Saint Edmund, Downham Market, Norfolk

 Faith - Holy Eucharist

Navigation

Caravaggio, 'The Supper at Emmaus' (1601)
Caravaggio, 'The Supper at Emmaus' (1601) "They knew him in the breaking of the bread" Lk 24.31

The Holy Eucharist

At the very heart of Christian worship is the Eucharist.

Christ himself gave it to his disciples at the Last Supper on the night before he died on the cross. "Do this", he said, "in remembrance of me".

And on Easter Day, the disciples recognised the living Lord Jesus to be really present with them in "the breaking of the bread".

So from that first Easter Day, in obedience to the Lord's command, with broken bread and wine outpoured, the Church has celebrated with devotion and thanksgiving the living memorial of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who saved the world from sin by his death and resurrection.


Today is:

Universalis

Today's Readings for the Eucharist
and a Reflection (with audio option)



Every Sunday - as the first day of the week and the day of the Lord's resurrection - remains paramount in the Christian life as the 'weekly Easter'.

But following the pattern of the early Church, at St Edmund's we also celebrate the Eucharist on weekdays too.  Normally as follows:

10.00am SUNDAY

  9.30am MON, TUE, WED and FRI (SAT check)

  6.00pm THU (with Vespers)

On weekdays there can be occasional variations in times, for pastoral reasons.

(Each week's Service times are given on the weekly Newsheet and on the Church noticeboard.)


'Twas God the Word that spake it,
He took the Bread and brake it;
And what the word did make it;
That I believe, and take it.

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
on the true presence of Christ
in the Eucharist

 


Leonardo da Vinci 'The Last Supper' (1498)
Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan
Leonardo da Vinci 'The Last Supper' (1498) Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan

Ministry to the Sick, Housebound and Dying

The Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist is reserved, first of all, so that Communion and Viaticum may be taken to the sick and housebound and the dying.

In this parish, Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Healing (anointing) are available for the sick and housebound and the dying on request.  Please contact one of the clergy.



The Abiding Presence of Jesus

As well as providing for the ministry to the sick, the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist also affords a precious opportunity for the rest of the Faithful for worship and adoration of the Lordís abiding presence.  Jesus says: 'This is my Body', This is my Blood'.

 

A Special Place to Reserve the Eucharist

At Easter 2007, under authority of a Faculty granted by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Ely, a spendid new Tabernacle was installed on the High Altar for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.

The arrival of the Tabernacle means that the small Aumbrey in the Lady Chapel, used previously for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, can now be put to a good new use - for the reservation of the Holy Oils (the Oil of Chrism, the Oil of Baptism, the Oil of the Sick) for which there was no proper provision before.  (The Aumbrey door is now 'veiled' by a reproduction of a 14th Century Orthodox icon of the Crucifixion of Jesus.). 


General view of the east end of the Chancel, with the addition of the Tabernacle (Easter 2007)
General view of the east end of the Chancel, with the addition of the Tabernacle (Easter 2007)

The outer door of the Tabernacle is highly polished brass, decorated with Symbols of the Passion of Christ (items used during the course of his suffering and death) in the repousse style - i.e. worked from the reverse side to created a raised detail.  The bespoke oak case was designed and made by Ormsby of Scarisbrick, Lancashire.


The Altar, with the new Tabernacle secured, surmounted by the Crucifix and flanked by six candles
The Altar, with the new Tabernacle secured, surmounted by the Crucifix and flanked by six candles

A closer view of the Tabernacle door - decorated with repousse symbols of the Passion
A closer view of the Tabernacle door - decorated with repousse symbols of the Passion

FROM THE 'REVISED CATECHISM' OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

47. What is Holy Communion?
Holy Communion is the Sacrament in which, according to Christís command, we make continual remembrance of him, his passion, death, and resurrection until his coming again, and in which we thankfully receive the benefits of his sacrifice. It is, therefore, called the Eucharist, the Churchís sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; and also the Lordís Supper, the meal of fellowship which unites us to Christ and to the whole Church.

48. What is the outward and visible sign in Holy Communion?
The outward and visible sign in Holy Communion is bread and wine given and received as the Lord commanded.

49. What is the inward and spiritual gift in Holy Communion?
The inward and spiritual gift in Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Christ, truly and indeed given by him and received by the faithful.

50. What is meant by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ?
Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ means receiving the life of Christ himself, who was crucified and rose again, and is now alive for evermore.

51. What are the benefits we receive in Holy Communion?
The benefits we receive are the strengthening of our union with Christ and his Church, the forgiveness of our sins, and the nourishing of ourselves for eternal life.

52. What is required of those who come to Holy Communion?
It is required of those who come to Holy Communion that they have a living faith in Godís mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death and resurrection; that they repent truly of their sins, intending to lead the new life; and be in charity with all men and women.