Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

How To Assist At Mass. The Holy Sacrifice Is Offered To The Holy Trinity. It's Not A Place To Go In And Have A Damn Good Chinwag.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

First of all, we must never forget that The Mass is a Sacrifice, an act, by which The Church gives to Almighty God, officially and in the name of all, Worship of the highest kind, Adoration, or Latria (Editor: Supreme Worship allowed to God, alone), which is due to Him alone, in virtue of the supreme excellence of His Divine Being, from which everything comes and to which everything must return.

Therefore, The Mass is offered only to The Three Persons of The Blessed Trinity.

What the Priest offers to God, as an acknowledgement of His Sovereign Dominion over all creatures, is none other than Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, by His Sacrifice on The Cross, has rendered to His Father an infinite Act of Worship, consisting of Adoration, Thanksgiving, Expiation, and Impetration (Editor: The action of requesting something fervently).

The Sacrifice of The Mass, by placing on the Altar The Victim of Calvary, enables us, through Him, to Adore God in a suitable manner, to thank Him worthily for all His favours, to render Him full satisfaction by the offering of The Blood of Jesus, and to address to Him requests which are always heard because they are made in His name, Who, by the very act of showing His Glorious Wounds to His Father, intercedes unceasingly for us in Heaven and in The Eucharist on Earth.

Moreover, since all the Mysteries of Our Saviour's life have helped, in union with Calvary, to bring about our Salvation, The Church Commemorates them in The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass by the different Feasts of The Temporal Cycle or The Cycle of Christ.

At Christmas, she offers to God The Divine Child of The Manger, with all that stage in Our Lord's life that has specially contributed to The Father's Glory; and, by that means, ensures to us the application, quite special, also, of the Graces which Christ merited for us, and which will enable us to practise each year, more and more, the Virtues of which The Son of God and Mary then gave us an example.

The Holy Sacrifice is offered in honour of The Saints.

But The Mass is offered, also, in honour of The Saints, as The Sanctoral Cycle shows. In this way, is emphasised the fact, that it is to the Sacrifice of Calvary and to The Eucharist, that The Saints owe the Graces which God gave them in such abundance. And The Saints, themselves, are honoured when the work of The Most High is glorified in them.

We offer to The Saints, also, a fitting homage when we unite their memory with Our Lord's at the Altar. This is done on the Anniversary of their death and every day in The Canon of The Mass. As Members of The Mystical Body of Christ, it is right to associate them with The Sacrifice of their Head, since, by their sufferings, and often by their Martyrdom, they have mingled their blood with that of this Divine Victim.

Moreover, The Church encloses The Relics of The Saints, especially those of The Martyrs, in the Altar-Stone at the very spot where the Priest places The Sacred Host. "It is the whole City of The Redeemed," says Saint Augustine, "the assembly and company of The Saints, which is the universal sacrifice and which is offered to God by The High Priest, Who offers Himself for us in His Passion."

We render to The Saints the greatest honour we can give them when we offer to God, in their name, The Blood of Jesus to Adore The Most High and to thank Him for His favours to them. The Saints, full of zeal for The Glory of The Holy Trinity, are beholden to us if we honour God in union with their intention, for this increases their joy.

The efficacy of their merits in the past, and their Prayers in the present, is, in a special way, increased, when these are offered to God closely united with the Merits and Prayers of Christ Jesus, The Universal Mediator, and this happens especially on their Feast Day, when Holy Mass is Celebrated in their honour.

"Most humbly we Pray," says The Church in The Collect for The Feast of All Saints, "that, since so great is the number of Thine Elect pleading for us, we may partake, in all their fulness, of Thy abounding mercies."

Most willingly does God accept the offering of The Blood of Christ, made through The Saints as intermediaries.

How The Faithful can take an active part in this Sacrifice.

Assisting at Mass, we should do four things:

1.   Reconstruct the historic setting in which took place the event in Our Lord's life, or in that of one of His Saints, which is being Commemorated on the appointed day. In doing this, much help may be gained from The Mass of The Catechumens with its different features: The Vestments; The Chant; The Introit, Epistle, Gospel, etc.

2.   Offer to God, for His greater glory, The Mystery of Our Redeemer's Life which is being Commemorated, the Acts of Virtue which have been practised by the Saint whose Feast it is. This is done in The Canon of The Mass; it is not fitting to Communicate (Editor: To go to Communion] before having made this offering which appeases The Most High and brings us Divine Grace.

3.   Ask of God (this is done in the Pater Noster) and receive from Him, by the Merits and Intercession of Our Lord and His Saints, the Graces which they, themselves, received when they were living on Earth. (This is the fruit of the Communion and Postcommunion.)

4.   To these three ways of Interior or Spiritual Participation, which can be practised at every Mass, we should, as far as circumstances allow, add Exterior or Material Participation, which may consist:

In reading Liturgical Prayers with the Priest;

In singing Congregational and Gregorian Chant at High Mass;

In responding at Low Mass, and best of all,

In receiving Holy Communion with the Priest during Mass.

In this way, we shall draw plentiful fresh draughts of the True Christian Spirit at its primary source, as Pope Saint Pius X wished.

Certain Texts of The Mass are reserved to the Priest, and should never be said aloud by The Faithful: We can still make these parts our own, not by a mechanical repetition, but by reverent and serious reflection, corresponding to the thoughts expressed by these Prayers.

Other parts of The Mass were originally, and are still meant to be, said by the people. They are of two kinds: Those that are to be Chanted by The Congregation at High Mass, and those that are responded by the Ministers, or by the Server at Low Mass, on our behalf.

Before Holy Communion, we should say not only the Confiteor, with the Server, but the Domine non dignus, which the Priest says at that moment on our behalf, may also be said three times with him.

In The Ordinary of The Mass, all sentences that may be said by The Faithful are printed in heavier type (Editor: Bold Type).

This assistance at The Holy Sacrifice is the ideal preparation for Holy Communion, since it is the same that The Church imposes on The Pope, the Bishops, and all Priests, whenever they Celebrate Mass.

It develops in the Soul those sentiments of contrition (from the Introit to the Collects), of Faith (from the Collects to the Credo), of hope (at The Canon of The Mass), of love (at the Communion), and of gratitude (from the Ablutions to the end of Mass), which are indispensable if The Eucharist is to be received with fruit.

By means of this preparation, the highest Act of Participation in The Mass is Holy Communion. It obtains all its fruits, because it is one of the most perfect applications of the conditions required by the Decree of the Saintly Pope Pius X, when he said: "A most abundant attainment of the effects of Holy Communion is, by a careful preparation and a thanksgiving, proper to the reception of this Divine Sacrament".

Photo: 2004-10-18 (original upload date).
Source: Own work (zelf gemaakt).
Originally from nl.wikipedia; description page is/was here.
Author: Original uploader was Broederhugo at nl.wikipedia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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