giving his disciples bread and wine during a Passover meal, he commanded them to "do this in memory of me" while referring to the bread as "my body" and the cup of wine as "the new covenant in my blood". Through the eucharistic celebration Christians remember Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross.
Mass is the main Eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church, and in the Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches. The term is used in some Lutheran churches, as well as in some Anglican churches. The term is also used, on rare occasion, by other Protestant churches, such as in Methodism.
Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrew and Greeks, and possibly existed before that. Evidence of ritual human sacrifice can also be found back to at least pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica as well as in European civilizations. Varieties of ritual non-human sacrifices are practiced by numerous religions today.
Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Byzantine Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.
The epiclesis refers to the invocation of one or several gods. In ancient Greek religion, the epiclesis was the epithet used as the surname given to a deity in religious contexts. The term was borrowed into the Christian tradition, where it designates the part of the Anaphora by which the priest invokes the Holy Spirit upon the Eucharistic bread and wine in some Christian churches. In most Eastern Christian traditions, the Epiclesis comes after the Anamnesis ; in the Western Rite it usually precedes.
Latria or latreia is a theological term used in Roman Catholic theology to mean adoration, a reverence directed only to the Holy Trinity. Latria carries an emphasis on the internal form of worship, rather than external ceremonies.
Eucharistic adoration is a Eucharistic practice in the Roman Catholic, Catholic and some Lutheran traditions, in which the Blessed Sacrament is adored by the faithful. This practice may occur either when the Eucharist is exposed, or when it is not publicly viewable because it is reserved in a place such as a church tabernacle.
In Christianity, worship is the act of attributing reverent honour and homage to God. In the New Testament, various words are used to refer to the term worship. One is proskuneo which means to bow down to God or kings.
The Memorial Acclamation is an acclamation sung or recited by the people after the institution narrative of the Eucharist. They were common in ancient eastern liturgies and have more recently been introduced into Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Methodist liturgies.
The Roman Rite is the main liturgical rite of the Latin or Western Church, the largest of the sui iuris particular Churches that make up the Catholic Church. It developed in the Latin language in the city of Rome and, while distinct Latin liturgical rites such as the Ambrosian Rite remain, the Roman Rite has over time been adopted almost everywhere in the Western Church. In medieval times there were very many local variants, even if they did not all amount to distinct rites, but uniformity grew as a result of the invention of printing and in obedience to the decrees of the 1545–1563 Council of Trent. Several Latin liturgical rites that survived into the 20th century were abandoned voluntarily in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. The Roman Rite is now the most widespread liturgical rite not only in the Latin Church but in Christianity as a whole.
Eucharistic theology is a branch of Christian theology which treats doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, also commonly known as the Lord's Supper. It exists exclusively in Christianity and related religions, as others generally do not contain a Eucharistic ceremony.
A Eucharistic minister, also known as a communion steward, is an individual that assists in the distribution of Holy Communion to the congregation of a Christian church.
Anglican eucharistic theology is diverse in practice, reflecting the comprehensiveness of Anglicanism. Its sources include prayer book rubrics, writings on sacramental theology by Anglican divines, and the regulations and orientations of ecclesiastical provinces. The principal source material is the Book of Common Prayer, specifically its eucharistic prayers and Article XXVIII of the Thirty-Nine Articles. Article XXVIII comprises the foundational Anglican doctrinal statement about the Eucharist, although its interpretation varies among churches of the Anglican Communion and in different traditions of churchmanship such as Anglo-Catholicism and Evangelical Anglicanism.
Eucharist here refers to Holy Communion or the Body and Blood of Christ, which is consumed during the Catholic Mass or Eucharistic Celebration. "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood, ... a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'" As such, Eucharist is "an action of thanksgiving to God" derived from "the Jewish blessings that proclaim – especially during a meal – God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification."
Ecclesia de Eucharistia is an encyclical by Pope John Paul II published on April 17, 2003. Its title, as is customary, is taken from the opening words of the Latin version of the text, which is rendered in the English translation as "The Church draws her life from the Eucharist", with the first words of the Latin translating as "The Church from the Eucharist". He discusses the centrality of the Eucharist to the definition and mission of the Church and says he hopes his message will "effectively help to banish the dark clouds of unacceptable doctrine and practice, so that the Eucharist will continue to shine forth in all its radiant mystery." He explored themes familiar from his earlier writings, including the profound connection between the Eucharist and the priesthood. It drew as well on his personal experiences saying Mass.
In the Catholic Church, liturgy is divine worship, the proclamation of the Gospel, and active charity.
The Mass is the central liturgical rite in the Catholic Church, encompassing the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where the bread and wine are consecrated and become the Body and Blood of Christ. As defined by the Church at the Council of Trent, in the Mass, "The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner." The Church describes the Holy Mass as "the source and summit of the Christian life". It teaches that the sacramental bread and wine, through consecration by an ordained priest, become the sacrificial body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ as the sacrifice on Calvary made truly present once again on the altar. The Catholic Church permits only baptised members in the state of grace to receive Christ in the Eucharist.
In persona Christi is a Latin phrase meaning "in the person of Christ", an important concept in Roman Catholicism and, in varying degrees, to other Christian traditions, such as Lutheranism and Anglicanism. A priest is In persona Christi, because he acts as Christ and as God. An extended term, In persona Christi capitis, “in the person of Christ the head,” was introduced by the bishops of the Vatican Council II in the Decree on the Ministry and Live of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis, December 7, 1965.
Thanksgiving after Communion is a spiritual practice among Christians who believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Communion bread, maintaining themselves in prayer for some time to thank God and especially listening in their hearts for guidance from their Divine guest. This practice was and is highly recommended by saints, theologians, and Doctors of the Church.
Mediator Dei, a papal encyclical, was issued by Pope Pius XII on 20 November 1947. It was the first encyclical devoted entirely to liturgy.