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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

343

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.

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.”

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.

The sacrificial memorial of Christ and of his Body, the Church

1362

The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the

making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacri-

fice, 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.

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.

184

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 Pass-

over is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the

memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them.

1364

In the New Testament, the memorial takes on newmeaning.

When theChurchcelebrates theEucharist, she commemoratesChrist’s

Passover, and it ismade present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all

on the cross remains ever present.

185

“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.”

186

1365

Because it is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the Eucha-

rist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is

manifested in the very words of institution: “This is my body which

184 Cf.

Ex

13:3.

185 Cf.

Heb

7:25-27.

186

LG

3; cf.

1 Cor 5:7.

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