Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 26

The Our Father has traditionally been divided into 7 petitions:

First three is focused on God – thy name, thy kingdom, thy will
Last four is focused on our needs – give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us

Hallowed be thy name: This petition prays that God’s name may be hallowed: that God and his name may be recognized and treated as holy.

Thy kingdom come: The prophets foretold how God would restore the Kingdom to Israel and that God Himself would reign over all nations (Is 40:9-11; 52:7-10; Zec 14:9, 16-17). This petition prays that God’s reign will be accepted throughout the world in all peoples’ hearts, beginning with our own.

Give us this day our daily bread: This petition relates to our daily needs. In particular, it recalls the daily manna given to sustain Israel in the desert (Ex 16:16-22).Just as God gave each person exactly the amount of heavenly bread they needed each day, so he continues to provide for our needs each day today. Finally, this petition also has Eucharistic overtones as the prayer for daily bread points to the Bread of Life we are about to receive in Holy Communion.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us: Before receiving Holy Communion, we ask God to forgive our sins – to purify us so that we might be holy tabernacles for Jesus who will soon dwell within us. But God’s mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have hurt us. Jesus taught that we will receive God’s mercy to the extent that we show mercy to others (see Mt6:14-15; 18:23-35). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that before someone approaches the altar to worship God, he should be reconciled with his brother or sister first, if his brother or sister has sinned against him (Mt5:22-23). Therefore we are challenged in this prayer to forgive those who have sinned against us and to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters.

Lead us not into temptation: This petition is not so much a prayer to avoid all trials and temptations in life. It is a prayer that God would strengthen us to overcome the temptation we face. St Paul said that “God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”(1 Cor 10:13)

Deliver us from evil: In this petition, evil refers to a person – Satan, the fallen angel who opposes God’s will and leads others to join him in his rebellion. In this concluding petition, therefore, we are asking that the Father deliver us from Satan, from all his lies, works and entrapments.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 25

The Lord’s Prayer was taught by Jesus in the gospels (Mt6:9-13; Lk11:1-4) and has been used in the Mass throughout the centuries. Before we approach the Lord’s Prayer, the priest notes what a privilege it is for us to be able to talk to God in this way.

“At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to Say …”

The Lord’s Prayer leads us to address God as “Father.” This show the intimate relationship we now have with God because of Jesus work of salvation. Through our union with Christ, God has truly become our Father. We have become “sons in the Son.” This is expressed in the opening line of this prayer. The One “who is in heaven” –the Almighty, Eternal God who is our Father. All who are united in Christ are truly brothers and sisters in him.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 24

Amen affirms the validity of what has been said and was often used in the liturgical settings. Most notable is how the angels and saints in heaven cry out “Amen” as they sing their part in the chorus praising God in the heavenly liturgy. This praise of the angels and saints in heaven is echoed on earth by the priest at every Mass when he says:

Through him, and with him and in him, O God, almighty Father, in unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, forever and ever.

The participants then respond like the angels, eager to join in this praise of God. They cry out “Amen” In it, they join all the great heroes in salvation history and all the angels and saints in heaven in this chorus of unending praise.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 23

The anamnesis refers to a prayer which identifies what is happening in the Mass. Jesus said, “Do this in memory of me. “ The priest tells the Father in heaven that the Church has been faithful in fulfilling this command: Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection…” (Eucharistic Prayer II)
The anamnesis serves as the basis for a second prayer known as the Offering, “which expresses how in the Mass we have the awesome privilege of offering what Jesus offered on Good Friday. On the cross, Jesus offered up his sacrifice alone. In the Mass, he offers it with his Church as he associates us with this sacrifice.

We are invited to unite ourselves with this sacrifice of Christ, which is why the Eucharistic Prayer calls this not only Christ’s sacrifice, but also, “the oblation of your Church” The symbolism of the gifts also points to how the Church offers itself to God not on its own, but in union with Christ’s sacrifice.

