RDCA IV, 23: Celebration of the Eucharist

A “closest harmony” concludes the Mass, according to saintly tradition:

23. After the altar has been prepared, the bishop celebrates the eucharist, the principal and the most ancient part of the whole rite,(See Pope Vigilius, Epistula ad Profuturum Episcopum 4: PL 84, 832) because the celebration of the eucharist is in the closest harmony with the rite of the dedication of an altar:
For the celebration of the eucharistic sacrifice achieves the end for which the altar was erected and expresses this end by particularly clear signs.

Furthermore, the eucharist, which sanctifies the hearts of those who receive it, in a sense consecrates the altar, as the ancient Fathers of the Church often assert: ‘This altar should be an object of awe: by nature it is stone, but it is made holy when it receives the body of Christ.’ (John Chrysostom, Homilia 20 in 2 Cor 3: PG 61, 540)

Finally, the bond closely connecting the dedication of an altar with the celebration of the eucharist is likewise evident from the fact that the Mass for the dedication has its own preface, which is a central part of the rite itself.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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