Understanding the Eucharist
The Mass Series:
PART 9 – LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST – PREFACE
Once the priest has set the bread and wine apart from the sacrifice and said the prayer over those gifts asking the power of God to come upon them, we begin what is the most sacred moment in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. And that is the Eucharist Prayer itself. Or, as we used to call it, the Canon.
Now, it begins with a dialogue between priest and people: “The Lord be with you.” “And with your spirit.”
“Lift up your hearts”. “We lift them up to the Lord.”
“Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.” “It is right and just.”
So, we say it is right to give thanks to God because everything comes from God as gift. And it is just. And we mean when we say just, that it gets right relationship right.
That when we give God the thanks that is God’s due that we’re in right relationship with God. We’re seeing things as they really are.
The whole point of sacrifice in the Bible was to acknowledge God as the giver of all gifts. We were simply returning to God what we had received from God as a recognition that God owned everything and we owned nothing. So, the same things happen in the Mass.
We acknowledge that God is the giver of every gift and that everything comes to us as gift. That’s why we say it is right and just that we give God thanks and praise because God is the giver of all gifts and all the gifts are gathered up in the bread and wine now set upon the alter.
Then we have what’s called the Preface, which is really the beginning of this sacred prayer, the Eucharistic Prayer, and what it does is that it recalls some of the things that God has done. And, this again is deeply biblical because the Bible talks about a God who acts – in a sense the Bible is the story of what God does.
God doesn’t just speak. God acts.
So, the Preface will tell the story of what God has done.
And, then, it will say, having told the story, we gather up our prayer now. And, the Preface issues into the Prayer of the Angels when we say: “Holy, Holy, Holy” – these again are words taken from the Bible – and, what they are is the song of the Angels so that the Church, having acknowledged that it’s right and just to give thanks and told the story of what God has done, joins the chorus of the Angels and singing of the infinite holiness of God whose glory fills all heaven and earth.
And that song of the Angels – the Holy Holy – really opens the door on the Eucharistic Prayer that follows.
© Infant Jesus School 2017
17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9276 1769 | Fax: (08) 9276 2998
Website by Chameleon Logic