The Mass, the Eucharist
and the Pledge of Eternity
is the Mass?
In the winter of Zimbabwe, thousands of
people, some of them sick, some of them
children, are sleeping on the streets. They
have no shelter, no homes, no food. Every
day the sisters and people of the local
Catholic community, with their priest, try
to bring food to as many as they can. They
have very little more than those on the
streets - but what they have, they give.
In Zambia, our Poor Clare sisters often
go hungry themselves so that they do not
have to refuse anyone who turns up at the
door, begging for food. Once, when the portress
was rather slow in coming back from the
door, Mother asked her what kept her.
"I was hulling maize" the Sister answered,
“for a man who wanted food." Mother answered
gently, "Could you not have let him hull
it for himself?” “Mother," the sister answered,
“He had no fingers."
The liturgy which culminates in and flows
out from the celebration of Holy Mass, is
the summit and source of our life as Catholic
The word `Mass' is taken from its concluding
words, 'ite missa est', which can
be translate not merely as "The Mass is
ended", but "This is the commissioning"
and "Go! You are sent forth." Our hunger
for life and love has been fed on the bread
of heaven and we are sent forth to reach
out to our brothers and sisters and break
with them the bread of heaven - and earth.
But what is it that has co-missioned
us? And having fulfilled our mission to
what shall we return?
The shortest answer is the gateway of heaven
on earth. 2
“The night before he died, he took bread
in his hands and said the blessing, and
broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,
This is my body which will be given for
you... This is my blood which will be shed
for forgiveness ... Do this ...”
It is because we are fed by God that we
can feed each other. It is because we are
loved totally by God that we can love each
This is the work of God, the opus Dei
into which God's love carries us. It is
threefold - or if you prefer, fourfold.
It is the work of adoration, reception
and bestowal - and with it,
thanksgiving, which is the root of
the meaning of the word Eucharist.
In the Trinity, the Father, the Son and
the Holy Spirit adore each other, receive
each other and give themselves to each other.
And the Mass sweeps us into this tide of
The Church believes together, not as an
assembly of individuals, but as a living
body so tended towards unity that even in
her sins and struggles she can say in the
Creed, "I believe." As
the body of Christ, the Church (Col
1:18) and as myself, I adore the
Lord, the Living God; I receive
His Body and Blood sacramentally, and in
Him, I receive the gift of all
life — of this world and the next — and
I bestow on others, freely, in
service and love, in breaking and giving
away the life given to me.
I am the thanksgiving that I make.
Love bends down to earth in the Word that
is made Flesh and gathers me up into heaven.
This is the motif of the great evangelist
of the Eucharist, St John: the bread comes
down from heaven; the Lord goes up to Jerusalem.
John's Gospel is punctuated by two directional
bearings, in Greek: kata and
ana - the going down and the going
up. The liturgy is there for us to relive
the life of Jesus. The cross is the swing
point of the descent to earth. It gathers
us to heaven. Cardinal Ratzinger, now our
Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, viewing
this mystery from the perspective of earth,
calls this the exitus and the
reditus 4 — the going
out and the return. "To celebrate the Eucharist
means to enter into the openness of a glorification
of God that embraces both heaven and earth
In the mass we are caught up in the tide
of love; the falling fire and the flowing
waters of heaven. The liturgy, as Archbishop
Marini describes it, "is the prolongation
of the fire of Pentecost, the stream of
life giving water flowing from the side
of the Saviour which, even now, flows from
the throne of God and the Lamb" 6
This pilgrimage of love is not independent
of us. It begs for our participation. There
is "indissoluble unity between the descending
movement of sanctification and the ascending
movement of worship” 7 The coming
down is the work of God, "the work of the
Father through Christ, in the Spirit" and
the rising up is the response of humanity
who, "through ritual in the Spirit of Christ
the High Priest, give all glory and honour
to the Father and strive to co-operate in
his plan of redemption" 8
This is the liturgy of our poverty. We have
nothing worthy to give, nothing possible
even to contribute, except ourselves, every
fibre of our life and being. This is the
exchange of time for eternity of which St
Clare speaks. 9 We come to behold,
hold and enfold this mystery, this wonder
that is totally beyond us, so that we can
be caught up in a love beyond description.
The Mass as a Sacrifice
Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan had scarcely been
ordained Coadjutor Bishop of Saigon before
the Communist Vietnamese government, seized
him and kept him in prison for thirteen
years - most of them in solitary. He was
a man of hope; at the roots of the most
terrible desolation there was, for him the
seed of hope. To celebrate the Eucharist
he used to lie on his side with a few drops
of wine held in the palm of his hand and
a few fragments of wheat. He never returned
to his diocese.
When the government released and banished
him he went to John Paul II who appointed
him to the Pontifical Council of justice
and Peace, and subsequently made him a Cardinal.
He died of cancer in 2002.
Elizabeth also lives in Rome. She wears
a slim ribbon across her forehead because
it disconcerts her if the eyes of the people
to whom she is listening, stray to the band
of tribal tattooing across her forehead.
She loves beautiful and expensive clothes.
The long sleeved blouses and the short kid
boots she wears are always tailor-made,
but there is a reason for it. When she was
a teenager Elizabeth was caught up in an
African tragedy. She was abused, beaten
and crucified on the wall of a church. She
is marked with the sign of the cross. Attending
Mass with her is an experience; just hearing
her say the Our Father is to grow in faith.
If you ask her how she managed to forgive,
she will look at you, surprised and amused.
She will say, "What is there to forgive?
I am alive - hundreds of thousands of my
people died, but God chose to place his
hand over me. I can look at the scars in
my hands and feet and side and know how
much God loves me...."
The Mass "is at once the exercise of the
priestly office of Christ, of the ordained
ministry of bishops, priests and deacons,
and of the universal priesthood of the people
of God." 10
The Eucharist is something that God does,
that our ordained ministers do, that all
of us do.
In spirit we all extend our hands in the
gesture of Christ as he held the bread on
the night before he died. But we, the universal,
royal, priestly and prophetic people of
God take, not a piece of bread, but our
lives, our very selves; we offer our
bodies, as St Paul says, as a living
sacrifice (Rom 12:1).
If I am the father of a family, I offer
my work, for I take and break myself in
the daily giving of labour for my children
and my wife.
If I am a mother, I give life to my children
who were nourished on the blood in my womb,
and I act out this bestowal of love in all
I do: I give my life.
If I am a consecrated person I give my body
and my blood, my capacity to work and transmit
life for all my brothers and sisters and
children in the Spirit. I lay down my life
in its totality: I offer my time and space,
and God gives me a hundredfold in return.
