Friday, May 6, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 Pt.3

Hence the Mass, the Lord's Supper, is at the same time and inseparably:

—A sacrifice in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated;

—A memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said "do this in memory of me" (Luke 22:19);

—A sacred banquet in which, through the communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the People of God share the benefits of the Paschal Sacrifice, renew the New Covenant which God has made with man once for all through the Blood of Christ, and in faith and hope foreshadow and anticipate the eschatological banquet in the kingdom of the Father, proclaiming the Lord's death "till His coming."11

b ) In the Mass, therefore, the sacrifice and sacred meal belong to the same mystery—so much so that they are linked by the closest bond.

For in the sacrifice of the Mass our Lord is immolated when "he begins to be present sacramentally as the spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine."12 It was for this purpose that Christ entrusted this sacrifice to the Church, that the faithful might share in it both spiritually, by faith and charity, and sacramentally, through the banquet of holy Communion. Participation in the Lord's Supper is always communion with Christ offering Himself for us as a sacrifice to the Father.13

c ) The celebration of the Eucharist, which takes place at Mass, is the action not only of Christ? but also of the Church. For in it Christ perpetuates in an unbloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross,14 offering Himself to the Father for the world's salvation through the ministry of priests.15 The Church, the spouse and minister of Christ, performs together with Him the role of priest and victim, offers Him to the Father and at the same time makes a total offering of herself together with Him.

Thus the Church, especially in the great Eucharistic prayer, together with Christ, gives thanks to the Father in the Holy Spirit for all the blessings which He gives to men in creation and especially in the Paschal Mystery, and prays to Him for the coming of His kingdom.

d) Hence no Mass, indeed no liturgical action, is a purely private action, but rather a celebration of the Church as a society composed of different orders and ministries, in which each member acts according to his own order and role.17

e) The celebration of the Eucharist in the sacrifice of the Mass is the origin and consummation of the worship shown to the Eucharist outside Mass. Not only are the sacred species which remain after Mass derived from the Mass, but they are preserved so that those of the faithful who cannot come to Mass may be united to Christ and His Sacrifice celebrated in the Mass, through sacramental Communion received with the right dispositions.18

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