The U.S. bishops are encouraging Catholics to deepen their love for the Eucharist as part of the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival initiative. In light of that effort, the following is the second in a series from Angelus contributing editor Mike Aquilina on the meaning and makeup of the Eucharistic Prayers.
“Eucharist” is a strange word in English. It doesn’t follow the usual rules of pronunciation. It has clearly been borrowed from another language. If it seems ordinary to Catholics, it is only because we have heard it, spoken it, and seen it in print since childhood.
Its origin, in fact, is Greek, and its Greek meaning is very simple: thanksgiving.
Still today, in Greece, the word for thanksgiving is “eucharistia.” The word for expressing gratitude is “eucharisteo.”