Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper


A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist


I will sing to my beloved the canticle...

Isaias 5:1

Friday, March 31, 2006

Liturgies and More Liturgies

[thread] [first post]

Today's posts from Catholic Answers Forums. The intent was to show from a variety of Liturgies that the Church has always taught that our Lord said He sheds His blood "for many".

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasMore1535
"For many" and "for all" are interchangeable. Look at the ancient canons. They contain many variations on Our Lord's words, but this has never been viewed as a problem. "All" and "many" in this case are interchangeable. Rome has spoken; the case is closed.
Ok, let's consider some of the canons that the Church has used (I quote from several sources, not all Catholic).

I think the earliest known canon is that of Hippolytus (antipope, but also martyr and saint). Some question whether we have the full Liturgy, rather than just an outline of the Liturgy, and others say that he was an innovator rather than a preserver of tradition. With that note of caution, consider what we have from him for the consecration of the Precious Blood:
This is my blood which is shed for you. Whenever you do this, do this memory of me.
Regardless of whether the above expression is sufficient for consecration, there is nothing in it contrary to Holy Scripture.

A small number of Orthodox celebrate a Liturgy of St. Hippolytus today. You can see here and here that versions of this Liturgy currently in use do include the words "for many" in the words of institution.

The Constitution of St. James is also ancient. In it, we hear:
In like manner also "He took the cup," and mixed it of wine and water, and sanctified it, and delivered it to them, saying: "Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood which is shed for many, for the remission of sins: do this in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth my death until I come."
Note that the priest says that Jesus said "for many", not "for all".

The Constitution of St. James developed into the Divine Liturgy of St. James, with almost the same consecration:
He took the cup, and having mixed wine and water, lifting up His eyes to heaven, and presenting it to Thee, His God and Father, He gave thanks, and hollowed and blessed it, and filled it with the Holy Spirit, and gave it to us His disciples, saying, Drink ye all of it; this is my blood of the new testament shed for you and many, and distributed for the remission of sins.

[more follows]

With less commentary here are references to additional Liturgies:

The Qorbono [Maronite]
Likewise he blessed the cup of wine mixed with water, sanctified, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed and handed over for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Third Anaphora of St. Peter
Likewise over the cup, Lord, you praised, glorified, and said, “This cup is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for forgiveness of sins; take and drink from it, all of you, and it will be to you for pardon of debts and forgiveness of sins, and for eternal life.”

The Chaldean Mass
Take this all of you and drink from it, this is My blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. The mystery of faith which will be shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

The Syro-Malabar Qurbana (I think this is a Catholic version of the Anaphora of Mar Addai and Mar Mari)
He gave thanks and blessed + + + and gave it to them, saying:
This is My Blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. Take and drink of it, all of you.

This site has several Syrian anaphoras, along with a request not to copy any part of it. Some of them quote Our Lord as saying He would shed His blood "for many", others are silent on this point, but none quote Him as saying He sheds His blood "for all".

This essay quotes from three versions of the Syrian Liturgy no longer in use:
The Syrian Liturgy of St. Cyril:
This is my blood, which seals the Testament of my death; for it prepares you and the many faithful for eternal life.

The Syrian Liturgy of St. James:
This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for the many faithful, and is given unto the remission of sins and eternal life.

The Syrian Liturgy of Moses Bar-Cephas:
This is my blood, which is shed and given for you and for those who believe in me, preparing for eternal life all those who receive it.

One more Syrian Liturgy, that of St. Dionysius, Bishop of the Athenians
Likewise, in the same manner, over the cup also, which He mingled with wine and water, He gave thanks, blessed, sanctified and gave to the same disciples and holy apostles, saying, "Take, drink from it, all of you, and believe that this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed and given for you and for many, for the expiation of faults, remission of sins, and eternal life."

[more follows]

The Hallowing of Mar Nestorius
And in the same way too he mixed the cup with wine and water, and blessed, gave thanks, and drank. And he gave to his disciples and said, Take, drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. You must do the same for my memorial until I come. For whenever you eat of this bread and drink of this cup you recall my death until my coming.

The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Drink of this all, this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins.

The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
Likewise, He took the cup of the fruit of vine, and having mingled it, offering thanks, blessing, and sanctifying it. He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying: Drink of this all of you. This is my blood of the new Covenant, shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.

The Badarak (Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church)
Drink ye all of this; This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for propitiation and for the remission of sins.

