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Sites of the Eucharist

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the impact of the theological and liturgical changes of the early modern period on the sites of the Eucharist. The Reformation fundamentally challenged the late medieval understanding of the Mass. The rejection of the doctrine of transubstantiation and of the understanding of the rite as a sacrifice had significant liturgical implications. The setting for the Eucharist varied from the permanent Lutheran altar for the German Mass to the more temporary arrangements for the administration of the Lord's Supper in the Reformed Churches of Scotland and the Netherlands, reflecting their differing theologies. Even as Trent decreed the doctrines of transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the Mass, it also called for a more accessible rite, no longer to be hidden behind screens. The altar was the visible focal point of the new religious Counter Reformation. The changed setting of the Eucharist should not be seen in solely Evangelical terms.

Keywords: altar; Eucharist; German Mass; Lord's Supper; Reformed Churches



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