As part of our ongoing discussion of this landmark document on the 32 points of agreement between Catholic and Lutheran theologies, Saint Paul is offering recordings of Adult Forum sessions. These sessions offer insight and explanation on the document, while also posing questions about theological similarities and differences.
Part I of this series focuses specifically on the Eucharist, which is the focus of pages 20-21 in “Declaration on the Way.” Below is subject text for reference, as well as the audio recording:
Agreements on the Eucharist
High Esteem for Eucharistic Union with Christ in Holy Communion
(27) Lutherans and Catholics agree in esteeming highly the spiritual benefits of union with the risen Christ given to them as they receive his body and blood in Holy Communion.
Trinitarian Dimension of Eucharist
(28) Catholics and Lutherans agree that in Eucharistic worship the church participates in a unique way in the life of the Trinity: In the power of the Holy Spirit, called down upon the gifts and the worshiping community, believers have access to the glorified flesh and blood of Christ the Son as our food, and are brought in union with him and with each other to the Father.
Eucharist as Reconciling Sacrifice of Christ and as Sacrifice of the Church’s Praise and Thanksgiving
(29) Catholics and Lutherans agree that Eucharistic worship is the memorial (anamnesis) of Jesus Christ, present as the one crucified for us and risen, that is, in his sacrificial self-giving for us in his death and in his resurrection (Romans 4:25), to which the church responds with its sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
(30) Lutherans and Catholics agree that in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus Christ himself is present: He is present truly, substantially, as a person, and he is present in his entirety, as Son of God and a human being.
Eschatological Dimension of Eucharist
(31) Catholics and Lutherans agree that Eucharistic Communion, as sacramental participation in the glorified body and blood of Christ, is a pledge that our life in Christ will be eternal, our bodies will rise, and the present world is destined for transformation, in the hope of uniting us in communion with the saints of all ages now with Christ in heaven.
Eucharist and Church
(32) Lutherans and Catholics agree that sharing in the celebration of the Eucharist is an essential sign of the unity of the church, and that the reality of the church as a community is realized and furthered sacramentally in the Eucharistic celebration. The Eucharist both mirrors and builds the church in its unity.