Adding to the Sacrifice of the Mass


I don’t understand why, if Christ’s sacrifice is the basis of salvation, Catholics pray during the Mass that God would accept the sacrifice at the hands of the priest. This sounds suspiciously like something Catholics disavow. We cannot add anything to Christ’s finished work. So what is being offered if not Christ?


I think these words refer to the sacrifice of bread and wine, and/or the donations that had been made during the offertory which precedes this portion of the Mass.

But, I could be dead wrong.


Since Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end–His finished work at Calvary at a specific point in time is applicable and re-presented in Masses thoughout all the world at different times!

Jesus was able to redeem Mary before He was born because He is outside of time!

Jesus was able to offer the disciples at the Last Supper the Eucharist before Calvary because He is outside of time!

Jesus was able as the one true God with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit to create the entire universe because He is outside of time.

And if Paul could not Add anything to Christ’s finished work why does Colossians 1:24 say that Paul makes up for what is Lacking in the afflictions of Christ for His body the church?

Jesus Himself said “Greater things than I do you sahll do”.

Now don’t get me wrong–Jesus did pay the price and He paid it once!

That does not mean that He doesn’t let us share in His redemption of others as Paul did in Colossians 1:24.

It also doesn’t mean that He doesn’t let us share in Calvary through the Eucharist–He transports us back in time to when He did pay that price–and the reason He can do that is because He is outside of time.

And when Catholics pray that God will accept that sacrifice–they’re not praying that prayer because there is any doubt as to whether God will accept that sacrifice–He already has!

They are praying at the foot of Calvary as they are transported back to when the sacrifice was made.

They are able to do that because Jesus IS the Alpha and the Omega–He did not say I was the Alpha and I will be the Omega!

That’s also why when Jesus says: This IS my Body and this IS my Blood–He is being literal and what He says is true!

Catholics know what the definition of “Is” is!

They also know what redemptive suffering is.

They also know that there “Is” no love without sacrifice!

And they also know that the sacrifice that is offered in Masses all around the world is the sacrifice that was prophesized to in Malachi 1:11.

Protestants don’t offer sacrifice in sanctuaries–they offer no sacrifice in auditoriums!


The priest acts “in persona Christi”, in the person of Christ. He (the priest as Jesus) offers His sacrifice to the Father. We have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not a repeat sacrifice, but a re-presenting of the sacrifice. :highprayer:


A key concept here is “anamnesis”, the idea that you are not just re-enacting an event, but somehow, mystically, participating in the one original event. I think it was St. Thomas Aquinas who said something like, “If we had eyes to see, we would see every mass, all the angels, and the saints in Heaven surrounding us at every mass, and Calvary itself.” (comforting thought in my pathetically bare church!)

I was reading a book on Christian Seder meals (Passover). I attended one (as a guest) at college and accidentally ended up at the all-Catholic table with Fr. Divine and his dad. :o It was a real eye-opener; as a Catholic, there were all kinds of symbolism in the meal that made some VERY obvious connections to us, but the Jewish community that had invited anyone to come to their Passover celebration wasn’t going to make the same connections.

There is a part of the Passover meal (directly out of Moses’ directions for the Passover as recorded in the Bible) where it is remembered that, “This is what God did for ME when he brought ME out of Egypt.” (emphasis mine) The Church, of course, remembers the Last Supper, which was a Passover meal. And, just like them, we participate in the original events of the Last Supper and the crucifixtion whenever we are at mass.


It is Christ that is being offered through the priest’s hands.
But we may also unite our offerings (sufferings, prayers, trials, etc.) to His. (Won’t go into how it is only God’s grace that is the initial cause of our doing so; or how miniscule is our offering vs. Our Lord’s; or the sufficiency of Christ’s offering. :slight_smile: )

Jesus transformed pain and suffering from something meaningless into the very means of effecting good, by offering it up for our salvation. He invites us to “follow” Him; imitate Him. And so we unite our offerings to His. Our pain and suffering can also be transformed and used for a good purpose.

As every good Catholic knows - Don’t waste pain; offer it up for the salvation of souls.



Why would we disavow it? Here are words from the first Eucharistic prayer:

Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ your son.
We, your people and your ministers, recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into glory;
And from the many gifts you have given us, we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life, and the cup of eternal salvation.

We offer Jesus’ one perfect and eternal sacrifice to the Father, uniting ourselves to him in the one sacrifice.


I was referring to the Catholic disavowal that it is a separate or repeated sacrifice. Catholics affirm it is one and the same sacrifice as Calvary, re-presented not re-sacrificed.

How can we offer what He offered? His offering of it is complete.


