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The Eucharist: Sacrament Of the Kingdom [Paperback]

Alexander Schmemann

List Price: CDN$ 25.50
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Book Description

June 27 2002

The Eucharist is the crowning achievement of the well-known liturgical scholar, Alexander Schmemann. It reflects his entire life experience and thoughts on the Divine Liturgy, the Church's central act of self-realization.

Father Alexander Schmemann (†1983) was a prolific writer, brilliant lecturer, and dedicated pastor.


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The Eucharist: Sacrament Of the Kingdom + For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy + Liturgy & Tradition
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the Eucharist I have ever read Aug. 30 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fr. Schmemann has written what is simply the best book on the Eucharist I have ever read. Fr. Schmemann writes with clarity and insight about the Eucharist, not as an abstract phenomenon but from a first concern with liturgy as a whole, as the lived experience of the Church. Fr. Schmemann explicates how the Eucharist symbolizes, i.e. reveals, manifests, and communicates Christ and His Kingdom. Fr. Schmemann demonstrates that the real dynamism of the Eucharist and the Liturgy is the connecting of the sacrament with the Church, the world and the Kingdom. The Church, through the activity of the Holy Spirit in its Liturgy and life, brings the world into the Kingdom of God. In the Eucharist, all that is human can be transfigured by grace so that all of creation may be consummated in God. The strength of Fr. Schmemann's book is its clarity- clarity of style and more importantly his clarity of expression of his experience of God and God's Kingdom that is offered to us in the Eucharist. This book is alive.
As a side note, Fr. Schmemann's recently published Journals are written while he was writing this book. It is interesting to read of his struggles and insights as a companion to The Eucharist.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The anaphora of the faithful May 12 2009
By Jacob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is difficult to review this book one level. It is tempting for the reviewer to isolate the different chapters and give an account of them. Perhaps this is necessary, but it also leads one into the trap Fr. Schmemann warned against: dismembering the elements of the Eucharist for private analysis robs them of their power (196). Nevertheless, I shall try.

The purpose of the Eucharist is "partaking of Christ, who has become our food, our life, our manifestation as the body of Christ" (226). Fr Schmemann orders his thoughts around the anaphora, the movement of ascent into the heavenly places. It is going out from this world into heaven (60). This somewhat explains the intricate symbolism (I know he will shun that word) behind Eastern sacramentology. Fr Schmemann makes numerous, if sometimes vague, criticisms of Western Sacramentology, particularly Catholic transubstantiation. For the East, however, the key moment, if one may use that phrase, is in the *epiklesis,* or the invocation of the Holy Spirit.

Fr Schmemann loosely defines a sacrament as embracing the entire mystery of the salvation of the world and mankind by Christ and in essence the entire content of the Christian faith (217). That is the most important sentence in the book, in my opinion.

Evaluation
This book is much harder to follow than For the Life of the World. He refers to many internal discussions in Eastern Orthodox seminaries, much of which is lost on the outside reader. If he would have briefly defined a few of them, it would have helped out. But no matter, the book was superb and an essential study in liturgical theology. It has many gems within.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eucharist June 14 2011
By Rand York - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Eucharist is, I think, not only Alexander Schmemann's finest work,but also one of the best and most accessible works of theology ever written. Like the Eucharist itself, you do not study this book -- you enter into it. I have read it many times over the years and continue to refer to it. -- Father Rand York+
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eucharist April 15 2014
By charlene carrier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very interesting of the evolvement of the effect of the Eucharist in the presence of Assembly...Transition from early church until recently..Charlene
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best theological book I ever read... Dec 10 2012
By Andrej Kutarna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
....not only on Eucharist. When you are reading it with open mind & heart, you feel and know that you are near the Truth. Fr. Alexander does not argue, does not postulate any hypothesis. From the depths of his own faith and love for Christ and love for Church he shares his deepest knowledge about the Sacrament of Eucharist, about the Kingdom of God, about Church and about Men.


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