The text of Consecration of the Holy Mass has two integral parts namely the blessing of the bread followed by the blessing of the wine. As the second part commences, the celebrant says "When the supper was ended...". It implies that there was a time-gap at the Last Supper, between the breaking of the bread and sharing of the wine, which would turn into the Body and Blood of the Saviour, as evidenced by Lk 22:20 and 1 Cor 11:25.

Going to the physical passion of Christ, we see him shedding blood by way of sweat in Gethsemane followed by the breaking of his flesh at the flogging. Separation of one's blood from flesh signifies death. There must have been a reason why the Lord separately broke the bread and blessed the wine with a time-gap between the two. Perhaps he wanted to allow sufficient time for the apostles to fully understand the mystery of trans-substantiation, and also to watch their response.

My question is: Is the time-gap between the breaking of the bread and the blessing of the wine, as mentioned during Consecration, of significance to the Christian faith? Does the Catholic Church offer any teachings on the subject?

1 Answer 1


Is the time-gap as mentioned during Consecration, of significance to Christian faith?

It is not so much a statement of significance as it is rather done in imitation of what Christ did. Thus priests try to imitate how Jesus said the first mass!

In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you. - Luke 22:20

Priests are asked to do this at their ordination: “Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s cross.”

This is a very profound mystery indeed!

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