by Sister Mary Andrea, C.P. (February 28, 2010)
(Unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from Fr. Rob Lampitt’s dissertation by the above title. Page numbers refer to Fr. Rob’s dissertation.)
“The Second Vatican Council placed a renewed emphasis upon the universal call to holiness & further taught that this calling can only be fulfilled if one’s life is rooted in love, a love which is both experienced & fostered in the celebration of the Eucharist.[ii]” “The Eucharist [which] becomes not only the means for growing in love, but also becomes the principal locus where love is experienced, albeit in a sacramental way.”
[i] Unless otherwise noted quotes in this introduction are from Fr. Rob’s dissertation p 1-2.
[ii] Footnote from p 1 “Cf. LG (Lumen Gentium), n. 42”
“At the Savior’s command & formed by Divine teaching we dare to say.” We are reminded that in daring to call God “Father” we are following Christ’s command, a following that is evidence of our love for Christ.
Praying the “Our Father” together shows our unity with one another. Unity requires love. Through the petitions that we make in the “Our Father”, we acknowledge God’s loving care & give voice to our trust (an aspect of love) in God. Our petition for forgiveness is dependant upon us forgiving our neighbor, which is an act of love for them & for God because it is following His command to love one another.
The priest then expounds upon the last petition, (“deliver us from evil”), praying in the name of the faithful, implying unity & a mutual concern among us. Together, we respond, “For the kingdom, the power, & the glory are Yours now & forever.” a phrase found in worship services of Protestants & in the Liturgies of Eastern Catholics. Using this phrase is an expression of our love for our separated brethren & of our “filial love & devotion towards the One Who has given [us] both physical & spiritual life.”
The Rite of Peace
In the Rite of Peace, we ask for & express peace & communion (unity) for ourselves & “for the whole human family”. Before the sign of peace is exchanged among us, the Church asks Jesus for peace & unity despite our sins. Thus, we acknowledge that these are gifts, not from ourselves, but from Christ Jesus.
The Fraction - The breaking of the consecrated Host
The breaking of the Bread facilitates Its being shared, “signifying that the many faithful are made one body (1 Cor. 10:17) by receiving Communion from the one Bread of Life which is Christ.” This unity & charity is “rooted in the oneness of Christ & not in the oneness of the host or loaf of bread”. The breaking of the bread is “a reminder of the Passion of Christ Whose side was broken open on the cross” for love of us.
Agnus Dei – “Lamb of God”
As a further reminder of God’s Work of love, the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is sung, calling to mind the words of the prophet Isaiah about the silent lamb lead to slaughter (see Is 53:7), as well as the many references to the Lamb in the book of Revelation. We sing or recite these verses together. We ask for mercy & for peace for “us”, not for “me”, manifesting our unity. The peace that we ask for is “probably a reference to a peace between God & man.” 
“The priest puts a small piece of the Host into the chalice & prays the following words quietly, on behalf of all present: ‘May this mingling of the Body & Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive It.’” (Roman Missal), calling to mind the words of Jesus; “Whoever eats My flesh & drinks My blood has eternal life.” (Jn 6:54) Our desire for eternal life, expressed by the priest, is God’s desire for us. Why else would He send His Son into a sinful world to give us His Body & Blood to eat & drink, thus allowing us to receive eternal life?
The immediate preparation for Communion
Option 1: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who by the will of the Father & the work of the Holy Spirit, through Your death gave life to the world; free me from my sins & from every evil; keep me always faithful to Your commandments & never let me be parted from You.”
Option 2: “May the receiving of Your Body & Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment & condemnation, but through Your loving mercy be for me protection in mind & body, & a healing remedy.”
The priest prays silently, either option, not to separate him from the people, but to foster a more intimate preparation for each one with God as we prepare to receive Holy Communion.
In the first option, God’s loving & life-giving plan for all people is recounted, a plan that reveals God’s desire to give us eternal life. “The priest begs God for the help needed to persevere in love for God & neighbor”.
In the second option, the priest asks that his reception of the Eucharist be a “protection in mind & body, & a healing remedy” because in God’s loving mercy, He invites us into this intimate Communion.
The showing of the Sacred Species
“Once the priest has completed the prayer of preparation, he genuflects, takes the host, & hold it over the paten or chalice & faces the people saying aloud”:
“Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”
The priest & faithful respond together with the following prayer:
“Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word & my soul shall be healed.”
Using the title “Lamb of God”, the prayer reminds us of Jesus’ love for us in submitting (like a lamb lead to the slaughter) to His Own death for our sake. Then, having just referred to the Eucharist as the “Lamb of God”, the priest proclaims, “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” We are among those so blessed since we do receive Him. “Even now, he (man) is able to participate in the inheritance which awaits him (us) fully in heaven.” Wow! Jesus Christ, our inheritance awaits you & I in heaven! In fact, so much so, that He “cannot wait” until then! In the face of such love of God, we respond in humility, acknowledging our unworthiness to receive Him, yet trusting in His ability to heal us.
