OPENING HYMN: HOLY BREATH OF GOSD
SCRIPTURE READING: ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
PSALM RESPONSE: ON THIS MOST HOLY DAY
PENTECOST GOSPEL: JOHN 20
PREPARATION OF ALTAR AND GIFTS
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING: MASS OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR
This solemn prayer marks the high point of the entire liturgy. The documents of the church call this prayer “the center and summit of the entire celebration.” It’s called the Eucharistic Prayer from the Greek word “eucharistia,” which means to give thanks and praise. Everything in this night’s liturgy up till now has been leading us up to this moment where we proclaim our thanks and praise to a God who has blessed us with such abundance even in the midst of our darkness and brokenness. And so, together we lift our hearts in thanksgiving.
LAMB OF GOD LITANY
The “Lamb of God” is a title for Jesus of Nazareth that appears in the Gospel of John. The lion-like lamb that rises to deliver victory after being slain appears several times in the Book of Revelation. And, of course, it’s a direct reference to the Passover lamb whose blood the Israelites put on their doorposts to protect them from death. During much of history, the Lamb of God (“Agnus Dei”) was sung with tropes verses each one expressing a different aspect of Christ. During a usual Mass, this song is sung as the baskets and cups are being prepared for distribution at communion. For us now, we can lay upon the sacrificial Lamb of God all the things that keep us from experiencing the fullness of God’s life and grace.
COMMUNION HYMN: OUR HOPE IS IN THE LORD
CLOSING HYMN: THE WONDROUS NEWS
And now it is time for us to go forth, sent by the Spirit of Jesus to be disciples of hope in the world. We seem to be living at a time in when hope is needed in a very real and particular way. We pray together that these nine days of praying the novena might have nourished our own hope and encouraged us to be beacons of hope to our sisters and brothers. And as we begin to gather again to worship in person, may we embrace each other with the peace of Christ.