The Prayer of Humble Access – an evangelical pastor’s view

Personally I find the extract from Pastor Katie Badie’s thesis on the subject of The Prayer of Humble Access very informative. However, I should now welcome some comments from a Catholic liturgist or theologian explaining how some of the phrases in the prayer which, according to Katie, reflect a Calvinist understanding of the eucharist can also be considered as conforming to the Catholic faith.

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2 Responses to The Prayer of Humble Access – an evangelical pastor’s view

  1. The Rev'd Canon Charles B. King, Jr. says:

    Of course, “our sinful bodies being made clean by His Body and our souls washed by His most Precious Blood” is Thomas Aquinas.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    You wrote: Personally I find the extract from Pastor Katie Badie’s thesis on the subject of The Prayer of Humble Access very informative.

    Yes, it most certainly is!

    You continued: However, I should now welcome some comments from a Catholic liturgist or theologian explaining how some of the phrases in the prayer which, according to Katie, reflect a Calvinist understanding of the eucharist can also be considered as conforming to the Catholic faith.

    First, it’s significant that the author specifically denies that Calvin’s writings are any sort of source for the Prayer of Humble Access, pointing instead to scriptural sources for nearly every line. The one influence that might be attributable to the reformers on the continent is the use of the word “table” in place of “altar” in a line that derives from a Catholic prayer. In reality, both terms are theologically correct: it is simultaneously an “altar” (place of sacrifice) and a “table” (place where one partakes of the eucharistic banquet).

    Historically, the Protestant reformers typically erred by rejecting one part of Catholic theology and emphasizing another. Thus, their teaching was incomplete but not overtly false. The magisterium of the Catholic Church, including the Council of Trent, responded by reaffirming that which the reformers rejected. Many Catholic pastors subsequently emphasized what the Council of Trent reaffirmed — often, unfortunately, deemphasizing that which the reformers emphasized. This led to popular misunderstanding that was very wide-spread and that went largely unchecked until the Second Vatican Council, which revisited many of these issues and presented a much more balanced perspective. The use of the word “table” in the Prayer of Humble Access is a prime example of this history: the reformers rejected the word “altar” so the Council of Trent reaffirmed the use of that term, leading to near-exclusive use in Catholic circles for five centuries, but both “altar” and “table” are theologically correct.

    Norm.

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