Christ Present in Ministry
Among the many ways Christ is present at Mass is in the ministry of the ordained priest who leads the assembly in the celebration. Praying with and in the name of the community gathered, the priest acts in the person of Christ, the Head of the Church (in persona Christi capitis ecclesiae) in the celebration of the Eucharist. Each Mass is an action of the whole Church: hence included in every Eucharistic Prayer are prayers for the Church, for the pope, and for the local bishop. And, throughout the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest prays on behalf and as part of the community, in the plural person: “Let us give thanks…We come to you with praise and thanksgiving…” Through the deacon and other ministers, we encounter Jesus Christ who came to serve.