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78. The Form of the Holy Eucharist

1. The form of a sacrament is the authentic,authoritative, and effective set of words which constitute thematter (or sign) as a sacrament. The form of the HolyEucharist is the consecrating formula of words used in Holy Mass:"This is my body . . . This is my blood."

2. The form of the Holy Eucharist is found in HolyScripture (Matt. 26:27, 28). It consists of the words used by ourLord himself when he instituted this great sacrament.

3. The words of institution, reported by three of the fourEvangelists, were words of instruction to the apostles, whoemployed them as the form of the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

4. The words of consecration at Mass, uttered by a dulyordained priest who is, in this action, the instrument of Christ,actually change the bread and wine into the substance of Christhimself. Christ is the chief priest at every Mass, for he is theprincipal cause of tran-substantiation, and his power flows throughthe priest (the instrumental cause) who utters the consecratingwords (the form of Holy Eucharist) in the name and thePerson of Christ.

5. The words (that is, the form of thissacrament) are not uttered by the consecrating priest as words of anarrative; they are not merely descriptive or historical words. Thewords are uttered with efficacious power to do and to accomplishwhat they say. The power of the words comes from the divine powerof Christ, in whose Person and by whose direction and will they areuttered over bread and wine by the consecrating priest.

6. The priest pronounces the words of consecration overthe bread, and afterwards over the wine. Some have mistakenlythought that the effectiveness of the words of consecration issuspended, so to speak, until all of them are uttered. Thetruth is that the words of consecration are effective the instantthat they are pronounced. When the consecrating priest says,"This is my body," Christ is instantly present under theappearance of bread; and when, a moment afterwards, the priestsays, "This is my blood," Christ is at once present underthe appearance of wine.

"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"We must not be behind time in doing good; for death will not be behind his time. "
St Phillip Neri

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