The latest in the series of selected dissertations emerging from Masters students at the Church of Ireland Theological College (CITI) was officially launched on Tuesday, 29th November. Let Us Celebrate The Feast Ė Holy Communion and Building the Community by Abigail Sines is the seventh in the Braemor Studies series to be published by Church of Ireland Publishing in conjunction with CITI. It was officially launched in the Representative Church Body Library by the Bishop of Limerick, the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon. Abigail serves as Deanís Vicar in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.
Left to Right: Director of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Canon Dr Maurice Elliott; the Bishop of Limerick, the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon; Librarian and Archivist at the RCB Library, Dr Susan Hood; author, the Revd Abigail Sines; and Lecturer in Missiology at CITI, the Revd Dr Patrick McGlinchey, at the launch of the latest title in the Braemor Studies series, Let Us Celebrate The Feast Ė Holy Communion and Building the Community by Abigail Sines.
Her study considers the scriptural background and various historical factors involved in the development of our current practice of Holy Communion. Abigail examines the biblical and post-apostolic periods, the transition of Christianity to institutional, state religion, and the medieval Western Church. The book then deals with the major themes of the Reformation as they touch on Eucharistic theology and through to the present time.
Also contained in the book are the findings of the clergy and lay interviews conducted for the study. She looks at the differences in the perspectives of the clergy presiding at Holy Communion and those receiving it. Abigail concludes the book with some observations and recommendations in regards to the practice of Holy Communion in the Church of Ireland, in particular how it relates to the practice of mission.
Praising the book, Bishop Kearon described it as insightful, well-written and accessible. He said it was important as it addressed the central act of the Church and looked at the question of how Holy Communion shapes the Churchís missional activity. He said: 'It looks at the scriptural origins of the Eucharist and pulls all the references together, weaving them into a narrative that carries through from the Apostles, into the early and medieval Church, right into the 20th century.'
Dr Susan Hood, Librarian and Archivist at the RCB Library, praised Abigailís enthusiasm during the process of turning her dissertation into a book. She added that while the best of the MTh dissertations were selected by the external examiner for publication, all the dissertations could be accessed in the library.
The Director of CITI, Canon Dr Maurice Elliott, thanked the Church of Ireland Literature Committee for enabling the Braemor series to continue. He said it was important that the research carried out by the students be available to the Church so that others could benefit and that Abigailís publication gave breadth to the series by giving a focus on liturgy.
Let Us Celebrate The Feast Ė Holy Communion and Building the Community is on sale through the Church of Irelandís online bookstore at https://store.ireland.anglican.org/store/product/119/let-us-celebrate-the-feast-holy and through the Book Well in Belfast for Ä6/£5.