Yes, his one sacrifice is complete–it penetrates time and space so as to be made present in every time and place in which the Eucharist is offered. Through this sacrament we are present at Calvary and the Last Supper.


Uh, am I missing something?

“May the Lord accept the Sacrifice at your hands,
For the praise and glory of His name.
For our good and the good of all His Church”.

This has nothing to do with the Sacrifice of the Mass. This is the bread and the wine and the offerings, isn’t it?


I must say reading this thread of posts has strengthend my faith more than what it was before. I am a convert to the Roman Catholic Church, the TRUE Church that Jesus himself gave us. I went through RCIA the past year and never heard the Eucharist explained this clearly by a human being. I knew it was really truly and awesomely the Body of my precious Lord who saved me even when I was still a sinner, but never heard it explained quite like this.
I have been a member of this website since the beginning, and it has been a help to me to strengthen and feed my faith in Jesus.
When I say may the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands. For the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his Church I feel like I am in a time tunnle being Physically transported to that sad day when My lord died for me.
Not a reall time tunnel, but proverbial. I feel like the presence of Almighty G-d is there with me as I watch the Celebrant offer up the sacrifice that has already been made for us.
I was Jewish before I converted and I can tell you. Sins could be atoned only on a certain time of the year or with special permissions from the High Preist. Only problem is there is no high preist, no temple, and the best hope I had is a painfull and bloody death to atone for my sins. Every night when I would sleep I would pray Please let my blood be good enough to atone for all my sins. The problem is that I am not spotless.
When I say those special words It reminds me of what I have been saved from and that is a certain doom, an eternal seperation from God. Thank you for the time to type to all of you and Thank you.


Yes he did offer it, he is offering it, and he will continue to offer it for all eternity. The sacrifice that was witnessed at Calvary was a temporal footprint of the eternal sacrifice of Christ to The Father.


Well, sure it has to do with the Sacrifice of the Mass, since it is a part of the Eucharistic Liturgy, coming just before the Preface and the Eucharistic Prayer.

The priest offers the bread and wine which will become the body and blood of the Lord.

Then, after the consecration, again in the First Eucharistic Prayer (it’s a shame this isn’t used more often), we hear the following:

Almighty God, we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven.
Then, as we receive from *this altar *the sacred body and blood of your Son, Let us be filled with every grace and blessing.

I italicize the references to the heavenly altar and the earthly altar, our sacrifice mirroring and being identified with the eternal offering.


I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. We’re praying that God accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which is re-presented to us in the mass and which we fulfill when we partake of our pashal lamb’s flesh in the Eucharist.

The passover sacrifice in Egypt was not complete, its effect not applied until the offered lamb was eaten by those who offered it. Just as the death of the lamb and eating of it were separate events, so the death of Christ (our passover lamb) and our eating of it are separate events, even though in both cases they are both parts of one and the same sacrifice.



“Lord, Lord God, creator of all things, awesome and strong, just and merciful, the only king and benefactor, who alone are gracious, just, almighty, and eternal, Israel’s savior from all evil, who chose our forefathers and sanctified tehm: **accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel **and guard and sanctify your heritage. . .” 2 Maccabees 24-26

This sounds suspiciously like something Catholics disavow. We cannot add anything to Christ’s finished work. So what is being offered if not Christ?

My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 1:11


Yes, I mis-stated my point.

The Sacrifice mentioned in the opening post is our sacrifice to God (which is the bread, wine, money, time, talents, etc.), but it is a separate sacrifice than our Pascal Sacrifice.

In the opening post, he is equating these two sacrifices.

                                                                  Originally Posted by **exiled**                     []("")]                 
             *I think these words refer to the sacrifice of bread and wine, and/or the donations that had been made during the offertory which precedes this portion of the Mass.*

I’m sorry, but exiled is right.


Perhaps, but I’d still like more evidence :slight_smile: What I’ve seen in this thread so far has been mostly “he said, she said” arguments.



At what point of the Mass is this said:
“May the Lord accept the Sacrifice at your hands,
For the praise and glory of His name.
For our good and the good of all His Church”.

This is immediately after the Blessing of the Gifts. These gifts represent our sacrifices that we are offering up to God.

The posts about “anamnesis” occur at the Eucharistic Prayers, where the bread and wine become the Body and Blood. That is a totall different sacrifice then the one mentioned in the above prayer.


In wonder and amazement I ponder the point that this sacrament, so central to Catholicism, is yet so not understood, not so much from lack of definition, but because by definition it is a mystery.

There is a lot to it that I think we simply cannot understand and to some extent we are all grasping at straws in trying to explain or even understand it.

We cannot add to Christ’s sacrifice, but we can join with it. Is that a fair encapsulation?

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