THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon) (5)

“Be pleased, O God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect; …”

In this moment the bishop or priest celebrating Mass extends his hands over the offerings. This is the moment of the epiclesis. Through this gesture the celebrant is calling upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will render this offering suitable for what comes next.

The whole Trinity is involved at this point. Liturgical prayer is usually addressed to the Father, and here the Holy Spirit is invoked through the gesture and the sacramental action itself underway is the action taught us by the Son, which we do in memory of him.

This moment culminates the offering we’ve prepared to be transformed into Our Lord. It is not just the offering of bread and wine; it is us. All our actions, not just moments of actual prayer, lead up to this moment in some way, if they’re focused on God. The Lord always has us in mind. We can make our life a prayer if we live it with God in mind, if we strive to please him through it, empowered and transformed by his Spirit, in imitation of his Son.

“…make it spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The offering of bread and wine is now prepared to become the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Any minor blemish for which we may have been concerned is now rectified by the Holy Spirit. All that awaits us is the consecration.

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