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The 'Pater Noster', Fraction and 'Pax Domini'

 

The "Pater Noster" (Lord's Prayer)

The prayer which Jesus himself taught us, rightly follows the Canon of the Mass which it sums up, and before Communion, which it prepares us to receive; " Oremus.  Preceptis.... " ("Let us pray, Directed by saving precepts and schooled in divine teaching, we make bold to say; Our Father...").  The faithful respond with the conclusion "... Sed libera nos a malo" ("... but deliver us from evil") to which the Priest adds the final "Amen".

The Fraction and "Pax Domini"

The Priest continues silently with the prayer " Libera nos, quæsumus " ("Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech Thee..."), a paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints.

During this prayer, the Priest breaks the Host into three pieces, the smallest of which he keeps between thumb and finger of his right hand.  At the conclusion of the prayer the words "... per omnia sæcula sæculorum" are said in a raised tone and the faithful reply "Amen."

Making the sign of the cross three times with the small fragment of the Host, the Priest prays aloud " Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum " ("May the peace of the Lord be always with you").  He then drops the fragment of the Host into the chalice with the prayer " Hæc commixtio ".  ("May this mingling and hallowing of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ help us who receive it unto everlasting salvation").

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