The Act of Communion
The priest quietly prays, “May the Body (Blood) of Christ keep me safe for eternal life,” before reverently receiving the host (chalice). Then, “the priest (or deacon) carries the hosts …to the faithful. When a communicant approaches, the minister takes a host, raises it slightly, & says to the communicant, ‘Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ),’ to which the communicant responds, ‘Amen’.”
“The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of Himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man & woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that ‘greater’ love which led Him to ‘lay down His life for His friends’ (Jn 15:13). Jesus did indeed love them ‘to the end’ (Jn 13: 1)…In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us ‘to the end,’ even to offering us His body & His blood.” (Sacrament of Charity, n. 1.)
"By sharing in the sacrifice of the Cross, the Christian partakes of Christ’s self‑giving love & is equipped & committed to live this same charity in all his thoughts & deeds.’ In a word, ‘worship’ itself, Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved & of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented.” (Sacrament of Charity, n. 82) 
“In the Eucharist Jesus also makes us witnesses of God’s compassion towards all our brothers & sisters. The Eucharistic mystery thus gives rise to a service of charity towards neighbour, which ‘consists in the very fact that, in God & with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know.” 
Our love for God: We approach to receive – not to take – Holy Communion. It is an act of trust in God’s providing for us.
Our love for our neighbor: We form a “procession together to receive the Blessed Sacrament” instead of moving forward in a haphazard mob, thus showing our love for one another in allowing each one to have the “right to receive the Sacrament in a recollected manner” (p. 39). Second, receiving Holy Communion from the same altar as the priest(s) & the other faithful is an expression of “the unity & love which exist” among us.
“In sacramental communion I become one with the Lord, like all the other communicants… we become ‘one body,’ completely joined in a single existence. Love of God & love of neighbor are now truly united.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
At the moment of receiving Holy Communion, man “at once is loved by God, loves God in return, & is empowered to love his neighbor as himself.”
The Communion Chant (or hymn)
“Man has always resorted to song as a way to express his joy… In the case of the Communion Chant, the song is as a bride going to meet her bridegroom. (Jer. 33:11; Jn 3:29)” (p. 41). The fact that the faithful sing the Communion Chant together expresses their unity. Joy & unity are both components of love.
The Ablutions (Purification of the Communion paten, ciborium, & chalice)
As “the priest, deacon, or acolyte ‘purifies the paten over the chalice & also the chalice itself’”, “he quietly prays the following prayer:
‘What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.’” (p.41-42)
The fact that time & care are even taken to cleanse the vessels during the Liturgy show both our faith in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist & our love towards the Blessed Sacrament.
The Meditation (Thanksgiving) after Communion
A period of silence enables us to express together in our hearts our love for God. This being done in the silence of our hearts makes this a time of intimacy with God. Through a common posture, a sign of unity, we show that we are one body in Christ.” (Cf. 1 Cor. 10:17)
Part II –The Prayers after Communion
“In offering the prayer, the priest is praying in the person of Christ,” (& in the name of all present) asking “for the fruits of the sacrifice to be manifested in the lives of the faithful”., showing that Christ loves us, thus desiring that the fruits of the Eucharist continue throughout our lives.
The Nature of Ordinary Time
“Ordinary Time celebrates the mystery of Christ in their totality every week.”  “Sacrosactum concilium describes the weekly Sunday as the day the faithful ‘May call to mind the passion, the resurrection, & the glorification of the Lord Jesus, & may thank God Who ‘has begotten them again, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto a living hope’ (1Pet. 1:3)”
Selected Prayers after Communion
In this section of the dissertation, Fr. Rob looks in more depth at 6 specific Prayers after Communion, to see how they manifest a Eucharist-love relationship. Each of these prayers has the word “caritas”, love. I simply will present you with a summary of his conclusion to this section.
God’s Love for the Faithful
“God is seen as one who provides for the faithful”, things that include that which only God can provide: forgiveness, new life, & union with Himself. “He is also seen … sharing his constant, or steadfast, love with them, especially by providing the sacramentum caritatis & inflaming their hearts with a holy love. Finally, God’s love is shown by his invitation to share in his mission by bearing fruit which will last & by service to their brethren. However, it is worth mentioning that this latter point is more explicit in some prayers & less so in others.”
The Faithful’s Love for God
The faithful express their love for God in these 6 prayers in three principle ways. “First, there is the acknowledgement of God’s providence.” “Second, there is a desire to do the will of God. “Third, in the prayers, the faithful express a sense of humility & in this way honor God who is Lord of all.”
The Faithful’s Love for their Neighbor
“The love which the faithful have towards their neighbor is often grounded in an attitude of service toward them.”
The Eucharist-Love Relationship in the Remaining Prayers After Communion
For this section, I found it helpful to have in front of me copies of the Prayers after Communion from the Sundays in Ordinary Time & from Solemnities. I used the Missaletts from previous years for this purpose.
