Mass: The Liturgy of the Eucharist


Today in bible study we finished up the mass (technically we skipped the closing rites.. hopefully nobody minds too much)

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

What scripture passages can you think of that help to explain our understanding of the Eucharist?

Accounts of the last supper in the Gospels:

Matthew 26:17-19, 26-30, Mark 14:12-16, 22-26, Luke 22:7-20

It is time for the Passover. Jesus has His disciples prepare the Passover in an upper room. Everything is there except the LAMB! Jesus took the place of the Passover lamb! He said that He will be sacrificed! “He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” The cup is next: “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.” “Do this in memory of me.” Remember the Jewish tradition of memorial that we’ve talked about before. They celebrated the Passover each year as a “re-presentation”, not just a “way to remember” what happened. Ask your Jewish friends, the youngest asks the dad why this night is special: the dad responds, “It is because of what the Lord has done for ME” Not “our ancestors”. They understand that they are tied to their ancestors and shouldn’t take the past for granted.

John 6:22-71 “The Bread of Life Discourse”

Immediately after the multiplication of the loaves and the walking on the water, Jesus give a very long speech on how He is the Bread of Life. “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 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.” “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” “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.”

Luke 24:13-35 Jesus walking with two strangers on the road to Emmaus, he interpreted the scriptures for them, stays with them for the evening, “he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him” If the Eucharist is just a symbol, how could this story even make sense? If the food and drink that Jesus talks about in John 6 are just symbols for faith, how does this story make sense?

1 Cor 10:16-17, 11:23-26

“The cup of blessing that 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.”

“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” <- That last sentence is what we often say in the Mystery of Faith after the consecration.

Acts 2:42,46

Immediately after Pentecost after Jesus had ascended. “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.” “Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes.”

Matthew 14:19

Multiplication of the loaves- He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it

Acts 20:7,11

The Christians gathered on the first day of the week to break bread

Rev 4-5

There is a liturgy in heaven similar to the temple liturgy of the Jews and the mass for Christians! Here’s a list of similarities:

The mass in the Book of Revelation, by Scott Hahn, in the book The Lamb’s Supper:

Sunday worship 1:10

High priest 1:13

Altar 8:3-4; 11:1; 14:18

Priests (presbyteroi) 4:4; 11:15; 14:3; 19:4

Vestments 1:13; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9; 15:6; 19:13-14

Consecrated celibacy 14:4

Lamp stands, Menoarah 1:12; 2:5

Penitence 2; 3

Incense 5:8; 8:3-5

The book, or scroll 5:1

Eucharistic Host 2:17

Chalices 15:7; 16; 21:9

The sign of the cross (tau) 7:3; 14:1; 22:4

The Gloria 15:3-4

The Alleluia 19:1; 3; 4; 6

Lift up your hearts 11:12

“Holy, Holy, Holy” 4:8

The Amen 19:4; 22:21

“Lamb of God” 5:6 and throughout

The prominence of the Blessed Virgin Mary 12:1-6; 13-17

Intercession of angels and saints 5:8; 6:9-10; 8:3-4

Devotion to St. Michael the Archangel 12:7

Antiphonal chant 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12; 18:1-8

Readings from Scripture 2; 3; 5; 8:2-11

Priesthood of the faithful 1:6; 20:6

Catholicity, universality 7:9

Silent contemplation 8:1

The marriage supper of the Lamb 19:9,17


So what actually is happening during mass?

The bringing of the gifts and offering:

We offer up our hard work from the week to the Lord. It is our way of making spiritual sacrifices.

Mixing the water and the wine:

Shows reality of Jesus’ both diving (wine) and human (water) natures.

Eucharistic prayer:

Praise, thanksgiving, supplication. Similar to the haggadah story told of the first Passover and barakah prayer over the cup of wine that is done at Jewish Passovers.

“Lift up your hearts”

The most important part of the mass is coming. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Things that are above is where Christ is. Col 3:1-2.

“The Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord”

Isaiah 6:1-5 The words of the Seraphim to the Lord seated on the throne in Isaiah’s vision, Psalm 118:26

Words of institution

Already thoroughly covered in the Lord’s Supper passages above.

Mystery of faith

1 Cor 11:26 “We proclaim your death..” or John 4:42 “Save us Savior of the world..”


Final offerings, thanksgiving, great amen.

Communion rite:

The Lord’s prayer

Luke 11:1-4, Matthew 6:9-13

Rite of Peace

John 14:27- “Peace I leave with  you; my peace I give to you.”, Gal 1:3, etc. greetings of peace from St. Paul

Agnus Dei

Rev 5:11-12 Lamb of God is Jesus in heaven, 1 Cor 5:7 St. Paul calls Jesus our Passover lamb, John 1:29 St. John the Baptist calls Jesus the Lamb of God, Isaiah 53 “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter”

Holy Communion

“Behold the Lamb of God..” Rev 19:9. The marriage supper of the Lamb and the bride! Rev 19:7., Eph 5:21-33 “Lord I am not worthy..” Matthew 8:8


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