Eucharistic Prayer I: Calling Upon God’s Spirit (Angels)
Last week we learned about the Amamnesis (Remembering) and forge ahead this week and return to the second Epiclesis (calling upon God’s Spirit). Here, we invoke the aid of the holy angels to help us with presenting the now consecrated Body and Blood of Christ to the Father.
The priest proclaims, “In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God: command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty, so that all of us who, through this participation at the altar, receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” I think it’s important to understand the role of the angels during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Angels sometimes get overlooked in our walk with Christ. Yet they play a very pivotal role in the working out of our salvation. Angel simply means “messenger”. They are pure spirits created by God whose duty it is to serve us according to the will of God. They participate in the Holy Mass with us even though we cannot see them. In this prayer, we ask God to command (according to His will) that the now consecrated Body and Blood of Christ may be further blessed and approved by the Father.
It is precisely at this moment when God applies the graces that Christ won for us on the cross to the Sacrament so that we may be “filled with every heavenly blessing.” The Holy Eucharist is the main conduit through which we receive the strength and ability to conform our lives to the ever so demanding will of God. The angel mentioned here is not named. We do not know who it is but we can be sure that this specific angel has one of the most important duties of any angel. It has once been said that if the angels could envy, they would envy us humans because we’re able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ but they cannot.
Along with our own guardian angel, the angel which looks over our parish, and the angel we call upon here, we know that during Holy Mass the sanctuary is filled with them. If our eyes could only see! Always make sure that you remember your guardian angel during Mass as well. Talk to him. Ask for his help in keeping you attentive and preparing you to receive the Body and Blood of Christ worthily. By doing so, your experience during Mass will be changed and you’ll never look at it the same again!