By Lee Palmer Wandel
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Extra info for A Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation
Sixteenth-century Evangelicals took apart the medieval liturgy—not simply part from part, but words from actions, human celebrant from divine agency. In rejecting the identification, through the office of the priesthood, of the celebrant and Christ, they severed the living celebrant from one way of understanding Christ’s “presence” in the Eucharist. 27 For Evangelicals, the act of worship was both temporally distinct from and, in terms of its participants, essentially divided from the meal Christ shared with his disciples.
The complicated metaphysics involved in formal theological explanations of the real presence were simplified into magic and miracle in the popular imagination. Beginning in the twelfth century, stories proliferated about miracles performed by or in behalf of consecrated hosts. 49 Theologians in the second half of the twelfth century relished these stories and used them as proof of the real presence. In fact, most of the stories that we have from this period were preserved in the lectures of the Parisian masters.
32 gary macy writing c. 1208–1212/3, relates a story of Bernard of Clairvaux. The holy man, realizing that one of the novices had confessed insincerely, urged the man not to receive the host. 50 A more nearly contemporary story related by Robert concerned a certain woman who, while keeping the host in her mouth, kissed a man so he would fall in love with her. The host turned to flesh in the man’s mouth almost choking him. 51 Robert also related the story of his contemporary, Bishop Maurice de Sully of Paris (d.
A Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation by Lee Palmer Wandel