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A History Of The Mass And Its Ceremonies In The Eastern And Western Church -Rev John O'Brien A.M.

For the reason that many Protestants who travel in the East are fond of saying when they come home that the Orientals allowed them to partake of the “consecrated wafer,” meaning Holy Communion, we do not think that our work would be complete if we failed to expose this deception. From time immemorial it has been customary all through the East to bless, before regular Mass begins, a large quantity of bread at one of the side altars, and keep it for distribution, after service is over, among all who, for some legitimate reason, could not approach regular Communion on that day. From the fact that it was given as a sort of substitute for ordinary Communion it used to be called the Antidoron—that is, something in lieu of the Doron, or gift, as the Holy Eucharist was generally styled; and all could receive it at pleasure. Its use is still kept up in the East, and at one time it was also employed in the Western Church. The French call it pain benit. This is the true account of what Protestant tourists are pleased to call the “consecrated wafer” of the Oriental Church, and which they often boast of having received. To them it certainly ought to be something sacred, for it is, to say the least of it, blessed, and therefore far superior to any bread that they have in their service; for the power of blessing resides not in their ministers, but is enjoyed by those of the East, notwithstanding that they may be heretical and schismatical at the same time.








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