THE EuCHARisTic Liturgy

The Eucharistie Liturgy is a celebration of the Lord's Supper, also known as the Last Supper—the meal Jesus shared with his disciples the evening before his crucifixion. In many ways the structure of the Mass follows the Passover meal or seder that Christ shared with his disciples. Gifts of bread and wine are offered to God. The priest, acting in Jesus's name and invoking the power of the Holy Spirit, changes these gifts into Christ's body and blood. The congregation then receives, under the appearance of bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ. The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach firmly that the Eucharist involves an actual change. Its members believe in faith that the sacrament is not just a symbol of Christ's body and blood; it is the body and blood of Christ. For Catholics and Orthodox Christians the Eucharist or Divine Liturgy is a participation in the life of Christ. They believe that the church participates in the heavenly Kingdom of God through the Divine Liturgy.

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