The remaining Prayers After Communion “may express the Eucharist‑love relationship in these same ways (as the previous 6 did), completely different ways, or not at all.”
God’s Love for the Faithful
“The overwhelming majority of these instances concern God’s providence. Yet there are a few instances in which God’s love is simply expressed…Nevertheless, God’s love is not often referred to in (such) a direct way.”
“In the Prayers after Communion, God’s provision can be delineated into two main groups.” One group refers to God providing the Eucharist, “using a variety of expressions to do so.” The other group “either describe God giving something or presume a request will be granted.”
“God’s love is also shown by his invitation to assist man in building up the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.”  This is often expressed as a desire of the faithful, but we must remember that God placed this desire in us.
The Faithful’s Love for God 
“The faithful reveal their love for God in three principle ways. The first is by allowing God to provide for their needs … usually shown by petitioning for some particular grace. The second way is by expressi ng a desire to conform their hearts to his…The third way is through acts of humility,” including praising God.
In other Prayers After Communion, we “simply manifest (our) faith & love for God.”
The Faithful’s Love for Their Neighbor
“In the remaining Prayers after Communion it proves a bit difficult to find indications of a neighborly love.” Fr. Rob found expressions that at least suggest a neighborly love in about half of the remaining prayers, although this is only implicit in some of them.
In the prayer used on the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we “petition the Lord to allow the Eucharist to be truly the Sacrament of Unity within the Church,” thus asking that for the graces that we need in order to love our neighbor.
I look forward to seeing how this Eucharist-love relationship is expressed in the translations we are currently awaiting. Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle our hearts with the fire of Your Love!
Implications of the Eucharist-love Relationship for the Believer
Holiness, Love, Eucharist 
God has placed within the hearts of each of us the desire to be holy. He calls us “to live in imitation of” Him, Who is love. “Whoever remains in love remains in God & God in him.” Love, then becomes the means of communion with God,” which, of its essence implies communion with others.
“God helps man” to live “a life of holiness”, "grounded in love”, specifically by means of the graces “received in the sacraments.” “The principle experience of this love is found in Eucharistic worship, ‘which makes sacramentally present the gift that the crucified Lord made of his life, for us & for the whole world.’”
“The necessity for the faithful to attend Mass regularly is of paramount importance. It is the sacrament which is the source & summit of the Christian life & therefore foundational if they are to become the saints they desire to be.” In the liturgy, we experience & practice the love of God & neighbor & also learn how to love.
The Eucharist: A School of Love
“By sharing in the sacrifice of the Cross, the Christian partakes of Christ’s self-giving love & is equipped & committed to live this same charity in all his thoughts & deeds.” John Paul II, "Veritatis Splendor"
 IGMR – Latin abbreviation for “General Instruction of the Roman Missal”
 IMGR, n. 83
 Cf. Raffa, V., op. cit., 552. Raffa is of the authors referenced by Fr Rob Lampitt. See the top of p.99 in Fr. Rob’s dissertation.
 Roman Missal, n. 132: cf. IGMR, nn. 84, 157, 243, 268
 Quoted from Fr. Rob’s dissertation, which he has a footnote saying, “Cf. MR, n.134; IGMR, nn. 160, 161, 182.”
 Veritatis splendor, n. 107
 Sacrament of Charity, n. 82. The cited text concludes with a quote from Deus Caritas Est, n. 14.
 Sacrament of Charity, n. 88. The cited text concludes with a quote from Deus Caritas Est, n. 18.
 p. 41, quoting “Deus Caritas Est”, n. 14
 p. 46, with a footnote saying “Cf. BARBA, M., La riforma…, op. cit., 79; IGMR, n. 89; PARSCH, P. op. cit., 309; RAFFA, V., op. cit., 577.
 P 50, with a footnote saying “AUGE, M., The Liturgical Year in the roman Rite, in A.J. CHUPUNGCO, Liturgical Time and Space (Handbook of Liturgical Studies 5), Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN 2000, 206.
 P 50, with a footnote saying “AUGE, M., The Liturgical Year . . . , op. cit., 205-206.
 “Cf. PC-13, PC-SH.”
 “Cf. PC-13, PC-17, PC-SH.”
 “Cf. PC-2, PC-13, PC-22, PC-33, PC-SH.”
 “Cf. PC-2, PC-13, PC-22, PC-33, PC-SH.”
 “Cf. PC-17, PC-22, PC-33.”
 P 79
 P 80
 The quotes in this section are from Fr. Rob’s dissertation p 81-82.
 All quotes in this section, unless otherwise noted, are from p 83-84.
 Unless otherwise noted, quotes in this section are from Fr. Rob’s dissertation, p87-88.
 1 Jn 4:16
 footnote from p 87 “Cf. LG, n. 42”
 footnote from p 88 “Cf. SacCar, n. 88; Cf. DCE, n. 14”
 For this paragraph, Cf. DCE, nn. 14-18.
 SacCar, n. 82; VS, n. 107.