Abbot Jeremy Driscoll is a Benedictine monk of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon.  He teaches at Mount Angel Seminary and the Pontifical University of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome.  Following are notes on Father Jeremy Driscoll’s presentation “What Happens at Mass” at Saint Bernard’s on March 18, 2017 in Billings, Montana.  For complete information please refer to “What Happens At Mass” Revised Edition by Jeremy Driscoll, OSB.The Eucharistic Prayer is the same story regardless of time of year and which form.  It is a narrative strand in poem format surrounded by gestures and signs. 

MYSTERY – This part of the Mass has the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working in unison but performing separate tasks.  The Eucharistic Prayer does not happen without all three cooperating with one another.  The mind acknowledges what is happening.  The heart is thrilled.  Belief strains.  Our mouth cannot explain it.

Code Approaching:

Presider:  The Lord be with you.

The Assembly’s response is:  And with your spirit.
Each time the response is “And with your spirit” is code.  Code:  something better is going to happen. This particle code indicates
through divine assistance – the Holy Spirit – heaven is brought to the assembly.

Presider: Lift up your hearts.

Assembly: We lift them up to the Lord.
Christ the head telling his body (the Church) where the members of the Assembly hearts are going is where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father.  All that is about to happen, happens in heaven.  (Colossians 3:1-3)

Presider: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

Assembly: It is right and just.

I stand on my feet singing with the Angel “Holy, Holy, Holy…

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.   (Isaiah 6:3)
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Ezekiel 3:12-13  |  Revelation 1:10-11  |  Revelation 4:8  |  Revelation 22:4  |  Psalm 118:26

The Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem
Matthew 21:9  |  Mark 11|10  |  Luke 19:38

The congregation kneels (In many places throughout the Catholic world, the congregation kneels only at the time of the Consecration and remains standing for the rest of the Eucharistic Prayer.)  The long-standing custom in the United States and in other places is for the congregation to remain kneeling throughout the whole of the Eucharistic Prayer.

What is the meaning of this posture during the Eucharistic prayer?  Sometimes, in liturgical practice, kneeling signifies sorrow for sin, as when one kneels to confess one’s sins in the Sacrament of Penance. At other times it signifies adoration, as one kneels in front of the tabernacle. The kneeling that takes place during the Eucharistic Prayer is primarily a posture of profound self-offering in which the congregation unites itself to the Sacrifice of Christ enacted on the altar.  The congregation stands to begin the center and summit of the entire Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer.

The priest says the The priest says the Eucharistic Prayer in poetic form.  Much is happening.  Little is said but with gestures.  What is in the chalice and the host is made into Jesus.  I agree by saying the Catholic Mystery of Faith.

Eucharistic Prayer III

Remember the language is poetic (information comes quickly) and noble

You are indeed Holy, O Lord, The angels are correct.  The Assembly agrees with the priest narrating for them.

and all you have created
rightly gives you praise,
for through your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
by the power and working of the Holy Spirit,
you give life to all things and make them holy,
Ecplises – “calling down upon” the invocation to the Father  that He send the Holy Spirit on the Church’s gifts.
and you never cease to gather a people to yourself,
so that from the rising of the sun to its setting
a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.

Therefore, Therefore, the priest asks that the bread and wine on the altar become the Body and Blood of Christ.
O Lord, we humbly implore you:
by the same Spirit graciously make holy
these gifts we have brought to you for consecration,
that they may become the Body and † Blood a gesture is always good – you do not see the Holy Spirit
of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.

Priest narrating the story he takes the bread and, holding it slightly raised above the altar, continues:
For on the night he was betrayed
he himself took bread,
and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing,
broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:

The Last Supper

Priest bows slightly enacting the story with the very words of Jesus (ALL CAPS) so you feel it and the affect.


The chalice Jesus takes at The Last Supper through the power of the Holy Spirit transcends time and is the same chalice at our mass
In a similar way, when supper was ended,
he takes the chalice 
the priest holding the chalice slightly raised above the altar, continues:
and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing,
and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:

The Eucharist

Priest narrating the story He takes the chalice and, holding it slightly raised above the altar, continues:

The supper is the beginning of the passion.

The mystery of faith.

MYSTERY – The following affirmations the assembly says with the priest.  One of the three different options are what the Assembly expresses the mystery of faith in the condensed formula.  This is the something I bump into that cannot be explained. 

And the Assembly continues, acclaiming:

We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord,
until you come again.

Save us, Savior of the world,
for by your Cross and Resurrection
you have set us free.

The priest continues by asking God for those who receive the gifts will:

  • Act like the Body and Blood of Christ.
  • Become the Body and Spirit of Christ.
  • Make us act like Christ.

Therefore,  Therefore, calling down the Holy Spirit again the Assembly who receives the gifts be transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.
O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial

of the saving Passion of your Son,
his wondrous Resurrection
and Ascension into heaven,
and as we look forward to his second coming,
we offer you in thanksgiving
this holy and living sacrifice.

Now to change the Assembly, the priest prays for those receiving the Body and Blood of Christ will become the body and spirit of Christ.
Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church
and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death
you willed to reconcile us to yourself,
grant that we, who are nourished
by the Body and Blood of your Son
and filled with his Holy Spirit,
may become one body, one spirit in Christ.

I need to ask for help so the story teller or priest asks God for me. He asks assistance from the Mother of God, Blessed Joseph her spouse on earth.  He also asks all the saints in heaven to help me on my road to heaven.

Intercessions to make the Assembly like Christ with the assistance of those we call upon.
May he make of us
an eternal offering to you,
so that we may obtain an inheritance with your elect,
especially with the most Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God,
with blessed Joseph, her Spouse,
with your blessed Apostles and glorious Martyrs
(with Saint N.: the Saint of the day or Patron Saint)
and with all the Saints,
on whose constant intercession in your presence
we rely for unfailing help.

May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation,
we pray, O Lord,
advance the peace and salvation of all the world.
Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity
your pilgrim Church on earth,
with your servant N. our Pope and N. our Bishop,*
the Order of Bishops, all the clergy,
and the entire people you have gained for your own.

Listen graciously to the prayers of this family,
whom you have summoned before you:
in your compassion, O merciful Father,
gather to yourself all your children
scattered throughout the world.

† To our departed brothers and sisters
and to all who were pleasing to you
at their passing from this life,
give kind admittance to your kingdom.
There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of your glory
through Christ our Lord,
through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.†

Doxology – Bread and wine transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ are held up together over the Altar.

The movement is clear.  The whole world is coming toward the Father through Christ, and this is likewise the work of the Church.

Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
for ever and ever.

This is the Love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit send to me. I say “Amen” to this Love.

After the Great “Amen”, the Assembly stands.

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