The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
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:
Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God.
The Greek words
recall the Jewish
blessings that proclaim—especially during a meal—God’s works:
creation, redemption, and sanctification.
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.
Breaking of Bread,
because Jesus used this rite, part of
a Jewish meal, when as master of the table he blessed and distrib-
uted the bread,
above all at the Last Supper.
It is by this action
that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,
it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate
their Eucharistic assemblies;
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.
), because the Eucharist is
celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expres-
sion of the Church.
of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.
because it makes present the one sacri-
fice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The
holy sacrifice of the Mass,
sacrifice of praise,
pure and holy sacrifice
are also used,
since it completes and
surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.
Holy and Divine Liturgy,
because the Church’s whole
liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebra-
tion of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration
We speak of the
Most Blessed Sacrament
2:42, 46; 20:7, 11.