This is God's promise to those who leave
all to follow him in poverty, chastity and
If I am a priest, truly, I bring the offering
of the father who serves his family, the
offering of a mother who nurtures life,
the offering of a celibate who renders all
his time and space to God. And I bring God's
unique and sovereign gift conferred on me
in priesthood: the power to mediate the
sacrifice of heaven to earth. I make the
offering of a father and a mother and a
celibate as my very least response to the
gift of God, not because I deserve it or
have paid for it. God makes me another Christ:
he makes me a mediator between himself and
humanity. It is an objective conferral of
grace. My priestly gift does not in any
way depend on my fine character or moral
goodness. But I am offered the chance to
live what I give and give what I live.
We all are.
This is our Mass. We are
the offertory procession. In our yes to
God, a miracle takes place. We become what
we receive (ii). We can receive the body
of God in a dreary indifference, we can
receive it in unbelief and ignorance, and
it will still be the body and blood of the
Second Person of the Trinity. But it is
not advisable to do this - it is more destructive
than feeding pure sugar to a sick diabetic
who has no insulin. It is a form of death.
God's self-giving is absolute and objective,
yet it leaves us free. It is a real event
in time and space.
The High Priest
We have worked outward from the common priesthood
of all the baptised to the priesthood of
our ordained ministers - without whom the
mass is a non-event /— to our participation,
as ordained and non-ordained together at
We lift up our eyes and look at the hands
of Jesus as they held the bread in that
cool upper room, two thousands years ago.
It is the same gesture now made by our priests,
our bishops and the successor of St Peter.
At the heart of the mass is this gesture
of the simplicity of love 12
The hands that break the bread do not yet
bear the marks of the nails. He says to
"This is my body and blood,"
not "This will be when I have offered
it up on the cross and laid down my life
in death." The gesture does not increase
in meaning because of the offering, death
and resurrection that is to come. The Lord
only has to say the word to bestow himself
on us. In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was made flesh
(Jn. 1:1). St John is not merely the Evangelist
of the Eucharist in the sixth chapter of
his gospel; the Eucharist is already pre-visioned
in the prologue.
The Lord came to his own and his own knew
(received) him not
Jn. 1:11-21. It is we who need the images
of the passion and resurrection to drive
home to us what we receive.
There is a lot that we can learn from the
sacramental system of the Old Testament,
but the best place to start in understanding
sacrifice is from where we are. A primitive
willingness to suffer for love is built
into our make, regardless of cultural background.
No human child would ever, anywhere, reach
maturity if its mother, at least, was not
willing to suffer a measure of inconvenience
on its behalf.
A very suffering woman who had endured
an abortion, once told me that she did not
have space to have her unborn child; her
career would not support the time-off entailed;
her job depended on constant physical fitness.
Her social life was essential to her, both
from the employment and personal aspect.
Her own psychological wellbeing required
a great deal of freedom and space. For happiness
she demanded easily accessible, but otherwise
uncommitted, sexual relationships. A child,
at best, would cut drastically into all
these things and would diminish her as a
person. At worst, it would destroy her and
take away her freedom. If she had told me
that the four inch foetus was an entire
totalitarian state, I could not have been
more impressed. And I agreed. A baby might
well do these things. Then she broke down
and cried desolately for fifty-seven minutes,
because she had destroyed the child within
We are built to understand sacrifice and
to make it. With faith it can become a constant
joyful choice. With love it can turn a life
of hardship and drudgery into a song. In
the end, far fewer people crave to be loved
as much as they crave to have someone to
This fits us to understand love when it
is broken for us under the sign of bread
and poured out under the sign of wine.
It fits us to understand the extravagant
tenderness of a crucified love. It fits
us to believe and truly enter the unbelievable
joy of the resurrection.
The Matrix of Faith
We come to the New Covenant, ideally, prepared
by the Old. The Church keeps the Old Testament
in the Bible so that we should understand
the New and so that we should see how God
prepared his people for the revelation of
his Son. The Word of God is a life-work
of reflecting mirrors, of finding the old
in the new and the new in the old.
The first five books of the bible are the
history, commentary and the Altar Missal
of the sacramental system of the Old Covenant.
On the road to Emmaus, Jesus,
beginning with Moses, interprets to his
disciples all those things in the scriptures
(Lk 24:27). Some commentators isolate Moses'
one-liner: He will send you a prophet
like myself (Deut 18:15) as the contribution
to prophecy alluded to. But Jesus is not
a prophet! He is God!
The prophesy of Moses is the Mosaic sacramental
law; it points to the Messiah. This gripping
truth is outlined in passages that many
pass by. Leviticus Chapters 1-9 (mostly)
is the Old General Introduction
to the Missal!
It tells you how to meet God and communicate
It is detailed and practical. You make an
offertory procession and you place your
gift before the altar; it is a bull calf,
or a lamb or a goat or turtledoves or two
young pigeons or unleavened bread, grain,
wine, salt, incense. A person brings the
gifts to have them burned up or to have
them consecrated and returned for him to
eat — or for the priest to eat. An individual,
a family, a parish group shall we say, bring
their gift to the altar. They are seeking
peace, forgiveness of sin, absolution of
guilt, healing. They offer thanksgiving.
If they are eligible and have been called,
they come to be ordained. The ordinandi
and the sick are washed in the waters of
regeneration and anointed with oil. All
this is rivetingly familiar; it is the prefigurement
of our sacramental system. But the flesh
and blood that we offer to give thanks,
to make peace, to bring forgiveness and
healing, absolution and consecration, is
that of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Of all the signs of the Old Covenant, two
are presented to us by the Lord for our
service in the Eucharist: unleavened bread
and wine (with water).
“This is my blood of the Covenant, which
is poured out for many for the forgiveness
The Sacrifice of the Lamb
When you have lived with the sacramental
system of the Old Covenant and you see them
take the Lamb of God and bind him to the
altar (the altar of the tabernacle in the
wilderness was wood, unlike that of the
temple which was stone) and drive a spear
into his heart, and pour out the blood at
the foot of the altar, you become very conscious
of what is happening. The Lord who has already
made the communion sacrifice is making the
sin offering that remits our guilt.
