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Communion for the Sick,

(455 words)

Author(s): Richter, Klemens
[German Version] like commendation of the dying, traces back to earliest Christianity. According to Just. 1 Apol. (65:5), deacons brought communion to the faithful who could not participate in the congregational celebration of the Eucharist (Communion: II) – probably primarily the elderly, sick, and dying. The Council of Nicea (canon 13) desired that no Christian should die without communion (cf. John 6:54). If possible, it was delivered in both elements (until the discontinuance of the communion cup in the 12th cent.) directly from the celebra¶ tion of the Eucharist, also by th…

Church Year

(2,193 words)

Author(s): Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Grethlein, Christian | Richter, Klemens | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. General Background and History – II. Practical Theology – III. Orthodox Church I. General Background and History The church year – like church art, architecture, etc. – is one of the great cultural products of the Christian faith. It attempts to give cultural form to the gospel by means of the human perception of time. It thus stands alongside other attempts to cultivate the experience and perception of time, and to structure it meaningfully. As a sign of salvation…


(10,176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Nocke, Franz-Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Kandler, Karl-Hermann | Busch, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Church History In Christian usage, the term sacrament has two meanings: a broad meaning corresponding to the New Testament term μυστήριον/ mystḗrion (“mystery”), used as a term for mysteries of the faith in general, and a narrower meaning in the sense of certain liturgical actions that enable believers to share in the salvific grace effected by Christ. While medieval Scholastic theology in the West developed the narrower understanding of sacraments with increasingly precise and subtle definitions, …

Family, Holy

(364 words)

Author(s): Richter, Klemens
[German Version] The veneration of the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph, infant Jesus) is attested from the time when according to legend the family's house was moved in 1291 from Nazareth to Tersatto in Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) and then in 1294 to Loreto in Italy. As early as the 11th century, a vision prompted the erection of the Holy House of the Holy Family in Walsingham, England. The development of piety during the Baroque (III) period led to an increase in such veneration from the 17th century on. In …


(1,374 words)

Author(s): Hossfeld, Frank-Lothar | Richter, Klemens
[German Version] I. Bible Praise of God is one of the basic forms of prayer together with thanksgiving (Thanks), it represents the antithesis to lament and petition. The line between praise and thanksgiving is fuzzy. In contrast to its analysis of laments, form criticism of prayers has not achieved agreement on specific subtypes of praise. There is too much variation in the forms in which the intention to praise finds expression – an urge or promise to praise, various forms of hymns, formalized framing acclama¶ tions such as “Praise the Lord” or “Give thanks to the Lord”, Halle…

Lengeling, Emil Joseph

(178 words)

Author(s): Richter, Klemens
[German Version] (May 26, 1916, Dortmund – Jun 18, 1986, Münster), a Catholic theologian. In 1941, he was ordained priest; in 1959, he became professor of liturgical studies at the University of Münster; from 1962 to 1965, council adviser at Vatican II. In 1964, he was consultant to the committee for carrying out the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and to the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship. He was also the facilitator of several study groups on the renewal of the liturgy, which, as the dialogue between God and human beings, was for him the basic accom-¶ plishment of t…


(171 words)

Author(s): Richter, Klemens
[German Version] The viaticum is the Eucharist given the sick (Communion for the sick) at the hour of death as provision for their journey. Canon 13 of the Council of Nicea already expressed the desire that no Christian should die without receiving the Eucharist (cf. John 6:54). In the early Middle Ages, the viaticum was included in the Ordo defunctorum following penance (Repentance) and unction (Anointing of the sick); around 1000 the sequence was changed to penance – viaticum – unction, so that the viaticum was no longer understood as the actual last …