Skip to comments.Giving to God in Mass [Liturgy of the Eucharist]
Posted on 09/07/2006 3:40:08 AM PDT by Salvation
|Giving to God in Mass
|When it comes to the Catholic Mass we need to get it right. The Mass should unite us, not only with our brothers and sisters in the Faith who are living today, but with the Church through all time.
|In This Article...
Why the Liturgy Matters
Conscious and Active Participation
The Center and Summit
Why the Liturgy Matters
I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy, which at times is actually being conceived etsi Deus non daretur: as though in the liturgy it did not matter anymore whether God exists and whether He speaks to us and listens to us. But if in the liturgy the communion of faith no longer appears, nor the universal unity of the Church and of her history, nor the mystery of the living Christ, where is it that the Church still appears in her spiritual strength?... (The Spiritual Vision of Pope Benedict XVI: Let Gods Light Shine Forth, Robert Moynihan, ed. 117-118)We enhance our appreciation of the Mass by making a close investigation and seeing how the parts of the Mass are related.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist has four components: the Preparation of the Gifts, the Eucharistic Prayer, the Communion Rite, and the Concluding Rite. But in this article we will confine ourselves to considering the Preparation of the Gifts and the Eucharistic Prayer.
Conscious and Active Participation
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people" (1 Pt 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism. (14)The very act of the lay faithful bringing up the offertory gifts of bread and wine is an act that proceeds from the priesthood of the faithful. Thus with these offertory gifts we bring the combined sweat and blood, sorrows and joys of the assembly gathered together for Sunday worship.
In the early days of the Church the offertory processions were more elaborate and the gifts themselves were of an immediate practical nature. Everything that the bishop and the priests of the community needed for their weekly sustenance was brought up at this time. Bread and live animals were brought up in the procession that the clergy of the community might eat that week. Thus, the parish community had a real sense of supporting not only a church building, but equally important, the clergy that shepherded them. This is why, given todays circumstances, it is good that the collection as the visible sign of this support be put into one basket to be brought up with the gifts. The collection must be seen as the tithe, and pastors need to encourage all of their parishioners to practice the biblical principle of tithing. When the entire parish community practices tithing, their sense of active participation in the liturgy really comes alive.
The celebrant washes his fingers at the end of the Offertory precisely because in the early Church the nature of the offerings brought up by the lay faithful actually demanded that the celebrant cleanse his hands before entering into the Eucharistic Prayer.
The Center and Summit
By means of words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ Himself instituted at the Last Supper, when He offered His Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, gave them to His Apostles to eat and drink, and left them the command to perpetuate this same mystery. (GIRM, p. 41)The lay faithful have a right to the Catholic Mass celebrated with delicate fidelity to all of the norms and principles of the Catholic Church. Such fidelity will bring about the so-called reform of the reform that Pope Benedict desires and that all of us should desire in order that we may participate in it with greater awareness of the awesome mystery that we celebrate.
© Copyright 2006 Catholic Exchange
Father James Farfaglia is Pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Originally from Ridgefield, CT, Father has founded and developed apostolates for the Catholic Church in Spain, Italy, Mexico, Canada and throughout the United States. He may be reached by email at Icthus@GoCcN.org.
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Here is the Holy Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy of +Basil in full:
HE HOLY ANAPHORA
Deacon: Let us stand well. Let us stand in awe. Let us be attentive, that we may present the holy offering in peace.
People: Mercy and peace, a sacrifice of praise.
Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Let us lift up our hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord.
People: It is proper and right.
Priest: Master, Lord, God, worshipful Father almighty, it is truly just and right to the majesty of Your holiness to praise You, to hymn You, to bless You, to worship You, to give thanks to You, to glorify You, the only true God, and to offer to You this our spiritual worship with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. For You have given us to know Your truth. Who is worthy to praise Your mighty acts? Or to make known all Your praises? Or tell of all Your wonderful deeds at all times? Master of all things, Lord of heaven and earth, and of every creature visible and invisible, You are seated upon the throne of glory and behold the depths. You are without beginning, invisible, incomprehensible, beyond words, unchangeable. You are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the great God and Savior of our hope, the image of Your goodness, the true seal of revealing in Himself You, the Father. He is the living Word, the true God, eternal wisdom, life, sanctification, power, and the true light. Through Him the Holy Spirit was manifested, the spirit of truth the gift of Sonship, the pledge of our future inheritance, the first fruits of eternal blessings, the life giving power, the source of sanctification through whom every rational and spiritual creature is made capable of worshiping You and giving You eternal glorification, for all things are subject to You. For You are praised by the angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, powers, and the many eyed Cherubim. Round about You stand the Seraphim, one with six wings and the other with six wings; with two they cover their faces: with two they cover their feet; with two they fly, crying out to one another with unceasing voices and everresounding praises:
Priest: Singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying:
People: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna to God in the highest.
