Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
June 26, 2010, Cycle A
White priestly vestments symbolize purity and integrity of the life of faith.


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Liturgical Cycles A 10-11

                                     Introductory Acts Of Worship

The Entrance Prayers:
   On Sunday, usually a hymn praising God is sung in place of reciting a Psalm from the Bible which invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love for us.  The recited weekday Psalm expresses a youthful heart and spirit, delighted that we may come before the living God.

Entrance Song / Entrance Psalm (Antiphon)           
Entrance Song
Psalm 80:17 
The Lord fed his people with the finest wheat and honey; their hunger was satisfied.

The Priest Approaches and Kisses the Altar:  The altar is a symbol of Christ.  In it are cut five crosses to recall the five wounds of Christ.  The altar also represents the Church and has embedded in it the relics of her saints.  The priest comes to the altar to celebrate the Sacrifice in the Church's name.  Because of the glory surrounding the altar upon which the divine Sacrifice will be made, the kiss of the priest unites the Church to Christ, its Redeemer.

Priest:   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All:         
Amen.

The Greeting:  We are welcomed in God's name.  Our response unites us to our neighbor, to the priest and to God.  (The priest may select from several forms of greeting).

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:          
And also with you.


The Penitential Prayers:  We recognize our guilt for past sins, express our sorrow for them, and ask that Mary, the angels, the saints, and our brothers and sisters in Christ pray for the Lord God's mercy.  (The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:   My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins.

Priest:   Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the peace of God's kingdom:  Lord, have mercy.
All:  Lord, have mercy.
Priest:   You come in word and sacrament to strengthen us in holiness:  Christ, have mercy.
All:  Christ, have mercy.
Priest:   You will come in glory with salvation for your people:  Lord, have mercy.
All:  Lord, have mercy.     

The Absolution:

Priest:   May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
All:           Amen.

The Gloria:  The Glory of God prayers have existed from the second century.  They repeat the angels praise of God which heralded the birth of Christ on earth.  Our praise is lifted again through the years as we rejoice at His coming as Lord, God, the most high Jesus Christ, who at Christmas took on our human nature while at the same time being the son of Man. This ancient hymn expresses our recognition of God's glory and love.  It calls upon Christ as our holy and divine mediator, and the Holy Spirit who forever binds us together in God's love.

The Opening Prayer:    The priest lifts the united prayers and petitions of the congregation to God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Priest:   Lord Jesus Christ, you gave us the Eucharist as the memorial of your suffering and death.  May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood help us to experience the salvation you won for us and the peace of the kingdom where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


                              Liturgy of the Word

Christ is made known to us through the Old Testament which prepares us to recognize Him.  In those days, God inspired men who spoke His message.  Now, the New Testament Gospel reading announces His presence to us directly through His Son.  Both readings bring God's message to us.  Our responsibility is to respond.
 

The First Reading:  From the Old Testament

Priest/Reader:  
A reading from the book of Deuteronomy.

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a

Moses said to the people: “Remember how for forty years now the Lord, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments.  He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live, but by every word that comes froth from the mouth of the Lord.

The Responsorial Psalm:  This Psalm praising God, is a prayer to God, or recommends the practice of virtue.  It is sung as an interlude between the scriptural readings.  It provides yet another instructional setting and invites the assembly to imitate the cantor who sings a repeated response to the verses of an ancient Psalm many of which are attributed to King David.  The verses are sung first by a cantor (song leader) accompanied by instruments, the refrain is sung by the people. 

Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

Cantor:  P
raise the Lord, Jerusalem.

All:  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Cantor:  Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion.  For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. 
All:  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Cantor:  He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you.  He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word!
All:  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Cantor:  He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.  He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them.  Alleluia. 
All:  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

The Second Reading:
  Taken from the New Testament, often from a letter written by St. Paul.

Second Reading:   1 Corinthians 10:16-17

B
rothers and sisters:  The cup of blessing what we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

The Sequence:  "Lauda Sion." A hymn of joy said or sung before the Gospel on certain feast days.

