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Eucharist With a Small "E" Paperback – September 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570756171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570756177
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Winter suggests we reflect on the most memorable meals in our lives and see them as sacramental moments. She wants us to validate the table fellowship of Jesus as authentic eucharist a time when the Spirit works within us and animates us to give thanks to God, grow in grace, serve others, and be justice and peace in a conflict-torn world. Her emphasis on walking in the Way of Jesus and seeing ourselves as one in the Spirit with others is very salutary in these times. --Spirituality and Health

About the Author

Miriam Therese Winter is professor of liturgy, worship, and spirituality at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. A Medical Mission Sister who has served on four continents, she has recorded a dozen music albums, including the classic Joy Is Like the Rain. She is author of several award-winning books, including The Gospel According to Mary, The Singer and The Song, and Paradoxology.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By AM Paul on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
The premise of Miriam Therese Winter's new book, eucharist with a small "e," is stated simply enough in her Preface: "[to promote] a deeper integration of the sacred and the secular, [to] see the basic realities of life as elements of eucharist, and [to] invite the world to join in celebrating the liturgy of life." Indeed, this is a "small book with a big agenda."

Winter, professor of liturgy, worship, and spirituality at Hartford Seminary, tackles this big agenda in small steps by acknowledging, recovering, and celebrating eucharist with a small "e." With the art of a masterful storyteller, Winter re-tells the stories about Jesus and the stories told by Jesus, connecting them to her readers' stories in ways that challenge us to see through "a new lens that refracts a wider and more empathetic understanding of the world in which we live." She takes us on a journey through the origins of the Eucharist, to the importance of meals in Jesus' parables and in his life, to Pentecost, where she summarizes two "streams" of Eucharist - with a small "e" and with a capital "E." In the final section of the book, Winter guides us with everyday stories of thanksgiving and sacramentality. After Pentecost, it is up to us to open up to the Spirit of formation and transformation in a childlike way as we celebrate eucharist with a small "e."

Winter succeeds in crafting a book that is meant for "people in the pews and people who have left the pews yet long for something sacramental." In 158 pages, she fulfills her large agenda, without footnotes, bibliographies, theories, or arguments. It is a small book whose larger meaning will continue to unfold upon reading and re-reading.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Carol Blank on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Winter, a professor of liturgy, worship, and spirituality at Hartford seminary, describes small-e eucharist as a way of intensifying our relationship with God by immersing ourselves in the witness and wisdom of Jesus. She focuses on meals in the life and parables of Jesus, which in many ways tell more than the Last Supper story does about what our mission should be.

The chapter on meals covers 19 scripture passages including the wedding feast at Cana, dinner with the Pharisees and, of course, the feeding of the 5000. We see here an explicit reference to small-e eucharist as Winter points out that the emphasis is satisfying physical hunger. "That was a priority for Jesus. It is a priority now."

Her reflection on the parable of the wise and foolish wedding attendants (Mt 25:1-12) is a good example of applying unconventional wisdom to an old story. The traditional interpretation, that storing up good works gains the approval of the heavenly gatekeeper, whom we assume to be Jesus, is problematic for some. For starters, the wise may be seen as "eating and drinking and being merry while the poor are kept outside." And Jesus would never have barred the door, writes Winter. She also suggests that the "foolish" attendants may have been sensible, hardworking, and resourceful. They did bring some oil, perhaps as much as they could afford, though not enough to see them through the delay. And they went out in the middle of the night and managed to return with lighted lamps; yet they were barred. She closes with the notion that it would be just like Jesus to have told the story in reverse.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Franciscan on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Winter presents an interesting thesis that centers on the table fellowship of Christ and the early Church as a metaphor for living out the Christian call today. With plenty of examples taken from Scripture, Winter presents her point clearly and in a way that can be easily referenced as a homiletic or classroom tool in the future.

While the theme of Christian living as modeled by early-Christian table fellowship is appropriate and meaningfully presented, I am not sure that Winter's use of the term eucharist (even with a small "e") is appropriate. While it is left to the reader to decide, there is a latent danger that the reader might become confused as a consequence of being bogged down with the explicit reference that the word Eucharist bears and, in turn, not be receptive to Winter's message. Perhaps using another term such as "living sacramentally" would have been more appropriate.

It is important to note (as Winter does in the introduction) that this is not a "scholarly" work. While she makes it clear from the start that there are no academic citations, I believe that this hurts the value of the book.

I still recommend reading it, regardless of your personal ecclesiology.
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This book is a wonderful introduction to the meaning of the Eucharist and should be required reading in all seminaries. The Eucharist is not just something one does during Mass: it's a way of living and requires that one thinks of others who are not "in full communion" with whatever church one is talking about. Eat, share with others.
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