Index > Interconfessional Dialogues > L-RC > Joint Statement
"Ordained ministry; episcopate; models of the Church; ways to communion" - "The Lord's Supper"

The Eucharist

Lutheran/Roman Catholic Joint Commission


    The Joint Roman Catholic/Lutheran Commission established by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation has completed its work on a document concerning the Lord's Supper. Following its unanimous passage by commission members, the document is now presented for discussion. Agreement has been reached on significant points. In large measure it has been possible to make a common witness. Thus we are confident that those questions which remain open will be clarified mutually. We hope that the following document will further full community in faith and, thus, that community at the Lord's Table for which we yearn.

Hans L. Martensen
George A. Lindbeck


    In the complete German edition, our document, in comparison with others, has two important new features. In the first place a series of liturgical texts are added to the common document. From the Catholic side there are the four eucharistic prayers and from the Lutheran schemes for six types of eucharistic worship from different countries and traditions. These additions are intended to show how the celebration of the eucharist is actually experienced by each side of the dialogue. Further, six excursus have been added which are described in the preface as follows: "In the attached appendices, a Lutheran and a Catholic member of the Commission consider the degree to which historical research and Church developments can now overcome on certain essential points the controverted issues which have in the past caused division". Then there is this further addition describing the status of the excursus: "The Commission has agreed to receive these texts which were prepared by the authors on their own responsibility". Given the nature and the limits of this presentation of the text, we have thought the document could be published without these appendices.

    Table of contents
First part: Joint Witness
  1. The Legacy of Christ according to the Scripture
  2. Mystery of Faith
  3. Through, with and in Christ
  4. In the Unity of the Holy Spirit
  5. Glorification of the Father
  6. For the Life of the World
  7. With a View to the Future Glory

Second part: Common Tasks
  1. Overcoming Contradictory Positions
  2. Liturgical Form
  3. Reception

The Eucharist


  1. Ever since 1965—after more than 400 years of separation—discussions have been taking place at a world level between officially appointed representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church. The competent church authorities set up a study commission of international composition that was to consider the theme "The Gospel and the Church", and in this connection was to re-examine certain theological problems, particularly the traditional theological controversies, in the light of more recent insights. A report on the results reached by the commission was published in 1972.1 This document gave expression to important convergences and a certain consensus. But as was expressly pointed out in the preface, the theme put before the commission had been drawn so widely that certain important questions could either not be considered at all or at least not extensively. These included the problems connected with the Eucharist and the Ministry. The need for a thorough clarification of these questions is not only underscored by the commission itself, and also by the reactions to the Malta Report, but one is made painfully aware of the urgency of this matter by our continuing separation in the Supper of unity; the full unity of Christians includes eucharistic communion, which presupposes unity in faith. In continuing the official dialogue, therefore, the Joint Lutheran/ Roman Catholic Commission has paid special attention to the Eucharist and now presents the results of its efforts.2 This is to be followed by a study of the ordained ministry with special reference to the ministry of the ordained bishop, many of the questions connected with the Eucharist can only find an answer in such a study.

  2. In working out the present text, the Lutheran/Catholic Commission sought to give a joint witness whenever possible, and at the same time to indicate the open questions as well as bringing them nearer to a solution. What Lutheran and Catholic Christians can jointly confess will thus be able to find a place in the life of the Church and the congregations.

  3. The text of the document took shape through reflection on the witness of Holy Scripture and on ecclesial traditions. The concrete form of the liturgy was also included in our considerations, because the eucharistic reality embraces doctrine and life, confession and liturgical form, piety and practice. In gratitude for what others have already done, and with a view to achieving the widest possible ecumenical impact, we have freely drawn on statements in already existing ecumenical documents in so far as these conform to the Lutheran and Catholic understanding.3

  4. The text is subdivided as follows:

    • The first part, on "joint witness", expresses what Lutheran and Catholic Christians can jointly confess.
    • The second part turns to "joint tasks". It identifies and discusses points of disagreement, and indicates the consequences and imperatives for the life, the teaching and especially the liturgy of the church which emerge from the document.
    • The exposition is followed by some examples of eucharistic liturgy which exemplify the liturgical traditions and practices of the two churches.
    • In the attached appendices, a Lutheran and a Catholic member of the Commission consider the degree to which historical research and ecclesial developments are able to resolve controversies over certain essential points which have in the past caused division. Though these texts are the responsibility of their authors, the Commission has regarded them affirmatively.

  5. The document is addressed to all Catholic and Lutheran Christians, to Church authorities, theologians, pastors, local communities, and especially to all groups now engaged in the ecumenical dialogue. But it is intended not only for Lutheran and Catholic Christians. Just as the commission gratefully accepted and utilized the suggestions of other Christian groups, it now hopes that the Lutheran/Catholic consideration of the Eucharist will be of help to others. To this end an attempt was made to testify in this document to a truth which is for all people, Christians and non-Christians alike.

    Part I

    I. The Legacy of Christ According to the Scripture

  6. Before Jesus went to His death in order to bestow on human beings peace and communion with God and with one another, He prepared his Supper for his disciples: "On the evening on which he was betrayed and went to suffer. He took bread and gave thanks, breaking it and handing it to His disciples with the words: ‘Take and eat, this is my body which is given for you'. Likewise He took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to His disciples saying: ‘Take and drink, all of you: this is the cup of the new and eternal covenant, my blood, that is shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me'"4 In this new passover meal the Lord gave Himself as nourishment to His disciples and thus, in anticipation of His coming glory, made them partakers in His work, life and suffering (cf. Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:16-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
    Wherever Christians of all ages celebrate the Lord's Supper according to His will in remembrance of Him, He grants anew this communion and with it "forgiveness of sins, life and salvation".5

    II. Mystery of Faith

  7. The Lord's Supper is a mystery of faith in the fullest sense of the word. it belongs to the unique all-encompassing and incomprehensible Mystery of Salvation and participates in its character as mystery. God Himself must communicate Himself if human beings are to recognize the mystery, and it enters the range of our vision only to the extent that the Lord wills and effects. The Eucharist is thus only accessible to us through the divine gift of faith.

  8. Much more are the attitudes and actions required of those who participate in the celebration a matter of faith, not of their own power. The eucharistic community of life and action grows only out of the community of faith created by the Holy Spirit (see below, 23).

  9. Since Christian belief is essentially shared with all fellow believers, the Eucharist is primarily an affair of the community and through it of individuals. Like the "new covenant", the "blood of the covenant" given in the Eucharist (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) is granted to the new people of God and thus to its members.

