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Canons of the seven ecumenical councils

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28.

 Since we have learned that in various churches when grapes are offered at the sacrificial altar, in accordance with a certain custom which has gained prevalence, by affixing them to the bloodless sacrifice of the offering (or oblation), the ministers thus distribute both to the laity, we have seen fit to decree that no one in holy orders shall do this any more; but, on the contrary, for the purpose of vivification, and remission of sins, they shall impart to the laity of the oblation only, regarding the offering of grapes as first fruits offered by way of thanks to the giver of fruits, whereby our bodies, in accordance with the divine definition, is enabled to grow and to be nourished. If, then, any Clergyman does contrary to what has been commanded, let him be deposed.

(Ap. cc. III, IV; cc. XXXII, LVII, XCIX of the 6th; c. XL of Carthage.)

 

Interpretation.

Since in some regions, in accordance with a certain custom, some persons used to offer grapes at the Holy Table, which the priests would combine with the intemerate mysteries and then impart both together to the laity, on this account and for this reason the present Canon from now on and henceforth commands that no priest shall do this,[154] but, on the contrary, he must give the Holy Communion alone to the worthy, for vivification, and for remission of their sins,[155] whereas he blesses the grapes as first fruits of the season with a special prayer and hands them out to the laity, by way of thanking God for giving us such fruits, by means whereof our bodies are nourished and grow. As for anyone that does anything in violation of this Canon, let him be deposed from office. Read also Ap. c. III.

 

 




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