Priest: Together with these blessed powers, loving Master we sinners also cry out and say: Truly You are holy and mostholy, and there are no bounds to the majesty of Your holiness. You are holy in all Your works, for with righteousness and true judgment You have ordered all things for us. For having made man by taking dust from the earth, and having honored him with Your own image, 0 God, You placed him in a garden of delight, promising him eternal life and the enjoyment of everlasting blessings in the observance of Your commandments. But when he disobeyed You, the true God who had created him, and was led astray by the deception of the serpent becoming subject to death through his own transgressions, You, 0 God, in Your righteous judgment, expelled him from paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Your Christ. For You did not forever reject Your creature whom You made, 0 Good One, nor did You forget the work of Your hands, but because of Your tender compassion, You visited him in various ways: You sent forth prophets; You performed mighty works by Your saints who in every generation have pleased You. You spoke to us by the mouth of Your servants the prophets, announcing to us the salvation which was to come; You gave us the law to help us; You appointed angels as guardians. And when the fullness of time had come, You spoke to us through Your Son Himself, through whom You created the ages. He, being the splendor of Your glory and the image of Your being, upholding all things by the word of His power, thought it not robbery to be equal with You, God and Father. But, being God before all ages, He appeared on earth and lived with humankind. Becoming incarnate from a holy Virgin, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, conforming to the body of our lowliness, that He might change us in the likeness of the image of His glory. For, since through man sin came into the world and through sin death, it pleased Your onlybegotten Son, who is in Your bosom, God and Father, born of a woman, the holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary; born under the law, to condemn sin in His flesh, so that those who died in Adam may be brought to life in Him, Your Christ. He lived in this world, and gave us precepts of salvation. Releasing us from the delusions of idolatry, He guided us to the sure knowledge of You, the true God and Father. He acquired us for Himself, as His chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Having cleansed us by water and sanctified us with the Holy Spirit, He gave Himself as ransom to death in which we were held captive, sold under sin. Descending into Hades through the cross, that He might fill all things with Himself, He loosed the bonds of death. He rose on the third day, having opened a path for all flesh to the resurrection from the dead, since it was not possible that the Author of life would be dominated by corruption. So He became the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep, the first born of the dead, that He might be Himself the first in all things. Ascending into heaven, He sat at the right hand of Your majesty on high and He will come to render to each according to His works. As memorials of His saving passion, He has left us these gifts which we have set forth before You according to His commands. For when He was about to go forth to His voluntary, ever memorable, and life-giving death, on the night on which He was delivered up for the life of the world, He took bread in His holy and pure hands, and presenting it to You, God and Father, and offering thanks, blessing, sanctifying, and breaking it:
Priest: He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying: Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you and for the forgiveness of sins.
Priest: Likewise, He took the cup of the fruit of vine, and having mingled it, offering thanks, blessing, and sanctifying it.
Priest: He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying: Drink of this all of you. This is my blood of the new Covenant, shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.
Priest: Do this in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this Bread and drink this Cup, you proclaim my death, and you confess my resurrection. Therefore, Master, we also, remembering His saving passion and life-giving cross, His three; day burial and resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and enthronement at Your right hand, God and Father, and His glorious and awesome second coming.
Priest: We offer to You these gifts from Your own gifts in all and for all.
People: We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks to You, and we pray to You, Lord our God.
Priest: Therefore, most holy Master, we also, Your sinful and unworthy servants, whom You have made worthy to serve at Your holy altar, not because of our own righteousness (for we have not done anything good upon the earth), but because of Your mercy and compassion, which You have so richly poured upon us, we dare to approach Your holy altar, and bring forth the symbols of the holy Body and Blood of Your Christ. We pray to You and call upon You, 0 Holy of Holies, that by the favor of Your goodness, Your Holy Spirit may come upon us and upon the gifts here presented, to bless, sanctify, and make.
Priest: This bread to be the precious Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.
(He blesses the holy Bread.)
Priest: And this cup to be the precious Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.
(He blesses the holy Cup.)
(He blesses them both.)
Priest: Shed for the life and salvation of the world.
Deacon: Amen. Amen. Amen.
Priest: And unite us all to one another who become partakers of the one Bread and the Cup in the communion of the one Holy Spirit. Grant that none of us may partake of the holy Body and Blood of Your Christ to judgment or condemnation; but, that we may find mercy and grace with all the saints who through the ages have pleased You: forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, teachers, and every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.
Priest: Especially for our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary.
People: All of creation rejoices in you, 0 full of grace: the assembly of angels and the human race. You are a sanctified temple and a spiritual paradise, the glory from whom God was incarnate and became a child; our God, existing before all ages. He made your womb a throne, and your body more spacious than the heavens. All of creation rejoices in you, 0 full of grace. Glory to you.
