Symbol of the Eucharist?


#1

My daughter's First Communion catechism workbook asked a question which is not explicitly addressed in the reading.

What is the symbol of the Eucharist?

Does anyone know the answer to this one? :o


#2

Which one?? Jesus. A Host & chalice. Wheat sheaves & grapes. Bread & Wine. A Lamb. Chi Rho .A Cross. A Monstrance. 5 Loaves & 2 fish. One Fish !!


#3

It is very important that we understand the symbolic meaning of bread and wine if we are to make progress in penetrating the meaning of the Eucharist. From now until the end, the ritual focus is centered around the bread and wine that are brought by the baptized to the priest, then transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, then handed back as spiritual food to the very people who brought them forward.
Bread and wine are not purely natural symbols as is, say, water in Baptism. They are in fact the product of cooperation between the Creator and human beings. Herein lies their significance. God does not make bread and wine; human beings do. Bread and wine symbolize the immense network of human labor required for the sustenance of our lives (bread) and the enjoyment of our lives together (wine).

www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/eucharist/upload/catsun-2011-doc-driscoll-eucharist.pdf - 2011-07-16

Peace


#4

[quote="Jimdandy, post:2, topic:324178"]
Which one?? Jesus. A Host & chalice. Wheat sheaves & grapes. Bread & Wine. A Lamb. Chi Rho .A Cross. A Monstrance. 5 Loaves & 2 fish. One Fish !!

[/quote]

Thank you! This helps a lot. She was asked to draw a picture of a symbol. The only one I could think of was a host and chalice, but then I thought I was wrong and that we misunderstood the question.


#5

[quote="hazcompat, post:3, topic:324178"]
It is very important that we understand the symbolic meaning of bread and wine if we are to make progress in penetrating the meaning of the Eucharist. From now until the end, the ritual focus is centered around the bread and wine that are brought by the baptized to the priest, then transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, then handed back as spiritual food to the very people who brought them forward.
Bread and wine are not purely natural symbols as is, say, water in Baptism. They are in fact the product of cooperation between the Creator and human beings. Herein lies their significance. God does not make bread and wine; human beings do. Bread and wine symbolize the immense network of human labor required for the sustenance of our lives (bread) and the enjoyment of our lives together (wine).

www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/eucharist/upload/catsun-2011-doc-driscoll-eucharist.pdf - 2011-07-16

Peace

[/quote]

Um, yeah. We are talking about a second grade student.


#6

If the child is making her first holy communion then she should be being taught these things, maybe 2nd grade is too young? I’ve long thought that confirming in primary school is wrong for the same reason.

All the best

Martin


#7

Another symbol: the mother pelican piercing her chest and feeding her chicks with her blood.


#8

[quote="Martin15, post:6, topic:324178"]
If the child is making her first holy communion then she should be being taught these things, maybe 2nd grade is too young? I've long thought that confirming in primary school is wrong for the same reason.

All the best

Martin

[/quote]

She understands it already at an age-appropriate level. After all, we hear at every mass how the bread and wine are "the work of human hands". But the question was about being able to draw a symbol. The only thing we could think of was drawing a picture of a host, but then we wondered if the word "symbol" meant something more than that.
The catechists have been focusing heavily on the Real Presence, to my immense relief, and I can tell that these children are not only very knowledgeable about the sacrament, but they are also very eager.

With the world being so hostile to Christians and Christian values, IMO, it would be cruel to withhold the sacrament any longer. The Eucharist is the food that truly sustains us and strengthens grace in our souls. I am quite thankful that it is our bishops who decides matters of such importance, and not speculating lay people. Our Lord Himself said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them." Who are we to insist on an adult understanding. We are to have a faith like a child's, not insist a child is well-versed in theological topics.

And regarding confirmation, why, in the name of all that is good and holy, would anyone think it better to delay the sacrament that perfects our baptism and strengthens us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit? What could we possibly be waiting for? Teens are exposed to an onslaught of evil daily in the world today. They need to be ready for spiritual combat. Confirmation gives them that grace.


