ART. TWO: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
SECTION TWO: The Seven Sacraments of the Church
  §1322 - §1419

 Christ the Healer   11th c.  MS. illum.












1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.

1322 Sancta Eucharistia initiationem christianam concludit. Qui ad dignitatem sacerdotii regalis sunt per Baptismum elevati et profundius Christo per Confirmationem configurati, ipsum sacrificium Domini cum tota communitate per Eucharistiam participant.

1323 “At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.’“(SC 47.)

1323 « Salvator noster, in Cena novissima, qua nocte tradebatur, Sacrificium eucharisticum corporis et sanguinis Sui instituit, quo Sacrificium crucis in saecula, donec veniret, perpetuaret, atque adeo Ecclesiae dilectae Sponsae memoriale concrederet Mortis et Resurrectionis Suae: sacramentum pietatis, signum unitatis, vinculum caritatis, convivium Paschale, in quo Christus sumitur, mens impletur gratia et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur ». 288








I. Eucharistia – fons et culmen vitae ecclesialis





1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”(LG 11.) “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”(PO 5.)

1324 Eucharistia est totius vitae christianae fons et culmen. 289 « Cetera autem sacramenta, sicut et omnia ecclesiastica ministeria, et opera apostolatus, cum sacra Eucharistia cohaerent et ad eam ordinantur. In sanctissima enim Eucharistia totum bonum spirituale Ecclesiae continetur, Ipse scilicet Christus, Pascha nostrum ». 290

1325 “The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” (Congregation of Rites, instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, 6.)

1325 « Communio vitae divinae et unitas populi Dei, quibus Ecclesia subsistit, Eucharistia apte significatur et mirabiliter efficitur. In ea culmen habetur et actionis qua Deus in Christo mundum sanctificat et cultus quem homines Christo et per Ipsum Patri in Spiritu Sancto exhibent ». 291

1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. (Cf. 1 Cor 15:28.)

1326 Denique per celebrationem eucharisticam caelesti iam coniungimur liturgiae atque vitam anticipamus aeternam in qua erit « Deus omnia in omnibus » (1 Cor 15,28).

1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.” (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,18,5:PG 7/l,1028.)

1327 Breviter, Eucharistia est nostrae fidei compendium et summa: « Nostra autem consonans est sententia Eucharistiae, et Eucharistia rursus confirmat sententiam nostram ». 292








II. Quomodo hoc appellatur sacramentum?





1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called:

1328 Huius sacramenti inexhaustibiles divitiae diversis exprimuntur nominibus quae illi praebentur. Unumquodque ex illis nominibus quasdam eius evocat rationes. Appellatur:

Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein(Cf. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24.) and eulogein (Cf. Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22.) recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God’s works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.

Eucharistia quia est gratiarum actio ad Deum. Verba , (Lc 22,19; 1 Cor 11,24) et , (,< (Mt 26,26; Mc 14,22) benedictiones Iudaicas revocant in memoriam quae — praesertim in convivio — Dei proclamant opera: creationem, Redemptionem et sanctificationem.

1329 The Lord’s Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem. (Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.)

1329 Dominica Cena 293 quia agitur de Cena quam Dominus cum Suis discipulis sumpsit Suae passionis pridie, et de anticipatione cenae nuptiarum Agni 294 in caelesti Ierusalem.

The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meal, when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,(Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19.) above all at the Last Supper.(Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24.) It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,(Cf. Lk 24:13-35.) and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;(Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7,11.) by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.(Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17.)

Fractio panis quia hic ritus, convivii Iudaici proprius, a Iesu adhibitus est cum panem benedicebat et distribuebat tamquam mensae dominus, 295 praecipue in ultima Cena. 296 Per hunc gestum, discipuli Eum agnoscent post Eius Resurrectionem, 297 et cum hac expressione primi christiani suas eucharisticas denotabunt congregationes. 298 Sic significant omnes illos qui unicum edunt panem fractum, Christum, in communionem cum Eo ingredi et non nisi unum corpus in Eo efformare. 299

The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.(Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34.)

Eucharistica congregatio (), quia Eucharistia celebratur in fidelium congregatione, visibili Ecclesiae expressione. 300





1330 The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection. 1330 Memoriale passionis et resurrectionis Domini.



The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used,(Heb 13:15; cf. 1 Pet 25; Ps 116:13, 17; Mal 1:11.) since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

Sanctum Sacrificium, quia unicum Christi Salvatoris sacrificium reddit actuale et quia Ecclesiae includit oblationem; vel etiam sanctum Sacrificium Missae, « hostia laudis » (Heb 13,15), 301 spiritalis hostia, 302 oblatio munda 303 et sancta, quia omnia sacrificia Veteris Foederis complet et superat.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.

Sancta et divina liturgia, quia tota Ecclesiae liturgia suum centrum et suam expressionem quam maxime densam in huius sacramenti invenit celebratione; eodem sensu etiam appellatur sanctorum mysteriorum celebratio. Sermo etiam est de Sanctissimo Sacramento quia ipsum est sacramentum sacramentorum. Hoc nomine species designantur eucharisticae quae in tabernaculo reservantur.

1331 Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.(Cf. 1 Cor 1016-17.) We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta)(Apostolic Constitutions 8,13,12:PG 1,1108; Didache 9,5; 10:6:SCh 248,176-178.) - the first meaning of the phrase “communion of saints” in the Apostles’ Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality,(St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20,2:SCh 10,76.) viaticum. . . .

1331 Communio, quia per hoc sacramentum coniungimur cum Christo, qui nos corporis Sui et sanguinis Sui facit participes ad unum efformandum corpus; 304 appellatur etiam sancta,” 305 — hic est primarius sensus « communionis sanctorum » de qua Symbolum loquitur Apostolorum —, panis angelorum, panis de caelo, pharmacum immortalitatis, 306 viaticum...

1332 Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives.

1332 Sancta Missa, quia liturgia in qua mysterium completur salutis, per missionem concluditur fidelium, ut ipsi Dei voluntatem in sua vita adimpleant quotidiana.








III. Eucharistia in Oeconomia salutis









The signs of bread and wine Signa panis et vini



1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread. . . .” “He took the cup filled with wine. . . .” The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine,(Cf. Ps 104:13-15.) fruit of the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and “of the vine” - gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a prefiguring of her own offering.(Gen 14:18; cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 95.)

1333 In corde celebrationis Eucharistiae habentur panis et vinum quae, per Christi verba et per Spiritus Sancti invocationem, corpus et sanguis Christi fiunt. Ecclesia, mandato Domini fidelis, in Eius memoriam, usque ad reditum Eius gloriosum, agere pergit id quod Ipse Suae passionis egit pridie: « Accepit panem... », « Accepit calicem, ex genimine vitis repletum... ». Panis et vini signa, cum corpus et sanguis Christi arcano modo efficiuntur, creationis etiam significare pergunt bonitatem. Sic in Offertorio, gratias agimus Creatori propter panem et vinum, 307 fructum « operis manuum hominum », sed etiam prius « fructum terrae » atque « vitis », Creatoris igitur dona. Ecclesia in gestu Melchisedech, regis et sacerdotis, qui protulit « panem et vinum » (Gn 14,18), propriae suae oblationis perspicit praefigurationem. 308

1334 In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the earth as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator. But they also received a new significance in the context of the Exodus: the unleavened bread that Israel eats every year at Passover commemorates the haste of the departure that liberated them from Egypt; the remembrance of the manna in the desert will always recall to Israel that it lives by the bread of the Word of God;(Cf. Deut 8:3.) their daily bread is the fruit of the promised land, the pledge of God’s faithfulness to his promises. The “cup of blessing”(1 Cor 10:16.) at the end of the Jewish Passover meal adds to the festive joy of wine an eschatological dimension: the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, he gave a new and definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup.

1334 In Vetere Foedere, panis et vinum, inter terrae primitias, offeruntur velut sacrificium, tamquam signum gratitudinis erga Creatorem. Sed ea novam etiam accipiunt in contextu Exodi significationem: Panes azymi, quos Israel singulis annis in Paschate edebat, festinationem commemorant liberatoris exitus ex Aegypto; recordatio manna deserti semper Israel commemorabit, ipsum ex pane Verbi Dei vivere. 309 Panis denique quotidianus est Terrae promissae fructus, pignus fidelitatis Dei promissionibus Eius. « Calix benedictionis » (1 Cor 10,16), ad finem convivii Paschalis Iudaeorum, gaudio festivo vini rationem addit eschatologicam, illam messianicae exspectationis restitutionis Ierusalem. Iesus Suam instituit Eucharistiam, sensum novum praebens et definitivum benedictioni panis et calicis.

