The Catholic University of America


Final Examination
Rev. Nicholas Zientarski
for the degree of
Doctor of Sacred Theology 
Friday, February 6, 2015
1:10p.m., Caldwell Hall, Room 125


the eschatological role of the holy spirit in the roman eucharist: the epiclesis in Modern liturgical roefrom in light of the pneumatology of yves congar, john zizioulas, and robert jenson
Director: Rev. Dominic Serra, S.L.D.  
The promulgation of three new Eucharistic Prayers containing explicit pneumatic epicleses following the Second Vatican Council represented one of the most significant fruits borne by the scholarly research of numerous theologians during the first half of the twentieth century. The Holy Spirit was given a prominent role in the Roman Catholic celebration of the Eucharist, a role that is still being studied and researched by Christians today. A particular area that requires further research in the post-Conciliar era is the eschatological role that the Spirit plays in the Eucharistic celebration. This study examines this role through the lens of three particular and distinct pneumatologies: those of Yves Congar, John Zizioulas, and Robert Jenson.
This study integrates different areas of theology, first and foremost pneumatology and sacramental theology. Each of the theologians present pneumatologies that enrich the vision of the eschatological role of the Holy Spirit in the Roman Catholic Eucharist. Congar speaks from the point of view of causality—that the Spirit is the cause of the movement of the Church toward the Father’s kingdom. Zizioulas founds his pneumatology on an ontology of communion, showing the Holy Spirit as constitutive of the Church as it grows in union with the Trinity. Jenson approaches pneumatology from a profoundly eschatological point of view, proposing that the Spirit is the Power of the Future in the converse between the congregation and the Father. In the application of the contributions of these three theologians with the Eucharistic epiclesis, the role of the Holy Spirit may be described as consecratory of the elements, formative of ecclesial communion, and fundamentally oriented toward the Kingdom of God.