Part Three: Liturgy of the Eucharist:
With the prayer of glory and doxology, “Through Him, with Him and in Him…” the Eucharistic prayer comes to an end. Now we begin our immediate preparation to receive the nourishing spiritual food, the Body and Blood of Christ.
Step one: As a first step of our preparation, we pray as Our Lord has taught his disciples to pray. Taught by him, we dare to call God, who is almighty and who created heaven and earth, as our Father. The prayer “Our Father” contains, first, three praising petitions directed towards God:
- Our Father hallowed be thy name;
- Thy kingdom come;
- Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This is followed by four petitions related to our various needs:
- Give us this day our daily bread;
- Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
- Lead us not into temptation;
- But deliver us from evil.
Step two: We continue to pray that we may be freed from every evil and that Jesus may consider favorably our faith, rather than our sinfulness and fill us with his peace, which he imparted to his disciples, after his resurrection. Prayer for peace is important at this juncture, because the word “Communion” means “union with” God and with one another. Having prayed for peace, as a sign and gesture of our union, we offer the sign of peace with each other.
Step three: Since by receiving of the Eucharist, we are going to receive Jesus Christ, we invoke Jesus to purify our soul by praying “Lamb of god who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us…”
To be continued,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.