This is the whole theme of the Letter to
When He had made purification for sins
He sat down at the right of the Majesty
We see Jesus crowned with glory and
honour because of the suffering of death:
so that by the grace of God He might taste
death for everyone
He had to be made like his brethren
in every respect, so that He might become
a merciful and faithful high priest in the
service of God to make expiation for the
sins of the people
He holds the priesthood permanently, because
He continues forever. Consequently He is
able for all time to save those who draw
near to God through Him, since He always
lives to make intercession for them
He has appeared once for all, at the
end of the age, to put away sin by the sacrifice
Through Him, then, let us continually
offer up a sacrifice of praise to God that
is the fruit of lips that acknowledge His
name. Do not neglect to do good and share
what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing
This is the New Covenant, the priestly order
of Melchizedek, who offered bread and wine
to the Lord, his God. This is the work of
Christ the High Priest in us. This is the
archetype of human existence and the canticle
of love that can nail our heart to joy and
praise at every celebration of Mass.
This is the "defenceless power of love which
submits to death on the cross and dies ever
anew through out history... and ushers in
the kingdom for God"
III. The Mass
Communion is the keyword for understanding
the gift that John Paul II and Benedict
XVI make to the Church. Communion is the
Church's Christian name. It is a communion
of order and a communion as family, "cultivated
by a spirituality of communion which fosters
reciprocal openness, affection, understanding
and forgiveness" 14
We walk as pilgrims out of our cultural
and personal differences, gathering in faith
at the table of the Lord to share what is
great and sovereign in each culture and
each human life. "A Church of communion
... sees diversity not as an essentially
negative element but as an opportunity for
the enrichment of unity" 15
I share with a friend, Kris, whose parents
first language was Gudjirati. The community
has done some small thing to help and she
says, very formally, "I thank you!" and
then adds, "What a useful language is English.
In Gudjirati there is no word for thank
you! The best we have to offer is a phrase
which means "You should not have bothered."
Our diversity enriches us. We have a
value that we can share and see in a new
A Welsh speaking friend of the community,
Dyfrig, on the other hand, teaches us a
new courtesy. In Welsh there is no word
for “No”. To an untruthful statement you
may say, "It is not so." But other forms
of refusal require you to amble ceremoniously
around the point. It teaches you, when “no”
is an essential answer, to say it very gracefully.
By our communion, we enrich each other.
The Church is a communion of holiness. It
is the communion of Saints, as we call it
in the Apostles Creed.
"The communion of Saints refers first of
all to the Eucharistic community, which
through the Body of the Lord binds the churches
scattered all over the earth, into one Church.
Thus the word sanctorum (translated
Saints in the Creed) does not refer
to persons, but means the holy gifts, the
holy thing, granted to the Church in her
Eucharistic Feast, as the real bond of unity."
What defines us as a Church, as a gathering
together in love and mutual enrichment,
is the broken flesh and outpoured blood
of the God we worship and adore. The Eucharist
becomes our new language for each other:
a language which means thank you and whose
answer to God is always, yes.
When we come together as a priestly people
with our ordained ministers, we are not
only in communion with our brothers and
sisters across every cultural barrier, but
our union extends beyond the frontiers of
death to all those who have passed through
the waters of Baptism, received the one
Spirit and have partaken of this one bread
and the one cup.
"The communion of Saints must be understood
as the communion of the Sacraments"
17. By eating the Body of Christ we
become what we receive as one flesh with
each other. My bonds with African, Asian,
Oceanian, and American Christians whom I
have never met, are deeper than the mere
ties of blood which may unite me to my human
family, and wider than the union I may share
with my spouse. God's flesh permeates my
flesh. God's blood flows in my veins; in
our flesh and our veins. Together we live
the language of the Eucharist though it
may be celebrated in tongues we do not know.
"One cannot become a Christian by birth,
but only by rebirth", as Cardinal Ratzinger
says, and he goes on to point out that the
Holy Spirit, the Gift of God, is at the
centre of the Church and "not a group of
men" (of which, as Benedict XVI he is now
the most prominent!). This turns the human
person towards "a new being that he cannot
give himself, a communion which he can only
receive as a gift" 18
" ‘This is eternal life: to know the
only true God and Jesus Christ whom you
have sent’ (Jn. 17-3). Deliverance
from death is at the same time deliverance
from the captivity of individualism, from
the prison of self, from the incapacity
to love and make a gift of oneself"
builds communion. It creates the new People
of God." 20.
We live out of Christ's sacrifice and into
Christ's family. We are a real family, reborn
by water and the Holy Spirit. And we gather
facing the table of the Lord, lighting candles
for festive celebration 21, and
not as a sign of the continuation of the
fire on the altar of holocausts of the Old
Covenant, as this gesture has sometimes
been presented. Christ sacrificed Himself
in blood to make us a family and we sacrifice
ourselves in love, to build up that family.
In this is love: not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and gave Himself for
us. 1 Jn 4:10
We are swept back into the great descending
and ascending music of adoration, reception,
bestowal and thanksgiving.
But now we are traveling as the family of
"In the Eucharist, we ourselves learn Christ's
love. It was thanks to this centre and heart,
thanks to the Eucharist, that the Saints
lived, bringing to the world God's love
in ever new ways and forms. Thanks to the
Eucharist, the Church is reborn ever anew!
The Church is none other than that network
— the Eucharistic community! — within which
all of us, receiving the same Lord, become
one body and embrace all the world."
IV. The Mass as
In the Sistine Chapel,
Michelangelo's Christ of the last coming
raises his arm in power; the Mother of God,
under that raised arm, turns away. Out of
featureless blue sky, the Saints and angels
race towards us. And directly behind the
altar, the dead rise and the damned fall.
All this takes place under the sign
of the Prophet Jonah, the last of the prophetic
figures that Michelangelo placed on the
ceiling. These frescoes cover salvation
history from Creation to the Second Coming.
Overhead, the prophets are interspersed
with the Sibyls, prophetesses of Apollo,
who, by tradition, also foresaw the coming
of Christ. It is the Renaissance's world
view of the coming of age of Man.
The pontiffs who ordered its creation
(Julius II and Clement VII) did so between
personally conducted wars. But nothing can
take away from the fact that their successors,
ultimately, have stood in the presence of
this masterpiece to accept the final, personal
and public responsibility for truth unto
death, on the day they were elected Bishop
Four centuries and a turn of the compass
away, is the Redemptoris Mater Chapel, also
in the Vatican. This is John Paul II's gift
to the people of God, and was created with
the monetary alms that the cardinals gave
him for the golden jubilee of his ordination.
