Gifts at Eucharist?

Hello, friends. At the Children’s Mass on Sunday, my four year old was asked to bring the gifts up to the priest at the beginning of the Eucharist (which she managed to do without a hitch…thanks be to God! Is there any more nerve-wracking a moment for a parent in church?)

After mass, she asked me “Why are they called gifts?” I have to admit, I didn’t know. To her, a gift is given by someone to someone. So…how does the whole ‘gift’ thing work for us in mass? Are they gifts from the laity to the priest? Gifts from man to God? Gifts from Jesus to us?

Ask me to debat an athiest and I am loaded for bear. Ask me to answer the simple question of a four year old, and I am flummoxed! :shrug:

They are called gifts because the bread and wine are made by human hands to offer up at Mass when it becomes the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Bringing up the gifts is optional but can be included to increase solemnity and participation at Mass. We are offering up the bread and wine which the priest blesses and consecrates alter christus

In my opinion the bread and wine (and sometimes other things) shouldn’t be brought up in procession because it prolongs and detracts from the Liturgy in that it becomes man centered instead of centered at God at the altar. In some Masses I have attended bringing up the gifts have turned into liturgical dances and other calamities that do not belong in the Mass. During Mass we should always be focused on everything that happens at the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed.

Thank you so much. I thought as much, but you put it much better than I ever could!

The Latin word is donum which means “gift, present; offering”. Calling them simply “gifts” can invoke a rather secular idea; they are not only gifts (from God to us) but also offerings (from us to God).

God made the wheat from which man makes bread. God made the grapes from which man makes wine. Thus, the bread and wine are gifts that God has given to us: we offer them BACK to God. As the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I) says, we make an offering to God “from the gifts that [He] ha[s] given us.”

Also, in the early Church, the bread and wine were brought to the church by the people along with offerings for the poor, usually food. These were brought forward along with the bread and wine that the people themselves made (no nuns baking hosts back then or monks fermenting wine in the basement of the abbey). So these offerings were true gifts of the people to the Church.

On a collateral matter, I am in RCIA. I have been asked, and complied, in bringing up the gifts. I have wondered if this is ok since I will not be confirmed until Easter.

Yes, it is acceptable for the gifts to be presented by an RCIA member.

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