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A-Z of the Mass: Doxology

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Through Him, with Him, in Him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours Almighty Father,
forever and ever.
Amen.

At the end of the Eucharistic Prayer the priest takes the paten with the host and the chalice and elevates them both, whilst singing or saying the doxology, ‘Per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso ...’, 'through him, with him, in him ...' The congregation respond ‘Amen’. The term doxology is a constructed from the Greek words δόξα (glory or praise) and λόγος (word). Short hymns of praise to God were used in Synagogue worship, usually following psalms and canticles, and the Church has continued and expanded this tradition in her liturgies and devotions.

The Eucharistic prayer concludes with a stirring expression of praise that permeates through the entire Eucharistic Prayer. We offer praise to the Father, through Christ and in the Holy Spirit. This Doxology points to our salvation through Christ the High Priest, now present in the Blessed Sacrament. Through Christ’s sacrifice, humanity’s relationship with God is reconciled. He is our mediator, our petitioner and our intercessor. He is now present in the living memorial of the paschal sacrifice, “the living bread from heaven “. It seems highly apt that before we make communion that the Church offers these words of praise and glory to God but we must not forget the importance of the response: The Great Amen.

In responding to the Doxology we demonstrate that the prayers offered by the priest are offered on behalf of the whole Church. We also affirm and acclaim the great salvific work of Christ. As Pope Benedict says this great act of love is God’s ‘Yes!’ to humanity. In responding positively we say ‘Yes!’ to the great gift of grace and salvation that God has offered us embodied in the Holy Eucharist.

Mark Davoren

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