Uniting the thought and approach of eastern
and western art, its mosaics depict the
life of Christ, culminating in the glory
of the Saints, in an intimate combination
of iconography and childlike joy. At one
end, the Mother of the Redeemer with her
Son on her lap surrounded by rejoicing Saints,
gazes down upon the altar. At the other,
Christ in glory seems to leap from the wall
above the celebrant's seat. In the middle
is the ambo for the word of God, and the
family of the Church that gathers round
it faces choirwise. From the ceiling above
the ambo, Christ Pantocrator, one hand in
blessing, the other holding the scriptures,
The mosaics were created by Father Marko
Ivan Rupnik and his collaborators from the
Pontifical Oriental Institute. This is to
`foster the encounter with the Christian
East and the Christian West," 23
so that the Church, in the words of John
Paul II, might breathe with both lungs;
and also, perhaps, that it might beat with
If I had to sum up the Latin liturgy with
one prayer, it would be: Lord have mercy.
It is the offering of awe, love and need.
It is the cry of the two blind men (Matt
9:27), of the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:22),
of Bartimaus (Luke18:38) to the Son of David,
and it is the cry of the lepers (Luke 7:13)
to Jesus the Lord: the new Testament prayer
that, at mass, may be retained in the original
Greek of the Gospels. This is the human
cry that almost hesitates to raise its eyes
to heaven, yet dares to know that God can
be asked to give mercy.
To my mind, the prayer of the Divine Liturgy
of the Greek rite used by Catholics and
Orthodox, seems to me to be gathered up
in that most ecstatic cry: The doors,
the doors! In Wisdom, be attentive!
The sanctuary of a Greek rite church is
screened. The clergy enter the sanctuary
as Christ entered Heaven, and they return
to earth carrying the body and blood of
God — through the doors.
In response to our cry of mercy the doors
of eternity fly open and God descends. He
comes down to us in the Incarnation, in
the Eucharist and at the parousia,
the Second Coming of the Lord. And we are
gathered up with him in the circle of life,
worship and glory. The doors await, open
wide to receive us.
Like the fresco of the Father creating the
sun, moon and stars on the Sistine ceiling,
the Mass is a work of art. It is the greatest
work of art on earth. In shining simplicity
it combines symbols of creation and the
revealed word. It relives the gestures of
Christ in time and eternity. It gives what
it is. Surrounding it, like a frame, are
the works of God and humankind.
At the still point of this masterpiece,
human hands, anointed by the Church in the
Spirit, take bread, and a voice that begins
from beyond time says:
This is my body.
Surrounding this still point is the shock
of adoration, joy, awe, mystery and heart-breaking
Before the step of the sanctuary of earth
and heaven I receive and become the Body
and Blood of God.
I stand before the altar as Christ stood
to walk from the tomb on the third day.
I am a new creation.
Stretching above me is the ascent to heaven
from the threshold of the sanctuary on earth.
I can lift up my eyes and see through time
and space to the sanctuary of Heaven, to
the new city of the heavenly Jerusalem where
Christ is the light, and his living body
is the visible temple. I can see the
perichoresis of the Trinity, the dance
of love that gathers me into its embrace.
With this vision, which is a reality, I
can look at where I am, in the centre of
creation between heaven and earth.
I stand before the sanctuary, in the body
of Christ, in a building that is a church,
that stands in a sacred outer court that
comprises the whole earth; which is a temple,
so to speak, in the vastness of the cosmos.
In the perfection of heaven which I have
just touched, I can see the fallen loveliness
of mother earth, the original sin that mats
her hair and mars her face.
In the strength and love I have received,
I can go forth. — Ite missa est
— go, you are commissioned. I am a pilgrim,
a missionary — from Heaven. I have entered
the Body of Christ, and now I become what
I have received. In the empowerment of the
Holy Spirit whose other name is Love, I
set out to live the love I have received.
I will be a healer, a witness, a lover,
a servant, a confronter of evil in myself
and in others. I will be a friend and I
will find the hundredfold — brothers and
sisters, mothers and fathers, houses and
lands, not without persecutions (Mk. 10:29-30),
that he has promised me as his disciple.
I have eaten the Body of God and drunk His
Blood. Maybe the priest was perfunctory,
the congregation dreary, the liturgy dull
or not to my personal taste, the church
ugly and dirty. It does not matter. God,
the Creator of Heaven and earth and the
whole universe, was there. He gave himself
into my hands and lips. He penetrated my
heart with His love. I would have liked
the frame to match the picture, but if the
picture — God's Presence and Passion in
the Eucharist — does not get me on my knees,
lovingly willing to improve the frame of
the human, temporal and spacial circumstances,
The Making of the Masterpiece
The mass of the Western rite 24
begins in silence, and out of the silence
the word is heard, preferably in song. We
are coming to the altar of God, the God
of our gladness and joy. We have gathered
here. As I set out from my home, as I walk
into the church, I am making my first act
as a liturgos — a liturgical person
— and we are all liturgical people because
the Church has called us to "active participation,
spiritual formation, and ministerial co-responsibility....
the People of God in its totality, is a
priestly people, and, with due respect
for the distinction between ordained and
non ordained ministers, all laymen
and women are liturgical subjects capable
of liturgical ministry in its various forms"
We have come before the altar of God. We
walk into the presence of the Living God,
we bless ourselves with Baptismal water,
we reverence the Lord in adoration in some
manner that arises from our culture and
is appropriate to our abilities. I, as a
Poor Clare Colettine, bow down and kiss
the floor as I enter the church. I go barefoot,
in poverty and in awe, because I am in the
presence of the burning bush, like Moses,
who also took his sandals off.
Our gathering together is expressed by the
procession of the ministers to the sanctuary.
We have come individually or in families
to adore, and our ministers have gathered
up our separate comings in one solemn gesture.
Our first approach to participation is our
spiritual identification with what is happening.
I am able to identify what I do myself with
what is done in my name. I may be called
to be part of the procession to the sanctuary
or other duties may devolve upon me during
the celebration. They may not. But I am
still crucially, actively involved. I identify
with the actions which are choreographed
before me; and they are there to lead me
to the ultimate deed of active participation,
when I rise to my feet and approach the
altar of God to receive His Body and Blood.
On Sundays and solemn occasions, the Cross
and the book of the Gospels precede the
ministers on their way to the sanctuary.
The word of God is alive and active.
It cuts like a double edged sword
(Heb 4:12). It is the Spirit speaking to
us. It is the presence of God. The cross
is the icon of love to which we open our
eyes and our hearts. And our celebrant greets
us in the name of the Father, the Son and
the Holy Spirit.
Before Mass, a white cloth was laid over
the table of the altar, festive candles
were lit, lights turned on, incense possibly
prepared. Our ministers are robed in white
— a permanent reminder of baptism. We unite
ourselves with this symbol of innocence
by cleansing our hearts from sin and crying
out in the words of the Gospel; Lord, have
mercy. We have come to the altar of God.