1335 The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.(Cf. Mt 14:13-21; 15:32-39.) The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.(Cf. Jn 2:11; Mk 14:25.)

1335 Miracula multiplicationis panum, cum Dominus benedictionem dixit, panes fregit et per Suos discipulos ad multitudinem nutriendam distribuit, superabundantiam praefigurant unius huius panis Eucharistiae Eius. 310 Signum aquae in vinum mutatae in Cana, 311 iam Horam annuntiat glorificationis Iesu. Ipsum consummationem manifestat convivii nuptiarum in Patris Regno, in quo fideles novum vinum bibent 312 sanguinem Christi effectum.

1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”(Jn 6:60.) The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. “Will you also go away?”:(Jn 6:67.) the Lord’s question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has “the words of eternal life”(Jn 6:68.) and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.

1336 Prima Eucharistiae annuntiatio discipulos divisit, sicut illos passionis annuntiatio scandalizavit: « Durus est hic sermo! Quis potest eum audire? » (Io 6,60). Eucharistia et crux petrae sunt scandali. Idem est mysterium et occasio esse non desinit divisionis. « Numquid et vos vultis abire? » (Io 6,67): haec Domini interrogatio per aetates resonat, tamquam invitatio amoris Eius ad detegendum, Ipsum esse unum qui habeat « verba vitae aeternae » (Io 6,68), atque in fide accipere donum Eucharistiae Eius esse Ipsum accipere.





The institution of the Eucharist Institutio Eucharistiae



1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love.(Cf. Jn 13:1-17; 34-35.) In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; “thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament.”(Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740.)

1337 Dominus, cum dilexisset Suos, in finem dilexit eos. Sciens horam venisse transeundi ex hoc mundo ut ad Suum Patrem rediret, in convivii transcursu, eis pedes lavit et mandatum dedit amoris. 313 Ut eis pignus huius amoris relinqueret, ut a Suis Se nunquam amoveret et ut eos Sui Paschatis efficeret participes, Eucharistiam instituit tamquam Suae Mortis Suaeque Resurrectionis memoriale, atque eam usque ad Suum reditum celebrare, Suis mandavit Apostolis, « quos tunc Novi Testamenti sacerdotes constituebat ». 314

1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven.(Cf. Jn 6.)

1338 Tria Evangelia synoptica et sanctus Paulus narrationem institutionis Eucharistiae nobis transmiserunt; e parte sua, sanctus Ioannes refert verba Iesu in synagoga Capharnaum, quae quidem verba institutionem praeparant Eucharistiae: Christus Se Ipsum designat tamquam panem vitae, qui descendit de caelo. 315

1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:

1339 Iesus Paschatis elegit tempus ad id adimplendum quod in Capharnaum nuntiaverat: Se discipulis Suis Suum corpus Suumque sanguinem esse daturum:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. . . .” They went . . . and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”. . . . And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.” (Lk 22:7-20; Cf. Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; 1 Cor 11:23-26.)

« Venit autem dies Azymorum, in qua necesse erat occidi Pascha. Et [Iesus] misit Petrum et Ioannem dicens: “Euntes parate nobis Pascha, ut manducemus”. [...] Euntes autem [...] paraverunt Pascha. Et cum facta esset hora, discubuit, et Apostoli cum Eo. Et ait illis: “Desiderio desideravi hoc Pascha manducare vobiscum, antequam patiar. Dico enim vobis: Non manducabo illud, donec impleatur in Regno Dei”. [...] Et accepto pane, gratias egit et fregit et dedit eis dicens: “Hoc est corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem”. Similiter et calicem, postquam cenavit, dicens: “Hic calix Novum Testamentum est in sanguine meo, qui pro vobis funditur” » (Lc 22,7-20). 316

1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom.

1340 Iesus, ultimam cum Apostolis Suis celebrans Cenam in decursu Paschalis convivii, Paschati Iudaico sensum tribuit definitivum. Re vera, transitus Iesu ad Eius Patrem per Mortem et Resurrectionem, novum nempe Pascha, in Cena anticipatur et in Eucharistia celebratur quae Pascha Iudaicum adimplet et Pascha Ecclesiae anticipat finale in gloria Regni.





Do this in memory of me « Hoc facite in meam commemorationem »



1341 The command of Jesus to repeat his actions and words “until he comes” does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did. It is directed at the liturgical celebration, by the apostles and their successors, of the memorial of Christ, of his life, of his death, of his Resurrection, and of his intercession in the presence of the Father.(Cf. 2 Cor 11:26.)

1341 Mandatum Iesu Eius gestus Eiusque verba iterandi « donec veniat » (1 Cor 11,26), non solum exigit Iesum et id quod Ipse fecit, recordari. Liturgicam per Apostolos eorumque successores prospicit celebrationem memorialis Christi, Ipsius vitae, Mortis, Resurrectionis et intercessionis apud Patrem.

1342 From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord’s command. Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written:

1342 Ab initio, Ecclesia huic Domini mandato fuit fidelis. De Ecclesia dicitur Hierosolymitana:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . . . Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.(Acts 2:42,46.)

« Erant autem perseverantes in doctrina Apostolorum et communicatione, in fractione panis et orationibus. [...] Cotidie quoque perdurantes unanimiter in templo et frangentes circa domos panem, sumebant cibum cum exsultatione et simplicitate cordis » (Act 2,42.46).

1343 It was above all on “the first day of the week,” Sunday, the day of Jesus’ resurrection, that the Christians met “to break bread.”(Acts 20:7.) From that time on down to our own day the celebration of the Eucharist has been continued so that today we encounter it everywhere in the Church with the same fundamental structure. It remains the center of the Church’s life.

1343 Praecipue « in una [...] sabbatorum », id est, die Dominica, die resurrectionis Iesu, christiani conveniebant « ad frangendum panem » (Act 20,7). Ab illo tempore ad nostros usque dies, celebratio Eucharistiae est perpetuata ita ut hodie eam ubique in Ecclesia cum eadem structura inveniamus fundamentali. Ipsa centrum permanet vitae Ecclesiae.

1344 Thus from celebration to celebration, as they proclaim the Paschal mystery of Jesus “until he comes,” the pilgrim People of God advances, “following the narrow way of the cross,”(AG 1; cf. 1 Cor 11:26.) toward the heavenly banquet, when all the elect will be seated at the table of the kingdom.

1344 Ita populus Dei peregrinans, mysterium Iesu annuntians Paschale, « donec veniat » (1 Cor 11,26), ab alia ad aliam celebrationem, « per angustam viam crucis » 317 procedit ad convivium caeleste, in quo omnes electi ad mensam sedebunt Regni.






IV. Celebratio liturgica Eucharistiae









The Mass of all ages Missa omnium saeculorum



1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:

1345 A saeculo II, sancti Iustini martyris habemus testimonium circa lineamenta fundamentalia quibus eucharistica evolvitur celebratio. Haec ad nostros usque dies pro omnibus magnis liturgicis familiis permanserunt eadem. Ecce quid ipse circa annum 155 scribat ut imperatori pagano Antonino Pio (138-161) explicet id quod christiani peragunt:

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: ‘Amen.’

« Ac Solis qui dicitur die omnium qui in urbibus aut agris degunt in eundem locum conventus fit.
Et commentaria Apostolorum aut scripta Prophetarum leguntur, quoad licet per tempus.
Deinde, ubi lector desiit, is qui praeest oratione admonet et incitat ad haec praeclara imitanda.
Postea consurgimus communiter omnes et preces fundimus » 318 « et pro nobis ipsis [...] et pro aliis ubique omnibus [...] ut rectam operibus vitam agentes et mandatorum observatores inveniamur, quo aeternam salutem adsequamur.
Invicem osculo salutamus ubi desiimus precari.
Deinde ei qui fratribus praeest panis affertur et poculum aquae et vini.
Quibus ille acceptis laudem et gloriam Parenti universorum per nomen Filii et Spiritus Sancti sursum mittit et gratiarum actionem,  pro eo quod nos his donis dignatus sit, prolixe exsequitur.
Postquam preces et gratiarum actionem absolvit, omnis qui adest populus fauste acclamat dicens Amen.

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.(St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65-67:PG 6,428-429; the text before the asterisk (*) is from chap. 67.)

