minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

The Eucharistic Prayers

thCAOT4ZN9The Eucharistic Prayers, of which there are 4 used in the Catholic Liturgy, are in my opinion, the most interesting parts of the mass. Without a doubt this is the most solemn part of the liturgy, with bells and sometimes incense, and of course the more noticeable posture of kneeling for which we catholics often get chided. However apart from the kidding or, where applicable, scorn; this is really that part of the mass where something really becomes massed.

O.k.. it was a pun but an honest one. Historically the term Mass comes from the Latin missa, which is used at the end of the service, to dismiss the congregation. Ite missa est, which roughly translates as “go you are sent”. It is the root of such words as dismissal in the English. But mass is also a word used in physics to speak to the physical properties of a substance. Gravity, matter, weight and force. In this the term mass comes from the Greek masa, and interestingly enough translates as a lump of dough or barley cake.

It is in this second meaning, which really has nothing to do with the use of the term Mass in the liturgy, that I find an interesting correlation. It is this, that during the consecration of the Eucharist in the prayers, the object is in a way massed. Not merely a representation, which we can all see in the use of bread and wine as symbols; but in truth a presentation of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Jesus Christ. And this is why we kneel. The real presence of Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist, is to the church what the Holy of Holies was to the Jews, and until the completion of the communion rite, the church will kneel or stand and attend to the importance and sacredness of the moment.11-16BookOfHoursDog

I have posted the Eucharistic Prayer 1 below. It is a longer prayer than some of the others but notice the flow of it. The obvious portions from the gospels and the last supper are here, but the prayer is much larger; bringing together the church today and the church of the past. Especially in this prayer you will see names of early martyrs and saints along with the apostles, Joseph and Mary. In a wonderful way, this prayer expresses the very heart of the Catholic faith, which is it’s universalism or completeness. We see the mystical body of Christ, the church, and at the center and point of focus is Jesus Christ.

Eucharist Prayer 1

P: To you, therefore, most merciful Father,
we make humble prayer and petition
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord: that you accept
He makes the Sign of the Cross once over the bread and
chalice together, saying:
and bless these gifts, these offerings,
these holy and unblemished sacrifices,
which we offer you firstly
for your holy catholic Church.
Be pleased to grant her peace,
to guard, unite and govern her
throughout the whole world,
together with your servant N. our Pope
and N. our Bishop, *Here the current Pope and local Bishop are inserted in place of N
and all those who, holding to the truth,
hand on the catholic and apostolic faith.

Remember, Lord, your servants N. and N. *Here the names of those the Mass is being spoken for such as recently departed members.
and all gathered here,
whose faith and devotion are known to you.
For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise
or they offer it for themselves
and all who are dear to them:
for the redemption of their souls,
in hope of health and well-being,
and paying their homage to you,
the eternal God, living and true.

In communion with those whose memory we venerate,
especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary,
Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ,
† and blessed Joseph, her Spouse,
your blessed Apostles and Martyrs,
Peter and Paul, Andrew,
(James, John,
Thomas, James, Philip,
Bartholomew, Matthew,
Simon and Jude;
Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus,
Cornelius, Cyprian,
Lawrence, Chrysogonus,
John and Paul,
Cosmas and Damian)
and all your Saints;
we ask that through their merits and prayers,
in all things we may be defended
by your protecting help.
(Through Christ our Lord. Amen.)

P: On the day before he was to suffer,
he took bread in his holy and venerable hands,
and with eyes raised to heaven
to you, O God, his almighty Father,
giving you thanks, he said the blessing,
broke the bread
and gave it to his disciples, saying:

He bows slightly.

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

He shows the consecrated host to the people, places it again on
 the paten, and genuflects in adoration.

P: In a similar way, when supper was ended

he took this precious chalice
in his holy and venerable hands,
and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing
and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:

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.

He shows the chalice to the people, places it on the corporal,
 and genuflects in adoration.

P: The mystery of faith.

C: We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.
Or:
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord,
until you come again.
Or:
Save us, Savior of the world,
for by your Cross and Resurrection
you have set us free.

P: Therefore, O Lord,
as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed Passion,
the Resurrection from the dead,
and the glorious Ascension into heaven
of Christ, your Son, our Lord,
we, your servants and your holy people,
offer to your glorious majesty
from the gifts that you have given us,
this pure victim,
this holy victim,
this spotless victim,
the holy Bread of eternal life
and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.

Be pleased to look upon these offerings
with a serene and kindly countenance,
and to accept them,
as once you were pleased to accept
the gifts of your servant Abel the just,
the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith,
and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek,
a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.

In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God:
command that these gifts be borne
by the hands of your holy Angel
to your altar on high
in the sight of your divine majesty,
so that all of us, who through this participation at the altar
receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son,

may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.

(Through Christ our Lord. Amen.)

Remember also, Lord, your servants N. and N.,
who have gone before us with the sign of faith
and rest in the sleep of peace.

Grant them, O Lord, we pray,
and all who sleep in Christ,
a place of refreshment, light and peace.

(Through Christ our Lord. Amen.)

To us, also, your servants, who, though sinners,

hope in your abundant mercies,
graciously grant some share
and fellowship with your holy Apostles and Martyrs:
with John the Baptist, Stephen,
Matthias, Barnabas,
(Ignatius, Alexander,
Marcellinus, Peter,
Felicity, Perpetua
Agatha, Lucy,
Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia)
and all your Saints;
admit us, we beseech you,
into their company,
not weighing our merits,
but granting us your pardon,

through Christ our Lord.

Through whom
you continue to make all these good things, O Lord;
you sanctify them, fill them with life,
bless them, and bestow them upon us.

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

C: Amen

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