  10. All "grace and truth" (John 1:14) are now in our midst in our Lord present in the Eucharist, which is thus also a mystery of faith in the sense of including the essential dimensions of the truth of faith.
    The eucharistic celebration reflects the phases of salvation history:

    • we are reminded of God's good creation, for which we give praise and thanks;
    • the reality of sin becomes apparent and calls for recollection and confession;
    • God's Word and promise are addressed to us anew and are received in hearing, in obedience and response;
    • bread and wine, things of our world, are drawn into the process of salvation and sanctification, as are also basic features of human life such as eating and drinking, communal celebration and action;
    • the union of Christians with their Lord and with each other is both the proclamation and the beginning of God's kingdom in our midst and a promise of the coming fulfilment.

  11. Ultimately, the mystery of the Eucharist unites us to the primordial mystery, from, through and towards which all things exist: the mystery of the triune God.
    Our heavenly Father is the first source and final goal of the eucharistic event.
    The Son of God made man is the living center of the eucharistic event, through, with and in whom it unfolds.
    The Holy Spirit is the immeasurable power of love which gives it life and lasting effect.

  12. This most profound mystery of the Eucharist and of our life is celebrated at the end of many eucharistic prayers in the doxology. in view of the Lord Jesus Christ here present, it says:

    "Through him, with him, in him in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    all glory and honor is yours, almighty
    for ever and ever, Amen".
    Joining in this song of praise, which together we make our own, we can unite in the following common testimony:

    III. Through, with and in Christ

          Through Christ
  13. Only through Jesus Christ does the Eucharist exist. He was the first to celebrate it in the circle of the disciples. From Him comes the commission to celebrate it ever anew in memory of Him until He comes again. It is He who prepares the Supper and extends the invitation. Through Him the full, conscious and active participation of all believers in the eucharistic event is made possible and actual.6 Through Him those who preside over the eucharistic celebration in His name are called and commissioned. Their service is a clear indication that "the congregation is not proprietor of the action it is performing, that it is not the master of the eucharist but receives it from Another, Christ living in his Church"7 (see below, 65-68).

          With Christ
  14. Through Him we can celebrate the Eucharist with Him. The wonder of his presence occurs, not from human merit nor through human ability, but in the power of His grace alone. The meaning and consequences of this presence can be discerned only if we are open to the different ways in which the Lord is present.

  15. Jesus Christ fulfils His promise, "I am with you always even until the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20) in manifold ways, "We confess a manifold presence of Christ, the Word of God and Lord of the world. The crucified and risen Lord is present in his body, the people of God, for he is present where two or three are gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20). He is present in baptism, for it is Christ Himself who baptizes. He is present in the reading of the scriptures and the proclamation of the gospel"8 The Lord is present in the poor and distressed since He said: "Whatever you have done for the least of my brethren, you have done for me" (Matthew 25:40).

  16. The eucharistic presence is connected with all these models of presence and is, at the same time, of a special character. "Christ is present and active, in various ways, in the entire eucharistic celebration. It is the same Lord who through the proclaimed word invites his people to his table, who through his minister presides at that table, and who gives himself sacramentally in the Body and Blood of his paschal sacrifice".9
    In the sacrament of the Lord's supper Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is present wholly and entirely, in his body and blood, under the signs of bread and wine.
    "Through the centuries Christians have attempted various formulations to describe this presence. Our confessional documents have in common affirmed that Jesus Christ is ‘really', ‘truly' and ‘substantially' present in this sacrament. This manner of presence ‘we can scarcely express in words', but we affirm his presence because we believe in the power of God and the promise of Jesus Christ, ‘This is my body ... This is my blood...'. Our traditions have spoken of this presence as ‘sacramental', ‘supernatural' and ‘spiritual'. These terms have different connotations in the two traditions, but they have in common a rejection of a spatial or natural manner of presence, and a rejection of an understanding of the sacrament as only commemorative or figurative".10

  17. "Christ instituted the Eucharist, sacrament of his body and blood with its focus upon the cross and resurrection, as the anamnesis of the whole of God's reconciling action in him. Christ himself with all that He has accomplished for us and for all creation (in his incarnation, servanthood, ministry, teaching, suffering, sacrifice, resurrection, ascension and Pentecost) is present in this anamnesis as is also the foretaste of his Parousia and the fulfilment of the Kingdom"11 (see below, 36).

  18. The Lord present among us wants to draw us into the movement of His life. He, who in His love gave Himself up to death, lives in us (Galatians 2:20). With Him and through His grace we have "passed from death to life" (John 5:24). Participating in the eucharistic sacrament, we are on pilgrimage with Him, from this world to the world to come (pascha, transitus). Endowed and quickened by His Spirit we may hand on His love and so glorify the Father. The more powerless we are to offer God a true sacrifice, so much more shall we be taken up by the power of Christ into his sacrifice. "When, in the Lord's Supper, we come to God in self-surrender, we do so only ‘through Christ', that is in union with His own surrender of Himself. To surrender oneself means ultimately ‘to open oneself in order to receive'".12
    "Thus, united to our Lord, who offers himself to his Father, and in communion with the universal Church in heaven and on earth, we are renewed in the covenant sealed with the blood of Christ and we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice which must be expressed in the whole of our daily life".13
    In this way, the perpetual meaning of the Christian faith is ever to be realized anew: a basic link with the Lord as He is in the whole range of His actual destiny. Anyone united with Him is called to die and rise with Him (see below, 34-36).

          In Christ
  19. This being-with-Christ begets and reaches its fullness in being-in-Christ. Under the signs of bread and wine the Lord offers as nourishment His body and blood, that is Himself, which he has given for all. He thus shows Himself to be the "living bread which came down from heaven" (John 6:51). If one receives this food in faith, he is taken into a communion with Christ which is akin to the communion of the Son with the Father: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me" (John 6:57). Christ wills to be in us, and we are enabled to be in Christ: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:56). This communion is rooted in eternity and reaches out again beyond time into eternity. "He who eats this bread will live for ever" (John 6:58).

  20. In giving Himself Christ unites all who partake at His table: the many become "one body" (I Corinthians 10:17). In the power of the Holy Spirit, they are built up as the one people of God. "It is the Spirit that gives life" (John 6:63). The eucharistic meal is thus the source of the daily new life of the people of God who through it are gathered together and kept in one faith.

