11. CONSECRATION AND PRAYER

You may wonder whether the words over the cup should be (as they are here) “FOR ALL”, or (as they are in the new Missal) “FOR MANY”. I suggest that you feel free to pray the phrase with which you are most comfortable. The New Testament Greek phrase means, literally, “for many”, but the underlying Aramaic original used “many” in an universalizing, not a reductive sense. So neither of our third hand translations is entirely accurate. The explanation from an ancient linguist which most appealed to me was that the original phrase was an ejaculatory, giving word to a longing: “shed…for, oh, how many!”. So, when I am celebrating with people who I think would not be scandalised, this is the format I use: “IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR, OH, HOW MANY!

Please do not be scrupulous here: this is a prayer, and you are doing your best. It is not a competition with a prize for exact repetition, but a prayer to be taken into the heart of Jesus. By enacting his memory, you are invoking him to be present, to find yourself sharing his love as he gives himself to you and to others. The instructions in red are to help you, not to bind you. This is not a magic spell, something which won’t work if you make the slightest mistake. With confidence, and hands outstretched say…

And so, Lord God, in joyful expectation
we celebrate the advent of your Christ;
and, raising up our heads to behold
the redemption that is near at hand
we humbly pray:

Join your hands and, holding them outstretched over the offerings, say:

Send down your Spirit upon these gifts to make them holy, that they may become for us

Join your hands, then making the sign of the cross once over both bread and cup, say:

the body ✠ and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Join your hands again. Now say in a clear and distinct voice:

On the night he was handed over to death,

Now take the bread and, raising it a little, continue, saying:

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.

If you are not alone, raise the consecrated bread to show any others, replace it on the plate, and incline yourself briefly in adoration. Then continue:

When supper was ended, he took the cup;

Take the cup and, raising it a little, continue:

again he gave you thanks, 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.  

When you have placed the cup back on the cloth, and inclined yourself in brief adoration, sing or say the following acclamation:

When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.

Now continue, with arms open :

Remembering therefore his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord God,
this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
We thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.

We pray that all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, remember your Church throughout the world:
perfect us in love
together with Francis our Pope and N. our Bishop,
with all bishops, priests, and deacons,
and all who minister to your people.

Remember our brothers and sisters
who have gone to their rest
in the sure hope of rising again;

(Here you may take time to supply the names of the dead whom you wish to remember)

bring them and all who have died in your mercy
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 Joseph her blessèd spouse,
with the apostles,

(Here you may add the name of any particular saint of your devotion)

with N, and with all the saints,
who have found favour with you throughout the ages;
in union with them
may we praise you and give you glory

Now join your hands as you say:

through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Now, raise both cup and plate (together if there is more than one of you) and say , or sing:

Through him, with him, in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

Amen


☞ Now move on to the next section