THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Jesus and the Eucharist

O Sacrament Most Holy,
O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving
Be every moment Thine!

(If you have a sound card, you can listen to Tantum Ergo, Panis Angelicus or Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.)

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the Sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying
Where the feeble senses fail

To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high,
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty!
("Tantum Ergo")

Hoc est enim Corpus Meum

When Catholics worship the Holy Eucharist, we do not worship bread or wine, but Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says - and we believe - that in the Mass the bread and wine are miraculously changed into Jesus Himself:

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And as they were eating, He took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is My body."
And he took a cup, and when He had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them,
"This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many". -Mark 14:22-24

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Jesus said to them: "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." -John 6:48-59

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The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion in the blood of Christ?
The bread which we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ?
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. -I Corinthians 10:16-17

Hoc est enim Corpus Meum

Amen. Amen. Amen. I believe, I believe, I believe; and will confess unto my last breath, that this is the life-giving Body which your only-begotten Son, our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ, took from Our Lady, the Queen of us all, the holy Theotokos Saint Mary. He made it one with His Divinity without mingling, without confusion and without alteration. He declared the good confession before Pontius Pilate. He gave it up willingly upon the holy wood of the Cross for us all. Truly I believe that His Divinity parted not from his Humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye. Given for us for salvation, remission of sins and eternal life to those who partake of Him. I believe, I believe, I believe that this is true.

Amen. Amen. Amen. I believe, I believe that this is the truth.

-From the Coptic Liturgy of Saint Basil

Hoc est enim Corpus Meum

"With greatest devotion and burning love, with all affection and fervor of my heart I desire to receive You, O Lord, as many saints and devout persons, most pleasing to You by their holiness of life and most fervent in devotion, have desired You in Holy Communion.

"O my God, everlasting love, my whole good, my happiness unending, I long to receive You with as vehement a desire and as worthy a reverence as any of the saints ever had or could have felt! And though I am unworthy to have all these sentiments of devotion, still I offer You the full affection of my heart as if I alone had all those most pleasing and ardent desires.

"Yes, whatever a pious mind can conceive and desire, I offer in its entirety to You with the greatest reverence and inward affection. I wish to keep nothing for self but to offer to You, willingly and most freely, myself and all that is mine.

"O Lord, my God, my Creator and my Redeemer, I long to receive You this day with such affection, reverence, praise, and honor, with such gratitude, worthiness and love, with such faith, hope, and purity as that with which Your most Holy Mother, the Glorious Virgin Mary, longed for and received You when she humbly and devoutly answered the angel who declared to her the mystery of the Incarnation: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word'....

"Accept, O Lord my God, my wishes and desires of giving You infinite praise and immense benediction, which in the vastness of Your unspeakable greatness are justly due You. This I render and desire to render every day and every moment, and in my loving prayers I invite and entreat all celestial spirits and all the faithful, with my prayers and affections, to join me in giving You praise and thanks."

-Imitation of Christ IV:17, excerpts.

Hoc est enim Corpus Meum
V. You gave them bread from heaven (Alleluia)
R. Containing in itself all sweetness (Alleluia)

Let us pray
O God, Who, under a wonderful Sacrament, hast left us a memorial of Your Passion; grant us, we beseech You, so to venerate the sacred Mysteries of Your Body and Blood that we may ever feel within us the fruit of Your redemption. You live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.


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