Fortress Press

Eucharistic Body

Eucharistic Body

Frank C. Senn (Author)


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Building on his previous work, Frank C. Senn explores the relationship between the sacramental body and blood of Christ, the ecclesial body of Christ, and human bodies. Drawing on the richness of the eucharistic prayer traditions and his own life experiences, Senn expands our understanding of the Eucharist to include a life of gratitude (Anaphora), cosmology and praise (preface), body and remembrance (anamnesis), Spirit and community (epiclesis), orthodoxy and world view (doxology), presence and union with Christ (Communion), and initiation and reconciliation (fencing the table). It argues for use of a full eucharistic prayer to express a wider understanding of the Eucharist, including creation themes, an emphasis on the passion of Christ to connect the Eucharist to suffering humanity, an expansion of the fellowship dimension of the Eucharist to embrace the church in heaven and around the world, a recovery of Trinitarian praise, an ecumenical exploration of how we understand theologically the presence of Christ received bodily, and a reconsideration of the value of initiation in sacramental discipline and in the life of faith. 

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506416762
  • eBook ISBN 9781506425160
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 200
  • Publication Date August 15, 2017




1. Ad Altere Dei: Jeourny Into the Presence

2. Anaphora: A Eucharistic Life

3. Preface and Sanctus: Cosmology and Praise

4. Anamnesis: Body and Memory

5. Epiclesis: Spirit and Community

6. Doxology: Dogma and Doxa

7. Communion: Presence and Embodiment

8. Fencing the Table: Initiation, Fellowship, Reconciliation




In more than one sense, Eucharistic Body is a timely and praiseworthy initiative.

“The fascinating thing about this book is that Frank C. Senn understands the art of weaving one’s own small life story into the Grand Narrative of God’s salvation, and that he does that in a way which is both imaginative and theologically convincing. Or, to put it the other way around, the Mystical Body here does not remain a strange idea, but it becomes a tangible reality which enables us to connect, also bodily and vividly, with Christ and his Church. This fundamental intuition leads Senn to an interesting rediscovery of past and present Eucharistic prayers and practices, of texts well-known and not known well enough, and of a rich diversity of ritual performances and cultural customs. The same intuition moreover urges him to develop a deep liturgical spirituality of solidarity that clearly meets the needs of a troubled time. Senn’s fine presentations and reflections reveal a profound yet refreshing view on Christian sacramentality, which opens promising ecumenical perspectives. So, in more than one sense, Eucharistic Body is a timely and praiseworthy initiative.” 

Joris Geldhof | Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

In this book a brilliant liturgical historian leads us on a pilgrimage through the Eucharist

“In this book a brilliant liturgical historian leads us on a pilgrimage through the Eucharist, vividly informed by his own experience as an abuse survivor, yoga practitioner, cancer patient, congregational pastor, and nature lover. You will disagree at times with this provocative teacher—even as you find yourself provoked to reflect theologically on the vulnerability and wonder of the eucharistic body.” 

Benjamin M. Stewart | The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

At once deeply spiritual and disarmingly personal, the author establishes communion with the reader through a mutual exploration of faith.

“Roman Catholic readers of this book will deepen their understanding of the Lutheran perspective on the Eucharist. Frank Senn’s walk through the Church’s liturgy casts a glance outward toward nature and inward toward the body, away from shame and into glory. He plumbs the meaning of sacrifice and communion, anamnesis and epiclesis. At once deeply spiritual and disarmingly personal, the author establishes communion with the reader through a mutual exploration of faith.” 

Fr. Paul Turner | pastor, St. Anthony Catholic Church, Kansas City, MO, and former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy

Of ecumenical interest to wide readership, I strongly endorse and recommend it.

"Pastoral, scholarly, intensely personal and, at times, autobiographical in style and content, Eucharistic Body is about Eucharist and the Body of the Church, the body of the cosmos, and the bodies of those who receive and celebrate it. This engaging study, based on a recent series of lectures in Iceland, highlights Frank Senn as both teacher and pastor providing, as it were, an overall commentary on the structure and celebration of the central act of Christian Worship. Of ecumenical interest to wide readership, I strongly endorse and recommend it."  

Maxwell E. Johnson | University of Notre Dame

Frank Senn provides an accessible review of the history of eucharistic praying and practice.

“In Eucharistic Body, Frank Senn provides an accessible review of the history of eucharistic praying and practice. He makes that history personal by interweaving it with his own story of sacramental experience and liturgical formation, offering in the process a kind of personal and intellectual memoir. As Senn himself states near the midpoint of the book, ‘In proclaiming the paschal mystery of faith, we connect the threads of our present lives and hopes for the future to what the saving work of Christ was all about in the mind of God.’ [mss. 89-90] This, I think, is what Senn has done throughout the book as he connects the threads of his own life to that hope. Not only has he done it well, but he has done so in a way that invites us to weave those threads for ourselves.”  

E. Byron Anderson | Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary