In this excerpt from the Introduction to the Theology of the Catholic Mass, David L. Gray excites us about this moment of crescendo in the liturgy and the call to unite ourselves with the sacrifice of Christ through our sacrifice of self.
The Sursum Corda is a liturgical dialogue that introduces the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer in the Catholic liturgy. The Latin phrase means “Lift up your hearts,” and it expresses the desire of the faithful to ascend to heaven and commune with God. The Sursum Corda has a long history that dates back to at least the third century when Hippolytus and Cyprian used it in the West and Cyril of Jerusalem in the East. The Sursum Corda is based on Biblical language, especially from the Psalms and the prophet Jeremiah, and it reflects the Jewish practice of blessing God before meals. The Sursum Corda is an important part of the liturgy because it prepares the community at worship for the solemn celebration of the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.