Q. A protestant friend once asked me to explain the Eucharistic Prayers with all these references to SACRIFICE.
SUCH AS: What does. Pray my sisters and brothers that OUR SACRIFICE may be acceptable to God the almighty father.
A. This is the sacrifice of Christ which we offer to God through the priest. As always we are enabled to offer this sacrifice through the pure gift and grace of Christ.
Q. What about: “May the Lord accept the SACRIFICE AT YOUR HANDS for the praise and glory of his name for our good and the good of all his church?”
A. Again it is Christ’s sacrifice through the hands of the priest made present by the power and gift of God.
Q. What does the Catholic church mean when it says that THE SACRIFICE is IN THE BREAD AND WINE?
A. Jesus IS the sacrifice for salvation and it is HE WHO is made present under the appearance of bread and wine.
Q. Also why is it a propitiatory/expiatory sacrifice when ALL our sins have already been forgiven at calvary?
A. Well, Christ’s sacrifice paid the price for all sin of all people so IT IS propitiatory/expiatory. But individually we must appropriate that grace. And in His wisdom God desires to strengthen us for our Journey through the dangers of this life so that we stay the course and arrive at death in friendship with Him. Just like our physical bodies need food to remain strong and healthy our souls need the supernatural food of the Eucharist to stay strong and healthy in order to resist Our Enemy. And Confession heals the wounds Our Enemy was able to inflict upon our souls.
As a Protestant I was very much more Gnostic in my approach to religion. All was invisible– spiritual… matter did not matter. But the Catholic faith is not in denial of our physical selves and our need for spiritual as well as physical smells and bells food and drink.
This is my understanding but I am not a theologian so I welcome any corrections with documentation.