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Mystery and Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion
Larry Feingold

This book “explores the three ends of the Sacrament of Sacraments: God’s true presence, His redemptive sacrifice, and spiritual nourishment through communion with Him.  In this follow-up to his groundbreaking work, Faith Comes From What Is Heard, Lawrence Feingold constructs a biblical vision of the Eucharist – from its prefigurements in the Old Testament to its fulfillment in the New – and presents the Eucharistic theology of the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, and magisterial teaching from centuries past through today. The Eucharist is a masterful text, both challenging and spiritually rich, that comprehensively examines the unspeakable mystery that is the Eucharist.”

“A stunning achievement. Lawrence Feingold’s up-to-date study of the Eucharist is truly comprehensive, taking the reader from the book Genesis throiugh the Upper Room and all the way to Pope Francis. The result is a biblical, patristic, medieval, modern, and thoroughly Catholic study of the sacrament that is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life.’ And all this in clear and accessible prose! This work will be essential reading for anyone interested in Eucharistic theology for decades to come.”

Brant Pitre, Professor of Sacred Scripture, Notre Dame Seminary

“I believe The Eucharist is one of the most complete and faithful guides to the Holy Eucharist available today. Dr. Feingold has written a masterful summary of the Catholic theology of the Eucahrist that integrates scriptural and patristic foundations with scholastic and magisterial teachings on Euchartistic presence, the Mass as sacrifice, the participation of the faithful in the sacrifice of the Mass, the fruits of the Eucharist, adoration of the Eucharist, and contemporary canonical–pastoral questions regarding the worthy reception of Holy Communion. Drawing upon St. Thomas Aquinas and other eminent theologians, Dr. Feingold provides a treatment of the Holy Eucharist that is ideal for Catholic university and seminary classes on ‘the most august sacrament.”

Robert L. Fastiggi, Professor of Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Ed. All quotes above come from the back cover of the book.


The Gold Standard Textbook on the Holy Eucharist, by Roland Millare
This review appeared in the Adoremus Bulletin, May 2019

Emmaus Academic, 2018, Hardcover, 706 pages



Part I: Foundations

Chapter One: Why Did Christ Institute the Eucharist?

Reasons of Fittingness for the Eucharist
Christ Instituted the Eucharist for the Same Reasons That He Became Man
Mary and the Eucharist
The Eucharist Was Instituted To Be the Summit of the Sacramental Economy

Chapter Two: The Eucharist Prefigured in the Old Testament

Figure of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: The Shekinah
Figures of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist
Figures of the Eucharist as Spiritual Nourishment Under the Sacramental Signs of Bread and Wine

Chapter Three: The Eucharist in the New Testament

The Bread of Life Discourse in John 6
Four Accounts of the Institution of the Eucharist
Sacrificial Connotations of the Words of Institution
Other References to the Eucharist

Chapter Four: The Eucharist According to the Fathers of the Church

The Didache
St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Justin Martyr
St. Irenaeus
The Eucharistic Prayer of the Apostolic Tradition
St. Cyprian
St. Athanasius
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Hilary of Poitiers
St. Ambrose
St. Augustine
St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Gregory of Nyssa
St. John Chrysostom
Theodore of Mopsuestia
St. Cyril of ALexandria
St. Leo the Great
St. Gregory the Great
St. John Damascene

Chapter Five; Essential Elements of the Eucharist

Three Levels in the Eucharist: Outward Signs, Inward Reality and Sign, and the Reality of Grace
Sacramental Signs as Instruments of Christ
Matter of the Eucharist
The Essential Form of the Eucharist
Minister of the Eucharist

Part II: The Real Presence and Transubstantiation

Chapter Six: The Berengarian Controversy and Development of Eucharistic Theology

St. Paschasius Radbertus
Berengarius of Tours
Consequences of the Berengarian Controversy for Eucharistic Theology

Chapter Seven: The Doctrine of Transubstantiation According to St. Thomas

The Distinction Between Substance and Accidents
The Eucharistic Conversion: Transubstantiation
Sacramental Mode of Christ’s Presence

Chapter Eight: Transubstantiation in Dispute: The Reformation and Its Legacy

Protestant Views on the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
The Council of Trent on Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist
Twentieth-Century Challenge to Transubstantiation: “Transsignification”

Part III: Sacrifice

Chapter Nine: The Sacrifice of the Mass

Sacrifice is a Fundamental Act of Religion
The Sacrifice of Calvary
The Sacrifice of the Church
Theological Reflections on the Sacrifice of the Mass

Chapter Ten: The Objections to the Sacrificial Nature of the Mass

Objections of Luther and Calvin to the Sacrifice of the Mass
Reactions Against the Sacrificial Nature of the Mass in Theology of the Last Century

Chapter Eleven: The Participation of the Faithful in Offering the Sacrifice of the Mass

The Common Priesthood of the Faithful
Magisterial Texts on the Common Priesthood and Active Participation in the Mass
Sunday Mass: Obligation and Glory
Participation of the Faithful and Church Architecture

Chapter Twelve: Fruits of the Sacrifice of the Mass

The Merits of the Sacrifice of Calvary are Applied by the Mass
Four Ends of the Sacrifice of the Mass
Particular Fruits of the Sacrifice of the Mass
Eucharistic Concelebration

Part IV: Communion

Chapter Thirteen: Effects of Holy Communion

Communion and Sacrifice
Effects of Holy Communion
Spiritual Communion

Chapter Fourteen: Holy Communion Presupposes Ecclesial Communion, Invisible and Visible

Holy Communion Presupposes Ecclesial Communion
Why Being in a State of Grace is a Necessary Condition for Receiving Communion
Recipients of Holy Communion and Unworthy Communion
Post-Conciliar Magisterium and Communion for the Divorced and Civilly Remarried

Chapter Fifteen: Reception of Holy Communion

Frequency of Communion
Communion for Children
The Reception of Communion
Thanksgiving After Communion

Chapter Sixteen: Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration and the Three Ends of the Eucharist
Objections to Eucharistic Adoration and a Response by Joseph Ratzinger
Magisterial Texts on Eucharistic Adoration
The Tabernacle


The Eucharist and the Sacred Heart


Magisterial Texts
Patristic Sources
Medieval Sources
Reformation and Renaissance Sources
Secondary Sources

Index of Subjects and Names

Scripture Index