with Paul Ray
Eucharistic Prayer I: Part 3: Thanksgiving
Moving forward in the first Eucharistic Prayer, we come now to the thanksgiving. Since the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass transcends space and time, the whole Church celebrates with us; the Church on Earth, the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the Church Triumphant in heaven. Acknowledging this we pray: “In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, and blessed Joseph, her Spouse, your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian and all your Saints: we ask that through their merits and prayers, in all things we may be defended by your protecting help. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This litany of the Apostles and early Church martyrs reminds us of our heritage. Christ sent His Apostles to continue with His mission before He ascended into heaven (Jn. 20:21). His Apostles then handed over this mission to the next generation (their successors), and this prayer recognizes this. This was one of the most compelling arguments for me when I was coming into the Church. The “passing of the baton” to the next generations has been happening now for almost 2000 years, even unto our own day, and this prayer so beautifully expresses that.
The prayer concludes by the whole Church offering the “oblation”, or gifts, to the Father for our salvation: “Therefore, Lord, we pray: graciously accept this oblation of our service, that of your whole family; order our days in your peace, and command that we be delivered from eternal damnation and counted among the flock of those you have chosen. Through Christ our Lord. Amen” As part of the Body of Christ, this is the time where we ourselves spiritually attach our intentions and prayers to the offering. Whatever you’re struggling with, suffering from, and fighting with, place with the gifts so that once the gifts are consecrated and offered to the Father it will be with Christ Himself as He is being offered to the Father. It’s a powerful thing! – Paul A. Ray
“Svätá Pravica”/”Holy Right”