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Invitation to Communion

INVITATION TO COMMUNION

 

There are some small but significant changes in the Invitation to Communion.

 

Older version                                                     New Version

“This is the Lamb of God..”                                 “Behold the Lamb of God…”

 

The recovery of “Behold” ( as a translation of “Ecce”) carries an echo of Pilate’s words during the trial of Jesus “ “Behold, the man (Ecce homo)” (John 19:5).  But now the word is used in love and reverence for the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

 

“Happy are those who are called “Blessed are those called

to his supper” to the supper of the Lamb”

 

“Blessed” evokes the beatitudes and a level of grace deeper than any superficial happiness.   The idea of “the supper of the Lamb” refers directly to Book of Revelation (19:9) where the angel says ‘Write this, ”Blessed are those who are invited  to the wedding feast of the Lamb” ‘.

 

“Lord, I am not worthy to receive “Lord I am not worthy that you

you, but only say the word and should enter under my roof,

I shall be healed” but only say the word and my soul

shall be healed”.

 

In the Gospel of Matthew (8:8) the centurion who was pleading for a cure for his sick servant said to Jesus  “Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof, just give the word and my servant will be cured”.  We do well to share the humility of the pagan centurion when we approach to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  Mindful that our bodies are “a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 6:19) we can speak of Jesus entering under our  roof :  entering our hearts and souls.

 

These changes in the Invitation to Communion spring from the Holy Scriptures and are meant to help us appreciate more deeply the grace of this wonderful encounter with the Risen Lord.

 

Fr Seán Wales, C.Ss.R.

 

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