Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unleavened vs. Leavened Bread

Conformity to the Institution of Christ and Other Significations
1. The validity of the Eucharist does not depend on whether the bread is unleavened or leavened; the essential thing is that the bread is wheaten bread [Jn 12:24]. Christ instituted the Eucharist on the first day of Azymes [Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7], and Christ never violated the Old Law, so He must have used unleavened bread [Ex 12:15,19]; thus Latin Catholics do not Judaize and follow the ceremonial precept of the Old Law after its fulfillment by Christ, but instead simply follow the institution of the God-man Himself. The Body of Christ was conceived without corruption, so the bread ought to be unleavened. According to St. Paul of Tarsus the Apostle of the Gentiles [1 Cor 5:7], the unleavened bread in the Eucharist more clearly signifies the sincerity of the faithful. Unleavened bread signifies the eternal Logos taking on flesh without His Mother having sexual relations, according to Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome.{1}

Signification and Validity of Leavened Bread
2. Leavened bread is obviously valid and sensible as well. Because the leaven is mixed with the flour, leavened bread is analogous to the Logos' being clothed with flesh, according to the same great pope.{2} Thus the Greek rite is also valid and appropriate because of the meaning and due to the Greek hatred of the Nazarene heresy.

3. St. Michael de Sanctis, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Bl. Imelda Lambertini, and St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

Notes and References
{1} Pope St. Gregory I the Great of Rome (Doctor), quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor Angelicus) in Summa Contra Gentiles.
{2} Ibid.

1 comment:

Athair Ambrois said...

for the first 800 and more years.

The change to unleavened bread in Rome took place towards the end of the first millennium.

Fr. Joseph Jungman -- in his The Mass of the Roman Rite -- states that:

"In the West, various ordinances appeared from the ninth century on, all demanding the exclusive use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist. A growing solicitude for the Blessed Sacrament and a desire to employ only the best and whitest bread, along with various scriptural considerations -- all favored this development.

"Still, the new custom did not come into exclusive vogue until the middle of the eleventh century. Particularly in Rome it was not universally accepted till after the general infiltration of various usages from the North" [Rome itself, conservative as alwaysr, did not change to unleavened bread until a few decades after the schism.]

~ Joseph Jungman, The Mass of the Roman Rite, volume II, pages 33-34

Fr. Jungman goes on to say that:

". . . the opinion put forward by J. Mabillon, Dissertatio de pane eucharistia, in his answer to the Jesuit J. Sirmond, Disquisitio de azymo, namely, that in the West it was always the practice to use only unleavened bread, is no longer tenable."

"Now, the fact that the West changed its practice and began using unleavened bread in the 8th and 9th century -- instead of the traditional leavened bread -- is confirmed by the research of Fr. William O'Shea, who noted that along with various other innovative practices from Northern Europe, the use of unleavened bread began to infiltrate into the Roman liturgy at the end of the first millennium, because as he put it, "Another change introduced into the Roman Rite in France and Germany at the time [i.e., 8th - 9th century] was the use of unleavened bread and of thin white wafers or hosts instead of the loaves of leavened bread used hitherto"

~ Fr. William O'Shea, The Worship of the Church, page 128

"Moreover, this change in Western liturgical practice was also noted by Dr. Johannes H. Emminghaus in his book, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, because as he said:

"The Eucharistic bread has been unleavened in the Latin rite since the 8th century -- that is, it is prepared simply from flour and water, without the addition of leaven or yeast. . . . in the first millennium of the Church's history, both in East and West, the bread normally used for the Eucharist was ordinary 'daily bread,' that is, leavened bread, and the Eastern Church uses it still today; for the most part, they strictly forbid the use of unleavened bread. The Latin Church, by contrast, has not considered this question very important."

~ Dr. Johannes H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, page 162

"Thus, with the foregoing information in mind, it is clear that the use of leavened bread by the Eastern Churches represents the ancient practice of the undivided Church, while the use of unleavened bread by the Western Church was an innovation introduced near the end of the first millennium."