The Liturgy of the Eucharist
The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the Preparation of Gifts. Bread, wine and a monetary collection are presented. The gifts express our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the Gospel.
The Eucharistic Prayer opens with the Preface, including the Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus). It is followed by the Epiclesis, a prayer asking God to send the power of the Holy Spirit upon the gifts and make the bread and wine Christ’s Body and Blood.
The priest repeats Christ’s words at the Last Supper over the bread and wine. The consecrated elements are now truly, irreversibly, the Body and Blood of Christ. Our response proclaims the Mystery of Faith: Christ died, rose from the dead and will return in glory.
The priest prays that God will receive the offering we are making, not just as individuals but also as a communion of all who have gone before us in faith. The Eucharistic Prayer concludes with the Doxology, affirming the power of the Triune God. We respond, “Amen.”
Prior to participating in Mass, set aside some quiet time to reflect on the Preparation of Gifts. The offering of the gifts symbolizes the offering of our entire selves; that is, our hearts, our minds and our wills. Think about what prevents you from giving yourself entirely to God. Ask the Holy Spirit for the grace you need to love God and others more generously.
Watch the video about the Offertory with the Archbishop of Brisbane. Reflect on his presentation. Identify an insight you received from the video and how it can help you participate more fully in this part of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
'The Mass: VIII - Liturgy of the Eucharist - Offertory' Video
'The Mass: X - Liturgy of the Eucharist - Eucharistic Prayer, Pt. I' Video
'The Mass: X - Liturgy of the Eucharist - Eucharistic Prayer, Pt. II' Video
During the Preparation of Gifts, intentionally dispose yourself to offering your whole heart, mind and will to God. See your monetary offering as a symbol of the offering of your whole self to God and others, especially those in need.
The Eucharistic Prayer calls upon the power of the Holy Spirit to transform the gifts offered – the bread and wine and ourselves. Allow the power of the Holy Spirit to enter into your heart and mind and transform you.
St. Augustine spoke and wrote extensively about the Eucharist. Reflect on these or other quotes by him as you process to the altar to receive the Body of Christ:
“Believe what you see,
see what you believe
and become what you are: the Body of Christ.”
“If you, therefore, are Christ’s body and members, it is your own mystery that is placed on the Lord’s table! It is your own mystery that you are receiving! You are saying, ‘Amen’ to what you are: your response is a personal signature, affirming your faith. When you hear, ‘The body of Christ’, you reply. ‘Amen’ Be a member of Christ’s body, then, so that your “Amen” may ring true!” (St. Augustine, Sermon 272)
St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “Unless we believe and see Jesus in the appearance of bread on the altar, we will not be able to see him in the distressing disguise of the poor.” In response to seeing and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, choose one way you and your family will be more responsive to the needs of the poor.
The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are everyday acts of care and compassion for those in need. As St. Teresa of Calcutta pointed out, “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.’” Resolve to incorporate the works of mercy into your everyday life. Consider creating a plan that will help you and the members of your household practice one of the works of mercy for a week or two at a time. The repetition, practicing the particular act, will, with God’s grace and in time, develop into a habit and nurture the growth of virtue in each person.
Preparing for June
Catholics from every parish in the Diocese of Manchester are invited to gather for a time of prayer, fellowship, and formation in June of 2020. Together, we will deepen our understanding of the Church's liturgy so that we may be sent forth into the world, glorifying God with our lives.
For more information, visit www.MinistryEnrichmentGathering.org
Fr. Jason Jalbert, Vicar General, Rector and Pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral, offers a quick take on the Liturgy of the Eucharist of the Roman Missal.
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