    IV. In the Unity of the Holy Spirit

          The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist
  21. During his life on earth, Jesus Christ did all things in the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 4:1.14.17-21). It was in the power of the Spirit that He offered Himself as sacrifice (cf. Hebrews 9:14) and that He conquered sin and death, rose from the tomb, and lives in the midst of his Pentecost community. Through and in the Spirit Christians are to remain bound to Christ and continue His work.
    It is also through the Holy Spirit that Christ is at work in the Eucharist. All that the Lord gives us and all that enables us to make it our own is given to us through the Holy Spirit. In the liturgy this becomes particularly clear in the invocation of the Holy Spirit (epiklesis).14

  22. In remembrance of the intercession of Christ, its highpriest, the Church asks with confidence for his Spirit, in order to be renewed and sanctified through the eucharistic gifts and so strengthened to accomplish its mission in the world. In the power of the Holy Spirit the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ through the creative word. The Spirit of love causes the sacrament of love to become real in that the divine love seeks us in our earthly reality in order to bring us home again.

  23. Only in the Holy Spirit does the congregation come to the faith without which the Eucharist cannot be celebrated. Thus the epiklesis is also the prayer for a living faith which prepares us to celebrate the remembrance of the suffering and resurrection of Christ. The Eucharist is not an automatic means for the salvation of the world; it requires the presence of the Holy Spirit within the believer (see above, 7-9).

  24. In the fruits of the Holy Spirit, in the love, joy and peace, which believers receive in the Eucharist in a special way, the ultimate fulfilment of all things is anticipated. The Eucharist is the meal celebrated in expectation of His coming in glory for the strengthening of the faithful. The invocation of the Holy Spirit is (accordingly) a plea for the future world to break into our present one (see below, 42-45).

          Eucharist and Church
  25. Baptized by one Spirit into one body (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:17). The Eucharist and the church are thus, in manifold ways, linked together in a living bond.

  26. As Christ gives Himself to His people in the Eucharist His life becomes their life, His Spirit their spirit. From the event of the sacramental communion with Christ arises the enduring form of life of the ecclesial communion with Christ.
    "Nought else follows the partaking in the body and blood of Christ than that we become what we receive".15 "... truly, we too are drawn and transformed into that spiritual body which is the communion of Christ and all the Saints, we are established through this sacrament in the virtues and graces of Christ and His Saints".16 The Eucharist is thus at once the source and climax of the church's life. Without the eucharistic community there is no full church community, and without the church community there is no real eucharistic community.

  27. This is true, first for the actual congregation wherever it gathers to celebrate the Lord's Supper, but equally it concerns the whole of Christianity. "The sharing of the common loaf and the common cup in a given place demonstrates the oneness of the sharers with the whole Christ and with their fellow sharers in all times and places. By sharing the common loaf they show their unity with the Church catholic".17
    Even the limits of earthly reality are transcended in that the Holy Spirit also unites us to those who have gone before in faith and been called to eternal communion in God.

  28. In view of this unity bestowed by Christ, the fact that Christians again and again sin against this unity is all the more serious. This occurs when they fail in faith and hope, but also when they tolerate or even cause deep divisions between human beings both in personal and social spheres.
    Whoever has entered into communion with God must with him attack the walls of enmity which human beings erect against each other: walls of enmity between tribes, nations, races, classes, sexes, generations, confessions and religions.18

    V. Glorification of the Father

  29. The union with Christ into which we are drawn in the Eucharist through the power of the Holy Spirit ultimately leads to the eternal Father. This occurs at different levels and in varying, yet internally related ways.

  30. The Eucharist as a whole—that is not simply the readings and preaching—proclaims the greatness and mercy of God. Each of the elements in the service receives, appropriate to its nature, a particular significance.
    The confession of sins by the assembled congregation always includes a public assent to God's act of reconciliation.
    Through the reading and exposition of the scriptures God's word penetrates and becomes effective in ever-new situations. The witness of the scriptures and the preaching of the mighty acts of God not only call forth the confession of faith but are themselves a function of this confession.
    The praying of the early Christian creeds proclaims the bond both with the early Church and with all those who also adhere to them.
    Bread and wine, "fruit of the earth and of human labor"19 are first and foremost gifts of the Father and the epitome of His good creation. Their inclusion in the eucharistic action is a striking witness to the sustaining creative power which upholds all things at each moment and leads towards their fulfilment.
    Above all, each eucharistic celebration testifies to that love for the whole world made manifest on the cross by God who gave his son for the world (cf. John 3:16): "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you show the Lord's death till he come" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

  31. Their very nature links proclamation and thanksgiving closely together. Accordingly the Eucharist "is the great thanksgiving to the Father for everything which He accomplished in creation, redemption and sanctification, for everything which He accomplishes now in the Church and in the world in spite of the sins of men, for everything that He will accomplish in bringing his Kingdom to fulfilment. Thus the Eucharist is the benediction (berakah) by which the Church expresses its thankfulness to God for all his benefits".20
    Thanksgiving to God the Father and Creator of all good gifts is expressed materially as well as verbally in the congregation's celebration. The self-giving of Christ and the promise of the kingdom relativises all the riches of this world and makes us aware of God as the giver and ourselves as the stewards of these gifts. In the offering of bread and wine we praise God who through our work provides us with the earthly gifts necessary for our life. We offer ourselves (cf. Romans 12:1) and share one with the other what has been given us.

  32. Strengthened through faith in God's mercies the congregation intercedes in the same eucharistic celebration for all men, for the needs of the world and for the concerns of the faithful and of those who have special responsibilities in church and society. The church is thus united with the intercession its Lord is making in the presence of the Father (cf. Hebrews 7:25) and pleads through Him for that promised salvation of the world of which the congregation has received a foretaste through its faith and hope through the Holy Spirit. We rejoice that this trust in God's saving action in the world is being more clearly expressed again in the celebrations of our congregations but this also involves obligations of active solidarity with all who suffer.21

  33. "The Eucharist is the great sacrifice of praise by which the Church speaks on behalf of the whole creation".22 Through the Fall of man the sacrifice of praise due to God from mankind was silenced. In Christ it is brought to life again. Renewed in Christ, the creation sings its praise in the eucharistic congregation above all in the Preface and the Sanctus. It is enabled to worship the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23f).

          Giving of self
  34. In His body which was given for His own (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24) and in His blood which was poured out for them (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20) the Lord is present in His self-giving. He is amongst us as the one given by the Father in the Holy Spirit and as one giving Himself for the Father and mankind in the Holy Spirit. It is thus that he imparts Himself and wills to continue to be effective. The more the celebrating community is drawn into this movement of self-offering, the more it lives to the greater glory of God. The Church which proclaims the Lord's death is called to unite itself with this death. It should not only know and talk about the sacrifice, it should allow itself to be seized by it. In dying with its Lord, it will be prepared for rising with Him.

  35. The union with Himself which Christ offers also affects the intentions and the acts of His people. "That is the fruit of the Lord's Supper, that you give yourself with all your life just as Christ in these words gave himself for you together with all that he is"23 (see above, 18).

