Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  340 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 340 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

340

Part Two

1346

The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a funda-

mental structure which has been preserved throughout the centu-

ries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a

fundamental unity:

— the gathering, the liturgy of theWord, with readings, homily, and

general intercessions;

— the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread

and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.

The liturgy of theWord and liturgy of the Eucharist together

form “one single act of worship”;

172

the Eucharistic table set for us is

the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord.

173

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.”

174

The movement of the celebration

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.

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,

175

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.”

176

172

SC

56.

173 Cf.

DV

21.

174 Cf.

Lk

24:13-35.

175 Cf.

1 Thess

2:13.

176

1 Tim

2:1-2.

103

1140

1548

1184