The priest prays in a low voice. We must now pray in our hearts with him. After the Preface is completed and just before the Canon, the Mass server rings the cymbal or the bell three times. You will observe that the priest begins the Canon by bowing low. He kisses the altar, to show that he is united to Christ, Who is about to offer Himself.
The priest then prays for all the living members of the Church Militant and then he seeks the help and intercession of those members of the Church who now reign triumphant in Heaven. In following your Missal, you will observe that the priest commemorates many of the saints in name.
The Priest Places His Hands Over the Chalice and Host
“Therefore, we beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to receive this oblation which we, Thy servants, and Thy whole family offer: …”.
You will recall from your study of the Old Testament that it was the custom of the priest to place his hands over the articles or subjects of sacrifice. By doing this he symbolizes the transference of sins to the holocaust so that the sacrifice would be a victim offered in penance for sin. In doing this he also indicates that Christ Who was sacrificed on Calvery gave His life for our sins.
The Prayer Before the Consecration
“Therefore, we beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to receive this oblation which we, Thy servants and the whole family, offer up to Thee. Dispose our days in Your peace."
You will observe how the celebrant offers up the unbloody Sacrifice, not only for himself but for the Faithful present and for the whole church. Here he displays his power as mediator between God and man. The solemn moment of Consecration is at hand.
The Priest Receives the Host
“Who the day before He suffered, took bread into His holy and venerable hands.”
The Priest Raises His Eyes to Heaven
“And having lifted His eyes to Heaven to Thee, God, His Father Almighty.”
He Blesses the Host
“He blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: ‘Take ye and eat ye all of this.’ ”
The Consecration of the Host
At this moment the bread is changed into the Body of Jesus Christ. The priest kneels to adore Jesus Who is really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. You will observe that the bell rings three times. The ancient custom was to sound a trumpet at the time of execution of one who had been condemned to death, to drown the cries of the sufferer. This custom was followed at the Crucifixion of our Lord, the Supreme Sacrifice.
The Consecration Continued
“For This Is My Body!”
The Elevation of the Host
"I adore Thee, O Sacred Body of Jesus Christ, Thou art my Lord and my God; I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things."
The Consecration of the Chalice
“This is the Chalice of My Blood of the New and Eternal Testament, the Mystery of Faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins. As often as you shall do these things, do them in remembrance of Me.”
The Adoration of the Consecrated Wine
"I adore Thee, O Sacred Blood of Jesus Christ; Thou art the price of my salvation. Cleanse and preserve my soul to life everlasting."
After the Consecration
The Priest Kisses the Altar
“O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.”
The Priest and Parishioners Acknowledge Their Sins
“And to us sinners also Thy servants, hoping in the multitude of Thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with Thy holy Apostles and Martyrs: with John, Stephen, Mathias, … Into their company admit us we beseech Thee not weighing our merits but by freely pardoning us our offenses through Christ our Lord.”
The Minor Elevation
“Through whom, O Lord, Thou doest always create, sanctify, vivify, bless and grant to us Thy gifts. Through Him and with Him and in Him, is to Thee God the Father Almighty in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory world without end. Amen.”
As he says these last words, he raises both the Host and the Chalice as you observe in the photo above.
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