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"Is there a baby in there?"


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#1 Christina M.

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 04:48 PM

Today a woman was standing in line for Holy Communion carrying her young child, and just before they got to the chalice, the young boy asks loudly (loud enough for the entire congregation to hear): "Is there a Baby in there?" It was obvious that the parents had been teaching the child earlier about Holy Communion.

I understand that Communion is a great mystery, and also I understand that it's not good to get into too many specifics. My question is: Is it proper to specify that it is the Baby Jesus inside Holy Communion, or is it better to not mention the age of the Lamb? I remember some stories of saints who saw a young Baby being sacrificed on the altar table, but also we know that the sacrifice on the Cross happened when the Lord was in his early 30s, according to the age of his human being.

#2 John Konstantin

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:41 PM

Perhaps the little child had seen this:

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#3 Kosta

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:45 PM

In the 8th century when miracles began to surface of the eucharist, where the consecrated bread and wine turned into literal flesh and blood for the doubters. A hagography was written of a muslim prince who entered the church to see how christians worshipped. When the priest began to prepare the bread and wine, the muslim became enraged and wanted to kill the priest. Basically the muslim saw the priest slaughtering a baby and draining its blood into the chalice.. This is from a sermon of Gregory Dekapolites in 842 a.d. later bishop of Nicea. When the muslim confronted the priest, he gave a piece of the antidoron to the muslim:

"But he said in arabic, what is this? The priest answered, master it is from the bread which we celebrated the liturgy. And the saracen said angrily , Did you celebrate the liturgy from that you impure, dirty killer! Didnt i see that you took and slaughtered a child, and you took and poured his blood into the cup, and mutilated his body and placed on the plate members of his here and there?... Didnt i see you eating and drinking from the body and blood of the child and even offered it to the attendants?... And the sarcen said, is this what i saw? the priest: Yes my lord but as a sinner i am not able to see this mystery only the bread and wine. Indeed we believe and we hold we sacrifice this bread and wine as figuration of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus even the great and marvelous Fathers, the stars and teachers of the church, like the divine Basil the great and the memorable Chrysostom and Gregory the theologian were unable to see this awesome and terrifying mystery....."

The story goes on that the muslim prince ordered all his men to exit the church and not re-enter where he dmenaded the priest to bbaptise him.

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#4 Isaac Crabtree

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:11 PM

Or maybe the child saw something like this himself.

#5 Christina M.

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:08 PM

Hmm, nobody here had any definite answers. Does that mean that there is no definite answer? I'd be happy with that, I'd just like to know if that is the case.

But as John has pointed out above, even the icons show the Lord as a child in the chalice. Also as Kosta has pointed out, in the stories when the reality behind the Eucharist is revealed, a baby Child is seen. From the depiction in the icons and the stories from the saints, it would seem then that it was okay for the parents in the story from my OP to teach their child that "There's a Baby in there".

#6 Kosta

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:42 AM

Between the icon and the historical homily of Gregory Dekapolites i think its ok to say a baby (the babe Jesus) is in there.

#7 Antonios

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:56 AM

This is not directed at you Kosta, but I think it is important to say that in the sermon of Gregory Dekapolites, we must not forget that it was the muslim prince who saw this vision. This scene was for the edification of everyone of course - but so much more so for the unbelieving prince who witnessed it, the only to have ever reported such things!

I think we must not equate 'awesome and terrifying mystery' as meaning the greatest mystery of God. Yes, in fact, as the priest and believer sees the bread and wine and knows the Body and Blood, the unbeliever (on account of his unfaithfulness) sees the pure infant Jesus slaughtered and bled to death. Lord, never allow me to need such instruction on account of my own weaknesses and unfaithfulness!

The Body and Blood of the Eucharist is the Resurrected and Glorified Body of the Risen Lord and Conquerer of Hell!

And it is expressed in this particular iconography as the pure and newly born Son of God, the Virgin's Baby. The gladful tidings of righteousness, innocence and beauty.

Christ's divine nature is eternally begotten. It was Christ when He was a newborn and when He was an adult. It is eternal now and forever, outside of time and space. Thus, the infant Jesus is the Savior inasmuch as the crucified King is the Savior. And we partake of the Savior, irrespective of time!

Did He not have the Last Supper with His chosen to be also the First Supper of His Body and Blood?
And while He held the bread and broke it, it was Him.
And while He poured the wine and spilled it, it was Him.

And it is in the mystery of the chalice, the symbol of the Virgin Theotokos and Mother of God, where we are given the Life of Christ to our healing and salvation, the first fruits of the Lord, the Manna from Heaven, the Bread and Living Waters of Eternal Life!

Have mercy on us our Lord and Savior, have mercy on us!
Save us from ourselves!
Grant peace to those who are suffering in this moment and who will suffer tomorrow and every day, desiring ourselves evil passions and surrounding ourselves with evil spirits, languishing in wordly corruption, every second, every moment dying away.

From you overabundant Love, have us to see your mercy and forgiveness. Grant us assurance in our hearts, for our hearts are hardened and cold.

By the prayers of the Holy Theotokos and all the saints, deliver us from all evil. Amen.

#8 Steve B.

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 03:35 PM

Someone far more knowledgeable than I am might have to correct me here, but:

Wouldn't it be safe to say that since Christ was born to save sinners (St. Paul tells us that's why he 'came into the world', which is a euphemism for being born), it may be rightly said that He was offering Himself as our Sacrifice from the very first moments of His earthly life?

Thus, the icon with Christ as a baby in the chalice; there was never a moment in His life when He was NOT the offering for sinners. It was just a matter of temporal time before He instituted the Eucharist.




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