[...] Postquam vero is qui praeest gratiarum actionem absolvit et omnis populus fauste acclamavit, qui apud nos dicuntur diaconi panem et vinum et aquam “eucharistizata”  unicuique praesentium dant participanda et ad absentes perferunt ». 319

1346 The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:

1346 Eucharistiae liturgia secundum structuram evolvitur fundamentalem quae per saecula usque ad nos conservata est. In duobus magnis explicatur cardinibus qui unitatem penitus efformant:

- the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;
- the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.

— congregatio, liturgia verbi, cum lectionibus, homilia et universali precatione;
liturgia eucharistica, cum panis et vini praesentatione, gratiarum actione consecratoria et communione.

The liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist together form “one single act of worship”;(SC 56.) the Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord.(Cf. DV 21.)

Liturgia verbi et liturgia eucharistica simul efficiunt « unum actum cultus »; 320 re vera, mensa pro nobis in Eucharistia praeparata simul est illa Verbi Dei et illa corporis Domini. 321

1347 Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table “he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”(Cf. Lk 24:13-35.)

1347 Nonne ibi ipse motus habetur convivii Paschalis Iesu resuscitati cum discipulis Suis? Iter peragens, Ipse eis Scripturas aperiebat, deinde ad mensam cum eis recumbens: « Accepit panem et benedixit ac fregit et porrigebat illis » (Lc 24,30). 322





The movement of the celebration Celebrationis motus



1348 All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose “Amen” manifests their participation.

1348 Omnium conventus. Christiani in eumdem locum pro eucharistica concurrunt congregatione. In illo principem obtinet locum Ipse Christus, qui Eucharistiae principalis est agens. Ipse est Summus Novi Foederis Sacerdos. Ipse invisibiliter omni celebrationi eucharisticae praeest. Eum repraesentans Episcopus vel presbyter (in persona Christi Capitis agens) congregationi praesidet, post lectiones sermonem facit, dona recipit et precationem dicit eucharisticam. Omnes in celebratione suas activas habent partes, unusquisque suo modo: lectores, illi qui dona afferunt, illi qui communionem distribuunt, et totus integer populus, cuius Amen participationem manifestat.

1349 The Liturgy of the Word includes “the writings of the prophets,” that is, the Old Testament, and “the memoirs of the apostles” (their letters and the Gospels). After the homily, which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is, the Word of God, (Cf. 1 Thess 2:13.) and to put it into practice, come the intercessions for all men, according to the Apostle’s words: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in high positions.”(1 Tim 2:1-2.)

1349 Liturgia verbi implicat « scripta Prophetarum » seu Antiquum Testamentum et « commentaria Apostolorum », id est, eorum epistulas et evangelia; post homiliam quae ad hoc verbum hortatur accipiendum tamquam id quod ipsum vere est, Verbum Dei, 323 et ad illud exsequendum, intercessiones sequuntur pro omnibus hominibus, secundum Apostoli verba: « Obsecro igitur primo omnium fieri obsecrationes, orationes, postulationes, gratiarum actiones, pro omnibus hominibus, pro regibus et omnibus, qui in sublimitate sunt » (1 Tim 2,1-2).

1350 The presentation of the offerings (the Offertory). Then, sometimes in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood. It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper - “taking the bread and a cup.” “The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving.”(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,18,4:PG 7/1,1027; cf. Mal 1:11.) The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator’s gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices.

1350 Donorum praesentatio (offertorium): tunc ad altare, quandoque processione, panis et vinum afferuntur quae a sacerdote, nomine Christi, in Sacrificio offerentur eucharistico, in quo Eiusdem corpus et sanguis efficientur. Est idem gestus Christi in ultima Cena, « panem et calicem accipientis ». « Hanc oblationem Ecclesia sola puram offert Fabricatori, offerens Ei cum gratiarum actione ex creatura Eius ». 324 Donorum praesentatio ad altare gestum Melchisedech assumit et Creatoris dona manibus concredit Christi. Ipse in Suo sacrificio omnia humana conamina offerendi sacrificia ad perfectionem ducit.

1351 From the very beginning Christians have brought, along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist, gifts to share with those in need. This custom of the collection, ever appropriate, is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich:(Cf. 1 Cor 16:1; 2 Cor 8:9.)

1351 Ab initio, christiani offerunt, cum pane et vino pro Eucharistia, sua dona ut eis impertiantur qui in egestate sunt. Hic collectae 325 mos, semper actualis, ab exemplo inspiratur Christi qui factus est pauper ut nos divites efficeret: 326

Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses. What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need.(St. Justin, Apol. 1,67:PG 6,429.)

« Qui abundant ac volunt pro arbitrio quisque suo quod visum est largiuntur, et quod colligitur apud eum qui praeest deponitur, et ipse subvenit pupillis ac viduis, et iis qui ob morbum aut aliam ob causam indigent, et iis qui in vinculis sunt, et advenientibus peregre hospitibus, uno verbo omnium inopum curator est ». 327

1352 The anaphora: with the Eucharistic Prayer - the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration - we come to the heart and summit of the celebration:

1352 Anaphora: cum eucharistica prece, cum prece nempe actionis gratiarum et consecrationis, ad cor et culmen pervenimus celebrationis:

In the preface, the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all his works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the thrice-holy God.

in praefatione, Ecclesia, per Christum, in Spiritu Sancto, gratias Patri agit propter omnia Eius opera, propter creationem, Redemptionem et sanctificationem. Tota communitas tunc huic laudi incessanti coniungitur quam caelestis Ecclesia, angeli omnesque sancti, ter Sancto canunt Deo.

1353 In the epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing) (Cf. Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 90.) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis).

1353 In epiclesi, ipsa petit a Patre ut Suum mittat Spiritum (vel Suae benedictionis potentiam 328) super panem et vinum ut, per Eius virtutem, corpus et sanguis Iesu Christi fiant, et ut illi qui Eucharistiam participant, unum sint corpus et unus spiritus (quaedam liturgicae traditiones Epiclesim post anamnesim collocant).

In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ’s body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.

In institutionis narratione, vis verborum et actionis Christi, et Spiritus Sancti potentia, sub panis et vini speciebus Eius corpus et sanguinem sacramentaliter efficiunt praesentia, Eius sacrificium semel pro semper in cruce oblatum.

1354 In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus; she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him.

1354 In anamnesi quae sequitur, Ecclesia passionem, resurrectionem et reditum Christi Iesu recolit gloriosum; ipsa Patri oblationem praesentat Filii Eius qui nos cum Eo reconciliat.

In the intercessions, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches.

In intercessionibus, Ecclesia exprimit Eucharistiam in communione cum tota Ecclesia caeli et terrae, vivorum et defunctorum, celebrari et in communione cum Pastoribus Ecclesiae, cum Papa, cum Episcopo dioeceseos, eius presbyterio et eius diaconis, et cum Episcopis totius mundi cum eorum Ecclesiis.

1355 In the communion, preceded by the Lord’s prayer and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive “the bread of heaven” and “the cup of salvation,” the body and blood of Christ who offered himself “for the life of the world”: (Jn 6:51.)

1355 In Communione, quam Domini oratio et panis praecedunt fractio, fideles « panem de caelo » et « calicem salutarem » accipiunt, corpus et sanguinem Christi qui Se Ipsum tradidit « pro mundi vita » (Io 6,51).

Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist (“eucharisted,” according to an ancient expression), “we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.”(St. Justin, Apol. 1,66,1-2:PG 6,428.)

Quia hic panis et hoc vinum, secundum veterem expressionem sunt « eucharistizata », 329 « hoc alimentum apud nos vocatur Eucharistia, cuius nulli alii licet esse participi nisi qui credat veram esse doctrinam nostram, et illo ad remissionem peccatorum et ad regenerationem lavacro ablutus fuerit, et ita vivat ut Christus tradidit ». 330






V. Sacrificium sacramentale: gratiarum actio, memoriale, praesentia





1356 If from the beginning Christians have celebrated the Eucharist and in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of times and liturgies, it is because we know ourselves to be bound by the command the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: “Do this in remembrance of me.”(1 Cor 11:24-25.)

1356 Si christiani inde ab originibus Eucharistiam celebrant, et quidem sub quadam forma, quae, quoad substantiam, in decursu magnae diversitatis aetatum et liturgiarum mutata non est, hoc ideo accidit quia scimus nos mandato Domini vinculari, pridie passionis Eius praescripto: « Hoc facite in meam commemorationem » (1 Cor 11,24-25).

