Liturgy of the Eucharist – Part 7

May 22nd, 2011  |  Published in New Roman Missal

Dear Friends,

One of the most noticeable revisions in the text for the words of consecration in the Eucharistic Prayer is the replacement of “for all” with “for many.” At the most basic level, “for many” is a faithful translation of the Latin phrase, “pro multis.” Also, in Isaiah 53:12 the prophet said that the Messiah would take away “the sins of many,” and Christ himself also said that his Blood would be shed for “many” (see Matthew 26:28 and Mark 14:24). This does not mean, however, that Jesus did not die for the sake of all people. That he did and Sacred Scripture upholds that. It also upholds the truth that each person must also accept and abide in the grace won by Christ in order to gain eternal life. The use of the phrase “for many” affirms that salvation is not completely automatic.

The phrase should also not be seen as overly restrictive. The fact that Jesus was only addressing the apostles in the upper room implies far-reaching inclusion – that many more besides the twelve would receive the benefits from the new covenant sealed by his blood.

After the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ the priest will simply announce “The Mystery of Faith.” Currently he says, “Let us proclaim the Mystery of Faith.

The Mystery of Faith” is a declarative statement about the Eucharist now present on the altar. Blessed John Paul II once reflected on these words in his encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” writing that the very thought of the mysterious gift of the Eucharist should fill us with “profound amazement and gratitude.

In response to the priest’s statement, the people will make one of the following three acclamations:

We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your
Resurrection until you come again.

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come.

Save us, O Savior of the world, for by your Cross
and Resurrection you have set us free.

All three of these acclamations are rooted in scripture (see 1 Cor. 11:26 and John 4:42).

What is clearly missing, though, is “Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again.” This acclamation is not found in the Latin, nor does it directly address Christ made present in the Blessed Sacrament or speak of our relationship with him as the others do.

Fr. John