  36. When the Church actually follows the command of the Lord: "Do this in remembrance of me!" (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24 f), it comes into contact with the sacrifice of Christ anew; it receives new life from Him and the power to die with Him.
    "The notion of Memorial as understood in the Passover celebration at the time of Christ—that is, the making effective in the presence of an event in the past—has opened the Way to a clearer understanding of the relationship between Christ's sacrifice and the Eucharist"24 (see above, 17).
    In the memorial celebration of the people of God more happens than that past events are brought to mind in memory and imagination. The decisive point is not that what is past is called to mind, but that the Lord calls his people into his presence and confronts them with his salvation. In this creative act of God, the salvation event from the past becomes the offer of salvation for the present and the promise of salvation for the future.
    All those who celebrate the Eucharist in remembrance of Him are incorporated in Christ's life, passion, death and resurrection. They receive the fruit of Christ's offering his life and thereby of the entire reconciling saving act of God. In the Passover meal of the new covenant, they are freed and united with God and with one another. So they give thanks "for all his mercies, entreat the benefits of his passion on behalf of the whole church, participate in these benefits and enter into the movement of his self-offering".25
    In receiving in faith, they are taken as His body into the reconciling sacrifice which equips them for self-giving (Romans 12:1) and enables them "through Jesus Christ" to offer "spiritual sacrifices" (1 Peter 2:5) in service to the world. Thus is rehearsed in the Lord's Supper what is practiced in the whole Christian life. "With contrite hearts we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice, a sacrifice which must be expressed in the whole of our daily lives".26

  37. Our two traditions agree in understanding the Eucharist as a sacrifice of praise. This is neither simple verbal praise of God, nor is it a supplement or a complement which people add from their own power to the offering of praise and thanksgiving which Christ has made to the Father. The Eucharistic sacrifice of praise has only become possible through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross: therefore this same sacrifice remains the main content of the church's sacrifice of praise. Only "by him, with him, and in him who is our great High Priest and Intercessor we offer to the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, our praise, thanksgiving and intercession"27 (see below, 56-61).

    VI. For the Life of the World

  38. The movement of Jesus' life towards the Father, into which He leads His people, is meant for all. The bread that Christ Himself is, and gives, is "for the life of the world" (John 6:51).

          The Eucharist's relation to the world
  39. "For the world which God reconciled with himself in Christ is present at each eucharist: in the bread and the wine, in the persons of the faithful and in the prayers they offer for all mankind. Thus the eucharist opens up to the world the way to its transfiguration".28 It reveals to the world what it is and what it is to become.29 Rooted in the past, translated into reality in the present, and directed to the future, the Eucharist concentrates in itself all dimensions of historical growth. That indicates its deep bond with our changing world and contributes to a deeper understanding and more responsible action in it.
    In the eucharistic unity, the new unity of mankind begins to emerge. Christ as head of the church is head of the whole of saved humanity. He gives the church His life so that in this way all may receive it. "When we gathered around the same table in this communal meal at the invitation of the same Lord and when we ‘partake of the one loaf', we are one in commitment not only to Christ and to one another, but also to the mission of the Church in the world".30

          The responsibility of the Christians for the world
  40. The Eucharist as a whole—and not just in one part or another—is directed towards the salvation of the world. Therefore, Christians who celebrate the Eucharist are called to service to the world. Communion with Christ enables and obliges us to help all men.

  41. "Reconciled in the eucharist, the members of the body of Christ become the servants of reconciliation among men and witnesses of the joy of the resurrection. Their presence in the world implies fellowship in suffering and hope with all men, among whom they are called upon to bear witness to the love of Christ in service and in combat. The celebration of the eucharist, the breaking of a bread that is necessary to life, is an incitement not to accept conditions in which men are deprived of bread, justice, and peace".31
    Such actions are particularly necessary when social, national or racial divisions develop within the church (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:18-30). Evils of this kind can have as disastrous effects as schisms in faith. They contradict the nature of the church and render its witness ineffective and its sacramental celebrations unworthy. The words of the Lord: "First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:24) apply to the Eucharist also.

    VII. With a View to the Future Glory

  42. In the Eucharist we proclaim "the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26). In it the future glory is promised, as well as, in an initial way, revealed and mediated.

  43. The form and effect of the Eucharist are a promise of the eternal glory to which we are destined, and a sign pointing to the new heaven and new earth towards which we are moving; "that is why the eucharist directs our thoughts to the Lord's coming and brings it near to us. It is a joyful anticipation of the heavenly banquet, when redemption shall be fully accomplished and all creation shall be delivered from bondage".32 "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9).

          Initial revelation
  44. The Lord's Supper enables us to understand the future glory as the boundless and eternal wedding feast to which we are invited by the Lord. As a fraternal meal in which Christ frees and unites, it turns our gaze to the promised eternal kingdom of unlimited freedom and righteousness.
    Those who celebrate together are called to combine personal commitment and communal service. This points to that fulfilment of personal and social life which becomes part of the glory of God, the glory in which by His grace we may share.

  45. The promised future begins in a mysterious way here and now in the Lord's Supper. He who receives the bread of life has eternal life (John 6:54). He is without waiting taken straight away into the great future opened to us by the Lord. Everlasting life does not begin only in the future, but is already present in anyone who is united with the Lord. The future world breaks into our present one even now.
    "Thus, by giving the Eucharist to his Church, which, in its weakness, will live to the last in the midst of suffering and strife, our Lord enables it to take new heart and to persevere";33 he gives it the power to work untiringly for the renewal of the life and structures of the world. The life of the world to come, promised, disclosed and mediated to believers, shall and must become effective already in this world.

    Part II

  46. The common witness to the Lord's Supper confronts us with tasks which we ought to face together as far as possible.
      I. We must give an account of how far we have been able to clarify and overcome the problems which once broke up the eucharistic fellowship of faith, and how far they still oppose a complete fellowship.
      II. The actual liturgical form of the eucharistic celebration in our congregations must be in accordance with what we confess in faith.
      III. The witness of faith must not be confined either to the theoretical or individual realm; as many members as possible of the people of God should accept and vitally transmit it (reception).

    I. Overcoming Contradictory Positions

  47. Common statements and convictions fill us with hope: much of what earlier divided us has been removed on both sides, and the remaining differences exist within a common framework. Contradictory positions which oppose complete fellowship of faith and Eucharist must be recognized, described and faced with the purpose of recognizing and overcoming what is divisive.

          Eucharistic Presence
  48. Catholic and Lutheran Christians together confess the real and true presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. There are differences, however, in theological statements on the mode and therefore duration of the real presence.

