Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Makeup of the Eucharist in the Eastern Catholic Rites

A member of Phatmass recently asked the following question:
Is the physical makeup of the Eucharist in other rites the same as in the Latin rite? Same percentages of wheat, etc.?
I'm probably not the best person to answer this question, since I'm a Latin Rite Catholic. But, I will certainly try my best.

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, nos. 706-707 read as follows:
  • 706 In the Divine Liturgy the sacred gifts which are offered are bread made of wheat alone and recently made so that there is no danger of corruption and natural wine of the grape and not corrupt.
  • 707 1. The preparation of the Eucharistic bread, the prayers performed by the priests before the Divine Liturgy, the observance of the Eucharistic fast, liturgical vestments, the time and place of the celebration and other like matters must be precisely established by the norms of each Church sui iuris.
    2. For a just cause and having removed any astonishment on the part of the Christian faithful, it is permissible to use the liturgical vestments and bread of another Church sui iuris.
Notice that 707:1 leaves the particulars regarding the preparation of the Eucharist to each Eastern Church. Thus, the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church in the USA has established (here) that, "Bread for the Eucharist is to be made of wheaten flour, water and yeast only. According to liturgical prescription the prosphora bears the seal (IC XC NI KA)." Other Eastern Churches probably have similar laws. If I find more on the particular law of these other Churches, I will let you know. You may also wish to post your question at the Byzantine Catholic Forum.

Pax Christi,

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