LINK to share:


The celebration of the Eucharist:

A rite of sacrifice and atonement or the "Celebration of the New Covenant"?


The stunting of the Eucharist consists in the fact that a supplementary phrase, later attached by the evangelist Matthew to the words of Jesus at the Last Supper ("blood... shed for the forgiveness of sins"), shapes the entire Eucharist and the understanding of the Lord's salvation.

The human being is thereby primarily seen by his sinfulness and guiltiness and his need for salvation is almost exclusively related to it.

(Why was Christian worship changed in this way? >>> )


But the original center of Jesus' Last Supper, namely the celebration of the “New Covenant”, announced by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 31:33f), is scarcely to be found with its concrete contents in the Eucharistic celebration.

The "New Covenant" can be seen in the message and in the life of Jesus; it is offered to us in his death and resurrection, and finds its ritual fulfillment in the celebration of the sacrament.


Those in charge of the Church should realize the contents of the “New Covenant”, which Jesus instituted with the apostles at the Last Supper, in the texts and rites of the Eucharist and in catechesis and pastoral work.


The contents of the "New Covenant" were announced by the prophet Jeremiah, who lived in Israel from about 627 to 587 BC (Jer 31:33-34):


33. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

34. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.


Examples from the message and the life of Jesus, in which we can see the contents of the "New Covenant" realized:


- “Why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”  (Lk 12:56-57)

- “Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you.” (Mt 13:11)

- “As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi' … teacher … father … 'Master' …” (Mt 23:8-10)

- Jesus ' parable narratives are invitations to perceive and understand life independently.

- The words "obedience" and "obey" are never used by Jesus for human beings.


If we unfold the contents of the "New Covenant" in the Holy Mass, the Eucharist will be the celebration of the “New Covenant”.

This would mean that we should focus on the following subjects in the Eucharist:


- The conscience of man and the formation of his conscience,

- the dignity of man and a dignified life,

- the ability of the knowledge of God, which is also to be seen as a task, and the ways of the knowledge of God,

- How we learn to perceive the working of the Spirit of God within ourselves,

- The understanding and practice of authority as seen in Jesus,

- Overcoming all paternalism, incapacitation, disempowerment and oppression,

- …


It should be remembered that the forgiveness of sins by God in the promise of the "New Covenant" at Jeremiah works without blood and atonement sacrifices.

It should also be remembered to understand the crucifixion of Jesus as a consequence of his life, in which he realized the "New Covenant" through his behavior and message.

So it would be clear that his life, his death on the cross, his resurrection and the rite of sacramental celebration are related to the contents of the "New Covenant".


The celebration of the "New Covenant" needs the addition of the "Noah covenant":


The disciples of Jesus, who celebrated the Last Supper with him, stood in the faithful tradition of the Old Testament and thus also in the tradition of God's unannounced covenant with all living beings, the "Noah's covenant":

"Behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with all living creatures that are with you, with the birds, the livestock and all wild animals of the earth among you". (Gen 9:9f)


The awareness of this Jewish tradition of connectedness with creation, in which Jesus and his disciples also stood, has largely been lost in the Church. In view of the enormous ecological threat to humanity and to the entire community of nature on our earth, it would be urgently necessary to integrate this spiritual tradition into the prayers, songs and rites of the Eucharistic celebration.

It would also be helpful for this concern to understand the gifts of bread and wine on the altar as a representation of creation and to express this in the prayers: >>>

Prayer suggestions for the "connectedness with creation" - from the faith perspective of "Laudato si" >>>



Bread and wine in the preparation of gifts: creation and incarnation

When Pope Benedict was still teaching as Professor Josef Ratzinger at the University in Regensburg, he pointed out in his lecture that in the Eucharistic celebration the gifts of bread and wine on the altar represent creation in the preparation of gifts. To this representation of creation Jesus says "This is my body, this is my blood".

Through this view of Ratzinger, the whole creation is included in the Christ event and thus also the mystery of faith of the incarnation is made present in the Eucharistic celebration.
Creation theological and incarnation theological aspects should be better addressed in the Eucharistic celebration!

==> See the meditation picture "Cosmic Christ - Cosmic Man" by Hildegard of Bingen


Understanding of the need for redemption and salvation in RH: (Chapter 10)

Also the updating of the understanding of man's need for redemption and the understanding of salvation in the encyclical "Redemptor hominis" (RH) of Pope John Paul II. (1979) has not yet found its way into the formation of the Eucharistic celebration: (Original text: >>> )


Need of salvation in RH:


Man is for himself an incomprehensible being.

His life seems senseless.

He experiences in himself restlessness and insecurity, weakness, sinfulness and death.


The experience of redemption in RH:

The experience and knowledge to be loved comprehensively through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

In this way, man experiences a deep astonishment at the value and dignity of the human being.


"Need for redemption" and " salvation " through the Christian faith
on the background of the scientific knowledge of the evolution of life and the human sciences of our time:
>>> (In German)


Does our Christian worship correspond to Jesus' intention? >>>


The role and the task of a Priest >>>


Manfred Hanglberger (


LINK to share:

This article in German >>>

More texts in English