The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

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On 9 November 1921, Pope Benedict XV instituted the feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus to be celebrated on the Thursday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart with a Proper Mass and Office. The feast continues to be celebrated in some places and by some communities, notably by the Redemptorists who maintain it in their Proper Calendar. In instituting the feast, Pope Benedict XV wrote:

The chief reason of this feast is to commemorate the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. By this means the Church wishes more and more to excite the faithful to approach this sacred mystery with confidence, and to inflame their hearts with that divine charity which consumed the Sacred Heart of Jesus when in His infinite love He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, wherein the Divine Heart guards and loves them by living with them, as they live and abide in Him. For in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist He offers and gives Himself to us as victim, companion, nourishment, viaticum, and pledge of our future glory.

The adorable mystery of the Eucharist sums up, contains, and communicates to us the entire mystery of Christ: His incarnation, life, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension, and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If you seek the open Side of the glorious ascended Christ, you will find it in the Eucharist. If you seek the pierced Heart of Christ, beating with love for the Father and with mercy for sinners, you will find it in the Eucharist. The Communion Antiphon of the Mass of the feast is meant to be repeated and treasured. It is, at once, a promise and an invitation: "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Mt 28:20).

Here is my own translation of the Proper of the Mass of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, together with invocations for the Act of Penitence and General Intercessions. The lessons, Gradual, and Alleluia can be found in most older missals in the section entitled "Local Feasts."

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

When Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass out of this world to the Father,
having loved his own who were in the world,
he loved them to the end (Jn 13:1).

ACT OF PENITENCE

You are the true and everlasting Priest.
Kyrie, eleison.

You draw us to your open Heart.
Christe, eleison.

You are with us all days,
even to the consummation of the world (Mt 28:20).
Kyrie, eleison.

COLLECT

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who in pouring out the treasures of your love for mankind,
instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist,
grant us, we beseech you,
always to love your Heart, so full of love for us,
and worthily to avail ourselves of so great a Sacrament.
Who live and reign with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

That the Church may more worthily celebrate, adore, and contemplate
the Sacrament that reveals the Face of Christ shining for all peoples
and the Sacrifice that presents to all his Pierced Side
flowing with living water,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That the leaders of nations
may turn from every temptation
to greed, violence, and the abuse of power,
and seek the things that make for peace,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That those who are enemies of the Cross may find
reconciliation and healing in its embrace;
that the sick may find strength in the Body and Blood of Christ;
and that those tempted against hope
may find comfort and peace in the Sacrament of the Altar,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That families broken by divorce,
divided by misunderstandings,
or wounded by the refusal to forgive and be forgiven,
may be repaired and healed
by the love that ever streams from the Eucharistic Heart of Christ,
let us pray to the Lord. R. Lord, hear our prayer.
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That by offering our adoration to the Eucharistic Heart of Christ today
we may in some way make reparation
for those who fail to recognize in the Sacrament of the Altar
a mercy ready to forgive every sin,
a love capable of healing every wound,
and a joy surpassing all joys,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

COLLECT AT THE GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

O God, who, in the Heart of your Son, wounded by our faults,
have opened for us the treasures of your infinite love,
grant that, with all the saints, we may contemplate this mystery
and, in the gift of the most holy Eucharist
recognize the wedding feast of the Lamb,
the sacrifice that saves the world,
and the abiding presence of Him who with great desire
longed to share the paschal meal with his disciples
before he suffered.
Who lives and reigns forever and ever.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON

O how great is the multitude of your sweetness, O Lord,
which you have hidden for them that fear you, alleluia (Ps 30:30).

PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS

Look upon us, Lord,
as we offer you this sacrifice;
and to prepare our hearts for offering it more ardently,
kindle them with the flame of your divine love.
Through Christ our Lord.

PREFACE

Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

Who on the day before He was sacrificed
on the altar of the cross,
desiring to pour out upon men the riches of His love,
brought forth from the treasury of His Heart
the mystery of the Eucharist.

In this mystery the faith of believers is nourished,
their hope increased,
their charity strengthened,
and they receive the pledge of future glory.

And therefore with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominations,
and with all the hosts of the heavenly army,
we sing a hymn to your glory,
ceaselessly saying:

COMMUNION ANTIPHON

Behold I am with you all days,
even to the consummation of the world (Mt 28:20).

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Filled with the divine gift of your Heart, Lord Jesus,
we pray that we may be found worthy
ever to abide in your love
and to grow therein unto the end.
Who live and reign forever and ever.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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