Anaphora of Bishop Serapion of Thmuis - another very old Liturgy
We have also offered the chalice, the symbol of the blood; for the Lord Jesus, ‘after He had supped, took the cup and said to His disciples: Take, drink, this is the new covenant, which is my blood, which shall be shed for the remission of sins.’

The Divine Liturgy of St. Cyril
Take, drink of it all of you, for this is My Blood of the new covenant which shall be shed for you and for many, to be given for the remission of sins. Do this in remembrance of Me.

Anaphora of the Apostles (Ethiopian)
And likewise also the cup: giving thanks, blessing it, and hallowing it, He gave it to His disciples, and said unto them, take drink; this cup is my blood which will be shed on behalf of you as a propitiation for many.

[more follows]

In De sacramentis (a collection of homilies on the sacraments for the newly baptised by pseudo-Ambrose), we read:
Likewise also after supper, the day before he suffered, he took the cup, looked up to heaven to thee, holy Father, almighty, everlasting God, and giving thanks, blessed it and delivered it to his apostles and to his disciples, saying, Take, and drink ye all of this; for this is my blood.” Observe all those expressions. Those words are the Evangelists’ up to Take, whether the body or the blood. After that they are the words of Christ; Take, and drink ye all of this; for this is my blood. And observe them in detail.

De sacramentis does not mention "for many" in connection with the consecration of the wine. But these words are mentioned immediately before the part I quoted, in connection with the consecration of the bread. Some Liturgies attribute the words "for many" to Jesus in the consecration of both the bread and the wine.

The Divine Litugy of St. Gregory
In like manner after he had supped, taking also this excellent chalice into his holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks unto thee, he blessed it, and gave it to his disciples saying: Take and drink ye all of this, for this is the Cup of My Blood of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins. As oft as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of me.

This became the traditional Latin Mass, with the same words of institution, and virtually the same narrative leading up to it.

Celtic Mass (Celtic Lorrha-Stowe Liturgy used until around 7th century)
Take and drink from this all of you, for this is the Chalice of my Blood, of the new and eternal testament: the mystery of faith: which is shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.

Sarum Mass
In like manner, after He had supped, taking also this excellent Chalice into His holy and venerable hands, giving Thee also thanks, He blessed, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and drink this, all of you, for this is the chalice of My Blood, of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins. As often as ye do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of Me.

The Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon (derived from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer!)
Likewise, after supper, He took the cup; and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saving,
Drink ye all of this; For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of Me.

Liturgy of St. Germain of Paris (6th century Gallican Rite)
Take and drink of this, all of you, this is My Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

The Mozarabic Liturgy
This is the Chalice of My Blood, of the New Testament, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.

[Almost done]

In all the liturgies quoted, different words are included and different words are left out, and the phrasing varies, but there is never the claim that Jesus said he was shedding His blood "for all". I found only one traditional Eucharistic prayer in which the phrase "for all" appears:

The Divine Litugy of St. Mark
For truly heaven and earth are full of Thy glory, through the manifestation of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Fill, O God, this sacrifice with Thy blessing, through the inspiration of Thy all-holy Spirit. For the Lord Himself, our God and universal King, Christ Jesus, reclining at meat the same night on which He delivered Himself up for our sins and died in the flesh for all, took bread in His holy, pure, and immaculate hands, and lifting His eyes to His Father, our God, and the God of all, gave thanks; and when He had blessed, hallowed, and broken the bread, gave it to His holy and blessed disciples and apostles, saying...
For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for you and for many, and distributed among you for the remission of sins.

The Liturgy of St. Mark says Jesus died for all, but it does not put these words in Jesus's mouth! For the consecration, it quotes Jesus accurately.

I wish the translators of the new Mass had taken more care when translating our Lord's words in the consecration. The Mass, the Bible, the rosary and the other pious practices that have fallen out of favor in recent years ought to form one seamless garment of devotion to the blessed Trinity, our Lady, and the saints. Putting words in our Lord's mouth that He never spoke, in opposition to Holy Scripture and Tradition, has caused scandal and brought little visible benefit to God's Holy Church. The translation of "pro multis" as "for all" is simply wrong and ought to be fixed.

Why this change and others were introduced into the Mass can only be speculated on. IMHO, some of the changes were a result of a sort of tone-deafness when it comes to expressions of reverence and piety. There may also have a lack of humility, as Jimmy suggested in the first post of this thread, that allowed individuals to handle the holy things of God as if they were masters rather than servants.

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