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342

Part Two

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.

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”:

181

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.”

182

V.

T

he

S

acramental

S

acrifice

: T

hanksgiving

,

M

emorial

, P

resence

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.”

183

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.

1358

We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:

— 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.

Thanksgiving and praise to the Father

1359

The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished

by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for

thework of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice thewhole of creation

181

Jn

6:51.

182 St. Justin,

Apol.

1, 66, 1-2: PG 6, 428.

183

1 Cor

11:24-25.

954

1382

1327

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