  49. In order to confess the reality of the eucharistic presence without reserve the Catholic Church teaches that "Christ whole and entire"34 becomes present through the transformation of the whole substance of the bread and the wine into the substance of the body and blood of Christ while the empirically accessible appearances of bread and wine (accidentia) continue to exist unchanged. This "wonderful and singular change" is "most aptly" called transsubstantiation by the Catholic Church.35 This terminology has widely been considered by Lutherans as an attempt rationalistically to explain the mystery of Christ's presence in the sacrament; further, many suppose also that in this approach the present Lord is not seen as a person and naturalistic misunderstandings become easy.

  50. The Lutherans have given expression to the reality of the Eucharistic presence by speaking of presence of Christ's body and blood in, with and under bread and wine—but not of transsubstantiation. Here they see real analogy to the Lord's incarnation: as God and man become one in Jesus Christ, Christ's body and blood, on the one hand, and the bread and wine, on the other, give rise to a sacramental unity. Catholics, in turn, find that this does not do sufficient justice to this very unity and to the force of Christ's word "This is my body".

  51. The ecumenical discussion has shown that these two positions must no longer be regarded as opposed in a way that leads to separation. The Lutheran tradition agrees with the Catholic tradition that the consecrated elements do not simply remain bread and wine but by the power of the creative Word are bestowed as the body and blood of Christ. In this sense it also could occasionally speak, as does the Greek tradition of a "change".36 The concept of transsubstantiation for its part is intended as a confession and preservation of the mystery character of the Eucharistic presence; it is not intended as an explanation of how this change occurs37 (see the appendices on "Real Presence" and "Christ's Presence in the Eucharist").

  52. Differences related to the duration of the eucharistic presence appear also in liturgical practice. Catholic and Lutheran Christians together confess that the eucharistic presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is directed towards believing reception, that it nevertheless is not confined only to the moment of reception, and that it does not depend on the faith of the receiver however closely related to this it might be.

  53. According to Catholic doctrine the Lord grants His presence even beyond the sacramental celebration for as long as the species of bread and wine remain. The faithful are accordingly invited to "give to this holy sacrament in veneration the worship of latria, which is due to the true God".38

  54. Lutherans have not infrequently taken exception to certain of the forms of eucharistic piety connected with this conviction. They are regarded as inadmissibly separated from the eucharistic meal. On the other hand, Catholic sensibilities are offended by the casual way in which the elements remaining after communion are treated sometimes on the Lutheran side, and this indicates a discrepancy which is not yet overcome (cf. appendix The Presence of Christ in the Eucharist 2).

  55. In order to remedy this situation, it would be good "for Catholics to remember, particularly in catechism and preaching, that the original intention in preserving the eucharistic gifts was to distribute them to the sick and those not present", and for the Lutherans "the best means should be adopted of showing respect due to the elements that have served for the celebration of the Eucharist, which is to consume them subsequently, without precluding their use for communion of the sick".39 Regarding eucharistic adoration, Catholics should take care that their practice does not contradict the common conviction of the meal character of the Eucharist. They should also be aware of the fact that in the Orthodox Churches, for example, there exist other forms of Eucharistic piety without Eucharistic faith being questioned for this reason. Lutherans for their part should consider "that adoration of the reserved sacrament" not only "has been very much a part of Catholic life and a meaningful form of devotion to Catholics for many centuries",40 but that also for them "as long as Christ remains sacramentally present, worship, reverence and adoration are appropriate".41

          Eucharistic sacrifice
  56. Catholic and Lutheran Christians together recognize that in the Eucharist Jesus Christ "is present as the crucified who died for our sins and rose again for our justification, as the once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world".42 This sacrifice can be neither continued, nor repeated, nor replaced, nor complemented; but rather it can and should become effective ever anew in the midst of the congregation. There are different interpretations among us regarding the nature and extent of this effectiveness.

  57. According to Catholic teaching, in each Eucharist "a true and proper sacrifice is offered" through Christ .43 "This sacrifice is truly propitiatory and has this effect that we ‘obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need' (Hebrews 4, 16) ... For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of the priests who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different ... Therefore, according to the tradition of the Apostles, it is rightly offered not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those departed in Christ but not yet fully purified".44

  58. As members of His body the believers are included in the offering of Christ. This happens in different ways: none of them is added externally to the offering of Christ, but each derives from him and points to him:
    The liturgical preparation of the Eucharist with the offering of bread and wine is part of the Eucharistic sacrifice. Above all, inner participation is necessary: awareness and confession of one's own powerlessness and total dependence on God's help, obedience to His commission, faith in His word and His promise.
    It is in the eucharistic presence of the offered and offering Lord that those who are redeemed by Him can, in the best sense, make an offering. They bring to the Heavenly Father a gift which allows no sort of self-complacency and self-righteousness to arise. It is wholly and completely a free, unmerited gift of the love of God which is in no way merited by man; at the same time it is intimately joined with human beings, more than can be the case with anything else which could otherwise be offered: Christ has become completely ours, He is our Head. Of ourselves we have nothing and are unable to do anything. Therefore we do not point to ourselves but to Him. Of ourselves we cannot offer to God praise, glory and honor, but we offer Christ: he is praise, glory and honor. It is this act of testifying to one's own powerlessness, of complete reliance on Christ and of offering and presenting Him to the Father which is intended when the Catholic church dares to say that not only Christ offers Himself for man, but that the church also "offers" Him. "The members of the body of Christ are united through Christ with God and with one another in such a way that they become participants in His worship, His self-offering, His sacrifice to the Father. Through this union between Christ and Christians the eucharistic assembly ‘offers Christ', consenting in the power of the Holy Spirit to be offered by Him to the Father. Apart from Christ, we have no gift, no worship, no sacrifice of our own to offer to God. All we can plead is Christ, the sacrificial lamb and victim, who the Father himself has given us".45

  59. The Lutherans have feared that the understanding of the Eucharist as propitiatory sacrifice is contrary to the uniqueness and complete sufficiency of the sacrifice of the cross and calls in question Christ's exclusive mediation of salvation (cf. the appendix The Mass as propitiatory sacrifice). According to the interpretation of the Lutheran Reformation, the celebration of the Eucharist is wholly directed to imparting to the gathered community the gift of the sacrifice of the cross made present as the effective means of salvation, and this in such a way that the community may receive it in faith. The diminution in practice of congregational communion was regarded as scandalous, and the primary blame for this was placed on the idea of the mass as a propitiatory sacrifice. It was thought that this idea allowed for a view which made unnecessary the reception in faith of eucharistic grace and attributed an autonomous sacrificial power to the priest (cf. the Reformation polemic against the Mass as opus operatum). Therefore the Lutheran tradition avoids even today any mention of "sacrifice of the Mass".