And now we can have gladness and joy, because
the Lord has taken our sin away and we are
washed clean in His love. If it is a feast
or Sunday, we express our joy in the fifth
century prayer of the Gloria. Then we focus
on the oration — prayer — of the day. If
we have a copy of the text we could also
use this prayer to start and end our own
day. The opening prayer of the Mass that
focuses the whole celebration is for us;
it is a takeaway; it is really worth living
Speak to me
We sit down. In the west we are used to
the idea of sitting down and getting to
business. We now settle ourselves to focus
on the first reading and the Psalm. This
is my daily bread. Whether I am able to
get to daily Mass or not, I can follow the
readings. Sacred Scripture is the Holy Spirit's
food for the mind and heart, as the Bread
of Life is food for the body and the spirit.
The word of God can become a consuming delight.
It is not a thing of mere scholarship for
experts only. It is God speaking to me.
In private reading we work from the Gospel
outwards and we discover how the New Covenant
fulfils the Old Testament in its prophecies
and images, and how the life of Christ becomes
the life of the Church in Acts and the Apostolic
The celebration of Mass presupposes an acquaintance
with Scripture. So it does not start with
the Gospel; it culminates in it.
For this we stand. Whilst we have been seated
to reflect on the first reading and psalm,
we now stand to attention to receive the
Lord's command. And we greet it with joy,
singing, Alleluia - the Hebrew
cry of praise to God.
We listen to the Gospel, not as a piece
of pleasing poetry (though it contains the
most superb literary forms and has created
our language, imagery and mind-set) but
as directives for our daily life. The Gospel
is for me. After the Gospel we should be
able to sit in silence and listen to what
the Holy Spirit has to say to us. Then the
celebrant, who has been anointed with the
Spirit's power for the service of the Word,
should be able to explain the scripture,
as later, he will break the bread.
In this sense, every mass becomes a breaking
of the bread and the word and an encounter
on the road to Emmaus in company with the
What do I believe?
The purpose of the homily of the priest
is to teach the faith which arises in our
hearts from the revealed word of God and
the working of the Holy Spirit.
Faith is a personal choice. We, plurally,
do believe in God; but we do not believe
it as ten or a hundred or a billion odd
individuals. We believe it as one Person
- as the Body of Christ. This is why we
say or sing the creed on Sunday. We profess
our faith together as one person, just as
we will eat the one Bread of Life that brings
us into intimate communion with each other.
This leads us naturally to pray for each
other and for the Church and the world,
as we do on Sundays in the intercessions.
The prayer of the faithful looks towards
our unity in the person of the visible head
of the body of the Church on earth, the
Supreme Pontiff (that is the Ultimate Bridge!),
through whom we receive the ministry of
our Bishops, and in turn through them, the
consecrated priesthood. Our prayers look
to the civil and secular world in which
we live, the needs of the Church and our
own specific aspirations as a family of
faith in Hawarden, in Boston, in Paris,
Berlin, Manila, Tokyo, Rome. And we pray
in silence the prayer of our own hearts
and - unique to England and Wales — we invoke
the Mother of God to pray with us. This
concludes the Liturgy of the Word.
Receive, Lord, and
We now come to the first point in the Mass,
in which every person present is an indispensable
We are beginning the Liturgy of the Eucharist
and we are called upon to prepare the gifts.
Some of us may be invited to bring the gifts
— bread and wine, the offering for the poor,
and the contribution to support the parish
— to the altar in procession. This is a
great privilege. If it is bestowed on you,
you are making visible what the rest of
us are doing and becoming.
The bread placed on the altar, is my life,
my work, my body, mind, heart and soul and
spirit that, presently, Christ will take
into his hands and transform into his body.
The wine that is taken and offered, is my
joy, my pain, my prayer, my mission and
vocation, my understanding, memory and will,
that Christ changes into his blood so that
I can become part of his redeeming work.
Literally, I give myself under the symbol
of bread and wine so that God may give me
himself. I enter into an exchange with God.
"Love knows no why, it is a free gift to
which one responds with the gift of self”.
In prayers which date back to post-exilic
Judaism, the priest blesses God for these
gifts. These blessings are still used in
a similar form in the Passover and Sabbath
meals of contemporary Jewish communities.
With growing excitement ...
We have gathered momentum. Earth is giving
thanks to Heaven. It is not just the right
and fitting thing to do, as the prayer meekly
acknowledges. It is overwhelmingly irresistible.
Eternity is about to descend into time and
space. And this is perilous. Truth and freedom
is about to call upon our world of half
lies and bondage. The purity of goodness
is about to insert Himself into our mixed-up
At the beginning of Mass we confessed our
sins, and they were taken away. But this
is still a broken world, and each Mass has
in it an anticipation of the Last Judgment.
At the end of time, we will see God in His
glory and truth and we shall be able to
choose Him or reject Him. He passionately
wants us to choose Him.
Incarnate in time, Jesus came to us as a
baby; and we beheld Him as a dying man on
a cross. God came to us in vulnerability,
so that we might not fear Him. He offers
himself now, in the humility of a piece
of bread, in the simplicity of love — so
that we can adore and receive, so that we
will be able to bestow and give thanks.
In this is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loves us.
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts
to make them holy (Eucharistic prayer
We bring you these gifts. We ask that
you make them holy by the power of your
Spirit (Eucharistic prayer III).
Father, may this Holy Spirit sanctify
these offerings (Eucharistic prayer
We are here in the goodness of God. The
absolute demand of goodness is that it have
something to which it can give itself away.
God is not a lonely monarch; he is a love-affair.
Whatever the Father possesses, he gives
completely. He gives himself to his Son,
and the love between them, the breath of
his kiss, is the Holy Spirit. 27
The Consecration sweeps us into this circular
tide of supreme mutual intimacy 28
We hear the urgent, compelling voice of
accipite et manducate:
take this to yourself, receive, accept:
and, literally, chew It. Set your teeth
in it and (only in a transferred and metaphorical
sense) eat It. Our Lord cries out these
words. They are in the imperative; they
are orders like the commands an officer
shouts out to his men, like the demands
the emperor makes on his slaves, like the
urgent appeal of a dying friend.
We hear these words, addressed to twelve
men in an upper room, echo down twenty centuries:
"Manducate! Bibete!” - Eat! Drink!
All of you!
It is one of the deep mysteries of God's
relentless love that this sacrifice is offered
for many, but all are invited to eat and
drink. This is love. Love is urgent to give
itself away. Utter, total and final goodness
cannot do without someone to love.