(The Priest censes.)
Priest: For Saint John the prophet, forerunner, and baptist; for the holy, glorious, and most; honorable ; apostles; for Saint(s) (Name;s), whose memory we commemorate today; and for all Your saints, through whose supplications, 0 God, visit us. Remember also all who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection to eternal life (here the priest commemorates the names of the deceased) . And grant them rest, our God, where the light of Your countenance shines. Again, we pray to You, be mindful of Your holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, which is from one end of the inhabited earth to the other. Grant peace to her which You have obtained with the precious blood of Your Christ. Strengthen also this holy house to the end of the ages. Remember, Lord, those who have brought You these gifts, and for whom and through whom and the intentions for which they were offered. Remember, Lord, those who bear fruit and do good works in Your holy churches, and those who remember the poor. Reward them with Your rich and heavenly gifts. Grant them in return for earthly things, heavenly gifts; for temporal, eternal; for corruptible, incorruptible. Remember, Lord, those who are in the deserts, on mountains, in caverns, and in the chambers of the earth. Remember, Lord, those living in chastity and godliness, in asceticism and holiness of life. Remember, Lord, this country and all those in public service whom you have allowed to govern on earth. Grant them profound and lasting peace. Speak to their hearts good things concerning your Church and all your people that through the faithful conduct of their duties we may live peaceful and serene lives in all piety and holiness. Sustain the good in their goodness; make the wicked good through Your goodness. Remember, Lord, the people here presented and those who are absent with good cause. Have mercy on them and on us according to the multitude of Your mercy. Fill their treasuries with every good thing; preserve their marriages in peace and harmony; nurture the infants; instruct the youth; strengthen the aged; give courage to the faint hearted; reunite those separated; bring back those in error and unite them to Your holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Free those who are held captive by unclean spirits; sail with those who sail; travel with those who travel; defend the widows; protect the orphans; liberate the captives; heal the sick. Remember, Lord, those who are in mines, in exile, in harsh labor, and those in every kind of affliction, necessity, or distress; those who entreat your loving kindness; those who love us and those who hate us; those who have asked us to pray for them, unworthy though we may be. Remember, Lord our God, all Your people, and pour out Your rich mercy upon them, granting them their petitions for salvation. Remember, 0 God, all those whom we have not remembered through ignorance, forgetfulness or because of their multitude since You know the name and age of each, even from their mother's womb. For You, Lord, are the helper of the helpless, the hope of the hopeless, the savior of the afflicted, the haven of the voyager, and the physician of the sick. Be all things to all, You who know each person, his requests, his household, and his need. Deliver this community and city, 0 Lord, and every city and town, from famine, plague, earthquake, flood, fire, sword, invasion of foreign enemies, and civil war.
Priest: Above all, remember, Lord, our Archbishop (Name) and our Bishop (Name): Grant that they may serve Your holy churches in peace. Keep them safe, honorable, and healthy for many years, rightly teaching the word of Your truth.
Deacon: Remember also, Lord, those whom each of us calls to mind and all your people.
People: And all Your people.
Priest (in a low voice): Remember, Lord, all Orthodox bishops who rightly teach the word of Your truth. Remember Lord, my unworthiness according to the multitude of Your mercies; forgive my every transgression, both voluntary and involuntary. Do not take away the grace of Your Holy Spirit from these gifts presented because of my sins. Remember, Lord, the presbyters, the diaconate in Christ, and every order of the clergy, and do not confound any of us who stand about Your holy altar. Visit us with Your goodness, Lord; manifest Yourself to us through Your rich compassion. Grant us seasonable weather and fruitful seasons; send gentle showers upon the earth so that it may bear fruit; bless the crown of the year of Your goodness. Prevent schism in the Church; pacify the raging of the heathen. Quickly stop the uprisings of heresies by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Receive us all into Your kingdom. Declare us to be sons and daughters of the light and of the day. Grant us Your peace and love, Lord our God, for You have given all things to us.
Priest: And grant that with one voice and one heart we may glorify and praise Your most honored and majestic name, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.
Priest: The mercy of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ be with all of you.
People: And with your spirit.
Deacon: Having remembered all the saints, let us again in peace pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For the precious Gifts offered and consecrated, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: That our loving God who has received them at His holy, heavenly, and spiritual altar as an offering of spiritual fragrance, may in return send upon us divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us pray.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: Having prayed for the unity of the faith and for the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commit ourselves, and one another, and our whole life to Christ our God.
People: To You, 0 Lord.
