Archive for September 10, 2010


The Eucharistic Celebration

Explained For Children and the Child In You

By Julian Tan (Catholicjules.net)

Introduction

As you age and grow in your faith children, you will have a deeper spiritual understanding of the Eucharistic Celebration unravel for you.  In other words like a cabbage, when you peel away the first layer you will see a new layer and when you peel that one away yet another will revealed.  For now let us embark on this little journey of understanding the basics so that you can have a deeper appreciation for what takes place when you are in Church on Sunday.

So let us first begin with what it means; Eucharist actually means ‘Thanksgiving’ in other words we celebrate by giving thanks to God our Father for His undying love for us and to thank him for giving us Jesus.  In addition, the Eucharistic Celebration is also a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus who died for us on the cross to take away our sins, rose from the dead and who now lives with our Father in heaven and in our hearts.

Now here is something to remember and keep close to your heart.  God so loved the world, he gave us his only begotten Son Jesus Christ.  And Jesus loved us so much that He could not bear to leave us completely alone.  So being the Son of God, he instituted (provided) a way to be with us always.   By giving us His real body which takes the appearance of the bread(Communion Host) we offer at the altar and His blood which takes the appearance of the wine we offer at the altar.  Jesus lovingly shares this truth with us;”The man who feeds on My Flesh and drinks My Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the Father Who has life sent Me and I have life because of the Father, so the man who feeds on Me will have life because of Me.”

Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist as our spiritual nourishment for which we are in Holy Communion (fellowship) with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit,  His Church (all of us) and together with the Angels and Saints in the Heavenly Liturgy where Christ eternally intercedes for us.

Now with true faith, you understand that your are receiving Jesus the Son of God (Which is His Divine Body ), so then you must receive him in a state of grace. ( Pure without having committed mortal Sin) If we had committed a mortal sin which basically means a terrible sin which would lead us away from God the Father, example breaking one of the Ten Commandments, or close to it. Then we must first go for the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be pardoned of that sin first.  Only having done that, can we receive Jesus and reap the spiritual benefits the Eucharist has to offer.  The Eucharist is a sacrament of unity because it unites us more closely with God and with one another through the growth of sanctifying grace in our soul.  The same grace, that helps us to love our neighbour for the love of God.

Jesus is present in the Eucharistic celebration in four ways, in the person of the Celebrant (The Priest ), in his Word ( The Gospel), in the bread and wine when He through the Priest offers it to us.  And he is present with us, the assembled people, as we pray and sing. For he promised, “Where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20)

So children as we gather together in God’s house and knowing that Jesus is present, we pray quietly and prepare ourselves for the Celebrant ( The Priest ) to arrive so that he may lead us in this joyous Eucharistic Celebration.

INTRODUCTORY RITES

ENTRANCE PROCESSION

After the people have assembled, the entrance antiphon is sung (an entrance hymn is usually sung) or recited as the priest and the ministers enter the church.  We do this to welcome Jesus and praise God.

SIGN OF THE CROSS

We Call Upon the Holy Trinity

We begin with the sign of the cross like we do for any prayer.  We are calling God to be with us as we pray to Him.

Priest: in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

GREETING

We Are Welcomed in God’s Name

The priest greets us and welcomes us to church both in his own name and in God’s name.

Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

People: And also with you

PENITENTIAL RITE

We Express Sorrow For Our Sins

The priest now invites us to reflect on our sins and to tell God how truly sorry we are for them.  We want to say sorry for all the times we were selfish and for having sinned so that we can listen to God’s word and receive His body and blood with a pure heart.  We then say :-

I confess to Almighty God,
and to you my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault ( We strike our own breasts)
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The priest says a short prayer asking for God’s mercy.

KYRIE

We Ask Jesus For Mercy

Priest : Lord, have mercy.          People: Lord have mercy.

Priest : Christ, have mercy.        People: Christ have mercy.

Priest : Lord, have mercy.          People: Lord have mercy.

Sometimes instead of the longer prayers, the priest asks for God’s mercy by calling upon God three times. He finishes his prayer with “Lord have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.”  We repeat those last words each time he says them.