It is not that we, by our puny efforts,
may love and adore God. No!
is love: that he loved us!
At the end of the prayer of consecration,
the celebrant exclaims the mysterium
fidei (Let us proclaim) the mystery
We sum up the creed we have already professed.
Christ, who died, is risen and will come
again! He just has! This is what, after
the doxology at the end of each of the Eucharistic
prayers, we say yes to. Amen — we agree
— let it be so! Fiat.
Like Mary at the Annunciation, our assent
is invited to the Incarnation of the Word
made flesh now on the altar - an assent
that we will ratify when a portion of the
broken bread of life is offered to us at
Father in heaven - kingdom on earth
We are invited to pray the Our Father.
The Lord revealed this prayer to us in the
Sermon on the Mount as a secret prayer,
a prayer of the heart. Yet the early Church
placed this prayer at its public gathering
of love: the Eucharist. The hidden place
in which we pray together is the heart of
the Son; for only in Him and by the Spirit,
can we call God our Father. Father is a
name so uniquely belonging to God that our
Lord also said:
"Call no man on earth Father, because you
have one father in heaven"
(Matt 23:91.) This love — the love affair
of the Son's heart — has nothing to do with
the virtues or sins of the men whom we may
have called `father' on earth, according
to the flesh. The Son of God invites us
into His heart, to desire the one whom He
loved, and to surrender to that love — as
we wait in joyful hope for our gathering-in
when our Saviour comes.
Peaceful and broken
The next act is like the offertory; it is
something we are called to do. We make peace.
This does not come down to us from the altar;
it goes up from us to the altar. It is our
contribution towards the giving that makes
the Church holy. We give peace to each other
so that the Lord may come to us. Peace is
the bond of unity (Eph 4:31), and as our
father on earth, Benedict XVI said, "We
can only receive him in unity"- there is
no comm-union without community - "we cannot
communicate with the Lord if we do not communicate
with each other" 29
While this is taking place the choir sings
the prayer, Lamb of God who take away the
sins of the world, have mercy on us....
grant us peace, and at the same time the
celebrant, in perfect compliment to this
gesture, breaks the one host (when and where
this is possible) into pieces for the community.
The Breaking of the Bread is the earliest
name for the Eucharist. It is found in Acts
3:42. Though our human peace may be limited,
we pray, look not on our sins but on
the faith of your Church, and grant us the
peace and unity of your kingdom.
Say the word
We pray the prayer of the humble Roman Centurion
who begged for the healing of his servant:
"Lord I am not worthy to have you under
my roof but only say the word and my servant
shall be healed"
(Matt 8:51) But now the roof under which
I receive the Lord is my head, and it is
for my soul that I seek healing.
I am now invited to make my third, fully
active participation in the Eucharist: I
have offered my gift, I have shared God's
peace, I receive the Lord.
Once more this great choreography of grace
takes me, and I am gathered in by the upward
sweep of the Eucharist.
This is the Bread that has come down from
Heaven and I go up to meet the Lord. He
calls me by my name. We have sat in the
upper room. We have stood under the Cross.
Now we are in the garden of the resurrection
(and most probably it is early morning).
He calls my name as He called to Mary Magdalen,
and I answer with an endearment, as she
did (Rabboni is an affectionate
diminutive: little teacher). I am stunned
and awed at this love; it fills my heart
with reverence and excitement, and — real
fear, for I am now dangerously close to
God. I am making a lover's act of surrender
and it will change me. Yet with this awe
is intimacy, and the playful delight of
a love Who places himself in my hands, Who
touches my lips, Who fills and completes
There is something deeply freeing at this
moment of intimate personal exchange with
Jesus: I am not alone. I am part of a community
— one among many, some of whom I may not
even know — exposed to this hunger and fulfillment.
And I take part in this act which, as the
earth rolls round the sun, is taking place
throughout the twenty-four hours of the
day, all round this planet. Yet the Lord
calls my name and I call His.
The movement of this divine choreography
returns me to my place and I pray in a posture
that is appropriate and sustainable. Prayer
is an invitation. It is not the raising
of the heart and mind to God — we can't
get there, even the holiest of us does not
have that much pneumatic lift-off! It is
the humble descent of God's heart and mind
to ours. In the words of St Bonaventure,
Jesus is our way and our open door, our
ladder (like Jacob), our chariot (like Elijah)
he comes down and takes us up. 30
He just has.
I have adored, received, will be
led to bestow, and now I give
thanks. There is thankfulness and
wonder that is so big it does not need words
in our language; it teaches us the language
of Heaven. We only have one set of words
for saying: I love You. In Heaven there
is a vocabulary for every nuance of adoration,
awe and praise in love. In the tongue of
eternity you can go on saying I love You,
for ages unending, without ever repeating
yourself. You cannot pick this tongue up
off a website! But you can ask the One who
speaks it best to teach you. Try it. You
are enfolded in the love of the Trinity.
The love of the Trinity is a Person: the
Holy Spirit, the Breath of God. Let the
Spirit breathe in you the prayer of love.
The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary at the
Annunciation and she conceived by the Holy
Spirit. It does not say she spent three
days in prayer, pondering on God's gift.
It says she arose in haste, and went to
her cousin Elizabeth (Lk. 1:39)
the gift of love comes the invitation to
serve. It may possibly permit you to spend
time in thanksgiving in church after Mass
— but equally, it may send you out with
your children, with those who depend on
you and to those who depend on you.
If you love me keep my word
(Jn. 14:15) Bear in mind that to love
God with your whole heart and your neighbour
as yourself is the greatest commandment
of the Old Covenant and that you live in
the New Covenant whose new commandment (and
it is new!) is:
love one another as I have loved you!
Ite missa est. Go — you are sent.
Go out now and break yourself for others
as I have broken Myself for you. A thoroughly
broken heart is the loveliest thing in Heaven.
Unite yours to it. Graciously go out and
bestow what you have received.
VI. The Four Quartets
We go forth - but we carry the prayer of
the mass at our heart. It is living in us.
We live the prayer of our thanksgiving through
At the heart of the mass stand the four
great Eucharistic prayers. These are the
settings in which the Lord's words of consecration
are enshrined. These settings are the great
masterworks of our faith before which we
live and pray.
The Second Eucharistic Prayer
For our sake he opened His arms on the
The surviving writings of the early Church
Fathers, whilst they describe the general
format of the Eucharistic Vigil, indicate
that the actual prayers said were primarily
left to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
and the actions of the presiding Bishop.
