As the discussion over the meaning of participation in the Mass continues, last Sunday’s (OF) post-Communion prayer looked particularly interesting:
O God, who have willed that we be partakers
in the one Bread and the one Chalice,
grant us, we pray, so to live
that, made one in Christ,
we may joyfully bear fruit
for the salvation of the world.
Sure enough, the Latin word translated “partakers” is the Latin word for “participants”:
Deus, qui nos de uno pane et de uno calice participes esse voluisti, ‘
da nobis, quaesumus, ita vivere, ut unum in Christo effecti,
fructum afferamus pro mundi salute gaudentes.
God’s will is that we be participants of the one bread and the one chalice–a participation which makes us one in Christ. We ask God to make us live in such a way that, united, we will bear fruit in the world
Participation in this sense is specifically Eucharistic participation. Among this prayer’s riches is a reference to the vine and the branches, where “apart from (Jesus) we can do nothing.” How can we joyfully bear fruit for the salvation of the world?
To have our very life-blood full of the Eucharist. To be in Communion with others in Him. And this is participation.