Can I symbolicly break plain bread?

Hello,
I am a recent Catholic convert (still taking RCAI classes). I believe that the Eucharist is the real presence, the body of Christ. I DO NOT take it symbolicly.

However, my question is whether it is ok to celebrate the breaking of bread with my family done symbolicly. I dont mean if it is ok to partake in communion in a protestant service. I know that would be a sin since it insults the real presence found in the Eucharist.

I guess I was wondering if it is ok to do it among friends with the full knowledge that this particular gesture is just a re-enactment of the real thing that is found at Mass. I suppose someone might say if I dont do it in protestant service, why should I do it among my friends.

Is there a difference between rejection the real presence and partaking in protestant communion and say... not rejecting the real presence but breaking bread with fellow catholic friends as a means of remembering Jesus when we are not at Mass. Is it any diffrent that say.. wearing a cross while at the same time, knowing that the figure on your cross is not Jesus but you wear it anyway because it reminds you of the real thing.

Any insight would into this would be greatly appreciated.
- Gerrie

[quote="CSUNGerrie, post:1, topic:178886"]
Hello,
I am a recent Catholic convert (still taking RCAI classes). I believe that the Eucharist is the real presence, the body of Christ. I DO NOT take it symbolicly.

However, my question is whether it is ok to celebrate the breaking of bread with my family done symbolicly. I dont mean if it is ok to partake in communion in a protestant service. I know that would be a sin since it insults the real presence found in the Eucharist.

I guess I was wondering if it is ok to do it among friends with the full knowledge that this particular gesture is just a re-enactment of the real thing that is found at Mass. I suppose someone might say if I dont do it in protestant service, why should I do it among my friends.

Is there a difference between rejection the real presence and partaking in protestant communion and say... not rejecting the real presence but breaking bread with fellow catholic friends as a means of remembering Jesus when we are not at Mass. Is it any diffrent that say.. wearing a cross while at the same time, knowing that the figure on your cross is not Jesus but you wear it anyway because it reminds you of the real thing.

Any insight would into this would be greatly appreciated.
- Gerrie

[/quote]

No it is not permitted for a Catholic to receive Communion in a Protestant service.

[quote="CSUNGerrie, post:1, topic:178886"]
Hello,
I am a recent Catholic convert (still taking RCAI classes). I believe that the Eucharist is the real presence, the body of Christ. I DO NOT take it symbolicly.

However, my question is whether it is ok to celebrate the breaking of bread with my family done symbolicly. I dont mean if it is ok to partake in communion in a protestant service. I know that would be a sin since it insults the real presence found in the Eucharist.

I guess I was wondering if it is ok to do it among friends with the full knowledge that this particular gesture is just a re-enactment of the real thing that is found at Mass. I suppose someone might say if I dont do it in protestant service, why should I do it among my friends.

Is there a difference between rejection the real presence and partaking in protestant communion and say... not rejecting the real presence but breaking bread with fellow catholic friends as a means of remembering Jesus when we are not at Mass. Is it any diffrent that say.. wearing a cross while at the same time, knowing that the figure on your cross is not Jesus but you wear it anyway because it reminds you of the real thing.

Any insight would into this would be greatly appreciated.
- Gerrie

[/quote]

Catholics can't take communion at a protestant service, and also doing a symbolic breaking of bread with friends is the same thing. Jesus never ever meant it to be symbolic, and to treat it that way is inappropriate ;). Hope that helps!!:)

When I was a small child, I used to pretend to say Mass. Of course, I was about six years old and my "congregation" consisted of my stuffed animals. My dad actually took a picture of this, not one of my proudest moments looking back.

Unfortunately, even though you may have the best intentions, you would pretty much be doing what I did at the age of six. For a child, it may be cute, but, for an adult, it is something that is misguided.

The Church also says something along the same lines, in Ecclesia de Mysterio:

  1. To promote the proper identity (of various roles) in this area, those abuses which are contrary to the provisions of canon 907 are to be eradicated. In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers -- e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology -- or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to "quasi preside" at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity.