1357 We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.

1357 Hoc Domini adimplemus mandatum memoriale sacrificii Eius celebrantes. Hoc facientes, id Patri offerimus quod Ipse nobis donavit: dona Eius creationis, panem et vinum, per Spiritus Sancti potentiam et Christi verba, corpus et sanguinem Christi effecta: sic Christus realiter et arcano modo praesens fit.

1358 We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:

1358 Oportet igitur ut Eucharistiam consideremus:

- thanksgiving and praise to the Father;
- the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;
- the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.

— tamquam actionem gratiarum et laudem Patri;
— tamquam memoriale sacrificale Christi et corporis Eius;
— tamquam Christi praesentiam per virtutem Eius verbi Eiusque Spiritus.

Thanksgiving and praise to the Father

Gratiarum actio et laus Patri

1359 The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity.

1359 Eucharistia, sacramentum nostrae salutis per Christum in cruce adimpletae, laudis est etiam sacrificium in gratiarum actionem propter creationis opus. In Sacrificio eucharistico, tota creatio a Deo dilecta praesentatur Patri per Christi mortem et resurrectionem. Per Christum potest Ecclesia sacrificium laudis offerre in gratiarum actionem propter quidquid boni, pulchri et iusti in creatione et in genere humano Deus effecit.

1360 The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all “thanksgiving.”

1360 Eucharistia est sacrificium actionis gratiarum ad Patrem, benedictio per quam Ecclesia Deo propter omnia Eius beneficia suam exprimit gratitudinem, propter omnia quae Ipse per creationem, Redemptionem et sanctificationem effecit. Eucharistia imprimis « gratiarum actionem » significat.

1361 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of praise by which the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation. This sacrifice of praise is possible only through Christ: he unites the faithful to his person, to his praise, and to his intercession, so that the sacrifice of praise to the Father is offered through Christ and with him, to be accepted in him.

1361 Eucharistia est etiam sacrificium laudis, per quod Ecclesia in totius creationis nomine gloriam canit Dei. Hoc laudis sacrificium non nisi per Christum possibile est: Ipse fideles Suae coniungit personae, Suae laudi et Suae intercessioni, atque ita sacrificium laudis ad Patrem per Christum et cum Ipso offertur ut accipiatur in Ipso.





The sacrificial memorial of Christ and of his Body, the Church Memoriale sacrificale Christi Eiusque corporis, Ecclesiae



1362 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body. In all the Eucharistic Prayers we find after the words of institution a prayer called the anamnesis or memorial.

1362 Eucharistia est memoriale Paschatis Christi, Eius unici sacrificii in actum deductio et sacramentalis oblatio, in liturgia Ecclesiae quae corpus est Eius. In omnibus eucharisticis precibus, post institutionis verba, orationem invenimus quae anamnesis seu memoriale appellatur.

1363 In the sense of Sacred Scripture the memorial is not merely the recollection of past events but the proclamation of the mighty works wrought by God for men.(Cf. Ex 13:3.) In the liturgical celebration of these events, they become in a certain way present and real. This is how Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them.

1363 In sacrae Scripturae sensu, memoriale recordatio eventuum praeteritorum solummodo non est, sed proclamatio mirabilium quae Deus pro hominibus implevit. 331 In liturgica horum eventuum celebratione, ii quodammodo praesentes fiunt et actuales. Sic Israel suam ex Aegypto intelligit liberationem: semper ac Pascha celebratur, Exodi eventus memoriae credentium fiunt praesentes ut ipsi illis suam conforment vitam.

1364 In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present.(Cf. Heb 7:25-27.) “As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed’ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out.”(LG 3; cf. 1 Cor 5:7.)

1364 Memoriale in Novo Testamento sensum recipit novum. Cum Ecclesia Eucharistiam celebrat, memor est Christi Paschatis, quod praesens fit: sacrificium quod Christus semel pro semper obtulit in cruce, semper permanet actuale: 332 « Quoties Sacrificium crucis, quo “Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus” (1 Cor 5,7), in altari celebratur, opus nostrae Redemptionis exercetur ». 333

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: “This is my body which is given for you” and “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”(Lk 22:19-20.) In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”(Mt 26:28.)

1365 Quia Eucharistia memoriale Paschatis est Christi, est etiam sacrificium. Indoles sacrificalis Eucharistiae in ipsis verbis institutionis manifestatur: « Hoc est corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur » et « Hic calix Novum Testamentum est in sanguine meo qui pro vobis funditur » (Lc 22,19-20). In Eucharistia, Christus hoc ipsum corpus dat quod pro nobis in cruce tradidit, ipsum sanguinem quem Ille effudit « pro multis [...] in remissionem peccatorum » (Mt 26,28).

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

1366 Eucharistia est igitur sacrificium quia Sacrificium crucis repraesentat (praesens reddit), quia eius est memoriale et quia eius fructum applicat:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper “on the night when he was betrayed,” [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.(Council of Trent (1562): DS 1740; cf. 1 Cor 11:23; Heb 7:24, 27.)

Christus « Deus et Dominus noster, [...] semel Se Ipsum in ara crucis, morte intercedente, Deo Patri [...] [obtulit], ut aeternam illis [hominibus] Redemptionem operaretur: quia tamen post mortem sacerdotium Eius exstinguendum non erat [Heb 7,24.27], in Coena novissima, “qua nocte tradebatur” [1 Cor 11,23], [...] dilectae Sponsae Suae Ecclesiae visibile (sicut hominum natura exigit) [...] [reliquit] sacrificium, quo cruentum illud semel in cruce peragendum repraesentaretur eiusque memoria in finem usque saeculi permaneret, atque illius salutaris virtus in remissionem eorum, quae a nobis quotidie committuntur, peccatorum applicaretur ». 334

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.” (Council of Trent (1562) Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, c. 2: DS 1743; cf. Heb 9:14,27.)

1367 Sacrificium Christi et Sacrificium Eucharistiae unum sunt sacrificium: « Una enim eademque est hostia, Idem nunc offerens sacerdotum ministerio, qui Se Ipsum tunc in cruce obtulit, sola ratione offerendi diversa »: 335 « Et quoniam in divino hoc sacrificio, quod in Missa peragitur, Idem Ille Christus continetur et incruente immolatur, qui in ara crucis “semel Se Ipsum cruente obtulit” [...] sacrificium istud vere propitiatorium » est. 336

1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.

1368 Eucharistia est quoque Ecclesiae sacrificium. Ecclesia, quae corpus est Christi, oblationem sui Capitis participat. Cum Eo, ipsa tota offertur. Cum Eius intercessione apud Patrem pro omnibus hominibus se coniungit. In Eucharistia, sacrificium Christi fit etiam sacrificium membrorum Eius corporis. Vita fidelium, eorum laus, eorum dolor, eorum oratio, eorum labor illis Christi Eiusque totali uniuntur oblationi, et sic novum acquirunt valorem. Sacrificium Christi super altari praesens omnibus christianorum generationibus possibilitatem praebet Eius oblationi se uniendi.

In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in prayer, arms outstretched in the praying position. Like Christ who stretched out his arms on the cross, through him, with him, and in him, she offers herself and intercedes for all men.

In catacumbis, Ecclesia saepe tamquam mulier in oratione repraesentatur, brachiis apertis in gestu orantis. Se, sicut Christus qui brachia extendit in cruce, per Ipsum, cum Ipso et in Ipso offert et pro omnibus intercedit hominibus.

1369 The whole Church is united with the offering and intercession of Christ. Since he has the ministry of Peter in the Church, the Pope is associated with every celebration of the Eucharist, wherein he is named as the sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church. The bishop of the place is always responsible for the Eucharist, even when a priest presides; the bishop’s name is mentioned to signify his presidency over the particular Church, in the midst of his presbyterium and with the assistance of deacons. The community intercedes also for all ministers who, for it and with it, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice:

1369 Ecclesia tota cum oblatione coniungitur et intercessione Christi. Papa qui Petri ministerium in Ecclesia sustinet, omni Eucharistiae associatur celebrationi in qua tamquam unitatis Ecclesiae Universae signum et minister nominatur. Episcopus loci semper Eucharistiae est responsabilis, etiam cum presbyter illi praeest; eius nomen in illa pronuntiatur ut significetur eum Ecclesiae particulari praeesse, in medio presbyterii et assistentibus diaconis. Communitas etiam pro omnibus intercedit ministris qui, pro illa et cum illa, Sacrificium offerunt eucharisticum:

Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under [the presidency of] the bishop or him to whom he has entrusted it. (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Smyrn. 8:1;SCh 10,138.)