  60. On the other hand, the Lutheran Reformation affirms the understanding of the Lord's Supper as a sacrifice of thanksgiving in return for the sacrifice of the cross present in the sacrament. This sacrifice is an expression of faith and happens in such a way "that we offer with Christ, that is, that we cast ourselves upon Christ with unwavering faith in His testament and we do not appear otherwise before God with our prayer, praise and sacrifice than through Him and His means (of salvation) and that we do not doubt that He is our own Pastor and Priest before God's face in heaven".46 The "eucharistic sacrifice"47 thus understood is performed by those reconciled in faith, and is expressed in thanks and praise, in invoking and confessing God, in suffering and in all the good works of believers. These are the offerings which are particularly emphasized in the Reformation teaching in connection with 1 Peter 2:5 and Romans 12:1.48

  61. In ecumenical discussion we have learned better to understand each other's interpretations. Research into the historical background of the reformation polemic as well as the consideration of new developments in both churches have proved especially helpful. Increasingly we recognize the interpretations of the other as a challenge to our own position and as a help in improving, deepening and enlivening it. We can thankfully record a growing convergence on many questions which have until now been difficulties in our discussions:

    1. according to Catholic doctrine the sacrifice of the mass is the making present of the sacrifice of the cross. It is not a repetition of this sacrifice and adds nothing to its saving significance. When thus understood, the sacrifice of the mass is an affirmation and not a questioning of the uniqueness and full value of Christ's sacrifice on the cross;
    2. according to Catholic doctrine the ex opere operato should witness in the context of the sacramentology to the priority of God's action. To stress this priority is likewise the concern of the Lutherans;
    3. such an understanding of opus operaturn does not exclude the believing participation of the whole worshiping community: God's action calls for this and makes it possible;
    4. the conviction that the fruits of the Eucharist extend beyond the circle of those present at a celebration does not diminish the importance of active believing participation. Christ's gift of his flesh and blood to those who receive the Eucharist in faith cannot be transferred to others. Yet we may hope, however, that He allows others to share in His help. Whether and how this happens is entirely dependent on the sovereign love of the Lord. Intercessions and intentions at the Mass for specific persons —living as well as dead— do not limit his freedom.

    These insights give us the confidence to be able to clarify the questions which are still outstanding.

  62. Lutheran and Catholic Christians confess together that in the Eucharist the body and blood of the Lord are really received, either for salvation or for condemnation (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29). They confess that the believing reception of the eucharistic bread and wine gives personal union with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior They also agree that the efficacy of believers reception of the Lord cannot be measured by human standards but belongs to the sphere of the free and humanly uncontrollable action of God.

  63. Lutherans and Catholics confess together the conviction that by its very essence the Eucharist is a communal meal. For Lutherans the participation of the congregation is an indispensable part of the celebration of the Eucharist according to its institution by the Lord. They regard masses in which the people do not participate as a custom that corresponds neither to the practice of the ancient Church nor to the institution of the Lord. (Such masses have been given the misleading and theologically unsatisfactory label of "private masses"). Since the Second Vatican Council a significant change has taken place in the liturgical practice of the Catholic Church which underlines the superiority of "the communal celebration involving the presence and active participation of the faithful—even though every Mass has of itself a public and social nature".49 This priority of communal celebration signifies an important rapprochement in our eucharistic practice (cf. the appendix The Eucharist as Community Meal).

  64. Catholics and Lutherans are at one in the conviction that bread and wine belong to the complete form of the Eucharist. In the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist the faithful are for the most part given only the species of the bread. This occurs chiefly for practical reasons and is based on the conviction that Christ is fully present under both species so that reception in one kind constitutes no diminution in effect. in contrast the Reformers see the completeness and wholeness of the sacramental sign in accordance to Christ's words of institution as preserved only where all drink from the cup. Nevertheless the Lutheran Church does not deny the doctrine that Christ is completely present in both species, and Lutheran practice recognizes urgent cases of pastoral necessity in which the Eucharist can also be received in one species (cf. the appendix The Eucharist as Community Meal).
    The possibilities of receiving the Eucharist in both kinds have been considerably extended by the Second Vatican Council in regard to both the occasions and the communicants. if differences in doctrine and practice continue also to persist in this area, they no longer have a Church-dividing character.

          Eucharistic Ministry
  65. Catholic and Lutheran Christians are of the conviction that the celebration of the eucharist involves the leadership of a minister appointed by the church.

  66. According to Catholic doctrine every licit eucharistic celebration is "regulated by the bishop, to whom is committed the office of offering the worship of Christian religion to the divine Majesty and of administering it in accordance with the Lord's commandments and with the Church's laws."50 "Only those Eucharists are lawful which are performed by the bishop or a person charged by him".51 The ordination of a bishop or priest is accordingly an essential prerequisite to their presiding at the Lord's Supper: even in exceptional cases there can be no eucharist celebration without an ordained priest. In so far as the sacrament of ordination is lacking, the Catholic Church regards the ecclesial communities separated from it as not having "preserved the genuine and total reality (substantia) of the eucharistic mystery".52

  67. According to Lutheran doctrine as well, the Eucharistic service is led by ordained ministers.53 It is "the task of the ministerial office to proclaim the gospel and administer the sacraments in accordance with the Gospel, so that in this way faith is awakened and strengthened".54 For Lutherans the ecclesial office is a divine institution although ordination is not usually characterized as a sacrament.55

  68. The dialogue between our two traditions has already been able to ascertain significant convergences on the question of the Ministry. These convergences have to do with the understanding of the basis and function of the Ministry as well as the manner of transmission through the laying on of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit;56 and they have led to the suggestion that the possibility of mutual recognition of ecclesial ministries be submitted "for serious examination".57 In carrying out this recommendation, it must be asked, among other things, how the Lutheran churches regard a Eucharist celebrated without an ordained minister. It must also be asked, in view of the Lutheran interpretation and practice of ordination, how the Catholic Church evaluates the Eucharist celebrated in the Lutheran Church. What needs to be clarified, in sum, is the importance and ecclesiological role of the Ministry, and what consequences it has for the structure of the Church.

          Eucharistic Fellowship
  69. Catholic and Lutheran Christians confess together that Jesus Christ joins together all those who arc joined to him.

  70. According to Catholic conviction this holds also for the eucharistic communion with Christ. In this are included those who have passed away in the peace of the Lord. Intercessions for the dead are therefore a part of the Catholic eucharistic celebration. The Catholic Church also remembers those departed from this life who have gone into heavenly joy. It thanks God for the grace granted them and commends itself to their intercession and protection.

