- The mystery of faith «Our Savior, in the last supper, the night that betrayed him, instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood, with which he would perpetuate for centuries, until his return, the sacrifice of the cross and to trust to his wife, the church, the memorial of his death and resurrection: sacrament of piety; bond of charity; paschal banquet, in which Christ is eaten, the soul is filled with grace and we are given a pledge of glory to come «(CLV n.47)
With this solemn and sententious declaration, Vatican II presents to the Christian faithful the mystery of faith, of the Eucharist. He calls it Sacrosanct and says it is: Savior’s Savior, perennial memorial of the Lord, sacrament of sacraments, Easter feast, pledge of salvation.
The sacrifice of the new covenant, the Most Holy Eucharist or Holy Mass is the only bloodless sacrifice of the new covenant.
Its parts are:
I. Initial Rites
- Entrance Sing
- Penitential Act
- Collection Prayer
II. Liturgy of the Word
- First reading
- Second lecture
- Universal Prayer
III. Liturgy of the Eucharist
1. Presentation of gifts
2. Eucharistic Prayer
- Narration of the Institution
3. Rite of Communion
- Our father
- Rite of peace
- Fraction of Bread
- Lamb of God
- Prayer after Communion
IV. Blessing and Shipping
Prosetion and entrance song:
We prepare a processional entrance, we sing an appropriate song that shows the sense of Assembly, for example: Celebrate or Together as brothers.
The priest can initiate the procession with many signs that allow us to enter the Mystery, in addition, he can be accompanied by the readers and the ministers of the Eucharist.
The entrance procession and the singing manifest the pilgrim condition of our Church!
After the procession towards the altar, the priest bows and kisses the altar. Incense is used for solemnities.
At the end of the entrance song the priest initiates the Celebration and presides over it from the Headquarters and not from the Altar. Your greeting makes present and represents the Universal Church in the local community.
We begin the Celebration in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the people acclaim with a strong Amen.
As a suggestion, the community can greet each other after singing and before the priest’s greeting (this creates a climate of greater reception).
The missal presents four formulas for the Penitential Act: I confess … Lord, have mercy on us …; pray with the intentions for which forgiveness is requested …; and with the rite of sprinkling.
We must recover the penitential sense of this moment, keeping due silence and performing the rites properly.
The priest ends the Penitential Act with outstretched arms and repeating the formula «The Almighty Lord have mercy on us …» We reaffirm the prayer with our Amen.
It is an ancient hymn where we express our praise to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Glory updates the faith of the presence of the Lord in the Assembly and creates a feeling of joy.
It is a presidential prayer that gathers, synthesizes and gathers the sentiments that the Assembly has silently prayed.
Its function is to give the meaning of the celebration of the day.
It has three main parts:
1.Invocation or reason
«Lord, that in this admirable Sacrament you left us the memorial of your passion …
… grant us to venerate in such a way the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood ….
… so that we can always experience in us the fruits of your redemption «
Liturgy of the word: (GOD SPEAKS TO US)
• Responsorial Psalm
• Second Reading (In Domindo or solemnity)
• Universal Prayer
The ritual scheme of the liturgy of the Word is constituted and structured as a dialogue between God and his people.
God speaks to his people through the Law and the Prophets.
The people respond to God and meditate on revelation.
It is sung after the first reading; It is the first response of the believing assembly to the Word of God. The psalm is a prayerful response, with texts inspired by God himself.
The proclamation of the Gospel:
At each Mass the Lord gives us a Good News.
Good because its announcement and above all its reception provokes and produces nothing less than SALVATION.
News because although many times we have heard scenes of the Gospel and therefore they are not novel, they are always topical.
The proclamation of the Gospel is introduced with the ALLELUYA.
• The priest, sacrament of Christ (SC 7) applies and explains that message to the people of God.
• The Homily as part of the Liturgy is a privileged occasion to expose the mystery of Christ in the here and now of the community, starting from the sacred texts, relating them to concrete life. Its preparation must be careful and its duration must be proportionate to the other parts of the celebration (Puebla, 930).
• The Creed, profession of the faith of the Church, is a response to the Word of God. It has a tradition value that expresses the unity of the Church in the same faith.
• The Creed must be said by the priest together with the people on Sundays and solemnities. If the Creed is sung, it will ordinarily be sung by all.
• The Missal proposes to pray the Constantinopolitan Nicene Creed or the Symbol of the Apostles.
• It is a prayer made by the Assembly of the faithful.
• A prayer whose purpose is the petition or petition.
• A prayer that has as its objective the great needs of the Church and the World, hence its name of «Universal».
