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The elements not on the holy table

07 September 2018

Write, if you any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or to add to the answers given below.


At a cathedral main Sunday eucharist recently, at the preparation of the table, the assistant clergy were given filled chalices and ciboria, and then they stood about 15 feet away from the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer.

They raised the chalices, etc., about a foot at the words of consecration, and the elements were then treated as consecrated. I have never seen this done before. Were the elements in fact consecrated?

Your answer: The practice described seems to miss the opportunities to manifest the physicality of wine outpoured and bread broken. The eucharist is not a thought experiment, but a communal material experience. Nevertheless, consecration is about intent: the intention seems clear, and the elements were offered to be consecrated. If we think the Holy Spirit’s area of operation is limited to something less than 15 feet, then the consecration of the elements would be the least of our worries.

Gwilym Stone


Your question: When did the Church of England first permit brides not to vow obedience? Do we know when marriages without the vow of obedience outnumbered those with it?

A. B.


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