Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 36

Singing during the Eucharist: Saint Bernard says that one who sings prays twice. The Eucharistic celebration becomes meaningful when there is a good choir meaningful songs according to the chosen theme.

Note: This is the last series for the Holy Mass. My blog will be in recess until I am back from vacation. May God Bless You All For A Blessed New Year In 2014.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 35

THE CONCLUDING RITES – GREETINGS, BLESSING AND DISMISSAL
Priest: Go forth, the Mass is ended
People: Thanks be to God
The people stand for the closing rites of the Mass, which mirror how the Eucharistic celebration began – with the words “The Lord be with you” and the sign of the cross. This time, the sign of the cross is made while the priest blesses the people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What is most significant about the dismissal is that the Eucharist should be seen as sending forth of the faithful so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives.

Jesus told the apostles, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). The Father sent the son into the world to die for our sins and give us a share in his divine life. As we have seen, the entire paschal mystery of Jesus passion, death and resurrection is made present to us in the Eucharistic Liturgy so that we can be more deeply incorporated into Jesus life and mission. The more deeply the Eucharist unites us to Jesus, the more we will radiate his life and his love in the world around us. The closing line of the liturgy therefore is not an aimless dismissal but is a dismissal with a mission. It is sending forth of God’s people to bring the mysteries of Christ into the world.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 34

The prayer Lord, I am not worthy : In response to the invitation to the marriage supper of the Eucharist, we say a prayer that on one hand acknowledges our complete unworthiness to receive our Lord and at the same time, expresses confidence that Jesus calls us and can heal us:

Lord, I am not worthy
That you should enter under my roof
But only say the word
And my soul shall be healed.

We recognize our unworthiness to have Jesus come under the roof of our souls in Holy Communion. But we do trust that Jesus can heal us as he becomes the most intimate guest of our soul in the Eucharist.

After the distribution of the Eucharist, the priest cleanses the vessels and says the “Prayer after Communion” in which he prays for the spiritual fruits of the Eucharist to take effect in our lives.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 33

HOLY COMMUNION : The Holy Communion can be described as the culmination of the Liturgy – as an intimate union with our divine Bridegroom, Jesus in the Eucharist.The Mass is considered a wedding feast by considering the words of the priest before we receive Holy Communion:
Behold the Lamb of God
Behold him who takes away the sins of the world
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb

The Holy Communion has a marital dimension. Husbands and wives give themselves to each other in the marital act, uniting their bodies in the most intimate way possible. Similarly, our divine Bridegroom comes to unite Himself to us in the most intimate way possible here on earth, giving his very body and blood to us in the Eucharist. This is why the tradition of thanksgiving after communion is so important. We should want to rest with Our Lord, to talk to him and thank him at many points in our lives, but most especially as he is dwelling within our souls in those moments after Holy Communion. This is the time for us to take a few moments to rest with our Beloved, to give him our tender attention and thanksgiving, and to express our love for him.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 32

Behold the Lamb of God prayer : The words of the Lamb of God prayer however, come most directly from John the Baptist. John is the first person to refer to Jesus as “Lamb of God. “ (Jn1:29, 36) When he first saw Jesus during his baptism ministry at the Jordan, he cries out “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. “ Jesus was the lamb that was led to the slaughter. Jesus is the one whose sacrifice made many righteous. We thus call Jesus “Lamb of God” and say to him that through his death, “You take away the sins of the world. “

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 31

The Agnus Dei (The lamp of God prayer )
While the priest performs the rite of breaking the host and the commingling, the people sing or say the following prayer, known as the Agnus Dei (Latin for Lamb of God)

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
grant us peace.

The Lamb of God is another prayer that takes us right up to God’s throne. When we recite these words, we join the myriad of angels who worship Jesus as the victorious Lamb in the heavenly liturgy that St John describes in the book of Revelation. Jesus is addressed as the Lamb of God for the New Testament reveals Jesus as the new Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for our sake.St Paul calls Jesus “our paschal lamb” who has been sacrificed. (Cor5:7) The book of revelation refers to Jesus as the Lamb who was slain.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 30

AGNUS DEI: THE FRACTION, COMMINGLING AND THE “LAMB OF GOD”

This part of the Mass includes 3 rituals:
The breaking of bread
The commingling of the Body and Blood of Christ
The recitation of the “Lamb of God”