Priest (in a low voice): Our God, the God who saves, You teach us justly to thank You for the good things which You have done and still do for us. You are our God who has accepted these Gifts. Cleanse us from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and teach us how to live in holiness by Your fear, so that receiving the portion of Your holy Gifts with a clear conscience we may be united with the holy Body and Blood of Your Christ. Having received them worthily, may we have Christ dwelling in our hearts, and may we become the temple of Your Holy Spirit. Yes, our God, let none of
37-us be guilty before these, Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries, nor be infirm in body and soul by partaking of them unworthily. But enable us, even up to our last breath, to receive a portion of Your holy Gifts worthily, as provision for eternal life and as an acceptable defense at the awesome judgment seat of Your Christ. So that we also, together with all the saints who through the ages have pleased You, may become partakers of Your eternal good things, which You, Lord, have prepared for those who love You.
In one of the Prayers of consecration in that communion was this:
And here we offer and present unto Thee our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice ... [from memory and I'm not sure of the punctuation.]It seems to me that the current canons of consecration all have somewhere language which suggests gifts flowing in every direction - and I often find myself thinking of the line in the Athanasian creed about "taking up of manhood into God". Anyway, I think the offertory is underappreciated in many of our Masses. It's a bigger deal than just "taking up the collection".
It's a very big deal. Psychologically we identify with our work and with its fruits. There in the crushing of grapes and in the scattering, gathering, grinding, moistening, and kneading of bread our entire lives, sin and salvation, are enacted. It is ourselves we offer up to be transformed and sanctified. That is not ALL of the miracle, but it is SOME of the miracle.
** Anyway, I think the offertory is underappreciated in many of our Masses. It's a bigger deal than just "taking up the collection".**
No rant apology needed. The offertory is very important, but I think you would agree with the article that the Consecration is the summit of this part of the Mass.
Well, yeah! Maybe that needs to be stressed. I don't know. One nice thing about being a convert is that I wouldn't have conveerted if I were troubled by doubts about the Mass. (That would be like being a Republican but favoring tax increases ... okay, bad example.)
All I'm saying here is that the prosphora is unappreciated and under-explained. Stewardship drives are presented as "doing our fair share" or things of that kind, but the mind-blowingly great privilege of being allowed to join the offering of ourselves and our labors with the self-bestowal of our Lord is overlooked.
The Book of Common Prayer text can be found at http://holycross-raleigh.org/bcp/342.html
From that site, the section Mad Dawg recalled:
And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, whereby we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies. Grant, we beseech thee, that all who partake of this Holy Communion may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, and be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction;
My Lutheran parish (admitedly on the evangelical catholic extreme of the spectrum) frequently uses Eucharistic canons containing words similar to these:
Therefore, in remembrance of all your mighty acts in Christ Jesus, we ask you to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, which we offer in union with Christs sacrifice for us, as a living and holy surrender of ourselves.
Page 336 of the 1979 BCP, Rite I
And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a ....I was at least an obedient priest (or, to be precise, I thought I was ...) and used the prayer book they gave me to use.
It was first given to the apostles directly by Christ at the Last Supper.
From them it was passed down to other clergy.
You quoted fairly well from memory. I like the Holy Cross-Raleigh BCP on line because you can simply enter any page number at the end of the URL to get to the particular page; makes it very easy if there is something you need to copy digitally.
###"Can any one please tell me when it was given to Priests and Priests alone to consecrate the host?"###
###"I would appreciate a biblical citation of when it priests were given this power to consecrate?"###
This might help:
In the most unequivocal languge the Apostles affirmed that the bread and wine duly concecrated on the altar did in fact become the actual Substance of the Saviour.
Declared the Apostle Paul:
"The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?"
(1 Cor. 10:16)
"Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God ..."
"And when they had ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed." (Acts 14:22).
" He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me."
- Luke 10:16
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise Him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my bood is drink indeed"
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they argued. (John 6:53)
"And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. THIS IS MY BODY.
And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to
them, saying: Drink ye all of this. FOR THIS IS MY BLOOD." (cf. Matt.
26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; luke 22:19-20).
I cannot see that action taking place in scripture.
Can you give other historical accounts of that function of holy orders?
I am not sure I follow you.
It does not seem to suggest that an apostle was give the ability to consecrate the host.
I appreciate your citation of 14:22, I had not remember that one. But it does not necessarily say that they were consecrating the host.
Also the house churchs that had functioned up to acts 14 were taking communion daily. Was all of it consecrated by the appostles? If so is that cited?
As I said to you in Freepmail it was pretty much accomplished by the end of the first century, certainly by the middle of the 2nd century. I would look at Ignatius of Antioch's letter to Smyrna, but also at Justin, Hippolytus, and the Didache - or what we have of it.
What difference does it make to you if you cannot find a conclusive text in Scripture?
Remember always, there is Holy Tradition!
And the apostle Paul tells us to "hold fast to these traditions."