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The Catholic Mass

The Catholic Mass

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Published by nat
The central act of worship of the Catholic Faith. To help you to understand what goes on at Mass. Why in Latin? Why not the chalice for the laity?
The central act of worship of the Catholic Faith. To help you to understand what goes on at Mass. Why in Latin? Why not the chalice for the laity?

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Published by: nat on Sep 07, 2009
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 My Catholic Faith
The Catholic Mass 11[THE HOLY SCRAFICE OF THE CATHOLIC MASS of Christ spoken of here is oftenknown by several names since the close of The Second Vatican Council, A.D. 1962-65. TheTridentine Mass; Mass of Pope St. Pius V; Latin Mass; traditional Latin Mass; immemorialMass; Mass of all ages; Extraordinary Form; EF; etc.It is not the purpose of this very short text to speak of that mass started after Vatican II. Thisservice is also known by many other names, here are a few: Mass of Pope Paul VI as plannedby Annibale Bugnini; missa normativa; novus ordo; new order of mass; vernacular mass;heretical mass; schismatic mass; Missa mutilate; etc.]
GO to Mass some day in a traditional Catholic Church. It will probably look very strange toyou. You will see the priest dressed in some unfamiliar garments. You will see him bowingfrom time to time, turning round to the people, turning back again to the altar, moving fromone side to the other. You will see the people standing, at other times kneeling, sometimes -sitting. You will hear a low murmur in an unfamiliar language — Latin.The whole thing will be strange and unfamiliar to you. And yet for millions of Catholics itis a perfectly familiar thing. It was familiar to your ancestors in England for a thousand yearsand more.King Alfred who burnt the cakes, William the Conqueror, even Dick Whittington, half the–names you read in your history books, went to Mass as a normal part of their lives. Andindeed right back to the time of Christ Mass has been celebrated in the world without a break.
WHEN you see the priest go up the steps he bows down and kisses the
That is becausethere is a
there in the altar in which are buried some part of the bones of martyrs —men and women who, have died for the Faith. It is there because we have always said Masson a stone like that ever since the earliest days of Christianity. In those days the only placewhere Mass could be said in safety for fear of the persecutors were the underground passagesin Rome called Catacombs where a convenient place for saying Mass was the flat stonewhich covered the tomb of a martyr.You will see the priest standing to pray with his
hands extended.
That was the mostcommon attitude of prayer of the early Christians. The priest has stood like that for over twothousand years.Even the garments
he is wearing are only the ordinary dress of the earlyChristians, modified slightly in cut and decorated rather more in the course of time. There isa lot of history in the Mass.Page 2 of 6
The Catholic Mass 11
ALL the early part of the Mass is composed of prayers, readings from the Scriptures andhymns (more often said now than sung except at a solemn celebration of Mass).But the essential part of the Mass comes about half way. At that point you will notice thepriest bow low over the altar, the whole congregation goes very silent, then the priest goesdown on one knee, stands, raises the white consecrated Host (See text 10) above his head andgoes down on one knee again. He does the same with the chalice in which is the consecratedwine. And the server rings the bell at each of these movements, six times in all.After that there are more prayers, the people come to receive Holy Communion and at theend the priest turns round and says the Latin words:“Ite missa est” — Go it is the dismissal.That word missa has become the name for the whole service — the Mass.
WHAT happens at that central most solemn point? This happens. The priest recalls the nightbefore Christ died on the cross. And he says:“The night before He suffered He took bread into His holy and venerable hands andhaving raised His eyes to heaven unto Thee, O God, His Father Almighty, giving thanks toThee, blessed, broke it and gave to His disciples, saying: Take ye all and eat of this
for this isMy Body
. In like manner, when the supper was done, taking also this goodly chalice intoHis holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to Thee, He blessed it and gave it to Hisdisciples, saying: Take ye all and drink of this f 
or this is the Chalice of My Blood of thenew and eternal covenant, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and formany unto the forgiveness of sins.
As often as you shall do these things, ye shall do themfor a commemoration of Me.”At that moment the bread and wine is changed into the Body and Blood of Christ andChrist offers Himself to God for the living and the dead. (text 10.)
TO understand the Mass it is necessary to read again what we said about Christ's death on thecross. As the head of the human race He offered Himself to God on the cross. And thereforethe human race could at last say to God:“We have made amends for the sin by which we cut ourselves off from you.”That was on the cross on Calvary. But the night before, at the Last Supper, Christ had madethe same offering of Himself although no blood was shed. Body and blood, under theappearances of bread and wine, were separated. In fact, because He is the living Christ, withHis Body there is His Blood, His Soul, His Humanity and His Godhead. But the separation atthe Last Supper vividly represented the separation of body and blood which in fact occurredwhen He died next day. Then He said to His Apostles:“Do this for a commemoration of Me.”What He commanded His Apostles to do the priest does every day at the traditional LatinMass.Page 3 of 6

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