Monthly Explanation of the Mass

The Eucharistic Prayer 

  • The Eucharistic Prayer is the “center and high point of the entire celebration,” through which “the whole congregation of the faithful joins with Christ in confessing the great deeds of God and in the offering of Sacrifice” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 78). This central prayer of the Mass is why we often refer to the entire celebration as Eucharist, which is not a thing, but rather an action – Eucharist (a Greek term) literally means “to give thanks.”
  • Although this prayer is spoken mostly by the priest, the gathered faithful are in no way spectators. We are all doing something even if we are not speaking – our active participation is paramount here, for we are offering our very selves in thanksgiving for all God has done to save us and we join our prayer to that of Christ who speaks through the priest.
  • The Eucharistic Prayer leads us miraculously beyond space and time – earth is joined to heaven and past, present, and future become one in our celebration, enabling us at each Mass to be with Christ at His sacrifice on the Cross (past) and with Him and all the angels and saints at the heavenly banquet (future). This calls us to actively participate by fixing our minds and hearts on God in thanksgiving and in offering our lives to God as Christ has done.