April 10, 2007

AT THE EASTER VIGIL MASS AND THE OTHER MASSES OF EASTER SUNDAY, WE RENEW THE PROMISES OF BAPTISM

This icon in the Neo-Coptic style of Egypt is the work of Stéphane Renée, and is from First Image Icons.


Have you ever heard the term "Covenant Thursday"?

Preserving a good sense of the mind of Jesus concerning his Eucharistic Body and Blood, the Coptic Church calls Holy Thursday "Covenant Thursday".

Although we don't include the Rite of Renewal of Baptismal Promises at other Masses throughout the year, nonetheless, every Sunday Mass is a rite of covenantal vows to God, by virtue of both the Creed ("Profession of Faith") and the Eucharist itself.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE MASS
and the Structure of the Sinai Covenant
+ THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
From Mount Sinai God gives his words to his people: Exodus 20 through 23.

+ THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
At the foot of Mount Sinai the people give their word to God.
Exodus 24:3
"All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do."
Exodus 24:7
"All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient."

+ THE LITURGY OF THE COVENANT
Exodus 24:6
Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar.
Exodus 24:8
Moses took the blood [in basins] and threw it upon the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which the lord has made with you in accordance with all these words."

+ THE COMMUNION RITE
Exodus 24:11
They beheld God, and ate and drank.
Every Sunday Mass has those four elements that make up the rite of the Sinai Covenant. The Mass does not have the structure of a Passover Supper. At every Mass, we hear the words of Jesus himself invoking his Eucharistic Blood as "The Blood of the New and Everlasting Covenant."


3 Comments:

Blogger Esther said...

Happy Easter Father!

11:54 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Happy Easter, Esther!

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a lay Protestant Christian (conservative Baptist) I find your words about baptism promises to be filled with liturgical truth and beauty.

I thank you for the generosity of your faith and wisdom.

bg

7:17 PM  

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