The Mass Broken Open: Part IV

A four-week reflection (Part I, Part II, Part III)

By Michael Morison, Jonathan Lewis, Fr. Patrick Michaels

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish

3 Oakdale Avenue

Mill Valley, CA 94941

Contact Author

“The Mass Broken Open,” Week 4

Using Eucharistic Prayer II

After the Prayer Over the Gifts, read the following:

The Mass is made up of two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, with an introduction and a conclusion. Today we will be reflecting first on a part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Eucharistic Prayer, which begins with the Preface and the Holy, Holy and ends with the Great Amen. This section represents the “bless” portion of Jesus’ action “take, bless, break and give.” The Preface begins the prayer with thanksgiving, while the Holy, Holy is our acclamation or song of praise in union with heaven. After these, we kneel for the heart of the Eucharistic Prayer.

The Preface and Holy are prayed.

Before the Prayer continues, read the following:

At this point we kneel out of reverence for what is about to take place.

The Epiclesis:

The epiclesis is a word that means “invocation” or “calling down upon.” The priest extends his hands and asks the Holy Spirit to come down and transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. We are wasting no time in what is absolutely necessary: recognizing our dependence on God’s Spirit to accomplish what we cannot on our own.

Lord, you are holy indeed,

the fountain of all holiness.

Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy,

so that they may become for us

the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Read the following:

The Words of Institution:

…recall the actions and words of Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper. We respond to his command to “do this in memory of me.” When the priest prays the words from the Last Supper, Jesus speaks to each of us through him. In this moment we sit at table with Jesus as he offers us the fullness of his life and love.

Before he was given up to death,

a death he freely accepted,

he took bread and gave you thanks.

He broke the bread,

gave it to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and eat it:

this is my body which will be given up for you.

When supper was ended, he took the cup.

Again he gave you thanks and praise,

gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:

this is the cup of my blood,

the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.

It will be shed for you and for all

so that sins may be forgiven.

Do this in memory of me.

Read the following:

The Memorial Acclamation:

…is our response to what we have witnessed. We acclaim with joy God’s work among us throughout history, in hope and expectation of the eternal union his love promises.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.


Read the following:

The Anamnesis:

The anamnesis is a word meaning “to remember.” As we remember Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, present to us on the altar, we offer our lives to God, purified by Christ’s sacrifice, and we join our lives to his. As Jesus is taken, blessed, broken and shared, so are we. In the context of the anamnesis a second epiclesis occurs: we call upon the Holy Spirit to unite us with the saints of heaven, the Church on earth, the living and the dead, all of whom have been called to share in the redemption of Christ. This is our union in the Body of Christ.

In memory of his death and resurrection,

we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup.

We thank you for counting us worthy

to stand in your presence and serve you.

May all of us who share in the body and

blood of Christ be brought together in

unity by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, remember your church throughout the world;

make us grow in love, with Benedict XVI, our pope,

«Bishop» our bishop, and all the

men and women who serve your church.

Remember our brothers and sisters

who have gone to their rest

in the hope of rising again;

bring them and all the departed

into the light of your presence.

Have mercy on us all;

make us worthy to share eternal life

with Mary, the virgin mother of God,

with the apostles, and with all the saints

who have done your will

throughout the ages.

May we praise you in union with them,

and give you glory through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Read the following:

The Doxology

…is a prayer proclaiming the honor and glory due God’s name through Jesus, with Jesus, and in Jesus. The priest elevates the Body and Blood of Jesus as we respond with a resounding “Amen!” We are responding to all that has taken place and has been said in the Eucharistic Prayer, affirming in one united voice “Yes! So be it!”

Through him, with him, in him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all glory and honor is yours,

Almighty Father, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.


The Mass continues uninterrupted until the conclusion of the Prayer After Communion.

Then read the following:

The Concluding Rite

…represents a swift movement from the reception of Eucharist to being sent out into the world to bring the “Good News.” The announcements are made, as necessary, to inform people of the broader life of the community. Finally, the priest greets us one final time with “the Lord be with you,” which marks the last movement of our liturgy: The commissioning of all present to go forth to be the “Good News.” We are sealed with the final blessing of God in three persons, as we go forth, not on our own but with God.

The sending forth is so important that we call the whole prayer “the Mass,” derived from the phrase “Ite missa est,” meaning “Go! It is the dismissal” or “Go! You are sent forth.”

Intellectual property and written text 2011: Michael Morison, Jonathan Lewis, Fr. Patrick Michaels, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Mill Valley, CA.

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