While They Were At Table - Eucharistic Prayers and Reflections

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We can break the bread and hear it crack, taste it, etc. Our senses tell us this is bread. But, in essence, it has been transformed into God, in the Person of Jesus the Son. Faith is a gift by which we come to know , with certainty , that this is no longer bread. Rather, it is God. No amount of study, reasoning, or arguing will convince us of this truth.

But faith will. In fact, faith will convince us so deeply that we can come to believe with our whole being.

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And this is a conviction and level of belief that we can never arrive at using only our five senses or reasoning ability. He wants you to meet His divine presence there in the depth of your soul. He wants you to know Him, love Him, adore Him and surrender your life to Him in this precious gift. If you want to fully grasp the Mass, and understand the full meaning of the Holy Eucharist, then you must understand this most precious gift from three perspectives.

All three, together, make up the full meaning and reality of the Eucharist. These three perspectives are: Sacrifice, Sacrament, and Communion. We must begin with an understanding of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Jesus, the Son of God, took on our fallen human nature and died for us once and for all.

Eucharistic Prayer

In His suffering and death He destroyed death itself by rising victorious. But His death was a real death, and it was the perfect sacrifice and atonement for all our sins. Look at it this way. We were not there. Or were we? The truth is that every time we participate in the Mass we are present at Calvary.

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And we are not only present, we are participants. Every time we attend the Mass it is as if time ceases and we enter into this timeless moment of the Sacrifice of Christ. We are there, not so much historically; rather, we are there essentially, truly and spiritually. Our soul is present to the Sacrifice of the Cross and we are able to share in the fruits of that Sacrifice. Again, this takes faith to understand, believe and experience. But remember that faith is not just believing. Faith is knowing. Faith enables us to share in the one Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross made present to us through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The Eucharist is deep! The Sacrifice of the Mass is a profound reality like none other. Sit and prayerfully ponder it. God will help you understand and make sense of it.

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And when you do begin to understand, you will start to appreciate the Mass like you never have before. The Last Supper was the beginning act of the Sacrifice of the Cross. This is my Body. The fruit of the Mass is the gift of His True Presence under the appearance of bread and wine.

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This is the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. So, as we genuflect and kneel before the Holy Eucharist, we are kneeling before God Himself. This is an amazing reality and one that should leave us in awe every time we enter a church and see the tabernacle. God is truly with us in this precious gift. As we said above, the Sacrifice of the Cross is made present through the celebration of the Mass. The fruit of this Sacrifice is the Sacramental True Presence of Christ our Lord hidden under the form of bread and wine.

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But these two essential aspects are not the end. God wants to take this wondrous gift one step further. He wants to unite Himself with us through Holy Communion. Holy Communion is the ultimate goal of the Eucharist. This is the pinnacle!

In fact, the Holy Eucharist is spoken of as both the source of our Christian life and also the summit. What a grace! That, of course, is what the reception of Holy Communion does.

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It enables us to let Jesus unite Himself with us in our human nature. And in this unity, we share not only in His death, we also share in His resurrection from death. This death to sin and resurrection to new life now become part of who we are. And this is what the Christian life is all about. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. John The last line, especially, reveals the unity that is established as a result of reception of the Holy Eucharist.

To have Jesus remain in us and we in Him is the ultimate fruit of the Holy Mass. The Mass follows a set liturgical formula which, in itself, is filled with meaning. The many meanings within this ritual action of the Mass can easily be missed. Understanding what we do, why we do it and what it all means will help us to celebrate the Mass with much deeper faith and devotion.

Entrance Antiphon song : The purpose of this chant is to begin the celebration of the holy Mass, to foster unity among all those present, to draw their thoughts into the wondrous mystery of the particular liturgical season or celebration, and to accompany the liturgical procession of the priest celebrant and the ministers who will assist with the Mass. This is done through the beautiful act of singing. The many voices join together in the one melodious proclamation of faith.

The ideal is that the antiphon of the day is sung. However, it is permissible that another appropriate song be sung. The key here is the unity established by the song and text of that song.

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Procession : As the song is sung, the procession takes place. It is led by the Cross which symbolizes that our journey through this world toward Heaven is made possible only by the Cross. The Mass servers and the ordained ministers participate in the procession.


The Eucharistic Prayer

They, together, represent all the faithful on this journey toward Heaven. Greeting : 1 The Sign of the Cross begins the greeting. This is a powerful gesture. Thus, it is an acknowledgment on the part of the faithful that the priest is there in the person of Christ by virtue of his ordination. This should also remind us that the role of the priest, at that moment, is to be a sacramental minister and instrument of Christ. Act of Penance : The act of penance is all about preparation. If you had a party at your house you would prepare for it.