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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Feast in Honor of the Eucharist

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Since the early centuries Christians have believed in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and have done this "in remembrance of Him." Each Mass makes Jesus present in a real but sacramental way and so we also receive Him in Holy Communion, take Him to the sick, worship Him in Eucharistic adoration. More parishes are now having perpetual adoration. I think the second Preface of the Holy Eucharist sums up the theology behind this feast:
Father, all powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
At the last supper, as he sat at table with his apostles,
he offered himself to you as the spotless lamb,
the acceptable gift that gives you perfect praise.
Christ has given us this memorial of his passion to bring us to its saving power until the end of time.
In this great sacrament you feed your people and strengthen them in holiness,
so that the family of mankind may come to walk in the light of one faith,
in one communion of love. We come then to this wonderful sacrament to be fed at your table and grow into the likeness of the risen Christ. Earth unites with heaven to sing the new song of creation as we adore and praise you for ever...

This feast has a sequence that is quite long; the penultimate verse is one I love"
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.

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