Breaking the Host At Consecration


#1

I know that this practice is soundly condemed:

My priest breaks the host at the consecration when he says the words “On the night he was betrayed, Jesus took bread and broke it.” Is he allowed to do that?

In some places there has existed an abuse by which the priest breaks the host at the time of the consecration in the Holy Mass. This abuse is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is reprobated and is to be corrected with haste (55).

But why? I ask because I am at a parish where a visiting priest who comes every week does this, but I feel guilty about saying something because I don't know why this has been condemened.


#2

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:309578"]
I know that this practice is soundly condemed:

But why? I ask because I am at a parish where a visiting priest who comes every week does this, but I feel guilty about saying something because I don't know why this has been condemened.

[/quote]

Jesus' body was broken for us, literally at the cross. This is why this is done immediately prior to receiving Communion. His body is broken (by breaking the bread) and a piece of the Precious Body is placed into the Cup of the Precious Blood, symbolizing the resurrection (a body separated from its blood is a dead body, thus reuniting the elements of the Precious Body with the Precious Blood symbolizes the resurrected Christ).


#3

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:2, topic:309578"]
Jesus' body was broken for us, literally at the cross. This is why this is done immediately prior to receiving Communion. His body is broken (by breaking the bread) and a piece of the Precious Body is placed into the Cup of the Precious Blood, symbolizing the resurrection (a body separated from its blood is a dead body, thus reuniting the elements of the Precious Body with the Precious Blood symbolizes the resurrected Christ).

[/quote]

That's wondeful symbolism.


#4

Also, the Eucharistic Prayer and the Institution Narrative are in the form of a memorial, not a play re-enacting events. Some priest might be confused because they pick up the host when the narrative says that Jesus took bread, but the purpose of that is to show the people so they can see it. If one were really doing a passion play, then not only would the priest have to take and break the bread, but then distribute it to everyone right at that moment, because, after all, that's what the text says.

But of course, distribution doesn't happen at that time because it's not a blow-by-blow play-reenactment. And thus, breaking the bread shouldn't happen at that time, either.


#5

I have never been fond of this line of thinking. The Gospel says, “when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, . . . so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken.” The bread is broken because, of necessity, it must in order to be shared among many. But not because Jesus was himself “broken” on the cross.

And this underlines, I think, why the fraction is and ought to be held back until the Communion rite and not performed during the consecration itself.


#6

[quote="MarkThompson, post:5, topic:309578"]
The bread is broken because, of necessity, it must in order to be shared among many. But not because Jesus was himself "broken" on the cross.

[/quote]

Could the fraction be because Jesus broke bread at the Last Supper?


#7

[quote="benjohnson, post:6, topic:309578"]
Could the fraction be because Jesus broke bread at the Last Supper?

[/quote]

I think it is rather that the fraction in Mass, and Jesus's breaking at the Last Supper, are both a result of the fact that bread must be broken in order to be shared.


#8

[quote="MarkThompson, post:5, topic:309578"]
I have never been fond of this line of thinking. The Gospel says, "when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, . . . so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken." The bread is broken because, of necessity, it must in order to be shared among many. But not because Jesus was himself "broken" on the cross.

And this underlines, I think, why the fraction is and ought to be held back until the Communion rite and not performed during the consecration itself.

[/quote]

There is a difference in the breaking of bones and the "breaking" that is another word for suffering. Also the physical torture. I would think bones are the only things that wasn't broken at this point. Though the poetic verse of the Psalms may not literally translate to no broken bones at all, I doubt his wrists wasn't shattered by nails.


#9

To 'break bread' is simply to tear it up to share it. The physical body of Jesus was not torn apart into pieces. So, rather than look to the language of bread broken as a parallel to the sacrifice of Christ, look to the language of 'given (up)', which is the same language of 'giving up' or 'handed over' to Pilate to be crucified.


#10

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