THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: The Communion Rite – Communion (5)


The Prayer after Communion

We’ve spent a few moments in silence in quiet conversation with Our Lord, sacramentally present in us through Holy Communion just as he is normally spiritually present in us through a life of grace and the theological virtues. The bishop or priest celebrating Mass has returned to his chair, and now it is time for one last prayer together as the Church in the celebration of the Eucharist before the Concluding Rites begin and the Mass ends.

The Collect, as part of the Introductory Rites, was a moment of recollection at the beginning of Mass that summed up the character of the day’s liturgical celebration, unifying our prayer intentions and addressing God through the celebrant.

The Prayer over the Offerings during the Preparation of Gifts was an opportunity midway to renew those prayer intentions with the gifts just prepared, those that would become the Body and Blood of Christ, and those for people in need, to show our disposition not only to receive, but to give.

The Prayer after Communion presents us one last opportunity to renew our prayer intentions. Now the mystery has been celebrated: we have offered the sacrifice. Now through the celebrant we make one last petition for the fruits of participating in the mystery of the Eucharist. The entire Mass is a prayer. With our “Amen” we renew the prayer we’ve been saying throughout the celebration of the Eucharist with ritual language and a prayerful attitude. Now, in hope, we reap the fruits and the wording of the Prayer after Communion typically reflects that. It is a good moment to also recall all that we have received during the celebration.

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