Now this is a real, authentic meal, substantial and convivial!
In addition to this, most people do not see a nibble and a sip of anything, let alone the Body and Blood of Christ to constitute a meal. Meals are substantial experiences that fill a person's stomach. So the term "meal" for Mass zeros in on a portion of the Mass that really doesn't constitute a "meal" by any stretch of the imagination and makes the laity think that if they haven't eaten and drunk the Body and Blood of Christ, they really haven't been to the Eucharistic Meal!
This is what George says about this on another thread:
Come, come now. This morning, I visited the new Kolbe center [pro-life ministry] in Macon which has an 'Open house'. today.
I was there, I drank one cup of coffee and I "partook of,"
"fed","nourished" myself with, and "consumed" two small pieces of cake.
I do not call this a meal.One can use the term meal in referring to the
Eucharist if one wants, but in relation to how one normally uses that
term, it is not a meal.One can even use the term Eucharistic banquet,
but is is not a banquet. I prefer saying that one partakes of and
consumes the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion. Much more respectful.
Especially since for many today, a meal is procured in a drive thru at a
fast food establishment.
This was my response to George's great insight and observations:
Thank you George and an excellent observation. Although I do feel more
comfortable with Eucharistic Banquet when this refers to the entire
Mass, for in that context it is and it doesn't necessarily mean food or
drink only which meal normally has that connotation.
Catholics who have impediments that do not allow them to receive Holy
Communion feel that the Mass isn't worth attending if one doesn't
receive. This is very sad and I think in large part due to the heavy
emphasis on meal, eating and drinking.
Once again, only the
priest must do this (eat and drink the consecrated Host and Precious Blood, he must receive both and consecrated at that particular Mass! Sorry if this sounds like clericalism, but it is
dogma) for the sacrificial aspect of the Mass to be completed.
laity are invited to receive, consume, eat and drink the Body and Blood
of Christ, but it is not required to fulfill one's Mass obligation and technically they may receive pre-consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle although this is a second option to the preferred choice of receiving our Lord made present at that particular Mass.
They would have participated in the Sacrificial Sacred Banquet without
having physically eaten or drunk anything.
They would have been
spiritually nourished, sustained and fed by the Mass itself from
beginning to end and would have eaten the Word of God simply by
listening and digesting it.
And they could have made a spiritual
communion at the time of Holy Communion that would have quite a bit of
efficacy in and of itself.