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Why Do We Gather?
Featuring Sr Kerry Willison RSM

21 March, 2023  


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Welcome to the fourth and final video for the Liturgical Formation and Renewal Program for the Archdiocese of Perth, Why Do We Gather?

In this video, Centre for Liturgy Director, Sr Kerry Willison RSM, explains that the video presentation Why Do We Gather? focuses on the words in the Eucharistic prayer ‘Do this in memory of me’. (Luke: 22:19).

The Jewish people gathered in community to worship God. They worshipped in the Temple. Those who lived elsewhere around the Mediterranean worshipped in their synagogues.

The Sabbath service included the reading of scripture, praying the psalms, preaching and prayers of intercession. The readings included one from the Law and one from the Prophets. In the Gospels, Jesus attends the synagogue service a number of times.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, we hear in the Acts of the Apostles (2:42) how the first Christians (who were also Jewish) went to the temple on Saturdays but gathered in homes in the evening for the celebration of The Lord’s Supper which became known as the Eucharist.

Why Do We Gather? explains very clearly how the Mass has its origins in the Jewish synagogue service. Just as the Jewish people gathered to listen to the word of God from the Old Testament, so too do we when we gather for the Eucharist; we come together to hear God’s word.

At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his followers a commandment to eat ‘His Body and drink His Blood’ in memory of Him (Luke 22:19). We hear these words in the Eucharistic Prayer at every Mass.

This video focuses on these words from the Eucharistic Prayer as the central reason for us as Catholics to gather for Mass. Not only did Jesus invite His Apostles to take part in this new covenant at the Last Supper, but he also told them to pass that on to the next generation (1 Corinthians 11: 23-25). Each generation has passed on the words and action of the ritual in the Eucharist.

In Christ Jesus,


Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn

Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation