On the Sunday Eucharist

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Angolo di marzo 2023

In the chapter on the "Eucharist" in my text on spirituality, The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume, I wrote that in prayer we are united to the faith of Jesus, indeed it is Jesus himself who "prays for us ..., prays in us ..., is prayed to by us as our God". I would add, moreover, that the Eucharist, entrusted by Jesus to the Church, is the most precious gift she received before his passion, and never should a Dame or Knight neglect to participate in the liturgy of the Mass, at least on Sundays, since 'there is no act of worship more perfect and elevated than this and it is always an act of blessing and thanksgiving'.

Someone, however, might also point out that in the life of a Member of the Order, situations of moral irregularity may occur, leading him to exempt himself from participating in Holy Mass.

I would like to respond on this point, clarifying that, in a situation of sin, each of us must have recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches (no. 1415). If, on the other hand, one is dealing with canonical irregularities, or finds oneself in a business, work or other situation, the first decision is not to exempt oneself, even by not approaching Eucharistic Communion directly.  In fact, I would like to recall that in the Celebration of the Holy Mass, the entire faith of the Church is manifested, from hearing the Word of God to the Offering of Jesus to the Father, who makes himself present in the mystery of his Body and Blood.  Therefore, participation in Holy Mass always makes sense and, even without receiving Communion, it has an "absolutely reasonable sense" said Benedict XVI, because, even without approaching Communion, one participates in the event of Jesus' self-giving to the Father, as he renews, albeit bloodlessly, his passion, death and resurrection.

In a secularised culture, where the fundamental values of faith are easily lost, no Knight or Dame, by virtue of their membership of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, should ignore the close link between their membership and the mystery of the Eucharist. It is no coincidence that, after the celebrant's consecration, the faithful respond: "We proclaim your death Lord, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again." (Liturgy).

A Knight and a Dame hold all this in the utmost regard, rendering it part of their spiritual nobility, and never, therefore, should they fail to participate in the Sunday Eucharist.


+ Fernando Cardinal Filoni

(March 2023)