MR Prefaces: The Most Holy Eucharist I

Let’s discuss the first of two prefaces for the Eucharist. The reference in the Roman Missal is number 60 in the Order of Mass, about a third of the way through the US edition.

The rubric instructs that this preface is used on Holy Thursday. It is an option for the observance of the Body and Blood of Christ, and if the community celebrates a votive Mass of the Holy Eucharist.

Here is the MR2 translation into English:

And here, the MR3:

For he is the true and eternal Priest,
who instituted the pattern of an everlasting sacrifice
and was the first to offer himself as the saving Victim,
commanding us to make this offering as his memorial.
As we eat his flesh that was sacrificed for us,
we are made strong,
and, as we drink his Blood that was poured out for us,
we are washed clean.

The MR2 interpolation in the original Latin gives a bit of the background (as if we need it during the Triduum) of Christ’s sacrifice being for our deliverance. But even this unused text comes down strongly on the Eucharist as “Sacrifice.” Which is expected from the title: The Sacrifice and the Sacrament of Christ.

The curious bit is the confluence of drinking to be washed clean. But I recall the Lord’s observation last Sunday in Mark 7:15:

Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.

In this light, I suppose the washing must somehow be accomplished in the interior of a person.

This preface is a good match with Eucharistic Prayer I. If I were counselling clergy, Holy Thursday and the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ would be ideal times to use it.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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