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Catechism of the Catholic Church


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II. What is This Sacrament Called?

1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called: Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. the Greek words eucharistein139 and eulogein140 recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.

1329 The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.141
The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,142 above all at the Last Supper.143 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,144 and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;145 by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.146
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.147

1330 The memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection.
The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering. the terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, "sacrifice of praise," spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used,148 since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.
The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church's whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. the Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.

1331 Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.149 We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta)150 - the first meaning of the phrase "communion of saints" in the Apostles' Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality,151 viaticum....

1332 Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God's will in their daily lives.




139 Cf. Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24.


140 Cf. Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22.


141 Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.


142 Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19.


143 Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24.


144 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.


145 Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 11.


146 Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17.


147 Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34.


148 Heb 13:15; cf. 1 Pet 25; Ps 116:13, 17; Mal 1:11.


149 Cf. 1 Cor 10: 16-17.


150 Apostolic Constitutions 8, 13,12 PG 1,1108; Didache 9, 5; 10:6: SCh: 248,176- 178.


151 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2 SCh 10, 76.





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