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Commentary: Preparation of the Gifts

Until the eleventh century the bread and wine used at Mass was provided by the people. The bread was not the unleavened bread we use today, but ordinary bread baked in people’s homes. The provision of these gifts was seen as a way of exercising the royal priesthood that we all have through baptism. Although we don’t provide the bread and wine directly anymore, when we bring these gifts from the back of the church and give them to the priest, it has the same meaning.

The two prayers beginning ‘Blessed are you, God of all creation...’ are based on the Jewish blessing and would have been said by Jesus at the Last Supper. These prayers are followed by two prayers said by the priest inaudibly, and then we are invited to pray with him.

The Preparation of the Gifts concludes with the Prayer over the Gifts. This prayer changes for each mass and can be found in the Sunday Missal. For the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B, the prayer will be, ‘Lord, let this offering to the glory of your name purify us and bring us closer to eternal life’.

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