Austin Farrer on the eucharist
“As a college chaplain celebrating early morning Eucharists, Farrer set himself the discipline of preaching a homily no longer than the lectionary Gospel text, while the congregation remained standing. Here is one such ‘Farrergraph’:”
This sacrament is not a special part of our religion, it is just our religion, sacramentally enacted. It is whatever Christ is, and Christ is everything to Christian people. In particular, he is the supreme bond between us. Everyone of you communicating is bound to his neighbor by this, that the same Christ who lives in one, lives in the other. You care for your fellow Christian as you would care for Christ, and that in you which does the caring is also Christ. Christ in each cares for Christ in all when we communicate together. The same bond unites us with the saints in paradise, who make up by far the greater part of Christ’s people, and with our departed friends who may not yet be in paradise, but for whom we care and for whom we pray.
from The Truth Seeking Heart, (Canterbury, 2006), 125
Austin Farrer on a picture of the Eucharist
A learned colleague who shall be nameless was giving me a description of the way in which some Eastern Christians worship God. ‘The best way to describe it,’ he said, ‘is to call it a sort of spiritual air-raid drill. The divine presence is the point of explosive danger: and the moment of sacramental consecration is the moment of detonation. The ordinary citizens are protected by a solid stone screen, or rather wall, fencing them off from the altar, and they keep their heads well down to be on the safe side. Then there are the special anti-bomb personnel, the ministers equipped with special protective uniform, and specially trained, who enter the terrible enclosure with fear and wariness and go to the very point of danger. When the incident has been successfully neutralized, the deacon comes out and gives the all-clear to the congregation who get up and move about.’ My friend’s description, I need hardly say, is a piece of satire, but satire is sometimes more effective than justice at seizing the point one wishes to make.
from The Brink of Mystery, (SPCK, 1976), 14.
A prayer on receiving the Lord’s Supper
“Lord, it is true that I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. Yet I am in need and desire your help and grace. So I come with no other plea except that I have heard the gracious invitation to come to your altar. I am unworthy, but you have assured me I shall have forgiveness of all sins through your body and blood which I eat and drink in this sacrament. Amen, dear Lord; your word is true. I do not doubt it. Let happen to me whatever you say. Amen.”
Martin Luther (citation data coming)