Granted, this document only treats what happens in Church, I would use it as a solid rule of thumb for outside as well.

[quote="CSUNGerrie, post:1, topic:178886"]
Hello,
I am a recent Catholic convert (still taking RCAI classes). I believe that the Eucharist is the real presence, the body of Christ. I DO NOT take it symbolicly.

However, my question is whether it is ok to celebrate the breaking of bread with my family done symbolicly. I dont mean if it is ok to partake in communion in a protestant service. I know that would be a sin since it insults the real presence found in the Eucharist.

[/quote]

The Eastern Europeans have a wonderful holiday tradition on Christmas Eve whereby they sit around the table prior to dinner and the father solemnly breaks an unleavened wafer and distributes it to all members of the family as a symbolic gesture of Christ among us. I have also received Christmas cards with a portion of the Oplatki inside.

Oplatki means "Angel Bread." Sometimes you will see Oplatki spelled as Oplatky or Oplatke, and you will also see the singular version, Oplatek. My own family celebrates this tradition. On the back of the envelope which contains the Oplatki, it reads:

"The word Bethlehem means 'House of Bread.' The breaking of the bread is a sign of charity, unity, and friendship. Religious family traditions and customs bring the truths of Faith into the home. One of these beautiful Christmas customs is the Christmas Wafer. A Wafer bearing a simple design commemorative of Christ's birth is broken by the head of the family and distributed to each member. With a simple prayer for God's grace and the welfare of the present and absent members of the family, the head family member breaks the Wafer and distributes it, a piece to each one at the table. While doing so each member of the family is kissed and is wished a joyful feast. The other family members then greet one another in the same way.

"The spiritual lesson in this age old custom is unity of the family - the main pillar of society. The bond of unity is the Christ-like charity that should exist amongst the members of the family. The father of the family is the link in the unbroken chain of One Body, One Bread, One Christ, and One Church. The family joins him in this eternal procession no matter where they are. For there is a universal longing by men to be always with one another, with God.

"All this brings to mind clearly our charity for one another, to seek salvation together. Family customs remind us that we seek and obtain salvation with the help of others at all times."

As far as I am concerned, you can break bread symbolically with your family at anytime! :thumbsup:

I did not meant to participate in a protestant communion service. Inherent in that is either the ignorance of the real presence or the denial of the real presence. Neither do I mean, knowing and believing in the real presense is it ok to participate in protestant communion. I also did not mean, is it ok to pretend I am a priest and I am giving mass.

[quote="peary, post:5, topic:178886"]
The Eastern Europeans have a wonderful holiday tradition on Christmas Eve whereby they sit around the table prior to dinner and the father solemnly breaks an unleavened wafer and distributes it to all members of the family as a symbolic gesture of Christ among us. I have also received Christmas cards with a portion of the Oplatki inside.
...As far as I am concerned, you can break bread symbolically with your family at anytime! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Yes, this is more of what I was referring to. Then again, the practice you describe seems to be a totally diffrent practice from the breaking of bread on the night of Jesus betrayel. I am a bit confused because all the rest of the members say No and make a good points, and you say Yes, and you make good points. Anyone else want to give their opinion on this?

thanks for the responses thus far.
- Gerrie

[quote="CSUNGerrie, post:6, topic:178886"]

Yes, this is more of what I was referring to. Then again, the practice you describe seems to be a totally diffrent practice from the breaking of bread on the night of Jesus betrayel. I am a bit confused because all the rest of the members say No and make a good points, and you say Yes, and you make good points. Anyone else want to give their opinion on this?

thanks for the responses thus far.
- Gerrie

[/quote]

Gerrie,
I think the real question here is "what do you mean???" As I read your original post, it almost seems to me like you're asking it it would be alright to hold a "mock Mass" at home, as long as I know it's not real? That may be not at all what you have in mind, but that's how the question is coming across.

