Venerable Bruno’s method: Consecration

Note: Part 10 on a series on the Mass.  Read the first part here. For an overview of Venerable Bruno’s method, go here.  For a PDF of the method, click here.

Venerable Bruno Lanteri recommends these sentiments in his Spiritual Directory, “At the Consecration, that of Christ himself.”

Background: Extraordinary Form of the Mass
(Tridentine Mass)

Because Venerable Bruno wrote his preparation for the Tridentine Mass, it would be good to see what is going on at this point in the extraordinary form of the Mass.

The silent priest prays the Roman Canon or the Eucharistic Prayer I.  This was the only Eucharistic prayer for a Mass of the Roman Rite.  In contrast to today’s rubrics, the priest makes multiple signs of the cross over the gifts.  “The Mystery of Faith” is recited in the words of consecration.  The only words said loudly were Nobis quoque pecatoribus (“To us though sinners”).  They symbolize an act of public self-humiliation (The Latin-English Booklet Missal for Praying the Traditional Mass, p. 38).  

Lesson: Can I be open like Jesus to give and receive?

After the Fall, God seeks to restore communion with humanity.  But sin prevents humans from being open to give and receive divine love.  That complete openness is required to be in union with the Trinity forever.  The Trinity consists in fully giving and receiving love.

Jesus provides the model of open giving and receiving throughout his life.  But it came to the fore in his Passion and Death.  He received all the sins of humanity in his suffering.  He surrenders to the punishment of death for sin.  He receives the Father’s’ love and gives that to everyone when his side was pierced after his death.

Through the Eucharist, we Catholics receive the full dose of divine love.  We share that with everyone we meet.  But we get a foretaste of the love in the Consecration.  When the priest says the words of consecration, Jesus becomes truly present under the appearance of bread and wine.  Jesus is with us to give and receive love.

When the priest elevates the Host and later the chalice with the Precious Blood, the congregation has the opportunity to spiritually give our hearts to Jesus.  We have been taught to pray silently the words: “My Lord and my God.”  Jesus radiates his love from both the Host and Precious Blood to everyone: priest, deacon, servers and the entire congregation.

Since the Mass points back to the Last Supper, which looked forward to Jesus’ Passion, one can think of the Seven Last Words of Christ.  These phrases can help us imitate the full self-giving of Christ.

This is a beautiful prelude to the moment we receive Jesus in Communion.

Scripture passages for prayer:

Seven Last Words of Christ

  1. Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
  2. Luke 23:43: Verily, I say unto you today, thou shalt be with me in paradise.
  3. John 19:26–27: Woman, behold thy son. (Says to disciple) Behold thy mother.
  4. Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34: My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
  5. John 19:28: I thirst.
  6. John 19:30: It is finished.
  7. Luke 23:46: Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.

Institution of the Eucharist

  1. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26: Paul recounts the institution of the Eucharist.
  2. Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:14-20

Reflection questions:

  1. How are you called to give and receive like Jesus?
  2. What is your favorite word among Jesus’ 7 Last Words?
  3. What do you want to give to Jesus during the consecration?  What do you want to receive from Jesus at the same time?

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