The Mass (or Eucharist or Holy Communion) is the centre, the beating heart, of the Church’s life, and the only act of worship Jesus explicitly commanded us to do. He did so when, on the night before his death on the Cross, he had supper with his disciples and giving thanks over some bread and some wine he distributed it to them saying ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me’, and ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’ (Luke 22)
Through this “memorial” of Jesus’ self-sacrifice on the Cross and of his Resurrection, Christ becomes truly present under the forms of bread and wine as his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity – the Sacrament of the Eucharist, or the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, the Mass is the beating heart of the Christian life – its ‘source and summit’ because here, in the forms of bread and wine, Christ truly meets with us and here he gives himself to us as ‘the Bread of Life’ (John 6:35), our strength for our Christian journey, and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in which we will, through God’s mercy, share for all eternity.
The Mass links our lives with the person of Jesus Christ as, with Christians of all traditions, in all places and in every age, we give thanks to God the Father through him. That is what ‘Eucharist’ means: thanksgiving. We celebrate it most days of the week – more simply on weekdays, and with greater solemnity, incense and bells, on Sundays and feast days. And everyone is always very welcome!