The latest in the series of selected dissertations emerging from Masters students at the Church of Ireland Theological College (CITI) was officially launched yesterday evening (Tuesday September 29). Let Us Celebrate The Feast – Holy Communion and Building the Community by our very own Dean’s Vicar, Abigail Sines, is the seventh in the Braemor Studies series to be published by Church of Ireland Publishing in conjunction with CITI. It was officially launched in the RCB Library by the Bishop of Limerick, the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon.
Her study considers the scriptural background and various historical factors involved in the development of our current practice of Holy Communion. Abigail examines the biblical and post–apostolic periods, the transition of Christianity to institutional, state religion, and the medieval Western church. The book then deals with the major themes of the Reformation as they touch on Eucharistic theology and through to the present time.
Also contained in the book are the findings of the clergy and lay interviews conducted for the study. She looks at the differences in the perspectives of the clergy presiding at Holy Communion and those receiving it. Abigail concludes the book with some observations and recommendations in regards to the practice of Holy Communion in the Church of Ireland, in particular how it relates to the practice of mission.
Praising the book, Bishop Kearon described it as insightful, well written and accessible. He said it was important as it addressed the central act of the Church and looked at the question of how Holy Communion shapes the Church’s missional activity. “It looks at the Scriptural origins of the Eucharist and pulls all the referenced together, weaving them into a narrative that carries through from the Apostles, into the early and medieval Church right into the 20th century,” he said.
Let Us Celebrate The Feast – Holy Communion and Building the Community is on sale through the Church of Ireland’s online bookstore at https://store.ireland.anglican.org/store/product/119/let-us-celebrate-the-feast-holy and through Booklink in Belfast for €6 or £5.