Corpus Christi - Liturgical Prayers

The Solemnity
of the Most Holy BODY and BLOOD of CHRIST

A. One Bread, One Body
B. This Is I For You
    Jesus tells us here:
    "I am the living bread from heaven.
    Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
    and the bread that I shall give
    is my flesh for the life of the world."
    May the Lord Jesus give us this bread always
    and always stay with you.
    R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant

    A. One Bread, One Body
    Where in our Christian living, besides in prayer, do we encounter the Lord Jesus more often and on the deepest level? Is it not in the Sunday eucharist, where he makes himself our food and drink? Is this not the center of our whole Christian life? Our faith tells us: here is the Lord; here he gives himself to us. Here he teaches us to give ourselves to one another. Let us thank Jesus who is always with us here.

    B. This Is I For You
    When a person is about to die and gives a farewell message to one's relatives and friends, we know these words come from the heart and we will never forget them. On the eve of his death, at the Last Supper, Jesus said: "This is my body for you; this is my blood shed for you. Do this in memory of me." There, as on the cross, he gave his whole self, that we might live, and he asked us to do the same, that others might live. Let us celebrate this in the eucharist now.

Penitential Act
    In the eucharist Jesus makes us share in his life,
    but our sins make us less like Jesus.
    We now ask the Lord to forgive us.
    Lord Jesus, you multiplied bread
    to give the hungry crowd to eat:
    Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

    Jesus Christ, you gave yourself totally
    at the Last Supper and on the cross:
    Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

    Lord Jesus, you were thirsty
    and asked the woman by the well for a drink
    yet you give yourself as our drink of life:
    Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

    Have mercy on us, Lord,
    give us the bread of your forgiveness
    and the drink of joy of your merciful kindness.
    Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
    Let us pray to the Lord Jesus
    to be our food of life always
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    you ask of us to be your body
    for the life of the world.
    Nourish us here with your word of life,
    give us your body to eat
    and your wine of joy to drink,
    that we may become more like you
    and learn from you to live
    no longer for ourselves only
    but for God and for the people around us.
    Make us of one mind and heart,
    that the world may recognize
    that you are alive in us.
    Be our Lord, now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading Introduction: A Food for A People in Need
      To his people in need in the desert, God gave manna to eat and water from the rock to drink, and so they could march to the promised land. Today he gives us the eucharist on our journey to him.

Second Reading Introduction: One Bread, One Body
       We Christians, says St Paul, are-or ought to be-one as Christ's body, the Church, for we share together the one eucharistic body of Christ.

Gospel Introduction: Real Food and Real Drink of Life

      In the eucharist Jesus is the bread that sustains us and helps us to grow in the life of Christ; he is our wine of joy and resurrection.

General Intercessions
    Let us pray that the Lord Jesus may sustain all who hunger for him on the road of life. Let us say: R/ Stay with us, Lord.

    - That all over the world our Lord may be the strength of those who receive his body and blood and be their companion in life, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord.

    - That Jesus our Lord may be the strength of those who share their bread
    with their brothers and sisters, and that they may inspire those who do not yet know how to share, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord.

    - That Jesus our Lord may be the strength of those who earn their bread with difficulty and of those who have lost their jobs, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord.

    - That Jesus our Lord may be the strength of the sick who receive him and of those who can't, that somehow he may also be close to those who cannot go to communion, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord.

    - That our Lord Jesus may be the strength of us gathered here for the eucharist; that he may be our joy and the source of our unity and our commitment to one another, let us pray: R/ Stay with us, Lord.

    Stay with us, Lord, be our life and happiness, now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    as a meal brings a family together
    and expresses the unity of its members,
    we are gathered here around your table.
    Bind us together
    as the people of your covenant,
    in unity, peace and friendship,
    in a common love and concern for each other.
    Let your self-giving become flesh and blood in us,
    that you may be our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

    With all our hearts we give thanks and praise to the Father for letting Jesus stay with us in the eucharist as the bread that nourishes us on the way to God and one another.

Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
    God is our Father
    who gives food to his people.
    Let us ask him in the words of Jesus
    for the true bread
    that gives life to the world:  R/ Our Father...

Deliver Us
    Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
    and grant peace and unity to your Church.
    Keep us free from sin
    through the food of the eucharist
    and let it be our strength
    to overcome our anxieties and fears.
    Let it prepare us for the final coming
    of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    R/ For the kingdom...

At the Breaking of Bread
    (It is good once in a while to call attention to the important rite of the breaking of bread, which usually passes unnoticed.)

    On the cross Jesus was broken and crushed because of our sins. In the night of the Last Supper Jesus broke the bread of himself to give it to his disciples. He breaks the bread of himself for us here, that we too may learn to share ourselves with one another.

Invitation to Communion
    This is Jesus our Lord,
    the bread from heaven
    that makes us live for ever.
    Happy are we to be invited
    to eat this bread
    and to live in union with the Lord.
    R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

    Note. It would be fitting on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ to give communion under both kinds.

Prayer after Communion
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    we thank you for having given us
    your body and blood, your whole self,
    and for unifying us as your community.
    Stay with us, we pray you,
    to strengthen us to do your work
    of love, integrity and peace
    and to set the table of ourselves for others.
    And may the holy meal
    which we celebrate in your memory
    be to us the sign and foretaste
    of the everlasting feast-meal
    which we hope to enjoy with you
    for ever and ever.R/ Amen.

    In this eucharistic celebration
    Jesus Christ has given us himself
    to unite us with himself and with each other.
    He has shared himself with us,
    people on the way,
    as our bread of strength and life.
    May his attitude become ours
    and may we too be the strength
    of those around us,
    especially to those who need us most.
    And may almighty God bless you for this task:
    the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

    Let us go and take our Lord
    to the people around us. R/ Thanks be to God.