We are now in the full presence of Christ himself! The Eucharistic prayer continues into the following parts: The Lord’s prayer, the fraction, the Rite of Peace and Communion.
The Lord’s prayer: In the Lord’s prayer we are making the perfect act of gratitude, petition, and fortitude. We “dare” to claim God as father, as a being that is close to us, we praise him by telling Him he is Holy, and we ask. It’s important to note the radicalness you are speaking when you say the Our Father. Too often we get accustomed to hearing it because that’s THE prayer, but man if we stepped back and analyzed it, we’d become challenged! I won’t go into detail about the breakdown of this perfect prayer, that’ll be your homework! The Mass constructed with all it’s majestic beauty could not be full without praying the Our Father in communion with God fully present.
The Rite of Peace: In Mark 5:24, we can clearly note how essential it was to be at peace with one another before approaching the Lord’s table. I’ve always found so much power in this gesture of Mass! We cannot move forward much less receive Christ if we are at war with our neighbor. Okay, yes you are not sitting beside your enemy at Mass but again this is symbolic. Your neighbor in Mass represent humanity—we say “peace be with you” and depending in what culture you are in you either shake hands, offer a kiss on the cheek, etc. Throughout the Mass we’ve asked for God’s mercy and we have petitioned lots of times, but in this step right before receiving the Eucharist we get checked in on our relationship with others— next time you are in this part of the Mass pray that you “truly” can offer Christ’s peace even with that one person you cannot stand. Peace is one of the hardest things to obtain in this journey, but starting with peace with others is a HUGE step.
The Fraction: St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 states: “the bread that we break, is it not a sharing of the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” The Eucharist then not only joins us to Christ but to one another, we are all in this ONE body! The fraction is the exact representation of this: you will see the priest break the body of Christ in order to share it. Obviously, there is not enough to feed all 2,000 families at our parish with one hosts, but the definition that we are all united in Christ and one in another in one body shouldn’t be lost.
Communion: Lastly, to prepare to receive the Eucharist the priest will pray the following: “This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World, blessed are those called to the supper of the Lord.” (see John 1:29 or Rev. 19:9) The community responds, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” (see Mt. 8:8) We then sing in joyful praise, because are we worthy of this? Well, um I guess yes and no. The beauty behind this is that we have this immense opportunity to be an intimacy so profound with the Father, that you will never fully have an answer. In communion, I become part of you and you become part of me, as we become united in Him. Many struggle with the fact that we aren’t worthy of such blessing and others have lost complete purpose in Him. At the end of the day, receiving Christ is such an intimate moment that if you fully recognize what you are receiving there is no going back.
Joandra Mendoza – Writer, unparalleled love