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St Thomas Aquinas on the Roman Rite of Holy Mass

St Thomas Aquinas on the Roman Rite of Holy Mass

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Published by: Quo Primum on Apr 27, 2013
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07/21/2013

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SUMMA ON THEROMAN RITE OF HOLY MASS:
WORDS AND GESTURESANALYSED BY SAINT THOMAS AQUINASIN CIRCA 1260 AD
 
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St Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica Third Part Q[83]
OF THE RITE OF THIS SACRAMENT of the Holy Eucharist (SIX ARTICLES)
We have now to consider the Rite of this sacrament, under which headthere are six points of inquiry:(1) Whether Christ is sacrificed in the celebration of this mystery?(2) Of the time of celebrating;(3) Of the place and other matters relating to the equipment for this celebration;(4) Of the words uttered in celebrating this mystery;(5) Of the actions performed in celebrating this mystery.(6) Of the defects which occur in the celebration of this sacrament.
 From end of article 3:
Reply OBJ 8: The dispensing of the sacraments belongs to the Church's ministers; but their consecration is from God Himself. Consequently, the Church's ministers can make noordinances regarding the form of the consecration, and the manner of celebrating. Andtherefore, if the priest pronounces the words of consecration over the proper matter with theintention of consecrating, then, without every one of the things mentioned above---namely,without house, and altar, consecrated chalice and corporal, and the other things instituted by theChurch---he consecrates Christ's body in very truth; yet he is guilty of grave sin,in not following the rite of the Church.Aquin.: SMT TP Q[83] Article [4]
Whether the words spoken in this sacrament are properly framed?
OBJ 1: It seems that the words spoken in this sacrament are not properly framed. For, asAmbrose says (De Sacram. iv), this sacrament is consecrated with Christ's own words.Therefore no other words besides Christ's should be spoken in this sacrament.
 
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OBJ 2: Further, Christ's words and deeds are made known to us through the Gospel. But inconsecrating this sacrament words are used which are not set down in the Gospels: for we donot read in the Gospel, of Christ lifting up His eyes to heaven while consecrating thissacrament: and similarly it is said in the Gospel: "Take ye and eat" [comedite] withoutthe addition of the word "all," whereas in celebrating this sacrament we say: "Lifting up Hiseyes to heaven," and again, "Take ye and eat [manducate] of this." Therefore such words asthese are out of place when spoken in the celebration of this sacrament.OBJ 3: Further, all the other sacraments are ordained for the salvation of all the faithful. But inthe celebration of the other sacraments there is no common prayer put up for the salvation of allthe faithful and of the departed. Consequently it is unbecoming in this sacrament.OBJ 4: Further, Baptism especially is called the sacrament of faith. Consequently, the truthswhich belong to instruction in the faith ought rather to be given regarding Baptism thanregarding this sacrament, such as the doctrine of the apostles and of the Gospels.OBJ 5: Further, devotion on the part of the faithful is required in every sacrament.Consequently, the devotion of the faithful ought not to be stirred up in this sacrament more thanin the others by Divine praises and by admonitions, such as, "Lift up your hearts."OBJ 6: Further, the minister of this sacrament is the priest, as stated above (Q[82], A[1]).Consequently, all the words spoken in this sacrament ought to be uttered by the priest, and notsome by the ministers, and some by the choir.OBJ 7: Further, the Divine power works this sacrament unfailingly. Therefore it is to no purpose that the priest asks for the perfecting of this sacrament, saying: "Which oblation dothou, O God, in all," etc.OBJ 8: Further, the sacrifice of the New Law is much more excellent than the sacrifice of thefathers of old. Therefore, it is unfitting for the priest to pray that this sacrifice may be asacceptable as the sacrifice of Abel, Abraham, and Melchisedech.

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