GLORIA

We Praise God

Now we are so happy God has promised us forgiveness that we celebrate with joy.  We do this by saying or singing loudly the song the angels sang so long ago when they celebrated the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Glory to God in the highest.
and peace to His people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
Almighty God and Father,
we worship you we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
With the Holy Spirit,
In the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

OPENING PRAYER

We Join in Prayer Together

This is followed by the Opening Prayer. There are different prayers for each day of the year.  In this prayer, the priest asks God to be with us in a very special way as we open our hearts to him.

Priest : Forever and ever.

People: Amen.

FIRST READING (SIT)

God Speaks To Us Through The Prophets

We sit and listen to the Word of God as it was spoken in the Old Testament, especially through his prophets.  The reader takes their place in speaking to us.

At the end of the reading:

Reader : The Word of the Lord.

People : Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

We Respond To God’s Word

The people repeat the response said by the reader or sung by the cantor.

SECOND READING

God Speaks To Us through the Apostles

We now listen to readings taken from the letters of Paul and the other Apostles.

At the end of the reading :

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

People : Thanks be to God.

ALLELUIA VERSE (STAND)

We Praise Jesus Who Comes To Speak To Us

Jesus will speak to us in the Gospel.  We rise now out of respect and prepare for his message with the alleluia verse.

GOSPEL

God Speaks To Us Through Christ

Priest: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Priest: A reading from the holy Gospel according to N.

People: Glory to you, Lord.

We now listen to the priest read the Gospel.

At the end of the Gospel:

Priest:  The Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

HOMILY (SIT)

God Speaks To Us Through The Priest

These readings are God’s message to us, but at times they may be difficult to understand.  This is why the priest explains the meaning of the readings to us in a homily.  The homily also tells us how to live God’s Word in our lives.

PROFESSION OF FAITH  (STAND)

We Profess Our Faith

After having heard God’s Word in the readings, we proclaim before everyone that we believe.  We believe what God has told; we believe that he has called us; we believe that he loves us.  To say all this we profess our faith with the creed.

THE NICENE CREED

We believe in one God,

the FATHER, THE ALMIGHTY,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, JESUS CHRIST,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made, one in Being with the Father

Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:

(All bow at the following words up to: and became man.)

By the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance to the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the HOLY SPIRIT, the Lord the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

We Pray For Our Brothers And Sisters In Christ

We close the first part of the Mass by saying the General Intercessions also known as the Prayer of the Faithful.   In other words we not only pray for ourselves but for all who need God’s help.  The Priest usually begins and ends the General Intercessions and someone else reads the intentions for which are praying together.  We add our voices to the prayer by repeating the response that has been chosen.  egs. People : Lord, hear our prayer.

We begin by praying of the Church. We pray for the Pope, Bishops, Priests, clergy and all the people of God. We pray we might all answer God’s call in a loving manner.

We pray for public authorities, the leaders of our nation and all the people of the world.

We also pray for those who have a special need. We pray for the poor, for the sick, for those who are sad and for anyone else who might need prayers.

We pray for those who have died. We remember them because we want to share our love with them and pray that they might be with God in heaven.

Finally, we pray for our own local community and our particular needs.

The Prayer closes the first part of the Mass which is called the Liturgy of the Word.

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST (SIT)

Preparation Song

While the gifts of the people are being brought forward to the priest and placed on the altar, a song is sung.  The gifts are bread and wine and whatever else we offer for the needs of the Church and for the poor.  We are also encouraged to offer a gift of ourselves to Jesus examples: Peace, Love, Justice, and Humility.

PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS

We Place Bread On The Altar


The priest takes the bread and says in a quiet voice (or sometimes sings) :

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation.
Through you goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.

We may respond: Blessed be God forever.

We Place The Wine On The Altar

 

He then takes the wine and says in a quiet voice (or sings):

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of (human) hands.
It will become the cup of joy. (spiritual drink)

We may respond: Blessed be God forever.

The Priest washes his hands, asking God to wash away his sins.  He then says,

INVITATION TO PRAYER (STAND)

We Ask God To Accept Our Sacrifice

Priest: Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God , the almighty Father.

People: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good and the good of all his Church.

PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS

We Pray For God’s Grace

The priest says the Prayer over the Gifts.  Like the Opening Prayer, there is a special one for each day of the year.

At the end:

People : Amen.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

The priest now begins the Eucharistic Prayer. This is the prayer that will change the bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord.

Priest: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Priest : Lift up you hearts.

