By Francis Cardinal Arinze. Published by Ignatius Press.
Head of the Vatican Congregation for Worship and Sacraments, Cardinal Arinze grew up in Nigeria and became the youngest bishop in the world and the first African bishop to head a Vatican office. In Celebrating the Holy Eucharist, Cardinal Arinze elucidates the Church's faith in the Eucharist as the high point of her public worship and the source and summit of Christian life.
The Cardinal emphasizes that the priest is ordained, first and foremost, to celebrate the Mass and other liturgical rites. He and he alone can consecrate the Eucharist. It is for this reason that Saint Francis of Assisi always venerated priests, no matter what their personal sins might be, for they, Saint Francis said, are the only ones through whom Jesus comes to us under the appearances of bread and wine.
Cardinal Arinze in Celebrating the Holy Eucharist draws the faithful into what he deems "the fount and apex of their entire Christian lives," the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Eucharist gives "life, meaning, and direction" to all our works and actions. It sends the lay faithful out into the world to spread the gospel, beginning first in the family.
The Cardinal also discusses the changes in the Mass and other liturgical practices that have taken place in the last fifty years. He also delineates the responsibility of the priest, Bishop, and assembly, at the Mass.
In Celebrating the Holy Eucharist, Cardinal Arinze elucidates the Church's faith in the Eucharist as the high point of her public worship and the source and summit of Christian life.