« Valida Eucharistia habeatur illa, quae sub Episcopo peragitur vel sub eo, cui ipse concesserit ». 337

Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the Eucharist is offered through the priests’ hands in the name of the whole Church in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes. (PO 2 § 4.)

« Per presbyterorum autem ministerium sacrificium spirituale fidelium consummatur in unione cum sacrificio Christi, unici mediatoris, quod per manus eorum, nomine totius Ecclesiae, in Eucharistia incruente et sacramentaliter offertur, donec Ipse Dominus veniat ». 338

1370 To the offering of Christ are united not only the members still here on earth, but also those already in the glory of heaven. In communion with and commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ.

1370 Christi oblationi coniunguntur non solum membra quae adhuc hic in terris sunt, sed etiam illa quae iam sunt in caeli gloria: Ecclesia, in communione cum beatissima Virgine Maria et eiusdem, sicut etiam omnium sanctorum omniumque sanctarum, faciens memoriam, Sacrificium offert eucharisticum. Ecclesia in Eucharistia, cum Maria, est quodammodo iuxta crucem, oblationi Christi unita et intercessioni.

1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who “have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,”(Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743.) so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:

1371 Sacrificium eucharisticum offertur etiam pro fidelibus defunctis, « pro defunctis in Christo, nondum ad plenum purgatis », 339 ut Christi lumen et pacem ingredi possint:

Put this body anywhere! Don’t trouble yourselves about it! I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord’s altar wherever you are. (St. Monica, before her death, to her sons, St. Augustine and his brother; Conf. 9,11,27:PL 32,775.)

« Ponite [...] hoc corpus ubicumque: nihil vos eius cura conturbet; tantum illud vos rogo, ut ad Domini altare memineritis mei, ubiubi fueritis ». 340

Then, we pray [in the anaphora] for the holy fathers and bishops who have fallen asleep, and in general for all who have fallen asleep before us, in the belief that it is a great benefit to the souls on whose behalf the supplication is offered, while the holy and tremendous Victim is present. . . . By offering to God our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, if they have sinned, we . . . offer Christ sacrificed for the sins of all, and so render favorable, for them and for us, the God who loves man. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. myst. 5,9,10:PG 33,1116-1117.)  

« Deinde [in anaphora] et pro defunctis sanctis Patribus et Episcopis, et omnibus generatim qui inter nos vita functi sunt [oramus]; maximum hoc credentes adiumentum illis animabus fore, pro quibus oratio defertur, dum sancta et perquam tremenda coram iacet victima. [...] Et nos pro defunctis, etiamsi peccatores sint, preces Deo offerentes, [...] Christum mactatum pro peccatis nostris offerimus, Deum amicum hominum cum pro illis tum pro nobis propitiantes ». 341

1372 St. Augustine admirably summed up this doctrine that moves us to an ever more complete participation in our Redeemer’s sacrifice which we celebrate in the Eucharist:

1372 Sanctus Augustinus in synthesim mirabiliter hanc redegit doctrinam quae nos incitat ad participationem semper magis completam in nostri Redemptoris sacrificio quod in Eucharistia celebramus:

This wholly redeemed city, the assembly and society of the saints, is offered to God as a universal sacrifice by the high priest who in the form of a slave went so far as to offer himself for us in his Passion, to make us the Body of so great a head. . . . Such is the sacrifice of Christians: “we who are many are one Body in Christ” The Church continues to reproduce this sacrifice in the sacrament of the altar so well-known to believers wherein it is evident to them that in what she offers she herself is offered.(St. Augustine, De civ Dei, 10,6:PL 41,283; cf. Rom 12:5.)

« Tota ipsa redempta civitas, hoc est congregatio societasque sanctorum, universale sacrificium [...] [offertur] Deo per Sacerdotem magnum, qui etiam Se Ipsum obtulit in passione pro nobis, ut tanti Capitis corpus essemus, secundum formam servi. [...] Hoc est sacrificium christianorum: “Multi unum corpus in Christo” (Rom 12,5). Quod etiam Sacramento altaris fidelibus noto frequentat Ecclesia, ubi ei demonstratur, quod in ea re, quam offert, ipsa offeratur ». 342





The presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit Christi praesentia per Eius verbi et Spiritus Sancti virtutem



1373 “Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,” is present in many ways to his Church:(Rom 8:34; cf. LG 48.) in his word, in his Church’s prayer, “where two or three are gathered in my name,”(Mt 18:20.) in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned,(Cf. Mt 25:31-46.) in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But “he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species.”(SC 7.)

1373 « Christus Iesus, qui mortuus est, immo qui suscitatus est, qui et est ad dexteram Dei, qui etiam interpellat pro nobis » (Rom 8,34), multipliciter est Ecclesiae Suae praesens: 343 in verbo Suo, in Ecclesiae Suae oratione, « ubi enim sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum » (Mt 18,20), in pauperibus, aegrotis, captivis, 344 in sacramentis quorum Ipse est auctor, in Missae Sacrificio et in persona ministri. Sed « maxime [est praesens] sub speciebus eucharisticis ». 345

1374 The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.”(St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,73,3c.) In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.(Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651.) “This presence is called ‘real’ - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.”(Paul VI, MF 39.)

1374 Modus praesentiae Christi sub speciebus eucharisticis est singularis. Is Eucharistiam super omnibus sacramentis elevat et propterea illa est « quasi consummatio spiritualis vitae, et omnium sacramentorum finis ». 346 In Sanctissimo Eucharistiae Sacramento continentur vere, realiter et substantialiter corpus et sanguis una cum anima et divinitate Domini nostri Iesu Christi ac proinde totus Christus. 347 « Quae quidem praesentia “realis” dicitur non per exclusionem, quasi aliae “reales” non sint, sed per excellentiam, quia est substantialis, qua nimirum totus atque integer Christus, Deus et homo, fit praesens ». 348

1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

1375 In hoc sacramento, Christus fit praesens per conversionem panis et vini in corpus et sanguinem Christi. Patres Ecclesiae fidem Ecclesiae in verbi Christi et actionis Spiritus Sancti efficacitatem ad hanc conversionem peragendam asseveraverunt firmiter. Sic sanctus Ioannes Chrysostomus declarat:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.(St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6:PG 49,380.)

« Non enim homo est, qui facit ut proposita efficiantur corpus et sanguis Christi, sed Ipse Christus qui pro nobis crucifixus est. Figuram implens stat sacerdos verba illa proferens: virtus autem et gratia Dei est. Hoc est corpus meum, inquit. Hoc verbum transformat ea, quae proposita sunt ». 349

And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Et sanctus Ambrosius de hac conversione ait:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.(St. Ambrose, De myst. 9,50; 52:PL 16,405-407.)

Persuasi simus « non hoc esse, quod natura formavit, sed quod benedictio consecravit, maioremque vim esse benedictionis quam naturae, quia benedictione etiam natura ipsa mutatur ». 350 « Sermo ergo Christi, qui potuit ex nihilo facere, quod non erat, non potest ea, quae sunt, in id mutare, quod non erant? Non enim minus est novas rebus dare quam mutare naturas ». 351

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” (Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Mt 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Lk 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor 11:24 ff.)

1376 Concilium Tridentinum fidem catholicam in synthesim redigit declarans: « Quoniam autem Christus Redemptor noster corpus Suum id, quod sub specie panis offerebat, vere esse dixit, ideo persuasum semper in Ecclesia Dei fuit, idque nunc denuo sancta haec Synodus declarat: per consecrationem panis et vini conversionem fieri totius substantiae panis in substantiam corporis Christi Domini nostri, et totius substantiae vini in substantiam sanguinis Eius. Quae conversio convenienter et proprie a sancta catholica Ecclesia transsubstantiatio est appellata ». 352

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. (Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641.)

1377 Praesentia eucharistica Christi a momento incipit consecrationis et perdurat dum species subsistunt eucharisticae. Christus est totus integer sub unaquaque specierum et totus integer in earum partibus, ita ut panis fractio Christum non dividat. 353

1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.” (Paul VI, MF 56.)

