Praying Holy Mass With The Priest : The Consecration

There is no doubt that following along with a missal is perhaps the best means in which to fully participate in the Mass. Pope Pius X wrote …

**“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass.”
St Pius X **

My question is, what about the Consecration itself ?

Should we pray/say the words of the Consecration as well, or should we leave those special words to the priest and ready ourselves for adoration at the Elevation ?

What are your thoughts on this ?

Pope Benedict answered that in his book “The Spirit of the Liturgy”

What we, as members of the Common Priesthood are to do is to offer ourselves in conjunction with the Sacrifice being offered by the priest

The Eucharistic Prayer in general, and the Consecration in specific, is the prayer being offered by Christ Himself to the Father, articulated by the priest in persona Christi.

What we do, as members of the Faithful, is to offer our Wills, our Intellect and our Actions as a sacrifice in union with the Sacrifice being offered by the priest.

They are distinct sacrifices being offered, as noted by the priest “…My Sacrifice and Yours”.

Why not try reading some of the later Popes?

Why, does Sacred Tradition expire at some point?

Maybe the question is whether hand missals are in fact part of “Sacred Tradition,” or an accommodation to the fact the the ordinary form of the Mass in Pius X’s day was in a language unintelligible to most.

The Priest prays the parts of the Priest.

The Faithful pray their responses…

Pray the Consecration silently to yourself in deepest reverence and respect; leave the actual saying of the words out loud to the priest.

No…rather be attentive to the prayer and unite oneself to the Holy Sacrifice…

The Eucharistic Prayer is proper ONLY to the Priest.

No. Such would be actually an abuse (even though well meaning)

And one needs to follow current rubrics for the other parts. The Priests have their parts the Faithful…theirs.

Redemptionis Sacramentum

[52.] The proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer, which by its very nature is the climax of the whole celebration, is proper to the Priest by virtue of his Ordination. It is therefore an abuse to proffer it in such a way that some parts of the Eucharistic Prayer are recited by a Deacon, a lay minister, or by an individual member of the faithful, or by all members of the faithful together. The Eucharistic Prayer, then, is to be recited by the Priest alone in full.[131]


a good read on the Liturgy and Eucharist from Pope Benedict XVI:

and here is the GIRM

The faithful have a role in the prayer of Holy Mass. Certainly it benefits to “pray the Mass” along with the priest, but it is the priest that offers the sacrifice in persona Christi by virtue of the Holy Orders. The prayer of the faithful is particularly emphasized in the new order of the Mass, thus following the Missal certainly becomes “easier” in this sense. It is not so in other rites, or in the extraordinary form. F.ex. in the Missale Romanum clearly some prayers we follow but not actively pray, like “The Lord be in my heart and on my lips that I may worthily and fittingly proclaim His Gospel” or “Accept, O Holy Father, Almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Thine unworthy servant, offer to Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offenses and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians living and dead”.

The words of the Consecration are the words spoken by the Lord and transmitted to us by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. While the priest proclaims them, the faithful hear them and pray them in their hearts. There is a special solemnity when we echo in our hearts the words of the Consecration, but whether we do or not is truly irrelevant here in terms of the Sacrament. However, one may consider that this, and in general praying the Mass, opens our souls more to the graces of the Sacrament (which are always given in the same measure ex opere operato, but not always received in the same measure by each soul). As Bookcat stated in his two great posts above, “be attentive to the prayer and unite yourself to the Holy Sacrifice”.

Oh my! It’s a wonder the “mental prayer police” haven’t noticed me yet!

No of course not: the river of tradition flows on, and the great tributaries of minds like Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict flow into this river and enrich it.


Read Pope Benedict’s book “The Spirit of the Liturgy”. He has a chapter devoted to what is meant by Active Participation by the laity. The OP’s question is specifically covered in that chapter ( I think it’s chapter 9, but I am at work right now and don’t have my copy with me)

And yes, the Pope tells you what you are supposed to be doing with your mind at Mass :wink:

Thanks for taking time to reply. The answer H.H. gave actually reminded me of something I read on the Sancta Missa site. I’ll have to find the text of that and post it.

Thanks, I’ll look over the info on those sites.

Seems I was off a bit on the Adoration idea. I got that from the suggestions to say “My Lord and My God” or “My Lord, My God, And My All” at the consecration. I’ve seen this in old prayer books.

Thanks for the reply R_C. I suppose the answer to my initial question does lie in the prayers. The moment of the Consecration and Elevation was what I wasn’t quite sure of.

Hmm, I just googled “My Lord and My God at Consecration” and found this on Fr Z’s site…

Wow, going by the replies there, it seems many of us are missing the message of Pope BXVI in Brendan’s post.

Catholicism is a beautiful faith that one never stops learning it seems. :slight_smile:

For my own part, I am not able to participate any more in an OF celebrated in English than I am able to participate in an OF (or EF for that matter) celebrated in Latin. The language thing, at least as regards participating in a Latin liturgy, is a non-issue for me. Vernacular does not heighten my sense of participation whatsoever, except perhaps for the readings.

PS: the Consilium (the bureaucratic organ which composed the OF liturgy) explicitly commends the retaining of hand missals for the post-Conciliar liturgy.


Yes, here it is in +Fulton Sheen’s words…

…What happened there on the Cross that day is happening now in the Mass, with this difference: On the Cross the Savior was alone; in the Mass He is with us. Our Lord is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us. He therefore can never suffer again in His human nature. How then can the Mass be the re-enactment of Calvary? How can Christ renew the Cross? He cannot suffer again in His own human nature which is in heaven enjoying beatitude, but He can suffer again in our human natures. He cannot renew Calvary in His physical body, but He can renew it in His Mystical Body - the Church. The Sacrifice of the Cross can be re-enacted provided we give Him our body and our blood, and give it to Him so completely that as His own, He can offer Himself anew to His heavenly Father for the redemption of His Mystical Body, the Church…

So the Christ goes out into the world gathering up other human natures who are willing to be Christs. In order that our sacrifices, our sorrows, our Golgothas, our crucifixions, may not be isolated, disjointed, and unconnected, the Church collects them, harvests them, unifies them, coalesces them, masses them, and this massing of all our sacrifices of our individual human natures is united with the Great Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross in the Mass.

When we assist at the Mass we are not just individuals of the earth or solitary units, but living parts of a great spiritual order in which the Infinite penetrates and enfolds the finite, the Eternal breaks into the temporal, and the Spiritual clothes itself in the garments of materiality. Nothing more solemn exists on the face of God’s earth than the awe-inspiring moment of Consecration; for the Mass is not a prayer, nor a hymn, nor something said – it is a Divine Act with which we come in contact at a given moment of time.

I had recommended the article to someone else here at CA but totally missed that part of it as it pertained to my question. :o

Absolutely! :yup:

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