A EUCHARISTIC DICTIONARY

Accidents: The attributes, or qualities, that our senses perceive in the Eucharist, such as taste or smell. Accidents are completely different from the substance of what Eucharist is.

Anaphora: The Eucharistic prayer the priest says at Mass.

Benediction: A short exposition of the Eucharist for adoration and blessing of the faithful.

Christ: The second person of the Trinity, Who is present in the Eucharist.

Ciborium: a metal vessel from which particles of the Blessed Sacrament are distributed in communion.

Communion Plate: A metal plate with a long handle. It is held under the chin of the communicant to catch any pieces of the Host which may fall.

Divinity: The essence of God, which is truly contained in the Eucharist.

Epiclesis: An invocation of the Holy Spirity by the priest during the Echaristic prayer, to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.

Eucharist: Based on the Greek word eucharistian, to give thanks. It is the consecrated Host which is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ.

Fraction: A Latin word for breaking. The fraction rite at Mass is the breaking of the consecrated Host.

Genuflection: A sign of reverence and respect that should be given to the Eucharist.

Host: The actual bread that, after consecration, is the Eucharist.

Intinction: A method of administering the Eucharist whereby the consecrated Host is dipped into the consecrated wine before being given to the communicant.

Jesus: The second person of the Trinity, Who instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, and is actually present in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine.

Kneeling: A body position where both knees are on the floor, or a pad if one is provided, and one’s posterior is not resting on anything. All are required to kneel at Mass from the Sanctus to the Great Amen.

Liturgy: From the Greek leitourgia (from leos [people] and ergon [work]) which was used of any public duty or service. It is the public worship of the Church. No priest or individual bishop is allowed to change the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Lunette: A device which holds the Host upright when placed in a monstrance.

Mass: From the Latin Missa. The unbloody re-presentation of the sacrifice at Calvary.

Monstrance: A vessel, usually made in the shape of a cross, in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed to the people at Benediction.

Nicea: The First Council of Nicea in 325 decreed that the Eucharist should be brought to the dying.

Offertory: The rite by which the bread and wine are presented (offered) to God before they are consecrated and the prayers that accompany it.

Paten: The round plate that holds the Host on the altar at Mass. It is placed on top of the Chalice.

Quam Singulari: A decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments, promulgated in 1910, stating that children should be instructed in and receive the Eucharist as soon as they reach the age of reason.

Roman Canon: Now known as Eucharistic prayer I. The Eucharistic prayer originally used in Rome, it was the only Eucharistic prayer used in the Roman rite from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council. It is still in use today.

Sacrament: An outward sign which bestows an inward grace. The Eucharist is a sacrament.

Transubstantiation: The point at which the bread and wine cease to be bread and wine, but are changed in substance into the body and blood of Jesus.

Utraquism: The name of a heresy which held that partaking in the Eucharist in both kinds is absolutely necessary for salvation. The Church teaches that the Eucharist, while it bestows grace beyond measure, is not absolutely necessary for salvation.

Viaticum: Holy Communion given to those in danger of death. Latin for provision for a journey.

Wine: The substance used on the altar at Mass which, after it is confected, becomes the Precious Blood.

Zwinglianism: The teachings of Ulrich Zwingli. These heretical teachings falsely assert that the Eucharist conveys no grace and is only figurative.

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Published by The Minnesota St. Thomas More Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith, April 2001.