Cantor:  Laud, O Zion, your salvation, Laud with hymns of exultation, Christ, your king and shepherd true: bring him all the praise you know, He is more than you bestow.  Never can you reach his due.  Special theme for glad thanksgiving is the quick'ning and the living bread today before you set: from his hands of old partaken, as we know, by faith unshaken, where the Twelve at supper met.  Full and clear ring out your chanting, joy nor sweetest grace be wanting, from your heart let praises burst: for today the feast is holden, when the institution olden of that supper was rehearsed.  Here the new law’s new oblation, by the new king’s revelation, ends the form of ancient rite: now the new the old effaces, truth away the shadow chases, light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated, Christ ordained to be repeated, His memorial ne’er to cease: and his rule for guidance taking, bread and wine we hallow, making thus our sacrifice of peace.  This the truth each Christian learns, bread into his flesh he turns, to his precious blood the wine: sight has failed, nor thought conceives, but a dauntless faith believes, resting on a pow’r divine.  Here beneath these signs are hidden priceless things to sense forbidden; sign, not things are all we see: blood is poured and flesh is broken, yet in either wondrous token Christ entire we know to be.  Whoso of this food partakes, does not rend the Lord nor breaks; Christ is whole to all that tastes: thousands are, as one, receivers, one, as thousands of believers, eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing, of what divers dooms preparing, endless death, or endless life.  Life to these, to those damnation, see how like participation is with unlike issues rife.  When the sacrament is broken, doubt not, but believe ‘tis spoken, that each sever’d outward token doth the very whole contain.  Nought the precious gift divides, breaking but the sign betides Jesus still the same abides, still unbroken does remain.  Lo! The angel’s food is given to the pilgrim who has striven; see the children’s bread from heaven, which on dogs may not be spent.  Truth the ancient types fulfilling, Isaac bound, a victim willing, Paschal limb, its lifeblood spilling, Manna to the fathers sent.  Very bread, good shepherd, tend us, Jesu, of your love befriend us, you refresh us, you defend us, your eternal goodness send us in the land of life to see.  You who all things can and know, who on earth such food bestow, grant us with your saints, though lowest, where the heav’nly feast you show, fellow heirs and guests to be.  Amen.  Alleluia.

The Alleluia:  An ancient expression of joy anticipating the Lord's message we will hear in the Gospel.

John 6:51-52

Cantor:    Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
All:           Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Cantor:    I am the living bread from heaven, says the Lord; if anyone eats this bread he will live forever.
All:           Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

Priest:   C
leanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.      Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:           A
nd also with you.
Priest/Deacon:   A
reading from the holy Gospel according to John.
All:                             G
lory to you, Lord.

The Gospel:   John 6:51-58

John wrote to show that Christ was
the Messiah, the Divine Son of God.

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven.  Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Priest/Deacon:   The Gospel of the Lord.
All:                             P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Priest's Sermon:    The priest develops, explains, and comments upon the Master's words, so our minds may be
enlightened, and our hearts enriched.

(A priestly reflection upon this Gospel)

Profession of Faith:     We state in the Nicene Creed the principles of our faith in precise and definite terms.

All:   We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.  We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.  Through him all things were made.  For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.  He has spoken through the Prophets.  We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

General Intercessions:   We pray for the needs of the pope, civic leaders, our own needs, those of others, the sick, the dying, those who have died, the church, and the world.  The response of all to each intercession:  Lord, hear our prayer.

All:   Lord, hear our prayer. 

                  The Liturgy of the Eucharist
 

Gifts of bread and wine symbolizing ourselves are presented to the priest who will offer them to God the Father.  Through the Holy Spirit, they will become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ whom we receive in Holy Communion.  Jesus unites Himself with us for our spiritual nourishment and strength.  Today, when individuals do not present their own personal offerings of bread and wine, the monetary contribution symbolizes the material of their united sacrifice.

Preparation of the Bread and Wine:

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you; fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
All:           Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:   B
y the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Priest:    Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you; fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.
All:
           Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.

The Priest's Hands are Washed: This act was traditional necessary because the priest handled the various gifts presented by the people.  Now, the cleansing act using water reminds the priest and ourselves of the need to cleanse not only the hands but the soul.  Soon, the priest's hands will hold the actual body of Christ, and we will become His dwelling place.

Priest:    Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin. 
             Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.
All:           May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his holy Church.

Prayer over the Gifts:  Speaking in our name, the priest asks the Father to accept the gifts we offer through him.

Priest:   Grant your Church, O Lord, we pray, the gifts of unity and peace, whose signs are to be seen in mystery in the offerings we here present.  Through Christ our Lord.

Eucharistic Prayer:   (Number One: The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:    The Lord be with you.
All:           And also with you. 

Priest:
    Lift up your hearts.
All:           We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:
    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
All:           It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Preface Prayer: 

Priest:    Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.  He is the true and eternal priest who established this unending sacrifice.  He offered himself as a victim for our deliverance and taught us to make this offering in his memory.  As we eat his body which he gave for us, we grow in strength.  As we drink his blood which he poured out for us, we are washed clean.  Now, with angels and archangels, and the whole company of heaven, we sing the unending hymn of your praise:

Acclamation:

Priest and All:   Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Priest:   We come to you, Father, with praise and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ your Son.  Through him we ask you to accept and bless these gifts we offer you in sacrifice.

We offer them for your holy catholic Church, watch over it, Lord, and guide it; grant it peace and unity throughout the world.  We offer them for _____ our Pope, for _____ our bishop, and for all who hold and teach the catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles.

