I originally posted this question in the Liturgy/Sacraments board, but immediately realized this was probably the proper place for it.
A question from an Anglican/Episcopalian who comes from what could be described as a high-church or Anglo-catholic parish. We, of course, believe that at Mass, our priest is effecting a re-presentation (not merely a symbol or memorial) of the once-and-for-all sacrifice made on Calvary, uniting the Church Triumphant and Militant, who join in presenting that sacrifice to the Father in heaven, so that he may make it be for us the Body and Blood of Christ, “the holy food and drink of new and unending life in Him.” So on, and so forth.
(Yes, I know that Roman Catholics believe our Mass is invalid, but that is a topic that has been discussed ad nauseum and not the topic of this question).
My understanding is that Roman Catholics officially believe the same doctrine as I typed it above. (Yes, you may have a better way to word it, but I think we can agree that the “re-presentation” idea best describes Roman Catholic dogma concerning the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist).
When I watch Roman Catholic Masses on EWTN, I pay close attention to the liturgy, and I have to say, I do not feel as though the “re-presentation” idea is coming through very well. That is to say, there is an awful lot of pleading to God to (please, please, please) accept these gifts or (please, please, please) find the offering or sacrifice worthy. The last Mass I watched, there must have been 3 separate times where the priest was pleading to God to find the offering worthy of receipt. This was the Mass for the cause of beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen at The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, IL where Bishop Jenky was presiding over the Eucharist.
If it truly is a “re-presentation,” why does the liturgy require the priest to make so many pleas to God in order to make the Gifts worthy of acceptance? Has not the Father already accepted the sacrifice of Calvary? Are we (you) not merely “participating” in that once-and-for-all sacrifice that already happened? What else is going on here that is not able to be viewed in the re-presentation/participation lens through which I am viewing the Eucharistic discourse? It seems by watching the EWTN Masses, what is true in theory is not true in practice.
If you view this post as an “attack” or “anti-anything,” please do not respond. Likewise, any responses regarding the asserted invalidity of Anglican orders or priestesses is off-topic and will not be well-received. Thanks in advance for what I am sure will be helpful, high-minded and well-thought-out responses.