Sacraments are at the heart of our lives as Catholics, the way we celebrate together our continuing conversion and encounter with God. Sacramental preparation is essential if we are to experience the fullness of life in community and in Christ. Ever conscious of the complex history of the church and its dynamic relationship to ritual, Father Lawrence Mick gives us these booklets—based on individual chapters of his popular Understanding the Sacraments Today—as a companion to the ongoing and repeated practices that nourish us.
Eucharist is not just about communion. It is the liturgy where Christ is revealed as present in the community (Body of Christ), the presider, the Word (Logos) proclaimed, and the consecrated bread and wine (Body and Blood of Christ). Eucharist means thanksgiving, and Mass comes from the word for sending out. We give thanks for all that Jesus has done and is, and we are sent out to share the good news with others. The liturgy reflects the scope of Jesus’ ministry, from the Incarnation to the sending out of his apostles to carry on the work of building God’s kingdom. In this booklet Father Mick discusses the four parts of the Mass (the gathering, Liturgy of the Word, Eucharist, and dismissal), attending particularly to the way our participation makes possible the encounter with Christ and with others as we come together to celebrate, worship, and continually make present the Body of Christ.
Lawrence E. Mick, a priest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is a liturgical consultant and writer whose numerous books include Understanding the Sacraments Today and Living Baptism Daily (both published by Liturgical Press).