People: We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

The priest then calls upon the Lord with a prayer called the Preface. We respond to that prayer by singing or saying the same prayer that the angels sing before God’s throne :

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

We Praise God In Union With The Angels

Priest and People:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might.
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

The Bread And Wine Becomes Christ’s Body And Blood

There are a number of different Eucharistic Prayers that the priest can use, but they use the words that Jesus said over the bread and wine.  The priest takes the bread and says,

Before he was given for death,
a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks.
He broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples and said:
Take this all of you, and eat it:
this is my body which will be given up for you.”

The priest holds up the body of Christ for all the people to see.
The priest then takes the cup filled with the wine and says,

When supper was ended, he took the cup.
Again he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples and said:

“Take this all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.”

The priest holds up the cup that contains the blood of Christ for all the people to see.

MEMORIAL ACCLAMATION

We Proclaim The Mystery Of Faith

We are so happy that God is giving us this very special gift that we feel like crying out for joy.  The priest invites us to do this in the Memorial Acclamation.  This prayer is a short profession of faith.  There are four different ones that we can use:

Priest: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.

People:

A)

Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

OR

B)

Dying you destroyed our death,
rising you restored our life,
Lord Jesus, come in glory.

OR

C)

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
until you come in glory.

OR

D)

Lord, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Saviour of the world.

GREAT AMEN

We Give Our Assent To All That Has Taken Place

At the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, we join the priest in giving glory to the Father through Jesus:

Priest Only:

Through him, with him, In him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
almighty Father
forever and ever.

People: Amen

COMMUNION RITE (STAND)

We Speak To God Our Father In The Words Jesus Taught Us

After the Eucharistic Prayer is finished, we prepare to receive Jesus in communion by saying the prayer that Jesus taught us.  We praise God, ask for our daily bread, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

Priest and People:

Our Father in heaven,
holy be your name;
Your kingdom come;
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us;
Do not bring us to the test,
but deliver us from evil.

Priest:

Deliver us, Lord from every evil,
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

People:

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever.

SIGN OF PEACE

We Offer A Sign Of Peace To Each Other

Before we receive the body and blood of Jesus, we have to make peace with each other.

The priest says a prayer for peace and unity that ends with:

Priest: Forever and ever.

People: Amen.

Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always.

People: And also with you.

Priest: Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

We give a sign of peace to those around us.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

We Ask For Mercy And Peace

We then call upon Jesus to prepare us so that we might be ready to receive communion.  We say,

People:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world:
grant us peace.

COMMUNION

We Ask God To Make Us Worthy To Receive Communion

The priest invites us to receive Jesus our Saviour who comes to us in communion.  He prays with us, asking God to make us worthy to receive his great gift.

Priest and People:

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word and I shall be healed.

He then receives communion.

It is important that we remind ourselves of what we are about to do when we receive communion.  We do not want to go up to receive it just because everyone else is going or just because we do it every Sunday.  We should remind ourselves that this is the precious body and blood of Jesus.  We should receive it because we want to be one with Jesus and we want to be like him.

We Receive Jesus

We then go up to receive the body and blood of Jesus. The priest of the Eucharist says :

Priest: The body of Christ.

Communicant: Amen

Priest: The blood of Christ.

Communicant: Amen

This response means that we really want to be one with God. The communion song is sung while communion is given to the faithful.

PERIOD OF SILENCE OR SONG OF PRAISE (SIT)

We Praise God

After the communion there may be a period of silence, or a song of praise may be sung.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

We Ask For The Grace Of Communion

Priest: Let us pray.

When everyone has finished receiving communion, the priest says a prayer called the Prayer After Communion.  Like the Opening Prayer and the Prayer Over the Gifts, it is different for each day of the year.  The prayer usually asks that we might be able to live with our whole heart and our entire love the things that we have promised to do when we received communion.

At the end:

Priest : Through Christ our Lord.

People : Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

The Mass closes with a sign of the cross, just as it began with one. This time the sign of the cross is a blessing.

BLESSING

We Receive God’s Blessing From The Priest

Priest: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Priest: May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

We Are Sent Out To Bring Christ To Others

Priest: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  OR  The Mass is ended, go in peace.  OR Go in peace of Christ.

People: Thanks be to God.

The Recessional Song ends our celebration.

As we go forth from the Church, we realize that we have been changed. We had received the body and blood of our Lord, and this has made us apostles.  We now go forth into the world to carry the love of Jesus to everyone whom we meet.