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Parts of a Catholic Mass II

Parts of a Catholic Mass II

Parts of a Mass: Liturgy of the Eucharist. 

The liturgy of the Eucharist is the most important moment of the Mass. We present the bread and wine that will be transformed into the body and blood of Christ. We made the collection in favor of the whole Church and we prayed about the offerings. 

  • Preface and Presentation of the Offerings: The Bread and the Wine 

  • Epiclesis: Eucharistic Prayer 

  • Holy: song of praise to God 

  • Consecration: The bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. (Doxology) 

Preface and Presentation of the Offerings 

In the Preface, we give thanks and praise to God, to the thrice saint, made a prayer. It comes from the Latin: pre - factum. It means "before the fact." And it is so-called because it is just before the most important event of the entire Mass: the Eucharistic prayer. 

In the preface, there is a dialogue with the priest, who always says: “Let us lift up our hearts. We have it lifted up to the Lord”. It is that in the preface we have given thanks to God, we have recognized his works of love and we praise him. 

At this time, we present the offerings, the bread and the wine. The simplicity of these foods reminds us of the child who brought Jesus his offerings, five loaves and two fish. It was all that he had, but that little thing, placed in the hands of Jesus, became abundance and was enough to feed an immense crowd and even left over. 

Thus, our simple offerings of bread and wine, placed in the hands of the Lord, will also become in abundance, the Body and Blood of Christ to feed a great multitude that is hungry for God. 

At every mass, we are that crowd! Along with this bread and wine, we also present to God, in a symbolic way, something of ourselves. 

We offer you our efforts, sacrifices, joys and pains. We offer him our fragility so that He can do great works with us. 

This is the inner attitude to which the liturgy leads us, to lift the heart to be ready for the most important moment: when Christ becomes present with his Body and Blood. 

The epiclesis or invocation to the Holy Spirit: Prayer 

The Eucharistic prayer is all the prayers that surround the moment of consecration. We invoke with prayer the Holy Spirit at this time that “the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (…) over bread and wine, so that they become, by his power, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1353). 

Just as the Holy Spirit descended on the Virgin Mary to conceive and make Jesus present in her womb, now we invoke the Holy Spirit to descend on these gifts and also make Christ present among us. 

"We must raise our hearts to the Lord not only as a ritual response but as an expression of what happens in this heart that rises and draws others up." Pope Benedict 

Then, it is the moment in which the bread and wine are brought to the altar, two very simple foods, which the priest will offer to God so that Christ may be present in the Eucharist, he also converts us, makes us better, more similar to Him. 

Holy: song of praise to God 

The lyrics are taken from the Holy Scriptures. The first part is a song that we have learned from the choir of angels, that the prophet Isaiah heard that they sang to God next to his throne. The three times repeated saint reminds us of the three divine persons of the Holy Trinity. 

The second part is the acclamation they say to Jesus when he is riding a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hossana!

They were happy cheering Jesus, the awaited king, who was entering his city. At Mass, we also acclaim Christ who is on the verge of making himself present to us. That is why we can say that the saint is a song of men and angels, that we unite to praise God. 

Consecration: The bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. (Doxology) 

"The power of the words and action of Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit makes his Body and Blood sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine, his sacrifice offered on the Cross once and for all" Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1353. 

We have reached the heart of the Eucharistic Prayer, the most important moment of the Mass. Following the command that Jesus told his apostles: "Do this in memory of me", the priest, acting in the very person of Christ, utters the words of the institution of the Eucharist, the same ones that Jesus spoke on the day of the Last Dinner. 

(…) How deep the words treasure: this is my Body; this is the chalice of my Blood! They fill us with security, reinforce our faith, assure our hope and enrich our charity. Yes: Christ lives, he is the same as two thousand years ago, and he will always live, intervening in our pilgrimage. He again approaches us as a traveller with us, the same as in Emmaus, to sustain us and give us support in all our work. 

The real presence of Jesus is a consequence of the ineffable mystery that is fulfilled with the transubstantiation, before which there is no other attitude than to worship the omnipotence and love of God. That is why we kneel when this sublime moment arrives, which constitutes the nucleus of the Eucharistic celebration. In those moments, the priest is the instrument of the Lord, he acts in persona Christi. 

One of the most important parts of the Mass is the moment of Consecration 

Parts of a Mass: Concluding Rite 

The Holy Mass ends as we started it, with the sign of the cross. We can go in peace because we have seen God, we have met Him and we are renewed to continue in the mission that God entrusts to us. At the end of the mass, the priest gives us the final blessing. 

The rites that conclude the celebration are: 

  • Final blessing 

  • Thanksgiving and farewell 

Final blessing 

We received the blessing of the priest. May that "you can go in peace" be the reflection of a well-lived Holy Mass. 

When God says good about us, his Word does make us different, he gives us that grace to fight the good fight of faith. Thus ends the Mass and we are ready to move on with our Christian life. 

Thanksgiving last part of Mass 

When the time devoted to thanksgiving within Mass is too short, it may be a good action to extend thanksgiving for a few more minutes, personally, at the end of all parts of the Mass.

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Maria Reina de La Paz Parish

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