The most solemn prayer in the Divine service is the Prayer of Consecration, (p. 80-81 of the 1928 BCP), in which our Lord Jesus uses the lips and hands of his priest to bless and break the bread, and bless the cup of wine, and we hear our Lord’s own words of institution.

Here we must offer ourselves to God, the Father, with our Lord Jesus Christ. The Sanctus bell is rung at this time to emphasize the importance of the holy action. This prayer focuses on The Words of Institution and Consecration, The Oblation and The invocation.

This words of the consecration come directly from 1 Corinthians 12:23-26, Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22- 25 and Luke 22:19-20 when Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist. The Priest, extending and then joining his hands, raising his eyes to heaven and at once lowering them, bowing profoundly before the Altar with his hands placed upon it, says:

ALL glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou, of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again.

FOR in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU; Do this in remembrance of me.

Here the priest represents before God the Father the lifting up of Jesus on the Cross. At the elevation of the Host meditate on Christ nailed to the Cross by His hands and His feet, set forth as a spectacle to the whole world. We recognize the Lord by saying MY LORD and MY GOD. Here the Priest genuflects and then elevates the Host; and having
replaced it upon the Paten, genuflects again.

Likewise, after supper, he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for
THIS IS MY BLOOD
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHICH
IS SHED FOR YOU, AND FOR MANY,
FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS;
Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.

At the elevation of the Chalice reflect how freely Christ poured fourth His Blood from His most sacred wounds for the washing away of our sins. He replaces the Chalice, genuflects, elevates the Chalice, and having replaced it upon the corporal as before, genuflects again: and then standing erect with hands extended, says: The Oblation.

The Oblation is sometimes called Anamnesis-Memorial. “Do this in remembrance of me.” In this part of the prayer, we declare the memory of and obedience to this Supper that Christ instituted.

WHEREFORE, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

The Invocation

(Sometimes called Epiclesis) The minister invokes the Holy Spirit, since the entire mystery of the Holy Eucharist is based on the action of the Holy Spirit to set apart the bread and wine for holy use (1Cor10:16).

AND we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his Most blessed Body and Blood.

AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.

 

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Steve Macias
Father Steve Macias is an Anglican priest in California's Silicon Valley. He is the Headmaster of Canterbury Christian School, Rector of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, and Archdeacon of the West Coast for the Anglican Churches of America. He is married to Sarah and the father to Athanasius, Anselm, Assumpta, Basil and Zoe. His professional work consulting with political campaigns, leading nonprofit organizations, and in the California State Capitol has been recognized by The Los Angeles Times, National Review Magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, The Chalcedon Foundation, and numerous online and print publications. You can reach him on twitter @stevemacias.