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One of three ways to describe the Eucharistic celebration is thanksgiving and praise to God the Father.  The meaning of the word Eucharist is first of all thanksgiving.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes this aspect of the Eucharist as a sacrifice of thanksgiving for creation.  “The whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and Resurrection of Christ.” (CCC, #1359) In the Eucharistic celebration the Church – through Christ – can offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and humanity.  The Church expresses thanks to God for all his benefits, and for all he has accomplished through creation, redemption in and through Christ, and sanctification (growing in holiness) through the Holy Spirit.

In the Eucharistic celebration the Church sings the glory of God in the name of all creation.  Such praise is possible only through Christ, who unites the faithful to himself (his person, his praise, and his intercession) so that we offer this thanksgiving and praise through Christ and with him, and to be accepted in him. (See the CCC, #s 1359-1361).

So our liturgical celebration of the Eucharist is an act of thanksgiving and praise from beginning to end.  Most especially we give praise and thanks for the redemption brought by Christ to humanity and all of creation through his death and resurrection.  So the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of thanksgiving and praise in our Mass, is the central action and the highlight of the Mass.

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