19 Aug How to Celebrate the Holy Eucharist Meaningfully?
As the churches are re-opening after months and people have started to visit churches, we will be talking about how to celebrate mass meaningfully especially after a long time. It may be a very emotional time for you when you receive the Holy Eucharist in a worthy way. During this lockdown, we came across the importance of the Holy Eucharist in our daily life. People were requesting the bishops and priests all around the world, across social media to re-open the churches.
What is the meaning behind the Holy Eucharist?
Jesus celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the last supper. He inaugurated the whole eucharist and it was also his first time. Jesus never said, ‘The mass is over, go in peace’. Just before he died, he stretched out his hand and said, ‘it is finished, the sacrifice is over’. The sacrifice was never over during the last supper but was over on mount cavalry. In the Catholic Church, when we speak about the Eucharist, there are two moments for the Holy Eucharist: the first one, ‘Last supper’: the second ‘the sacrifice at mount calvary’’, without these two events, the Holy Eucharist is incomplete. What Jesus celebrated in the last supper, he actualized on the cross. He took the bread and said, ‘this is my body’ and he took the blood and said, ‘this is my blood’. In a human body, the blood cannot be separated from the body, if you separate the blood from the body you will die. In the last supper, Jesus separated the body and blood, and it signifies death. He was celebrating his death on last supper and he actualized it on the cross. On the way of the cross he was shedding his blood, even on mount calvary, his last drop of blood was separated and thus He said, ‘it is finished’.
Preparation for the Holy Mass
We are supposed to gather around the altar with the priest and celebrate the first moment of the holy mass, which is the passion, death and resurrection. The Holy Mass does not end in the Church but continues to outside the Church. After the holy mass, we have to go out to this world of cavalry and there we need to sacrifice our time, energy, power, wealth, health, name and fame everything for others. Only then the Holy Mass is completed. The Second Vatican Council says the whole world is a Calvary or the altar on which we celebrate the Eucharist daily. A Christian is supposed to lead a eucharistic centred life wherever she/he is.
The Holy Eucharist cannot be limited inside the church but has to start inside the church and complete outside the church. Just like Jesus started in the upper room and completed on mount cavalry. The more you help and sacrifice for others; you are completing the Holy Eucharist. If you have noticed on Maundy Thursday, you don’t receive the final blessing until Good Friday because you have two moments in the Eucharist and without these two moments the Eucharist is incomplete, so we don’t receive the final blessing. In every mass we receive the final blessing, but this blessing will only come to you if you sacrifice for others.
How to celebrate the Holy Eucharist?
A priest is the main celebrant in the Holy Eucharist and only a priest can celebrate the Holy Eucharist. What is your role in the Holy Eucharist? 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Every catholic who receives baptism, receives three duties: 1) Kingly duty 2) Prophetic duty 3) Priestly duty.
We all have the responsibility to celebrate the mass. Don’t just be a spectator and watch what is happening in the Holy Eucharist. Since we are royal priests and supposed to Celebrate the Holy Mass, we should be there in the Church before time. The priest comes on time to celebrate mass. However, what about you? Some people only leave their house when the mass starts and reach exactly during holy communion and return home as soon as they receive the communion. We must be in the church at least 5 minutes before the Holy Mass starts.
Since we are also celebrants of the Holy Mass, every prayer the priest says, we must repeat the same prayers. That is why, at the end of every prayer, we say one word ‘Amen’ which means so be it. If you don’t say amen you are not repeating the prayers, so remember when you celebrate mass you must say ‘Amen’. On many occasions, we don’t say ‘amen’ which means we are not repeating the prayer, so we aren’t celebrating mass meaningfully.
We don’t give holy communion to the non-christians because they aren’t celebrating mass but only participating in the holy mass. They don’t celebrate, because they are not priests. They are not priests, because they are not baptized. But they are also children of God, so what shall they do? They should receive baptism.
When you come to celebrate Holy Mass you must be well-dressed. Because you are a royal priest come to celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist. Zechariah 3:4 ‘The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And to him he said, “See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you with festival apparel.”. When you come for mass it is a celebration.
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