The assembled Christian community, exercising in a relevant way its baptismal priesthood, asks God that the Salvation that has just been proclaimed becomes a reality:
-In the church
-In the world
-Among those who suffer
-In the same Celebrating Assembly
• The Homily, the Creed and the Prayer of the Faithful develops and concludes the Liturgy of the Word, so these moments must be «in tune» with the Gospel.
• It is necessary to prepare the Homily and the Prayers of the Faithful in time so that these liturgical moments can be understood in their maximum expression.
• There are specialized books on Homiletics and Comments for Readings, as well as books with Universal Prayers.
Liturgy of the Eucharist:
THE BREAD THAT IS PART, IS DISTRIBUTED AND SHARES
• Presentation of gifts
• Eucharistic Prayer
• Rite of Communion
• Conclusion Rite
After the Liturgy of the Word (first great encounter with the Lord), the Liturgy of the Eucharist follows. It is the moment when the Word becomes Flesh in us.
In this liturgy we ritually reproduce the three gestures that Jesus made at the Last Supper.
1- I take bread …. Presentation of gifts
2- He gave thanks …. Eucharistic Celebration
3- He broke it and gave it … Holy Communion
Presentation of Gifts: (I take bread …)
Presentation of bread and wine and other gifts
Sink or purification
Prayer over the offerings
Bread and wine:
• Corresponds to the simple gesture of the Lord to take bread and prepare the glass of wine.
• Bread and wine are gifts that synthesize our human condition, our pain, our joy, our life.
What happens at the altar while we sing?
• The priest presents God with bread and wine through a prayer.
• The priest pours some wine into the pot and adds a few drops of water, makes a prayer and presents the wine.
• He bows before the altar and says a prayer of supplication.
• In the solemnities incenses the offerings, which presides over the celebration and the people.
That rite expresses the desire for inner purification.
• In addition to the practical gesture of washing one’s hands externally after touching the offerings or using the censer, it symbolizes the spontaneous desire to purify one’s heart before touching holy, sacred things.
• While washing his hands, the priest prays in silence: «Cleanse me Lord of my iniquity and wash me of my sin». That is to say, he makes an act of contrition and prepares to celebrate more worthily the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The origin of this rite goes back to the VIII century.
Then, addressing all the faithful, he says some words that are like the summary of the Mass: Pray brothers so that this sacrifice, mine and yours, may be pleasing to God, Almighty Father. Everyone answers: The Lord receives this sacrifice from your hands, for praise and glory of his name, for our good and that of his holy Church
Prayer over the offerings:
It is a prayer that is recited aloud, with outstretched hands, and that closes and condenses the meaning of this first part of presentation of the gifts
This prayer prepares the Assembly for its participation in the great Eucharistic prayer.
The Church prays that, together with the gift of Christ, the faithful may offer their entire existence to God the Father.
• It is convenient to make the passage from the liturgy of the Word to that of the Eucharist, preparing the altar among all
• The gifts are gifts and not symbols, therefore they are considered offerings, they must be «eucharistic»
• The songs must express the surrender to God of our life synthesized in bread and wine
• We participate at this time with our singing and especially with the sense of sight and silence
Eucharistic Prayer: (He gave thanks …)
? Narration of the Institution
What is the Eucharistic Prayer?
It is the Eucharistic Prayer, the culminating moment of the entire celebration.
It is a prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification
The priest invites the faithful to raise their hearts to God and to thank him through the prayer that he, in the name of the whole community, will direct to the Father through Jesus Christ.
The Eucharistic Prayer begins with the Preface, which is a song of thanksgiving to God, for all its benefits.
Acclamation of all the people with the priest
? The Holy, Holy, Holy, is prayed, which is a solemn praise to God.
• The Church implores pine power so that the gifts offered by men may be consecrated and become the Body and Blood of Christ.
• Epiclesis is a special prayer of invocation to the Holy Spirit and is accompanied by the epicleetic gesture, the imposition of the hands on the offerings.
Narration of the Institution:
• The center of the Eucharistic Prayer is occupied by the narration of the Institution and the Consecration.
• This is the time of greatest recollection in which the priest reciting the words of Jesus at the Last Supper converts bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Lord.
• «This is my Body» «This is my Blood» and shows to the adoration of the Assembly the Bread and the Wine turned into the Body and Blood of Christ.
• After the Consecration, the priest says a prayer of acclamation that we all complete.
1. This is the mystery of our faith!
We announce your death, we proclaim your resurrection, Come Lord Jesus.
2. Acclaim the mystery of the Redemption!
Every time we eat this bread and drink from this chalice, we announce your death, Lord, until you return.
3. Christ gave himself up for us!
By your cross and your resurrection, you have saved us, Lord.
• The Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ is remembered, not as a cold evocation of past events, but as a living memorial, made in the here and now. The Eucharist re-presents, makes present again, the saving power of Christ.
