Bishop in the Hotseat

In order to promote understanding and better communication practices as Bishop Patrick discussed in this Best Practices, we are setting up a page where the Bishop will answer questions posed to him by clergy, laity, or the general public.  Have something you have always wished to ask a bishop?  Contact Karen Isaacs at 416-363-6021 ext. 253 or kisaacs@anglican.toronto.ca with your question.

Note: Questions are pre-moderated. Before they appear, questions will be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate. Please allow several days for your question and answer to appear.


Question:  At our parish we ring bells at three parts during the Eucharistic prayer. The Bishop said he only did the elevation at one time during Eucharist.  Why does he only do this once? 

Bishop Patrick’s Answer:

Thanks for asking.  The current Eucharistic theology is that the Holy Spirit conveys Christ to the Eucharistic community through its solemn prayer.  The words of institution are a narrative inside that prayer.  The priest presides at this act as an indispensable part of the community.  But we are moving away from the idea that it is the words of institution that made the change through some kind of exercise of priestly power.  Ringing the bells and elevating the bread and wine when those words are spoken ties the words too closely to the transformation.  Similarly, we move away from identifying the precise moments of transformation, and rather regard the whole Eucharistic prayer as consecrating.