I've known many fathers (not priests, but 'fathers') who like to make a ritual out of breaking bread at the family table. Right after Grace, he picks up the loaf, breaks it and hands it out. Beautiful custom. Is this more along the lines of what you're asking?

Is it somewhere in between?

[quote="FrDavid96, post:7, topic:178886"]
Gerrie,
I think the real question here is "what do you mean???" As I read your original post, it almost seems to me like you're asking it it would be alright to hold a "mock Mass" at home, as long as I know it's not real? That may be not at all what you have in mind, but that's how the question is coming across.

I've known many fathers (not priests, but 'fathers') who like to make a ritual out of breaking bread at the family table. Right after Grace, he picks up the loaf, breaks it and hands it out. Beautiful custom. Is this more along the lines of what you're asking?

Is it somewhere in between?

[/quote]

My apologies for the confusion. I am definitely not referring to a mock mass. It sounds more along the lines of the father example you gave. When these fathers break the bread, is it in allusion to the last supper? Or is it more of, I am the head of the household so I will distribute the bread (kinda like carving the turkey at thanksgiving?) Or something sorta in between.

[quote="CSUNGerrie, post:8, topic:178886"]
My apologies for the confusion. I am definitely not referring to a mock mass. It sounds more along the lines of the father example you gave. When these fathers break the bread, is it in allusion to the last supper? Or is it more of, I am the head of the household so I will distribute the bread (kinda like carving the turkey at thanksgiving?) Or something sorta in between.

[/quote]

In that case, yes, a thousand times yes!

In fact, that's exactly what the Eucharist is about. Remember that Christ used bread because it is such an important food for us as human beings, in so many different ways. When Christ took the bread, broke it, etc. He was the one who took the image of the family father "at table" breaking the bread and made that image into the Sacrament. So, when you do it as a father, you are bringing that image full-circle. That means that when you and your family attend Mass, you can recall what you do at table with the bread and have a better appreciation for the Eucharist.

In our modern world, where bread comes in a plastic bag, and we tend to see it as more utilitarian than anything else (bread is something we merely "use" to make a sandwich or to hold the hamburger patty) we've lost perspective on the importance of this food. By restoring the family ritual of "breaking bread" you're strengthening the way your family members understand the Eucharist.

In Christ's time, it was more like "tearing" the bread than breaking it. They had different kinds of bread (and still do) in Middle East culture. Today's pita bread (if it's authentic, not the pre-packed grocery store stuff) would be identical to what they had back then, and their unleavened bread would resemble huge modern flour soft tortillas.

PS--I see you're in Chicago. One day go out to a Middle Eastern bakery and get some pita bread straight from the oven. You'll thank me.

[quote="FrDavid96, post:9, topic:178886"]

PS--I see you're in Chicago. One day go out to a Middle Eastern bakery and get some pita bread straight from the oven. You'll thank me.

[/quote]

Pita bread isn't unleavened.

[quote="peary, post:10, topic:178886"]
Pita bread isn't unleavened.

[/quote]

I didn't say it was. I just suggested that if one has the opportunity to experience it straight from the oven, it's worth the trip. It helps one to understand just why people at the time of Christ appreciated bread (any kind of bread) more than we do in our automated, plastic-wrapped world.

[quote="FrDavid96, post:9, topic:178886"]
In that case, yes, a thousand times yes!

In fact, that's exactly what the Eucharist is about. Remember that Christ used bread because it is such an important food for us as human beings, in so many different ways. When Christ took the bread, broke it, etc. He was the one who took the image of the family father "at table" breaking the bread and made that image into the Sacrament. So, when you do it as a father, you are bringing that image full-circle. That means that when you and your family attend Mass, you can recall what you do at table with the bread and have a better appreciation for the Eucharist.

[/quote]

Yes, this is exactly what I was referring to. Thank you everyone for your comments!

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