Remember, Lord, your people, especially those for whom we now pray, _____ and _____.  Remember all of us gathered here before you.  You know how firmly we believe in you and dedicate ourselves to you.  We offer you this sacrifice of praise for ourselves and those who are dear to us.  We pray to you, our living and true God, for our well-being and redemption.

In union with the whole Church we honor Mary, the ever-virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God.  We honor Joseph, her husband, the apostles and martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude; we honor Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian and all the saints.  May their merits and prayers gain us your constant help and protection.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Father, accept this offering from your whole family.  Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Bless and approve our offering; make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and in truth.  Let it become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.
                             
The priest repeats the words which Christ used at his Last Supper when He changed the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  His Body and Blood are truly present but under the appearance of bread and wine.  The death of Christ is prolonged in each of those who receive Him worthily.  We apply His death to ourselves so that we may share His glory.  This moment is the most solemn on earth because it is Divine act which enables us to apply to ourselves the Cross which Christ willingly took upon Himself. 

We are called to die to sin and lift our very selves to God so that we become changed; to do as God would have us do, to become what God would have us become.  Our own little cross can lift us into union with Christ's Cross so we may earn the joys of everlasting happiness with God the Father. 

The Lord's Supper:   The day before he suffered he took bread in his sacred hands and looking up to heaven, to you, his almighty Father, he gave you thanks and praise.  He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
                                      
Take this, all of you and eat of it: for 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; for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new
and eternal covenant; which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.

Memorial Acclamation: (The priest may select from several forms). 

Priest:               Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Priest and All:   When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.

Memorial Prayer:

Priest:   Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ, your Son.  We, your people and your ministers, recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into glory; and from the many gifts you have given us we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.

Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as once you accepted the gifts of your servant Able, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchisedech.

Almighty God, we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven.  Then, as we receive from this altar the sacred body and blood of your Son, let us be filled with every grace and blessing.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Remember, Lord, those who have died and have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, especially those for whom we now pray, _____ and _____.  May these, and all who sleep in Christ, find in your presence light, happiness, and peace.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

For ourselves, too, we ask some share in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs, with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia and all the saints.  Though we are sinners, we trust in your mercy and love.  Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness.  Through Christ our Lord.

Through him you give us all these gifts.  You fill them with life and goodness, you bless them and make them holy.

Doxology:   

Prayer of Praise:   Through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

                      Communion Rite

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we symbolically offer ourselves to the Lord through the gifts of bread and wine.  At the Consecration, we offer our very lives to be united the God the Father through the Cross of Christ.  In Communion, we find that we have not died at all, but have come to life.  We have surrendered ourselves to God through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  In return become ennobled and enriched.  We give up time and we get eternity, we give up our sin and we receive grace, we surrender our self-will and receive the strength of the Divine Will, we give up ourselves and we receive everything.  For the Son of God says to us that unless we receive Him we shall not have Divine life in us.  But it is not really we who receive Christ as it is Christ who receives us, bringing us into Himself.

God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.  While we have crucified Him, His eternal love cannot be extinguished.  Christ willed to give us the very life we crucified in our Redemption, the Consecration of Holy Thursday into Communion, His death into our everlasting life.

The Lord's Prayer:

Priest:                Let us ask our Father to forgive our sins and to bring us to forgive those who sin against us.
Priest and All:   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Priest:   Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
All:        F
or the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever.

Prayer for Peace:

Priest:   Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever.  Amen.
                                     

Priest:   Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

Priest and All:   Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                                  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                                  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Priest:   May this mingling of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Communion of the Priest:

Priestly Preparation:   Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit your death brought life to the world.  By your holy body and blood free me from all my sins, and from every evil.  Keep me faithful to your teaching, and never let me be parted from you.

Priest:   This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Happy are those who are called to his supper.
 

Priest and All:   Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Priest:   May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
              May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Communion Antiphon:

Communion Prayer:   John 6:57
Priest:  W
hoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live in me and I in him, says the Lord. 

Priest:              The Body of Christ.    
The Faithful:   
Amen.
Priest:               
The Blood of Christ.   
The Faithful:   
Amen.

Cleansing of the Vessels:

Priest:   Lord, may I receive these gifts in purity of heart.  May they bring me healing and strength, now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion:

Priest:    Let us pray.
Priest:   Lord Jesus Christ, you give us your body and blood in the Eucharist as a sign that even now we share your life.  May we come to possess it completely in the kingdom where you live for ever and ever.

Concluding Rite

Priest:   Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing.
Priest:   Lord, grant that your faithful people may continually desire to relive the mystery of the Eucharist and so be reborn to lead a new life.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:         Amen.
Priest:   May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. 

 Save us from the fires of hell.
 
 Lead all souls to heaven,
 
 especially those in most need of your mercy.

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