  71. The Lutheran celebration of the Eucharist also gives expression in thanksgiving and in intercession to the communion of the heavenly and earthly congregation. The Reformation rejected the invocation of the saints, but did not deny the intercession of the saints in heaven.58 A doctrinal reticence regarding the fate of the dead also hinders Lutherans from interceding for them.

  72. The eucharistic fellowship calls for and fosters actual communion of faith within the church according to Catholic doctrine. Its nature comprises:

    • the ministerial power which Christ gave to his apostles and to their successors, the bishops along with the priests, to make effective sacramentally His own priestly act—that act by which once and forever He offered Himself to the Father in the Holy Spirit, and gave Himself to His faithful that they might be one in Him;
    • the unity of the ministry, which is to be exercised in the name of Christ, Head of the Church, and hence in the hierarchical communion of ministers;
    • the faith of the Church, which is expressed in the eucharistic action itself-the faith by which she responds to Christ's gift in its true meaning.59

    Therefore the Second Vatican Council stated: "As for common worship (communicatio in sacris), however, it may not be regarded as a means to be used indiscriminately for the restoration of unity among Christians".60 Therefore, though a joint celebration by Catholics and Lutherans is forbidden, admission to the Catholic eucharistic Communion is possible, "given sufficient reasons" (propter rationes sufficientes).61

  73. The Lutheran church is also aware of the link between the eucharistic communion and communion between churches. Nevertheless, it recognizes, even in the present state of church division, a number of possibilities of eucharistic fellowship. The criteria it employs enables it to acknowledge the validity of the eucharistic celebration of others more freely than does the Catholic Church. "Because of the already noted similarities in the understanding of the gospel, which has decisive effects on proclamation, administration of the sacraments and liturgical practice, the Lutherans feel that even now exchange of pulpits and common eucharistic celebrations with the Catholic Church can on occasion be recommended ... The Lutherans emphasized that the communion practices of the separated churches must receive their orientation from that which is demanded of the church by the ministry of reconciliation among men ... A celebration of the Lord's Supper in which baptized believers may not participate, suffers from an inner contradiction and from the start, therefore, does not fulfil the purpose for which the Lord established it".62

    II. Liturgical Form

  74. The truths affirmed in faith about the eucharist must shape the content and form of the liturgy. This involves a common duty which in large measure can and must be co-operatively discharged. At the same time, tasks and approaches vary because of the different types of churches, historical periods and traditions.

  75. "The best way toward unity in eucharistic celebration and communion is the renewal of the Eucharist itself in the different churches in regard to teaching and liturgy".63 In the Eucharist, too, it is progress towards the center which brings us nearer to each other. This means that "the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their thoughts match their words, and that they co-operate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain".64
    The call for renewal must always point in two directions: first to the Lord, His word and His will, and then to the people around us with all their difficulties and potentialities: the "small flock" of fellow Christians, as well as the innumerable multitude of fellow human beings for whose salvation the Eucharist is intended.
    The common witness to eucharistic faith and the common attempt to do justice to this in life have nothing to do with uniformity. Just as in theology and piety, there is also a variety of possibilities in liturgical forms. These can and indeed should illuminate and complement each other. What is true of church life as a whole is also true of liturgical forms: "thus in their diversity all bear witness to the admirable unity of the body of Christ. This very diversity of graces, ministries, and works gathers the children of God into one, because ‘all these things are the work of one and the same Spirit' (1 Corinthians 12:11)".65

  76. Without impairing this diversity, greater agreement in certain basic patterns needs to be sought. According to common conviction, the Eucharistic celebration forms a whole which includes a number of constitutive elements. Among these are: proclamation of the Word of God, thanksgiving for the acts of God in creation and redemption together with the remembering of the death and resurrection of Christ, the words of institution in accordance with the witness of the New Testament, the invocation of the Holy Spirit on bread and wine and on the congregation, intercession for the church and the world, the Lord's prayer and eating and drinking in communion with Christ and every member of the church.66 Liturgical practice should correspond to this jointly affirmed fundamental pattern. In addition to the common tasks which this agreement implies, there are others which involve special challenges to our churches.
    Lutherans are convinced that Catholics should seek:

    1. the avoidance of celebrations of the mass without participation by the people;
    2. better use of the possibilities for proclamation within each celebration of the Eucharist;
    3. the administration of Holy Communion under both species.

    Catholics are convinced that Lutherans should seek:
    1. more frequent celebrations of Holy Communion ("As the Eucharist is the new liturgical service Christ has given to the Church, it seems normal that it should be celebrated not less frequently than every Sunday, or once a week");67
    2. a greater participation by the congregation as a whole (particularly by children);
    3. a closer link between liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Sacrament.

    It should be acknowledged that the differences in practice reflected in these diverse requests are connected with continuing differences in the understanding of faith. We must join together in clarifying and overcoming them.

    III. Reception

  77. A theological doctrine remains a theory of individuals until it is affirmed and adopted by the whole people of God. Even conciliar declarations only come fully into effect when they take shape in the life and thought of the faithful. It is therefore essential that our common witness to the Lord's Supper evoke response and co-responsibility from our fellow Christians. We thus turn to them with the request that they examine and consider our reflections in order to improve them where needed and make them their own in so far as possible.

(Information Service 39 (1979/I-II) 22-25)


  1. Report of the Joint LutheranlRoman Catholic Study Commission "The Gospel and the Church" with a preface by Dr. André Appel, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, and Joh. Cardinal Willebrands, President of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (the so-called "Malta Report"), in "Evangelium - Welt - Kirche". Schlussbericht und Referate der römisch-katholisch/evangelisch-lutherischen Studienkommission "Das Evangelium und die Kirche", 1967-1971, Edited by H. Meyer, Frankfurt a. M. 1975, pp. 33-58 (This volume includes the lectures delivered in German and English at the sessions of the Commission).

    Back to text
  2. Corresponding with the different terminology in our traditions the terms Holy Communion, Eucharist and Lord's Supper are used.

