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Catholic Dictionary




The most solemn part of the Mass, from the Presentation to the Gifts to the Postcommunion included. The Church has arranged this part of the Mass so that its several parts correspond to the words and actions of Christ at the Last Supper, and specifically in three stages: in the Presentation of the Gifts are brought the bread, wine, and water, even as Christ took these elements into his hands; in the Eucharistic prayer God is thanked for the whole work of redemption and the gifts become the body and blood of Christ; in the Breaking of the one Bread the unity of the faithful is signified, and in Communion they receive the same Christ who gave himself on Holy Thursday to his Apostles.