1378 Eucharistiae cultus. In Missae liturgia, nostram fidem in praesentiam realem Christi sub panis et vini speciebus, exprimimus, inter alia, genua flectentes vel profunde in signum adorationis Domini nos inclinantes. « Hunc latriae cultum Eucharistiae sacramento praestandum, Catholica Ecclesia non solum intra, verum etiam extra Missarum sollemnia exhibuit et exhibet, consecratas Hostias quam diligentissime adservando, eas sollemni fidelium venerationi proponendo, in processionibus frequentissimi populi laetitia circumferendo ». 354

1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

1379 Sancta reservatio (tabernaculum) prius destinabatur ad Eucharistiam digne servandam ut aegrotis et absentibus posset extra Missam deferri. Ecclesia, per ulteriorem penetrationem in fidem de reali Christi praesentia in Eucharistia, effecta est conscia sensus silentiosae adorationis Christi sub speciebus eucharisticis praesentis. Hac de causa, tabernaculum collocari debet in loco ecclesiae peculiariter digno; sic construi debet ut veritas praesentiae realis Christi in Sanctissimo Sacramento efferatur et manifestetur.

1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us “to the end,” (Jn 13:1.) even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, (Cf. Gal 2:20.) and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:

1380 Valde conveniens est, Christum, hoc modo singulari, Ecclesiae Suae praesentem manere voluisse. Quia Christus sub Sua forma visibili relicturus erat Suos, nobis Suam praesentiam volebat donare sacramentalem; quia Ipse Se in cruce oblaturus erat ut nos salvaret, volebat nos memoriale habere amoris quo Ipse nos « in finem dilexit » (Io 13,1), usque ad vitae Suae donum. Re vera, Ipse, in Sua praesentia eucharistica, in medio nostri modo manet arcano sicut Is qui nos dilexit et tradidit Semetipsum pro nobis, 355 et quidem manet sub signis quae hunc amorem exprimunt et communicant:

The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease. (John Paul II, Dominicae cenae, 3.)

« Ecclesiae quidem et mundo valde opus est eucharistico cultu. Praestolatur nos Iesus hoc in caritatis sacramento. Ne tempori nostro parcamus ut Eum conveniamus cum adoratione, cum contemplatione fidei plena et parata graves culpas et crimina mundi compensare. Adoratio nostra profecto numquam deficiat ». 356

1381 “That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that ‘cannot be apprehended by the senses,’ says St. Thomas, ‘but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.’ For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 (‘This is my body which is given for you.’), St. Cyril says: ‘Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.’(St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,75,1; cf. Paul VI, MF 18; St. Cyril of Alexandria, In Luc. 22,19:PG 72,912; cf. Paul VI, MF 18. )

1381 « Verum corpus Christi et verum sanguinem esse in hoc sacramento, ut ait sanctus Thomas, “non sensu deprehendi potest, sed sola fide, quae auctoritati divinae innititur. Unde super illud Lucae 22,19: Hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis tradetur, dicit Cyrillus: Non dubites an hoc verum sit; sed potius suscipe verba Salvatoris in fide; cum enim sit veritas, non mentitur” »: 357

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore

Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,

See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart

Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

« Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas,
quae sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subicit
quia Te contemplans totum deficit.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;

How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;

What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;

Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.

(St. Thomas Aquinas (attr.), Adoro te devote; tr. Gerard Manley Hopkins.)

Visus, tactus, gustus in Te fallitur,
sed auditu solo tute creditur;
credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius,
verbo veritatis nihil verius ». 358






VI. Convivium Paschale





1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord’s body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us.

1382 Missa simul et inseparabiliter sacrificale est memoriale in quo crucis perpetuatur Sacrificium, et sacrum convivium Communionis corporis et sanguinis Domini. Sed Sacrificii eucharistici celebratio prorsus dirigitur ad intimam unionem fidelium cum Christo per Communionem. Communicare est Ipsum recipere Christum qui Se pro nobis obtulit.

1383 The altar, around which the Church is gathered in the celebration of the Eucharist, represents the two aspects of the same mystery: the altar of the sacrifice and the table of the Lord. This is all the more so since the Christian altar is the symbol of Christ himself, present in the midst of the assembly of his faithful, both as the victim offered for our reconciliation and as food from heaven who is giving himself to us. “For what is the altar of Christ if not the image of the Body of Christ?”(St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 5,2,7:PL 16,447C.) asks St. Ambrose. He says elsewhere, “The altar represents the body [of Christ] and the Body of Christ is on the altar.”(St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4,2,7:PL 16,437D.) The liturgy expresses this unity of sacrifice and communion in many prayers. Thus the Roman Church prays in its anaphora:

1383 Altare, circa quod Ecclesia in Eucharistiae celebratione congregatur, duas eiusdem mysterii repraesentat rationes: altare sacrificii et mensam Domini, et quidem eo magis quod christianum altare symbolum est Ipsius Christi, praesentis in medio congregationis fidelium Eius, simul sicut victimae pro nostra reconciliatione oblatae et sicut cibi caelestis qui nobis Se dat. « Quid est enim altare Christi nisi forma corporis Christi? », inquit sanctus Ambrosius, 359 et alibi: « Forma corporis altare est et corpus Christi est in altari ». 360 Liturgia hanc sacrificii et Communionis unitatem in pluribus exprimit orationibus. Sic Ecclesia Romana in sua precatur anaphora:

We entreat you, almighty God, that by the hands of your holy Angel  this offering may be borne to your altar in heaven in the sight of your divine majesty, so that as we receive in communion at this altar the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, we may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grace.(Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube hæc perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis tuae: ut, quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione cælesti et gratia repleamur.)

« Supplices Te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube haec perferri per manus sancti angeli Tui in sublime altare Tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis Tuae; ut, quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii Tui corpus et sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur ». 361





“Take this and eat it, all of you”: communion « Accipite et comedite omnes »: Communio



1384 The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: “Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”(Jn 6:53.)

1384 Dominus instantem ad nos dirigit invitationem ut Ipsum in Eucharistiae recipiamus sacramento: « Amen, amen dico vobis: Nisi manducaveritis carnem Filii hominis et biberitis Eius sanguinem, non habetis vitam in vobismetipsis » (Io 6,53).

1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”(1 Cor 11:27-29.) Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

1385 Ut huic invitationi respondeamus, ad hoc momentum tam magnum et sanctum nos praeparare debemus. Sanctus Paulus ad conscientiae hortatur examen: « Quicumque manducaverit panem vel biberit calicem Domini indigne, reus erit corporis et sanguinis Domini. Probet autem seipsum homo, et sic de pane illo edat et de calice bibat; qui enim manducat et bibit, iudicium sibi manducat et bibit non diiudicans corpus » (1 Cor 11,27-29). Qui peccati gravis est conscius, sacramentum Reconciliationis recipere debet antequam ad Communionem accedat.

1386 Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion: “Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea” (“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.”).(Roman Missal, response to the invitation to communion; cf. Mt 8:8.) And in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom the faithful pray in the same spirit:

1386 Fidelis coram huius sacramenti magnitudine non nisi verba centurionis humiliter et cum ardenti fide repetere potest: 362 « Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea ». 363 Et in divina liturgia sancti Ioannis Chrysostomi, fideles eodem orant spiritu:

O Son of God, bring me into communion today with your mystical supper. I shall not tell your enemies the secret, nor kiss you with Judas’ kiss. But like the good thief I cry, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

« Fac me hodie communicare in Tua Cena mystica, o Fili Dei. Quia secretum Tuis non dicam inimicis, neque Tibi osculum dabo Iudae. Sed, sicut latro, ad Te clamo: Memento mei, Domine, in Regno Tuo ». 364

1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church.(Cf. CIC, can. 919.) Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.

1387 Fideles, ut se convenienter ad hoc sacramentum praeparent recipiendum, ieiunium in Ecclesia sua praescriptum observabunt. 365 Habitus corporalis (gestus, vestis) respectum, sollemnitatem, laetitiam huius exprimet momenti in quo Christus hospes fit noster.

1388 It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions,(Cf. CIC, can. 916)  receive communion when they participate in the Mass.(Cf. CIC, can. 917; The faithful may recieve the Holy Eucharist only a second time on the same day [CF. Pontificia Commissio Codici luris Canonici Authentice Intrepretando, Responsa ad proposita dubia, 1:AAS 76 (1984) 746].) As the Second Vatican Council says: “That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest’s communion, receive the Lord’s Body from the same sacrifice, is warmly recommended.”(SC 55.)