• Oblation, which means offering, the only offering is Christ who offers himself to the Father as a victim for the salvation of all.
• Epiclesis of Communion, where we implore again the presence of the Holy Spirit, with the desire that the Victim be pleasing to the Father and the faithful also offer themselves.
• Intercession, then the priest, with open arms, continues to address God the Father asking for our needs. Ask for the Church and all its members, both living and deceased; ask for peace and unity; etc.
• Anamnesis is Commemoration, the Eucharist is not mere memory, it is the same Christ who, through his minister, makes himself present and breaks bread for us, which is himself. Christ is Priest, victim and altar.
• This is ritualized in the oblation that means offering, Christ is the only offering!
• In addition, this moment has an eschatological and ecclesial content, we ask for the whole Church, that is, an explicit intercession by the Pope, the bishop, the hierarchy, the assembly, the absent, the deceased, therefore Communion.
• It is the coronation of the Eucharistic Prayer, a brief hymn of glorification:
For Christ, with Him and in Him to you God Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and all glory for ever and ever.
We respond with the Great Amen, that is, the acceptance of this Mystery that comes to meet us.
• We participate by paying special attention to the gestures and words of the priest, which are the words and gestures of Christ himself.
• We kneel at the moment of the epiclesis and explain its meaning.
• We respond to acclamations as a way of participating in the mystery, to do so, explain to the faithful the meaning of those words.
• Ask the priest to pray the Eucharistic Prayer in a slow manner so that the people can understand it better.
• Respond strongly to the Great Amen.
Rite of Communion: (He broke it and gave it to him …)
• Rite of peace
• Fraction of Bread
•Lamb of God
• Prayer after Communion
• Begin with the invitation to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
• During the Our Father all concelebrating priests extend their hands, as the main celebrant.
• All together, the priest and the assembly, recite this prayer that Christ taught us. It is the best way to prepare for receiving Holy Communion.
Rite of peace:
• Follow the Rite of Peace by which the faithful mutually express their charity. The priest wishes true peace to all, inviting the Assembly to manifest that same feeling.
• That gesture can be: shake hands, bow the head or hug. It is a gesture of communion, not congratulation.
• It must be a true gesture. There is no formula. The peace that is desired must be understood in the biblical-theological sense: a compendium of all good, fruit of the Holy Spirit that leads the faithful to love God and their brothers and sisters.
Fraction of bread:
The priest takes the consecrated bread, places it on the paten and drops a part of it into the chalice, saying in secret: The Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, united in this chalice, may be for us food of eternal life .
Lamb of God:
• The priest genuflects, takes the consecrated bread and holds it on the paten, shows it to the people saying: This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Blessed are the guests of the Lord’s Supper.
• Jesus is called Lamb in the likeness of the lambs that were sacrificed in the Temple, but with one big difference: the Lambs of the Temple did not take away the sin of the world, instead the «Lamb of God» takes away the sin of the world.
• Before communicating, we say «Lord I am not worthy …» using the words of the centurion of Capernaum when he recognized himself as unworthy of receiving Jesus in his house.
The priest communicates and then those faithful do it – that is, they can only receive the baptized faithful – who know themselves with the proper dispositions. They have examined themselves and acknowledged that they are in the grace of God (that they have no mortal sin without confessing).
The Church reminds us that «those who are going to receive the sacrament do not do so without being in an hour fasting from solid foods and drinks, except water» (Ritual).
Communion is a gift that the Lord offers to the faithful through an authorized minister. The gesture of the Lord is imitated: «He gave it to him, saying, take …» For that reason, the Church does not admit that the faithful take for themselves the consecrated bread and the sacred chalice; or that they pass it from one to another.
Silence and Thanksgiving:
• After communion we continue praying and singing as we are in communion.
• When the Most Holy is reserved, we sit down and are offered moments of deep adoration in silence.
• The rite of communion concludes with the so-called Prayer after Communion, the third presidential prayer, this prayer is addressed to the Father and it is requested that the food received bear the expected fruit.
• Pray with the Our Father, in a slow manner, with important gestures such as holding hands or going around the altar
Do not put too much emphasis on passing the hand in peace, looking for other signs, praying for peace in the world
Create a climate of recollection for the moment of communion
Rite of conclusion:
? Shipping and Farewell
• The priest greets the customary liturgical mode and then blesses the assembled assembly with a simple blessing that invokes the Trinity.
• The blessing can also be solemn and imparted with outstretched hands and the faithful receive it with bowed heads responding to each invocation.
• Finally the father or the deacon dismisses everyone with the «We can go in peace», this is a mere permission to retire. But it is a sending: similar to Jesus’ with his disciples, it can be translated: go take the peace that you have obtained in the celebration.