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One Bread One Body

A Teaching Document on the Eucharist in the Life of the Church

ISBN13: 9781853904912

ISBN10: 1853904910

Publisher: Veritas

Extent: 80 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 23 x 16.6 x 1 cm

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  • One Bread One Body is a teaching document from the Catholic Bishops Conferences of England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, on the Eucharist in the life of the Church.

    The document is commended to Catholics as a source of study and reflection. It is also offered to other Christians with the hope that it will help to clarify what the Catholic Church believes about the Eucharist.
  • Irish Catholic Bishops Conference

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    The Eucharist is a most precious gift of the Lord to his Church. It is a mystery to be pondered and revered. At the heart of this document is a presentation of the richness of Catholic teaching on the Eucharist. We offer it with confidence, for this mystery is indeed a life-giving truth, a pearl of great price. We urge Catholics in our countries to refresh and renew their belief in the Eucharist, their understanding of Catholic teaching, and their reverence for this great mystery of faith.


  • Part 1: Introduction

    Because there is one bread,
    we who are many are one body,
    for we all partake of the one bread.

    1 As Catholic bishops, we have a special care for preserving and deepening the unity of the one body of Christ, his Church, a unity in love and in truth, in holiness and in mission. We are eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In this endeavour, our particular responsibility is to proclaim the Gospel, and to teach in the name of Christ and his Church. We seek to speak the truth in love so that all may grow together into Christ who is the Head of the Body and the source of our unity. In our longing for unity of faith and life among all Christians, faithfulness to the truth is our first duty and desire.

    2 It is above all at the Eucharist that Christians become one in Christ, sharing together as one body the one bread of the Lord. An understanding of the Eucharist is essential, therefore, to the search for Christian unity. There can be no full unity among Christians that does not embrace unity in the Eucharist, and no full unity in the Eucharist without a shared understanding of all that the Eucharist contains and signifies. The primary purpose of our document is to present the teaching of the Catholic Church on the mystery of the Eucharist.

    3 At the heart of the life of the Catholic Church has always been the celebration of the Eucharist, or the Mass as Catholics often call it. Taking part in the Mass is the hallmark of the Catholic, central and crucial to our Catholic identity. The first Christians devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to their communion with each other, and to prayer, and met together in their homes for the breaking of bread. Over the centuries, Catholics in many countries have risked their lives in order to celebrate Mass in times of persecution. Their courageous faith remains an inspiration and example to the Catholic community today. For Catholics now, as in the past, the Eucharist is the source and summit of the whole Christian life. It is the vital centre of all that the Church is and does, because at its heart is the real presence of the crucified, risen and glorified Lord, continuing and making available his saving work among us. The Second Vatican Council reminded us: the most holy Eucharist holds within itself the whole spiritual treasure of the Church, namely Christ himself, our passover and our living bread.

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One Bread One Body