1388 Ipsi sensui Eucharistiae conforme est, fideles, si dispositiones habeant quae requiruntur, 366 Communionem recipere, cum Missam participant: 367 « Valde commendatur illa perfectior Missae participatio qua fideles post Communionem sacerdotis ex eodem Sacrificio corpus Dominicum sumunt ». 368

1389 The Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season.(OE 15; CIC, can. 920.) But the Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.

1389 Ecclesia fidelibus obligationem imponit qua ipsi « tenentur diebus Dominicis et festis interesse divinae liturgiae », 369 et Eucharistiam, saltem semel in anno, recipere, tempore Paschali si fieri potest, 370 sacramento Reconciliationis praeparati. Sed Ecclesia fidelibus vehementer commendat sanctam Eucharistiam diebus Dominicis et festivis recipere, vel adhuc frequentius, singulis etiam diebus.

1390 Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But “the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly.”(GIRM 240.) This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites.

1390 Communio sub una panis specie, propter praesentiam sacramentalem Christi sub unaquaque specie, totum fructum gratiae Eucharistiae recipere permittit. Ob rationes pastorales, haec recipiendi Communionem forma, tamquam maxime habitualis, est in ritu latino legitime stabilita. « Formam ratione signi pleniorem habet sacra Communio cum fit sub utraque specie. In ea enim forma signum eucharistici convivii perfectius elucet ». 371 Talis forma recipiendi Communionem est habitualis in ritibus orientalibus.





The fruits of Holy Communion Communionis fructus



1391 Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”(Jn 6:56.) Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.”(Jn 6:57.)

1391 Communio nostram cum Christo auget unionem. Eucharistiam in Communione recipere, tamquam praecipuum fructum, unionem affert intimam cum Christo Iesu. Re vera Dominus dicit: « Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, in me manet et ego in illo » (Io 6,56). Vita in Christo suum invenit fundamentum in convivio eucharistico: « Sicut misit me vivens Pater, et ego vivo propter Patrem; et, qui manducat me, et ipse vivet propter me » (Io 6,57):

On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, “Christ is risen!” Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ.(Fanqith, Syriac Office of Antioch, Vol. I, Commun., 237a-b.)

« Cum in festivitatibus [Domini] populus corpus accipit Filii, alius alii Bonum proclamant Nuntium: arrhabonem vitae datum esse; sicut cum angelus Mariae [Magdalenae] dixit: ‘Surrexit Christus!’. Ecce etiam nunc vitam et resurrectionem illi conferri qui Christum recipit ». 372

1392 What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,”(PO 5.) preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.

1392 Id quod materiale nutrimentum in vita producit corporali, Communio modo admirabili in nostra vita spirituali deducit in rem. Communio carnis Christi resuscitati, « Spiritu Sancto vivificatae et vivificantis », 373 vitam gratiae in Baptismo susceptam conservat, auget et renovat. Hoc vitae christianae augmentum eget Communione eucharistica, nostrae peregrinationis pane, nutriri usque ad mortis horam, in qua nobis dabitur tamquam viaticum.

1393 Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is “given up for us,” and the blood we drink “shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.” For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:

1393 Communio nos a peccato separat. Corpus Christi quod in Communione recipimus, est « traditus pro nobis », et sanguis quem bibimus, est « effusus pro multis in remissionem peccatorum ». Hac de causa, Eucharistia nos Christo unire non potest quin simul nos a peccatis purificet commissis et a peccatis praeservet futuris:

For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.(St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4,6,28:PL 16,446; cf. 1 Cor 11:26.)

« Quotiescumque accipimus, mortem Domini adnuntiamus. 374 Si mortem, adnuntiamus remissionem peccatorum. Si, quotiescumque effunditur sanguis, in remissionem peccatorum funditur, debeo illum semper accipere, ut semper mihi peccata dimittat. Qui semper pecco, semper debeo habere medicinam ». 375

1394 As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins.(Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638.) By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:

1394 Sicut nutrimentum materiale ad vires amissas inservit restaurandas, Eucharistia caritatem roborat quae, in vita quotidiana, ad se debilitandam tendit; atque haec vivificata caritas peccata delet venialia. 376 Christus, Se nobis donans, nostrum iterum vivificat amorem nosque capaces reddit, nostros inordinatos affectus ad creaturas rumpendi nosque in Eum radicandi:

Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world. . . . Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God.(St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Contra Fab. 28,16-19: CCL 19A,813-814.)

« Quoniam ergo Christus pro nobis caritate mortuus est, cum tempore sacrificii commemorationem Mortis Eius facimus, caritatem nobis tribui per Adventum Sancti Spiritus postulamus; hoc suppliciter exorantes, ut per ipsam caritatem qua pro nobis Christus crucifigi dignatus est, nos quoque gratia Sancti Spiritus accepta, mundum crucifixum habere et mundo crucifigi possimus; [...] munere caritatis accepto, moriamur peccato et vivamus Deo ». 377

1395 By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins - that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church.

1395 Eucharistia, per ipsam caritatem quam in nobis accendit, nos a peccatis mortalibus praeservat futuris. Quo magis Christi vitam participamus et quo magis in Illius progredimur amicitia, eo difficilius fit cum Illo per peccatum mortale abscindere coniunctionem. Eucharistia ad peccatorum mortalium remissionem non ordinatur. Hoc sacramenti Reconciliationis proprium est. Eucharistiae est proprium, eorum esse sacramentum qui in plena Ecclesiae sunt communione.

1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body.(Cf. 1 Cor 12:13.) The Eucharist fulfills this call: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:”(1 Cor 10:16-17.)

1396 Corporis mystici unitas: Eucharistia facit Ecclesiam. Illi qui Eucharistiam recipiunt, arctius Christo coniunguntur. Propterea, Christus omnes coniungit fideles in unum corpus: Ecclesiam. Communio hanc incorporationem ad Ecclesiam, iam per Baptismum deductam in rem, renovat, roborat et profundiorem reddit. In Baptismo vocati sumus ad unum corpus constituendum. 378 Eucharistia hanc adimplet vocationem: « Calix benedictionis, cui benedicimus, nonne communicatio sanguinis Christi est? Et panis, quem frangimus, nonne communicatio corporis Christi est? Quoniam unus panis, unum corpus multi sumus, omnes enim de uno pane participamus » (1 Cor 10,16-17):

If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are you respond “Amen” (“yes, it is true!”) and by responding to it you assent to it. For you hear the words, “the Body of Christ” and respond “Amen.” Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.(St. Augustine, Sermo 272:PL 38,1247.)

« Si ergo vos estis corpus Christi et membra, mysterium vestrum in Mensa dominica positum est: mysterium vestrum accipitis. Ad id quod estis, Amen [Utique, verum est] respondetis, et respondendo subscribitis. Audis enim, corpus Christi; et respondes, Amen. Esto membrum corporis Christi, ut verum sit Amen ». 379

1397 The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren:

1397 Eucharistia erga pauperes obligat: ad corpus et sanguinem Christi pro nobis tradita in veritate recipienda, Christum in pauperrimis, fratribus Eius, debemus agnoscere: 380

You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother,. . . . You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal. . . . God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful. (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 27,4:PG 61,229-230; cf. Mt 25:40.)

« Gustasti sanguinem Dominicum, et neque fratrem ita agnoscis; [...] nunc autem ipsam etiam mensam dedecoras, dum illum qui dignatus est illius particeps fieri, ne cibis quidem tuis dignum existimas. [...]. Ab [...] omnibus [peccatis] te liberavit Deus, teque tali mensa dignatus est: tu vero nec sic quidem benignior effectus es ». 381

1398 The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, “O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!”(St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 26,13:PL 35,1613; cf. SC 47.) The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in him may return.

1398 Eucharistia et christianorum unitas. Coram huius mysterii magnitudine sanctus Augustinus exclamat: « O sacramentum pietatis! O signum unitatis! O vinculum caritatis! ». 382 Quo magis dolorosae percipiuntur Ecclesiae divisiones quae communem disrumpunt participationem mensae Domini, eo urgentiores sunt orationes ad Dominum ut dies unitatis completae redeant omnium eorum qui in Eum credunt.

1399 The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. “These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy.” A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, “given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged.”(UR 15 § 2; cf. CIC, can. 844 § 3.)