As the Eucharistic prayers near their conclusion, the priest makes various intercessions.

1. He prays for all who will soon be nourished by the body and blood of Christ. He prays that “they may become one body, one spirit in Christ. “

2. The priest prays for the Church universal, naming the pope and the local bishop and then interceding for all bishops, clergy, and the entire people of God, both the living and the dead.

3. Some intercessions include interceding for “all who seek you with a sincere heart” (Eucharistic Prayer IV) and praying that the sacrifice of the Mass “advance the peace and salvation of all the World”

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 22

We have arrived at the supreme moment of the Mass. The priest has spoken the words of consecration over the bread and wine, and they have now become the body and blood of Christ. In reverence, the priest genuflects in silent adoration before Christ’s Blood in the chalice and then rises and solemnly says “The Mystery of Faith. These words express the priest’s profound wonder and awe over the mystery that is taking place. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose body and blood were offered for our sins on Calvary, is now really present on the altar under the appearances of bread and wine. Using the expression of St Paul (1Tm 3:9), the priest exclaims that this truly is “the mystery of faith” Joining the priest’s wonder over this mystery, the people proclaim the story of salvation summed up in Jesus Corinthians: For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes again. (1 Cor 11:26)

First Option
We proclaim your death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
Until you come again.

Second Option
When we eat this bread and drink this cup
We proclaim your Death, O Lord
Until you come again

A third option proclaims the saving power of Christ’s death and resurrection while drawing on the words of the Samaritans who, after encountering Jesus, came to believe in him, saying, “We know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world” (Jn4:42).

Save us, Saviour of the world
For by your Cross and Resurrection
You have set us free

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 21

THE WORDS OF INSTITUTION AND CONSECRATION: Take this all of you, and eat of it,
For this is my body,
Which will be given up for you.
Take this all of you and drink from it,
For this is the chalice of my blood,
The blood of the new and eternal covenant,
Which will be poured out for you and for many,
For the forgiveness of sins,
Do this in memory of me

The Gospel tell us that the Last Supper took place in the context of the Passover meal – the annual feast that celebrated the foundation night in Israel’s history when God liberated them from Egypt. The Israelites celebrated the annual Passover as a liturgical “memorial” In Biblical “memorial,” the past was not merely recalled, it was re-lived. The past event was mystically made present to those celebrating the feast. At the last supper, Jesus words are that he used sacrificial language with reference to Himself.

A. The Passover itself was a sacrifice (E12:27) For Jesus to speak about body and blood in the context of Passover would bring to mind the Passover lamb, the blood of which was separated from the body in the ceremonial sacrifice.

B. When Jesus says his body “will be given up for you” the term used in Luke’s Gospel for “given up” is significant, for in the New Testament, it is associated with sacrifice.

C. When Jesus speaks of his blood “which will be poured out …for the forgiveness of sins,” he alludes to the atoning sacrifice in the Temple, which involved blood being poured out over the altar for the purpose of bringing forgiveness.

D. Jesus speaks of “the blood of the new and eternal covenant.” These words echo what Moses said in the sacrificial ceremony at Mount Sinai that sealed God’s covenant union with Israel as his chosen people (Ex24:1-17)

Jesus actions at the Last Supper mysteriously anticipate his sacrifice on the cross. In the Passover meal of the last supper, Jesus willingly offers up his own body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. This was carried out in a bloody manner on Good Friday. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present, so that its power may be applied to our lives for the daily sins we commit and so that we can unite ourselves more deeply to Christ in his act of total self giving love. In the Eucharist , we can join all our joys and sufferings with Jesus offering of himself to the Father, and in doing so; we offer ever more of our own lives as a gift to the Father.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 20

