May Christ teach us to be a gift to others. The role of Gift Bearer is a beautiful way for both individuals and families to participate in the Eucharistic Liturgy. The Gift Bearers represent the parish community returning a portion of God’s gifts to Him in the form of Water, Bread, Wine and the community offerings. These gifts are presented as a sign of the community’s desire to incorporate itself in the sacrifice of Christ.
Early Christians brought wine and bread to be consumed at Liturgy, and also money and other gifts to be given to the Poor. The bread and wine recall the last supper Jesus shared with His Disciples. They ate bread and drank wine because it was their everyday food. These are the gifts of food, the nourishment necessary for living. So our bread and wine at Mass represent our everyday lives, our everyday selves, and the essence of our lives. These gifts that are brought to the altar, challenge us to give ourselves in thanksgiving for everything that God has given us.
The water symbolizes the human and the divine natures of Christ joined in the Mystery of the Incarnation – God becoming human, when it is mixed with the wine during the Eucharist. The water is also used for the priest to wash his hands as a symbol of internal purification in preparation for the most sacred part of the Mass. In the olden days, it was quite often a real necessity for the Priest to wash his hands after receiving the gifts of the people – which may have included fresh fish and live chickens as well as bread and wine.
Being a Gift Bearer is also a wonderful way to remember a loved one who has passed away, a special birthday, anniversary or a special family occasion. Place your family’s name on the Gift Bearer schedule at least one month in advance so that you can be scheduled for that memorable Mass.