#9

Bread and Wine, of course

Michael


#10

The challenging aspect of the question was tht she was asked to draw a symbol of the Eucharist. Not the matter of the sacrament. The Eucharist is so much more than mere bread and wine. The question was rather profound, but as it turned out, there were many possible right answers, and she had already settled on what she wanted to draw before any responses came in. She drew a host suspended over a chalice, like how the priest elevates them after consecration. So yes, bread and wine, and yet not mere bread and wine.
;):smiley:


#11

[quote="mommamaree, post:8, topic:324178"]
She understands it already at an age-appropriate level. After all, we hear at every mass how the bread and wine are "the work of human hands". But the question was about being able to draw a symbol. The only thing we could think of was drawing a picture of a host, but then we wondered if the word "symbol" meant something more than that.
The catechists have been focusing heavily on the Real Presence, to my immense relief, and I can tell that these children are not only very knowledgeable about the sacrament, but they are also very eager.

With the world being so hostile to Christians and Christian values, IMO, it would be cruel to withhold the sacrament any longer. The Eucharist is the food that truly sustains us and strengthens grace in our souls. I am quite thankful that it is our bishops who decides matters of such importance, and not speculating lay people. Our Lord Himself said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them." Who are we to insist on an adult understanding. We are to have a faith like a child's, not insist a child is well-versed in theological topics.

And regarding confirmation, why, in the name of all that is good and holy, would anyone think it better to delay the sacrament that perfects our baptism and strengthens us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit? What could we possibly be waiting for? Teens are exposed to an onslaught of evil daily in the world today. They need to be ready for spiritual combat. Confirmation gives them that grace.

[/quote]

The fact remains that the Church in western europe and many other places are allowing children to make their first communion earlier than they ever have before. I believe St Therese was 11 and St Bernadette 14, both 19C saints who made their first communion after a child nowadays would have been confirmed. With the exception of baptism a child should understand what is significant about what is happening - I'm not suggesting every 7 year old should be a theologian, but it is good to hear that some places at least are emphasising real prescence - this was definately not my experience of first communion catechesis 20 years ago, in fact when I did my own reading as a teenager I was mortified by how little I knew.

Best wishes

Martin


#12

[quote="mommamaree, post:10, topic:324178"]
The challenging aspect of the question was tht she was asked to draw a symbol of the Eucharist. Not the matter of the sacrament. The Eucharist is so much more than mere bread and wine. The question was rather profound, but as it turned out, there were many possible right answers, and she had already settled on what she wanted to draw before any responses came in. She drew a host suspended over a chalice, like how the priest elevates them after consecration. So yes, bread and wine, and yet not mere bread and wine.

;):D

[/quote]

Yes, i didnt mean to be condacending (sp?)
I understand it is profound. And wouldnt expect a child or young person or even myself to assume exactly what they meant. But the bread and wine are the symbol of the Eucharist, not the matter. It is the matter of our offering, which is a symbol of the work of our hands. After the blessing and transubstantiation, it is no longer bread and wine, but the bread and wine are symbols of the reality of Jesus now there.
Sorry, I just figured you did come to this conclusion with your answers, so i didnt mean to come across as rude. It was just what I answered myself that came out.

God bless you and your girl, that she loves the Lord
Michael


#13

[quote="rcwitness, post:12, topic:324178"]
Yes, i didnt mean to be condacending (sp?)
I understand it is profound. And wouldnt expect a child or young person or even myself to assume exactly what they meant. But the bread and wine are the symbol of the Eucharist, not the matter. It is the matter of our offering, which is a symbol of the work of our hands. After the blessing and transubstantiation, it is no longer bread and wine, but the bread and wine are symbols of the reality of Jesus now there.
Sorry, I just figured you did come to this conclusion with your answers, so i didnt mean to come across as rude. It was just what I answered myself that came out.

God bless you and your girl, that she loves the Lord
Michael

[/quote]

No, you didn't appear condescending or rude at all! I am sorry if my response made it seem as if I assumed you were.

I like your extra explanation here, though. We have been told that the matter was bread and wine, and the form are the words of consecration. But your point about the matter including the work of our hands is very interesting. Thank you!


#14

[quote="mommamaree, post:10, topic:324178"]
The challenging aspect of the question was tht she was asked to draw a symbol of the Eucharist. Not the matter of the sacrament. The Eucharist is so much more than mere bread and wine. The question was rather profound, but as it turned out, there were many possible right answers, and she had already settled on what she wanted to draw before any responses came in. She drew a host suspended over a chalice, like how the priest elevates them after consecration. So yes, bread and wine, and yet not mere bread and wine.

;):D

[/quote]

Peace


#15

[quote="hazcompat, post:14, topic:324178"]
Peace

[/quote]

Yes, that was a perfect illustration!


#16

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