The Presence of Angels at the Eucharist

Posted on September 30, 2018


The angels are present especially at the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

The Mass is, actually, a sacramental participation in the liturgy of heaven, the cult* officially rendered to the Trinity by the full host of the spiritual creation. The presence of the angels introduces the Eucharist into heaven itself. They help to surround it with a sacred mystery.

“The angels surround the priest,” writes St. John Chrysostom. “The whole sanctuary and the space before the altar is filled with the heavenly Powers come to honor Him who is present upon the altar.” And elsewhere: “Think now of what kind of choir you are going to enter. Although vested with a body, you have been judged worthy to join the Powers of heaven in singing the praises of Him who is Lord of all.” “Behold the royal table. The angels serve at it. The Lord Himself is present.”

There is only one priestly activity, and that is Jesus Christ’s. By it the whole of creation glorifies the Trinity. This is this same activity that is offered by the angels in heaven and the saints on earth. This participation appears in the New Testament, where the liturgy of the Church is presented as a participation in that of the angels. Thus, in the letter to the Hebrews, we read: “But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, and to the Church of the firstborn who are enrolled in the heavens, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect, and to Jesus, mediator of a new testament, and to a sprinkling of blood which speaks better than Abel.”

As for the Apocalypse, it is the vision of the Christian Sunday worship that the visionary sees as prolonged in the liturgy of heaven.

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