The Breaking of Bread: The breaking of the bread is to describe the Eucharist. It is a rich symbolism in the ritual of many people partaking of the same loaf of bread. This points to the deep unity Christians share when we partake of the one Body of Christ: The bread which we break is the participation in the body of Christ. Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

The commingling of the Body and Blood of Christ : After breaking the host, the priest places a small piece into the chalice while quietly saying, “May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it. “ This is used at one time to express the unity of the Church. In Rome, the pope had a small particle of the consecrated host called the fermentum (leaven) sent to priests in the city, who placed it in their chalices as a sign of their union with the bishop of Rome. Some have interpreted this ritual as a symbol of re-enacting Christ resurrection. The separate consecrations of bread and wine in the Mass symbolizes the separation of Christ’s body and blood in his death, whereas the commingling rite expresses the reunion of Christ’s body and blood in the resurrection.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 29

THE RITE OF PEACE
“Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to your apostles? Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,
Look not upon our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will …” After petitioning the Father for the gift of peace, the priest now addresses Jesus, recalling his words to the apostles at the Last Supper: “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you” (Jn 14:27)

Jesus explains that the kind of peace he offers is “not as the world gives.” Christ offers us a deeper, longer lasting peace. When we allow Jesus to be the foundation of our lives and live according to his plan for us, he gives us an internal, spiritual peace that can withstand life’s many disappointments, trials and sufferings. This is the kind of peace of heart that also builds true unity within marriages, families, communities, parishes and nations.The priest then turn towards the people and addresses them with words of peace that recall St. Paul’s greeting of peace found at in many of his letters (Rom1:7; Cor1:3,Gal4:3): “The peace of the Lord be with you always. “ In the Eucharist, we exchange some sign that expresses peace, communion and charity. The sign may vary, depending on local custom. In some settings, it might involve shaking of hands. In others, it might entail bowing one’s head or some other sign. Whatever the gesture, the rite of peace can be seen as connecting Our Father with the reception of holy communion about to take place . We call on God not individually, separated from each other, but together as brother and sisters in God’s covenant family, saying “Our Father who art in heaven….” Now, the sign of peace expresses the unity in a ritual way. The sign of peace symbolically anticipates the profound unity the people will share with each other when they receive Holy Communion.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 28

For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory ….

Like the angels in heaven, the people respond to the priest’s prayer by praising God:

“For the Kingdom, the power and the Glory are yours, now and forever. “

These words are derived from King David’s climatic praise of God at the end of his reign, representing one of David’s last act as King before he passed the thrown on to his son Solomon. David recognizes that all the good that came through his kingship came from God. All the power, glory and kingdom he possessed was not his own, but God’s. At every Eucharist , we echo these words of King David. In doing so, we acknowledge God as Lord of our lives and praise him for all the blessings he bestows upon us. Whatever good we might do, whatever success we might experience, ultimately comes from God.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 27

A Peace Prayer : A New Kind of Peace

“Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
Graciously grant peace in our days,
That, by the help of your mercy,
We may be always free from sin,
And safe from all distress,
As we await the blessed hope,
and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Here, we arrive at a prayer that elaborates on the last petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “And deliver us from evil. “ The priest says, “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace ……” The peace envisioned here is more than an absence of war or hostility in the world. It denotes an inner wholeness or well-being that is a gift from God flowing from faithfulness to God’s covenant. When individual entrust their lives to the Lord and follow his plan, they discover a deep inner peace within themselves, and it is this inner peace that flows into the world through right –ordered, harmonious relationships with others.

The priest asks the Lord to free us from sin and distress – two things that plague the human condition and cause us to lose our peace. God’s law is the pathway to happiness and breaking it leads to loss of peace. If we give in to selfishness, pride, envy, lust, greed, we will never be happy. We will always be insecure, restlessly seeking more control, more attention, more wealth, or more pleasure, while being constantly worried about losing what we already possess.

At this moment in the Eucharist , the priest prays that Jesus deliver us from all these anxieties that keep us from experiencing the deep peace he wants to give us. He points out that we make this prayer as we stand between the experience of our trials of this world and the confident expectation of the Lord’s coming when he will set all things right. To express this hope, we borrow language from Paul’s letter to Titus: “as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ: (Titus 2:13)