Nevertheless two copies of the Apostolic
Church Order have survived, that were written
down before the year 300. The text of the
Second Eucharistic Prayer is drawn from
these. It is lovely in its brevity. It expresses
the faith of the persecuted Church with
the simplicity of a fresco on the walls
of the catacombs.
It talks of Christ's acceptance of death
— a choice Christians in an age of persecution
made when they joined the Church. Our age,
too, is an age of persecution.
Lift up your head, and remember that his
love has made you a holy person, that death
is over and you are destined for the resurrection.
Take to heart and memorise this prayer:
“For our sake he opened His arms on
He put an end to death and revealed the
In this He fulfilled Your will
and won for You a holy people.”
The First Eucharistic Prayer
With praise and thanksgiving.
This, too, is an ancient prayer. It was
old before it was written down in the fifth
century. Some Post-Reformation scholars
31, working from a description
given by St. Isidore of Seville (C.215),
have even tried to see in it the Eucharistic
prayer of seven parts used by St Peter in
But this is more properly called the `Roman
Canon'. It includes as an intrinsic part
of its structure, the invocation of the
Apostles, and Roman Martyrs and the first
popes to follow St Peter: Linus, Cletus,
Clement and Sixtus. This magnificent poem
has an almost architectural structure. It
is a Church built of human words — a Church,
moreover, that emerges into civil society.
It is no longer speaking from the perspective
of persecution for it says:
"You know how firmly we believe in you."
We are no longer amidst a people whose faith
is violently put to the test by public witness
— God alone knows how firm our faith may
We offer this sacrifice for our loved ones,
for the whole family of God on earth and
in heaven. The words remember and memory
are the refrain of this song.
It has a unique omission: it does not explicitly
invoke the Holy Spirit to perform the work
of Consecration but it asks indirectly
that our offering be made
in spirit and truth
- a formula from St John's Gospel
(Jn. 4:24). And after the consecration it
brings in a unique image. Amongst the gallery
of the holy ones: the Apostles, the Martyrs,
Abel, Melchizedek and all those who sleep
in Christ, there appears an angel who waits
by the altar to take our sacrifice up to
The prayer out of which the angel emerges
contains another Johannine echo: grace
and blessing (Jn.1.10).
This, too, is a prayer to take to heart
and remember, for it beautifully encompasses
the circle of ascent and descent of the
Mass and enables us to place into the angels
hands our own life in sacrifice.
we pray that Your angel may take this sacrifice
to Your altar in Heaven.
Then as we receive from this altar
the Sacred Body and Blood of Your Son,
let us be filled with every grace and blessing.”
The Third Eucharistic prayer
From East to West.
This great prayer was constructed to reflect
the liturgy of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
Delicate allusions to the liturgy used by
Catholics of our Eastern rite Churches and
by the Orthodox Churches, transfigure this
concise text. John Paul the Great said,
"The words of the West, need the words of
the East, so that God's Word may ever more
clearly reveal its unfathomable riches"
32 Like many of the prayers of
the Eastern Rites it focuses on peace, holiness
and reconciliation. Above all, it places
the Mass in the framework of the words of
many shall come from the east and the west
and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac and
As we gather for this perfect offering let
us reflect on what it means to belong to
a people of every tribe and tongue and nation
“Father, You are holy indeed,
and all creation rightly gives You praise.
All life, all holiness comes from You
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the working of the Holy Spirit.
From age to age you gather a people to Yourself,
so that from east to west
a perfect offering may be made to the glory
of Your name.”
The Fourth Eucharistic Prayer
Again and again you offered a covenant
You taught him to hope.
This is, truly, the ultimate masterpiece
of our age. It took two thousand years for
the Church so to know her Lord and Master
that these words might rise out of her heart.
It reaches back beyond the sources behind
the third Eucharistic Prayer to St Cyril
of Jerusalem and the early Church. It compasses
the whole of salvation history from the
unapproachable light in which God dwelt
before the dawn of creation to the Second
Coming of the Lord and the song of every
creature — of us - in the kingdom of glory.
It is a text so precious and so unique,
that it is only used with its own preface,
which may not be exchanged for that of a
Saint or other feast. Its use may take precedence
over the seasonal weekday liturgies. And
it may be used on any Ferial Sunday
It is a catechesis — a teaching
— of the Faith and the Catechism of the
Catholic Church alludes tirelessly to it
in the section on the Creed. If you want
a one line prayer, take it from this great
song. And say to yourself with a wondering
heart: Lord you taught us to hope.
(It's taken us two millennia to get there,
but we are learning!)
This is the prayer of the covenant, the
prayer of the promises that God keeps, the
prayer of hope not just for the living but
for the dead - "Those who have died
in the peace of Christ and all the dead
whose faith is known to You alone."
This is the prayer of the poor, the captive,
the sorrowful, who now can hear the good
Though one should, obviously, never attempt
to join in with the priest when these prayers
are said on the Altar, it is a unique gift
for personal prayer to have memorised the
whole text of this Eucharistic prayer.
The final summing up of the whole meaning
of the Eucharist comes in the last phrase
of this prayer before the institution narrative,
taken from John's account of the washing
of the feet:
“He always loved those who were His
own in the world. When the time came for
Him to be glorified by you, His Heavenly
Father, He showed the depths of His love.”
This is it.
In the Mass, in the Eucharist, we see just
how deeply we are loved.
The Eucharist is my home, my dwelling place;
the awe of my heart and my joy, my freedom,
my peace: my place.
"The liturgy is the endless glorification
of the thrice-holy God and the sanctification
of human beings now restored to their original
beauty in the image and likeness (cf. Gen.
1:26) of the Creator." 34
I have come to the heart of the Trinity,
and I am a new person.
“God is love, and he who abides in love
abides in God”
(1 Jn. 4:161.)
Love has brought us into the house of faith,
and he will lead us to our home in heaven.
Here and beyond, we, filled with the Holy
Spirit who is love, will be swept into the
great wave of love that flows through the
Trinity and made holy and beautiful. Our
grave clothes will fall from us and we will
stand revealed as the image and likeness
of God's heart; friends and co-beloveds
in the heart of the Trinity. We have come
home. We are no longer strangers and pilgrims.
The Eucharist has become our life, in Heaven
as it was on earth. "The Church, therefore,
earnestly desires that Christ's faithful,
when present at this Mystery of Faith, should
not be there as strangers or silent spectators;
on the contrary, through a good understanding
of the rites and prayers they should take
part in the sacred action, conscious of
what they are doing ... They should be instructed
by God's word and be nourished at the table
of the Lord's body; they should give thanks
to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim,
not only through the hands of the priest,
but also with him, they should learn also
to offer themselves; through Christ the
Mediator, they should be drawn day by day
into ever more perfect union with God and
with each other, so that finally God may
be all in all. 35
These are not just words; they are our life.
