Elevation (liturgy)

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Pope Benedict XVI raise up the body of Christ at Holy Mass

Elevation refers to the elevation ( Latin elevare ) and showing the transformed gifts during a Eucharistic service . The liturgy exalts the body of Christ according to the word of the Word of Change and the blood of Christ according to the word of the cup.

Roman Catholic Church

In the Holy Mass of the Roman Catholic Church , the celebrant shows the celebration host and the blood of Christ in the chalice during the Eucharistic prayer of the community after the conversion . Then he does a squat . The elevation is usually indicated acoustically by the ringing of the conversion bells or altar bells .

The elevation is first attested in a decree of the Bishop of Paris, Odo von Sully (1196-1208). It meets the high mediaeval piety of the Eucharist determined by the desire to see. From numerous historical reports from the late Middle Ages it is known that parts of the church people, who only rarely communicated at that time, often only entered the church for elevation. Since masses were often celebrated at several altars, it was necessary to go from altar to altar to see the elevation.

In addition to the elevation of the words of institution ( "big Elevation") raises the priest (optionally together with the deacon ) bread and wine (body and blood) in the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer ( "small elevation"). After the Agnus Dei , the priest lifts the broken host to the words: "See the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world".

The extension of the elevation is to be understood as the suspension of the Holy of Holies , which gives the faithful the opportunity to worship the Holy of Holies for a longer period outside of Holy Mass.

Lutheran churches

Martin Luther kept the elevation at the sacrament celebration as a visible indication of the real presence (see his German Mass ). However, it was already dismissed during Luther's time in Wittenberg, by Johannes Bugenhagen and Gabriel Zwilling , without Luther further objecting, because he saw it as a free ceremony that one can do or not. He was also against the fact that elevation should be reintroduced where it had been removed.

The elevation has been preserved in a number of Lutheran churches. In the corresponding Lutheran Lord's Supper liturgy , the pastor lifts up Christ's body according to the word of bread and Christ's blood according to the word from the cup. The liturgist also does squats . Between the Agnus Dei and the distribution, the pastor raises the chalice and the host that was broken during the Agnus Dei. Turning to the congregation, it says during the elevation: "See, this is God's Lamb who bears the sin of the world".


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas Heinz: Art. Suspension . In: Lexicon for Theology and Church . Vol. 1. 3rd edition, Freiburg 1993, 1271-1272.
  2. So in his letter to Prince Georg von Anhalt, Walch2, Vol. XIX, Col. 1340 f.
  3. So in his letter to Elector Johann Friedrich, Walch2, Vol. XXIb, Col. 3054.