26 On ‘anamnesis’ see BEM 115 16 (‘Eucharist’, 5 13); Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, The Final Report (London: SPCK, 1982), 18 20;

From the 1920s Romano Guardini and others encouraged Catholics to think of the Eucharist as a sacrificial meal and not simply as a sacrifice.27

27 See J. Ratzinger, ‘Is the Eucharist a Sacrifice?’, Concilium, 4/3 (1967), 35 40.

Protestant scholars like Pannenberg and Torrance exemplify the shift by heirs of the Reformation in their readiness to recognize how ‘meal and sacrifice’ go ‘together’ at the celebration of the Last Supper and in the ‘Eucharistic sacrifice’ of the Church.28

28 This change allows BEM to speak not only of the ‘eucharistic meal’, 11, 12 (‘Eucharist’, 2, 12 14) but also of the Eucharist as a ‘sacrifice of praise’, 10 (‘Eucharist’, 4).

Observing this shift still leaves us, however, with a crucial question to be faced in the next chapter: what is the relationship between the Eucharist celebrated by the Christian priests and the sacrificial self-offering of Christ at the Last Supper? But before closing this chapter, we must state five further theses.


Christ’s priestly self-offering at the Last Supper was consummated in the sacrifice of Calvary and its acceptance through his resurrection and exaltation. This thesis evokes the Letter to the Hebrews and its language about the high-priestly sacrifice of Christ being completed and made perfect when he was raised and exalted to glory and life everlasting in the presence of God. Commenting on the language of ‘completion’ or ‘perfection’ that pervades Hebrews, Christopher Koester states: ‘Jesus is made complete by his death and exaltation to glory, so that he now serves as high priest forever at God’s right hand.’29