    Back to text
  3. a) Texts of agreement issued by the Commission on Faith and Order: The Eucharist in Ecumenical Thought, in "Faith and Order", Louvain 1971. Study Reports and Documents. Faith and Order Paper n. 59, Geneva 1971. pp. 71-77; Beyond Intercommunion, ib., pp. 34-70, quoted: Louvain 1971; The Eucharist, in "One Baptism, one Eucharist and a Mutual Recognized Ministry; Three Agreed Statements", Faith and Order Paper n. 73, Geneva 1975, pp. 18-28, quoted: Accra.
      b) Texts of agreement issued by the Group of Dombes (France), consisting of French speaking Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed theologians: Towards a Common Eucharistic Faith? in "Modern Eucharistic Agreement", London 1973, pp. 51-78, quoted: Dombes 1; La signification de l'Eucharistie; accord pastoral, in "Unité chrétienne", n. 2, mai 1972, 13-15; quoted: Dombes Il.
      c) Documents of the bilateral conversations with the Anglican Church: Report of the Anglican/Lutheran International Conversations 1970-1972, authorized by the Lambeth Conference and the Lutheran World Federation, in "Lutheran World", vol. XIX, Geneva 1972, pp. 387-399; Agreed Statement on Eucharistic Doctrine, Anglican/ Roman Catholic International Commission, 7th Sept., 1971, in Windsor, in "One in Christ", vol. VIII, n. 1, London 1972, pp. 69-74 (quoted in the following: Windsor).
      d) Reports of the official dialogue of Roman Catholics and Lutherans in the United States: The Eucharist as Sacrifice, in "Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue", ed. by P. C. Empie and T. Austin Murphy, Washington, DC and New York , NY, 1967, vol. III, pp. 187-200 (quoted: USA III); Eucharist and Ministry, in "Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue", vol. IV, Washington, DC and New York, NY 1970, pp. 7-33 (Quoted: USA IV).
      (Bible quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version).

    Back to text
  4. Ordo Missae, Prayer II (following Hippolytus).

    Back to text
  5. M. Luther's Small Catechism.

    Back to text
  6. Cf. Vatican II, Constitution on Liturgy, n. 14.

    Back to text
  7. Dombes I, 34.

    Back to text
  8. USA III, II. 1 a, p. 192.

    Back to text
  9. Windsor, n. 7.

    Back to text
  10. USA III, II. 1 c, p. 192.

    Back to text
  11. Accra, n. 8.

    Back to text
  12. W. Jentsch, H. Jetter, M. Kiessig, H. Reller (Authors): Evangelischer Erwachsenenkatechismus, Gütersloh 1975, p. 1111.

    Back to text
  13. Dombes I, n. 11; cf. Accra, n. 11.

    Back to text
  14. Cf. Accra, n. 17 and 18.

    Back to text
  15. Leo the Great, Sermo 63, 7.

    Back to text
  16. M. Luther, Sermon zum heiligen Leichnam Christi, WA 2, 749: 10 = MA 1, 389.

    Back to text
  17. Accra, n. 19.

    Back to text
  18. Cf. Dombes I, n. 22 and Accra, n. 20.

    Back to text
  19. Ordo Missae, Offertory Prayer.

    Back to text
  20. Accra, n. 6; cf. Dombes I, n. 7.

    Back to text
  21. Cf. Dombes I, n. 27.

    Back to text
  22. Accra, n. 7; Louvain 1971, n. 73.

    Back to text
  23. M. Luther, Maundy Thursday 1524, WA 15, 498.

    Back to text
  24. Windsor, n. 5.

    Back to text
  25. Windsor, n. 5.

    Back to text
  26. USA III, I. 1 b, p. 188 f. - as quoted from Montreal 1963.

    Back to text
  27. USA III, I. 1 b, p. 188 - as quoted from Montreal, cf. also Evang. Erwachsenenkatechismus 1115.

    Back to text
  28. Dombes, I, n. 8.

    Back to text
  29. Cf. Accra, n. 7.

    Back to text
  30. Windsor, n. 4.

    Back to text
  31. Dombes I, n. 27.

    Back to text
  32. Dombes I, n. 29.

    Back to text
  33. Dombes I, n. 30.

    Back to text
  34. Council of Trent, DS 1641.*

    Back to text
  35. Council of Trent, DS 1652.

    Back to text
  36. See: Apologia Confessionis X, 2; cf. also USA III, II 2 B, c (p. 195).

    Back to text
  37. Windsor, n. 6, note 2.

    Back to text
  38. Council of Trent, DS 1643.

    Back to text
  39. Dombes I, n. 20; cf. Accra n. 35 and the statement of the Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg, «Eucharistic Hospitality», n. 27 g.

    Back to text
  40. USA III, II, 2 A f, particularly note 29 (n. 194).

    Back to text
  41. USA III, II, 2 A c, p. 194; and m. Luther, The Adoration of the Sacrament of the Holy Body of Christ, 1523, LW 36, 269-305 (= WA 11, 431. 456).

    Back to text
  42. USA III, I. 1 a, p. 188.

    Back to text
  43. Council of Trent, DS 1751.

    Back to text
  44. Council of Trent, DS 1743.

    Back to text
  45. USA III, I. 2 b, p. 189 s.

    Back to text
  46. M. Luther in A Treatise on the New Testament, that is the Holy Mass, 1520, in LW 35, p. 99 (= WA 6, 369, 5-9); see further USA III, I. 2 b, Note 6.

    Back to text
  47. "Sacrificia eucharistica": Apologia Confessionis XXIV, 25.

    Back to text
  48. Cf. especially: Apologia Confessionis XXIV, 19-26.

    Back to text
  49. Vatican II, Constitution on the Liturgy, n. 27; cf. also the Council of Trent, DS 1747.

    Back to text
  50. Vatican II, Church Constitution, n. 26.

    Back to text
  51. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Smyrn, 8, 1: PG 5, 713.

    Back to text
  52. Vatican II, Ecumenism Decree, n. 22.

    Back to text
  53. Confessio Augustana XIV.

    Back to text
  54. Malta, n. 61.

    Back to text
  55. USA IV, 16; Malta, n. 59.

    Back to text
  56. Cf. Malta, n. 59.

    Back to text
  57. Cf. Malta, nn. 63-64.

    Back to text
  58. Smalkald Articles II, 2.

    Back to text
  59. Instruction of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, 1st June, 1972, n. 2 a.

    Back to text
  60. Vatican II, Ecumenism Decree, n. 8.

    Back to text
  61. Directory of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity I, n. 55.

    Back to text
  62. Malta, nn. 64 and 72.

    Back to text
  63. Accra, n. 31.

    Back to text
  64. Vatican II, Constitution on the Liturgy, n. 11.

    Back to text
  65. Vatican II, Constitution on the Church, n. 32.

    Back to text
  66. Cf. Accra, n. 28.

    Back to text
  67. Accra, n. 33.

    Back to text


    * The English translations of the quotations from Denzinger are taken from Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1941 (trans. by Rev. H. J. Schroeder, O.P.).


Index | Centro Activities | Course | Publications | Conferences
Week of Prayer | Library | Interconfessional Dialogues
Directory of Ecumenical Study Centers | Society of the Atonement
Guest Book | Credits | Site Map

1999-2004 © - Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Inc.
Remarks to Webmaster at webmaster@pro.urbe.it