They are the most tremendous and exciting
thing that can happen to us on earth and
When we eat the Body and Blood of the Lord
we are lifted up as new people into the
heart of the Trinity in which the Father
is endlessly and eternally begetting his
Son. His love for His Son is so tremendous
that this eternal act knows no end. The
Father cannot part from His Son; He is always
in the ecstasy and intimacy of begetting
the Second Person of the Trinity. And the
love between Them is so tangible that it
becomes the Holy Spirit — the Third Person
of the Trinity.
The sacramental image of the Spirit is anointing.
This is because oil penetrates the skin
and nothing can insert itself between the
oil of sacramental anointing and the human
person. If the Spirit is that close to us,
imagine the closeness of perfect love in
the Trinity. And to this we have been called;
into this our reception of the Body and
Blood of Christ inserts us, beyond time
and space, in a love so penetrating and
so complete that
eye has not seen nor ear heard what God
has prepared for those who love him.
"This is the prolongation of the fire of
Pentecost, the stream of life-giving water
flowing from the pierced side of the Saviour
(cf. Jn.19:34), which even now flows from
the throne of God and the Lamb (cf. Rev
22.1). It is the radiant light of the Risen
Christ which illuminates his Bride, the
Heavenly Jerusalem, resplendent with the
glory of God, with the Lamb as its lamp
(cf. Rev 21:23)" 36
"I have been able to celebrate Holy Mass
in chapels built along mountain paths, on
lakeshores and seacoasts; I have celebrated
it on altars built in stadiums and in city
squares... This varied scenario of celebrations
of the Eucharist has given me a powerful
experience of its universal and, so to speak,
cosmic character. Yes, cosmic! Because even
when it is celebrated on the humble altar
of a country church, the Eucharist is always
in some way celebrated on the altar of the
world. It unites heaven and earth. It embraces
and permeates all creation. The Son of God
became man in order to restore all creation,
in one supreme act of praise, to the One
who made it from nothing. He, the Eternal
High Priest who by the blood of his Cross
entered the eternal sanctuary, thus gives
back to the Creator and Father all creation
redeemed. He does so through the priestly
ministry of the Church, to the glory of
the Most Holy Trinity. Truly this is the
mysterium fidei which is accomplished
in the Eucharist: the world which came forth
from the hands of God the Creator now returns
to Him redeemed by Christ." 37
"By making the bread into his Body and the
wine into his Blood, Jesus anticipates his
death, he accepts it in his heart and he
transforms it into an action of love. What
on the outside is simply brutal violence,
from within becomes an act of total self-giving
love. This is the substantial transformation
which was accomplished at the Last Supper
and was destined to set in motion a series
of transformations leading ultimately to
the transformation of the world
when God will be all in all
(cf. 1 Cor 15.28). In their hearts, people
always and everywhere have somehow expected
a change, a transformation of the world.
Here now is the central act of transformation
that alone can truly renew the world: violence
is transformed into love, and death into
Since this act transmutes death into love,
death as such is already conquered from
within, the resurrection is already present
in it. Death is, so to speak, mortally wounded,
so that it can no longer have the last word.
To use an image well known to us today,
this is like inducing nuclear fission in
the very heart of being — the victory of
love over hatred, the victory of love over
death. Only this intimate explosion of good
conquering evil can then trigger off the
series of transformations that little by
little will change the world. All other
changes remain superficial and cannot save.
For this reason we speak of redemption:
what had to happen at the most intimate
level has indeed happened, and we can enter
into its dynamic. Jesus can distribute his
Body, because He truly gives Himself.
"This first fundamental transformation of
violence into love, of death into life,
brings other changes in its wake. Bread
and wine become his Body and Blood. But
it must not stop there, on the contrary,
the process of transformation must now gather
momentum. The Body and Blood of Christ are
given to us so that we ourselves will be
transformed in our turn. We are to become
the Body of Christ, His own Flesh and Blood.
We all eat the one bread, and this means
that we ourselves become one. In this way,
adoration, as we said earlier, becomes union.
God no longer simply stands before us, as
the One Who is totally Other. He is within
us, and we are in Him. His dynamic enters
into us and then seeks to spread outwards
to others until it fills the world, so that
His love can truly become the dominant measure
of the world."
1. Sacrosanctum Concillium 10.
2. Ibid. 8.
3. Archbishop Piero Marini (Master of Papal
Liturgical Ceremonies): Liturgy and Beauty
2 & The Fortieth Anniversary of Sacrosanctum
4. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict
XVI): Following the Spirit of the Liturgy
5. Ibid. pg 49
6. P. Marini: Memories of an Experience
7. P. Marini: The Fortieth Anniversary of
Sacrosanctum Concillium [and SC 5-71]
8. P. Marini: Memories of an Experience
9. St Clare: 1st Letter to Agnes of Prague.
io. P. Marini: Memories of an Experience
11. St Augustine: Sermon 272
12. P. Marini: Liturgy and Beauty 2.2
13. Benedict XVI Marienfeld Vigil 20th August
14. John Paul II Mane nobiscum Domini 21
15. P. Marini: Liturgy and Beauty i
16. J. Ratzinger: Introducing Christianity
17. Catechism of the Catholic Church 951.
18. J. Ratzinger: Introducing Christianity
19. J. Ratzinger: Following the Spirit of
the Liturgy 5 2o. Ibid.
21. General Instruction of the Roman Missal
22. Benedict XVI: 1st Homily in the Lateran
May 7th 200
23. P. Marini: A Gift to the People of God.
24. Sometimes called the Latin Rite, regardless
of the language in which it is offered,
to distinguish it from the other major rites
of the Roman Catholic Church which have
their own distinctive and ancient liturgies
25. P. Marini: The Fortieth Anniversary
of Sacrosanctum Concillium III
26. Benedict XVI: Address to the Seminarians
at St Pantaleon 19 August 2005
27. St Bonaventure: Itinerarium mentis in
28. St Bonaventure: Itinerarium mentis in
29. Benedict XVI Homily, Bari 2005
30. St Bonaventure: Itinerarium mentis in
31. Johannes Emser and followers.
32. John Paul II: Orientale lumen 28
33. GIRM 322 e. [1969 not altered in the
34. P. Marini: Memories of an experience
35. Sacrosanctum Concillium II 48
36. P. Marini: Memories of an experience
37. John Paul II: Ecclesia de Eucharistia
38. Benedict XVI: WYD Mass 21 August 2005