1399 Ecclesiae Orientales quae in plena communione cum Ecclesia catholica non sunt, Eucharistia magno cum amore celebrant. « Illae Ecclesiae, quamvis seiunctae, vera sacramenta [...] [habent], praecipua vero, vi successionis apostolicae, sacerdotium et Eucharistiam, quibus arctissima necessitudine adhuc nobiscum coniunguntur ». 383 Proinde « quaedam communicatio in sacris, datis opportunis circumstantiis et approbante auctoritate ecclesiastica, non solum possibilis est sed etiam suadetur ». 384

1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.”(UR 22 § 3.) It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.”(UR 22 § 3.)

1400 Communitates ecclesiales e Reformatione ortae, ab Ecclesia catholica seiunctae, « praesertim propter sacramentum Ordinis defectum, genuinam atque integram substantiam mysterii eucharistici non » servant. 385 Hac de causa, pro Ecclesia catholica, intercommunio eucharistica cum his communitatibus possibilis non est. Hae tamen communitates ecclesiales « dum in sancta Cena mortis et resurrectionis Domini memoriam faciunt, vitam in Christi communione significari profitentur atque gloriosum Eius Adventum exspectant ». 386

1401 When, in the Ordinary’s judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions.(Cf. CIC, can. 844 § 4.)

1401 Cum necessitas gravis urget, secundum Ordinarii iudicium, ministri catholici possunt sacramenta (Eucharistiam, Paenitentiam, Unctionem infirmorum) aliis conferre christianis qui in plena communione cum Ecclesia catholica non sunt, sed qui sua sponte illa petunt: oportet eos tunc fidem catholicam circa haec sacramenta profiteri et in dispositionibus inveniri quae requiruntur. 387





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VII. Eucharistia – « Futurae gloriae pignus »





1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: “O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us.” If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled “with every heavenly blessing and grace,”(Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus.) then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory.

1402 In quadam vetere oratione, Ecclesia mysterium acclamat Eucharistiae: « O sacrum convivium in quo Christus sumitur: recolitur memoria passionis Eius, mens impletur gratia et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur ». 388 Si Eucharistia memoriale est Paschatis Domini, si per nostram altaris Communionem « omni benedictione caelesti et gratia » replemur, 389 Eucharistia est quoque gloriae caelestis anticipatio.

1403 At the Last Supper the Lord himself directed his disciples’ attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: “I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”(Mt 26:29; cf. Lk 22:18; Mk 14:25.) Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze “to him who is to come.” In her prayer she calls for his coming: “Marana tha!” “Come, Lord Jesus!”(Rev 1:4; 22 20; 1 Cor 16:22.) “May your grace come and this world pass away!” (Didache 10,6:SCh 248,180.)

1403 In ultima Cena, Ipse Dominus intuitum discipulorum Suorum ad Paschatis consummationem in Regno Dei direxit: « Dico autem vobis: Non bibam amodo de hoc genimine vitis usque in diem illum, cum illud bibam vobiscum novum in Regno Patris mei » (Mt 26,29). 390 Quoties Ecclesia Eucharistiam celebrat, huius promissionis est memor et eius intuitus vertitur ad Eum « qui venturus est » (Apc 1,4). In oratione sua Ipsius implorat Adventum: « Marana tha » (1 Cor 16,22), « Veni, Domine Iesu » (Apc 22,20), « Adveniat gratia et praetereat mundus hic ». 391

1404 The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist “awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ,”(Roman Missal 126, embolism after the Our Father: expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi; cf. Titus 2:13.) asking “to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord.”(EP III 116: prayer for the dead.)

1404 Ecclesia scit iam nunc Dominum in Sua venire Eucharistia, et ibi Eum in medio esse nostri. Tamen haec praesentia est velata. Hac de causa, Eucharistiam celebramus « exspectantes beatam spem et Adventum Salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi », 392 orantes « ut [in Regno Tuo] simul gloria Tua perenniter satiemur, quando omnem lacrimam absterges ab oculis nostris, quia Te, sicuti es, Deum nostrum videntes, Tibi similes erimus cuncta per saecula, et Te sine fine laudabimus ». 393

1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth “in which righteousness dwells,”(2 Pet 3:13.) than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, “the work of our redemption is carried on” and we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ.”(LG 3; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20,2:SCh 10,76).

1405 Huius magnae spei, illius nempe caelorum novorum et terrae novae in quibus habitabit iustitia, 394 nullum securius habemus pignus neque signum magis manifestum quam Eucharistiam. Re vera, quoties hoc celebratur mysterium « opus nostrae Redemptionis exercetur » 395 et nos « unum panem [...] [frangimus], qui pharmacum immortalitatis est, antidotum, ne moriamur, sed vivamus semper in Iesu Christo ». 396











1406 Jesus said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).

1406 Iesus dixit: « Ego sum panis vivus, qui de caelo descendi. Si quis manducaverit ex hoc pane, vivet in aeternum [...]. Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, habet vitam aeternam, [...] in me manet, et ego in illo » (Io 6,51.54.56).

1407 The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.

1407 Eucharistia cor et culmen est vitae Ecclesiae, quia in ea Christus Ecclesiam Suam et omnia eius membra sacrificio laudis et actionis gratiarum sociat Suo quod semel pro semper in cruce Suo Patri obtulit; Ipse per hoc sacrificium gratias salutis super Suum effundit corpus quod est Ecclesia.

1408 The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord’s body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

1408 Celebratio eucharistica semper implicat: proclamationem Verbi Dei, actionem gratiarum Deo Patri pro omnibus Eius beneficiis, praesertim pro dono Filii Eius, consecrationem panis et vini et participationem in convivio liturgico per receptionem corporis et sanguinis Domini. Haec elementa unum eumdemque actum cultus constituunt.

1409 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.

1409 Eucharistia est Paschatis Christi memoriale: id est, operis salutis per Christi vitam, mortem et resurrectionem adimpleti, operis per actionem liturgicam praesentis effecti.

1410 It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

1410 Ipse Christus, aeternus Novi Foederis Summus Sacerdos, per sacerdotum ministerium agens, Sacrificium offert eucharisticum. Praeterea Idem Christus realiter sub panis et vini speciebus praesens est Sacrificii eucharistici oblatio.

1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

1411 Solummodo sacerdotes valide ordinati Eucharistiae possunt praeesse atque panem et vinum consecrare ut corpus et sanguis fiant Domini.

1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: “This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . .”

1412 Signa essentialia sacramenti sunt panis tritici et vinum vitis, super quae Spiritus Sancti invocatur benedictio atque sacerdos verba pronuntiat consecrationis quae Iesus in ultima dixit Cena: « Hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis tradetur. [...] Hic est calix sanguinis mei ».

1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

1413 Per consecrationem transsubstantiatio fit panis et vini in Christi corpus et sanguinem. Sub panis et vini speciebus consecratis, Ipse Christus, vivus et gloriosus, praesens est vere, realiter et substantialiter, Eius corpus et sanguis cum Eius anima et divinitate. 397

1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

1414 Eucharistia, quatenus sacrificium, etiam in reparationem offertur peccatorum tam vivorum quam defunctorum, et ad beneficia spiritualia vel temporalia a Deo obtinenda.

1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

1415 Qui Christum in Communione eucharistica vult recipere, in gratiae statu debet inveniri. Si quis de peccato mortali a se commisso habet conscientiam, ad Eucharistiam accedere non debet quin prius absolutionem in sacramento acceperit Poenitentiae.

1416 Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant’s union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

1416 Sancta corporis et sanguinis Christi Communio unionem communicantis auget cum Domino, ei peccata remittit venialia eumque a peccatis praeservat gravibus. Eo quod caritatis vincula inter communicantem et Christum roborantur, huius sacramenti receptio unitatem roborat Ecclesiae, corporis mystici Christi.

1417 The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

1417 Ecclesia fidelibus vehementer commendat ut sanctam recipiant Communionem, cum Eucharistiae participant celebrationem; eis huius rei obligationem imponit saltem semel in anno.

1418 Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI, MF 66).

1418 Eo quod Ipse Christus in altaris Sacramento praesens est, Eum cultu adorationis honorare oportet. Sanctissimi Sacramenti visitatio est « erga Christum Dominum [...] et grati animi argumentum et amoris pignus et debitae adorationis officium ». 398

1419 Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.

1419 Christus, cum ex hoc mundo ad Patrem transierit, nobis in Eucharistia pignus praebet gloriae apud Se: participatio sancti Sacrificii nos Ipsius assimilat cordi, nostras sustinet vires peregrinatione huius vitae perdurante, nos vitam aeternam facit concupiscere atque nos iam Ecclesiae unit caelesti, beatissimae Virgini et omnibus sanctis.

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