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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

345

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:

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.

191

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 thewholeChurch in anunbloody

and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes.

192

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 withMary,

united with the offering and intercession of Christ.

1371

The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for

the faithful de­

parted

who “have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,”

193

so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:

Put this body anywhere! Don’t trouble yourselves about it!

I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord’s altar wher-

ever you are.

194

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 sacri-

ficed for the sins of all, and so render favorable, for them and

for us, the God who loves man.

195

191 St. Ignatius of Antioch,

Ad Smyrn.

8:1; SCh 10, 138.

192

PO

2 § 4.

193 Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743.

194 St. Monica, before her death, to her sons, St. Augustine and his brother;

Conf.

9, 11, 27: PL 32, 775.

195 St. Cyril of Jerusalem,

Catech. myst.

5, 9. 10: PG 33, 1116-1117.

834, 882

1561, 1566

956

969

958, 1689

1032