Singing with the Angels
When we pray: Holy, Holy…. we are joining our voices with the angels and saints in heaven in their jubilant hymn of praise. In the Eucharistic Liturgy, we become like Isaiah and St John, caught up to the heavenly liturgy. We are mystically entering the heavenly throne room – the same one that Isaiah saw in his earth shaking vision that filled the Temple with smoke as the angels sang. Like them, we are preparing to encounter the all holy divine Lord, who will become present on the altar. No wonder we fall to our knees in reverence after singing this hymn. The second half of this prayer is known as the Sanctus (Latin for Holy). We repeat words which the crowds used to greet Jesus as he proceeds into Jerusalem: Hosanna and blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Ps 118) Hosanna is Hebrew meaning “save us” It is fitting that we repeat these words at the moment in the Liturgy as we welcome Jesus into our churches, for he is about to become present in the Eucharist on our altars.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 19

THE SANTUS: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY LORD: This prayer helps us to see with the eyes of the angels what is really happening in the Eucharistic Liturgy. The opening words: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord… “Take us spiritually up to heaven. They come from Isaiah 6:3, a passage in which the prophet receives a vision of the heavenly King in the divine throne room with his majesty magnificently displayed and his angelic court adoring him.

Isaiah reports that he saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up and his train filled the temple. (Is6:1). Above the Lord, Isaiah saw the six winged angelic seraphim, a word which means “burning ones.” This unique title suggests that these angels are so close to God that they reflect his radiance. Yet even these angelic beings stand in utter awe before the divine presence. They covered their faces, daring not to behold the full glory of God (Is 6:2), and called to one another in an ecstatic hymn of praise. “Holy…The seraphim therefore acclaim the Lord as the all holy One, the one God above all other gods. And by singing “the whole earth is full of your glory, “they praise God for his splendor, which is displayed .This angelic hymn of praise has dramatic effects. When they sing, the foundations of the Temple shake and the room is filled with smoke.

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 18

THE EPICLESIS: In a prayer known as the epiclesis (meaning “invocation upon “), the priest prays that the Father send the Holy Spirit so that the gifts of bread and wine be changed into the body and blood of Our Lord. The priest at Mass petition that the Messiah-King be made present once again, this time under the appearance of bread and wine:

A)Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Eucharistic prayer II)

B)By the same Spirit graciously make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration, that they may become the body and blood of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ (Eucharistic prayer III) There is a second epiclesis where the priest calls on the Holy Spirit, praying that the Eucharist may draw all those who receive into a greater communion:

C)Grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ. (Eucharistic prayer III) Similarly, in other Eucharistic Prayers, the priest petitions that after receiving the one Body of Christ in the Eucharist, we may be gathered into one (Eucharistic prayer III) or gathered into one body (Eucharistic prayer IV).

Eucharist (Holy Mass) Part 17

THE PREFACE :The Lord Be With You :This is used in the introductory rites at the start of the Mass just before the reading of the Gospel. Both the priest and the people need the Lord to be with them as they prepare to enter into the mystery of the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Lifting Our Hearts
When the priest says “Lift up your hearts, “he is summoning us to give our fullest attention to what is about to unfold. This is a “wake-up call” to set aside all other concerns and focus our minds, wills and emotions – our hearts – on the sublimity of what is happening in the Eucharistic prayer. St Paul’s words in the Colossians, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. “(Col 3:1-2)

The Great Thanks Giving :In the last liturgical exchange, the priest says “Let us give thanks to the Lord Our God….” As we have already seen in the Gloria (we give you thanks….) and in the response to the scripture readings. (Thanks be to God) .St Paul teaches that the Christian life should be marked by prayers of thanksgiving. We should be “abounding in thanksgiving” (Col 2:7), giving thanks to God in all we do and “in all circumstances” especially in worship. Like the ancient Israelites, who thanked the Lord for delivering them from their enemies, so we now should thank God for sending his Son to save us from sin and the Evil one. The redemptive act of Christ’s death and resurrection is about to be made present to us in the liturgy and we humbly express our gratitude. In answer to the priest’s invitation to thank the Lord, we say “It is right and just “.