Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Louis-Marie Chauvet follows J. J. Von Allmen in arguing that it is appropriate to have an epiclesis (an invocation of the Holy Spirit, as in some Eucharistic prayers) before the reading of Scripture.

Of course there’s all sorts of mumbo-jumbo about transubstantiation to be avoided here (as if the Spirit comes to “change” the bread and the wine or somehow make the Bible the Word of God to us, as if it weren’t already that).

Yet, when Scripture is read and preached, as when we partake of the Supper, we pray that the Spirit will minister Christ the Word to us as we receive him by faith.

Chauvet, Louis-Marie, Symbol and Sacrament: A Sacramental Reinterpretation of Christian Existence translated by Patrick Madigan and Madeleine Beaumont (Collegeville, Liturgical Press, 1995) p226 citing J. J. Von Allmen, Celebrer le salut: Doctrine et pratique du culte chretien (Paris, Cerf-Labor et Fides, 1984) p140.

Readers may also care to peruse Towner’s slight rant about prayers before sermons.

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