Liturgy of the Eucharist
From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal
The Preparation of the Gifts
- At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist the gifts which will become Christ’s Body and Blood are
brought to the altar.
- The procession bringing the gifts is accompanied by the Offertory Chant, which continues at least until the gifts
have been placed on the altar. [There may be incense.]
- Then the Priest washes his hands at the side of the altar, a rite in which the desire for interior purification finds
The Prayer over the Offerings
- Once the offerings have been placed on the altar and the accompanying rites completed, by means of the
invitation to pray with the Priest and by means of the Prayer over the Offerings, the Preparation of the Gifts is
concluded and preparation made for the Eucharistic Prayer.
The Eucharistic Prayer
- Now the center and high point of the entire celebration begins, namely, the Eucharistic Prayer itself, that is, the
prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. The Priest calls upon the people to lift up their hearts towards the Lord in
prayer and thanksgiving; he associates the people with himself in the Prayer that he addresses in the name of the
entire community to God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.
- The main elements of which the Eucharistic Prayer consists may be distinguished from one another in this way:
[thanksgiving (preface), acclamation (Sanctus), epiclesis, institution narrative, anamnesis, oblation, intercessions,
and concluding doxology]
-The Communion Rite
-The Lord’s Prayer
-The Rite of Peace
The Fraction of the Bread
- The Priest breaks the Eucharistic Bread, with the assistance, if the case requires, of the Deacon or a concelebrant.
The gesture of breaking bread done by Christ at the Last Supper, which in apostolic times gave the entire
Eucharistic Action its name, signifies that the many faithful are made one body (1 Cor 10:17) by receiving
Communion from the one Bread of Life, which is Christ, who for the salvation of the world died and rose again.
The Priest breaks the Bread and puts a piece of the host into the chalice to signify the unity of the Body and Blood
of the Lord in the work of salvation, namely, of the Body of Jesus Christ, living and glorious. The supplication
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) accompanies the fraction of the bread.
- While the Priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion Chant is begun, its purpose being to express the
spiritual union of the communicants by means of the unity of their voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring
out more clearly the “communitarian” character of the procession to receive the Eucharist. The singing is prolonged
for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful. However, if there is to be a hymn after
Communion, the Communion Chant should be ended in a timely manner.
89.To bring to completion the prayer of the People of God, and also to conclude the whole Communion Rite, the
Priest pronounces the Prayer after Communion, in which he prays for the fruits of the mystery just celebrated.