Category Archives: Catechism

The Ablution Prayers Lesson 6

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The First Ablution Prayer

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what is given us in time be our healing for eternity.

The Second Abultion Prayer

May Thy Body, O Lord, which I have eaten, and Thy Blood, which I have drunk, cleave unto my very soul, and grant that no trace of sin be found in me, whom these pure and holy mysteries have renewed. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

The word ablution means cleansing or washing. During the ablution prayers the priest cleanses the chalice. He does so that nothing may remain in it of the Precious Blood of Our Lord. His fingers, too, are cleansed, for they have touched the Sacred Host. The ablutions take place immediately after the people have received Holy Communion.

The priest is standing at the center of the altar as wine is poured into the chalice. First, he rinses the chalice with the wine. As he does so he makes the first ablution prayer.

This prayer is very short, but it means a great deal. It says that we received Holy Communion as food: in the words of the prayer, it “passed our lips as food.” Then the prayer asks that our hearts may be pure. This means, may they be cleansed from sin. It also asks that the Holy Communion we have just received may help us now that we may be happy forever in heaven.

When the priest has finished the first ablution prayer, he drinks the wine that was used to rinse out the chalice.

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Then the priest goes to the Epistle side of the altar. There the altar boy pours wine and water over his fingers. As the water and wine are poured, the priest prays the second ablution prayer.

In this prayer we also ask that the blessings of our Holy Communion may remain with us always. Priest and people are making this request when they pray that the body and blood of Our Lord may “cleave unto my very soul.” The word cleave means stick to it or cling to it. In this second ablution prayer we ask that not even a stain of sin may remain in us.

After the second ablution, the priest returns to the center of the altar. He wipes his fingers with the purificator and drinks the water and wine. He dries his lips, and then cleans the chalice with the purificator. When he has done these things, he arranges the chalice as it was at the beginning of Mass. The last thing he does is to place the chalice veil over it.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Prayers of the People’s Communion Lesson 5

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The Priest’s Communion

After the priest has made the three prayers studied in the last lesson, it is almost time for him to recieve Holy Communion.

But first he says: I will take the Bread of heaven and call upon the name of the Lord. Then, bowing before the altar, he prays: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed. Three times the priest makes this prayer that begins Lord, I am not worthy… Each time he says it he strikes his breast. At this time the altar boy rings the bell three times.

The priest next says: May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ keep my soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

Then he recieves the Sacred Host. For a short time he thinks about the most Holy Sacrament.

Next, he prays:

What return shall I make to the Lord for all He hath given me? I will take the chalice of salvation, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. Praising, I will call upon the Lord, and I shall be saved from my enemies. May the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ keep my soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

After this prayer the priest receives the Precious Blood of Our Lord. Then he gives Holy Communion to the people.

The Communion of the Faithful

Almost immediately after the bell rings, the people go to the communion rail.

At this time, the Confiteor – I confess – is recited by the altar boy in the name of the people. This prayer tells God, our Blessed Mother, and the saints that we have committed sins. We speak of them because we are sorry we committed them.

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The priest, after receiving the Precious Blood of Our Lord, genuflects and turns to the people. He says the last two parts of the Confiteor:

May almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting.

May the almighty and merciful God grant you pardon, absolution, and full remission of your sins.

As the priest says the second part, he makes the Sign of the Cross over the people.

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Then the priest turns to the altar and genuflects. He takes one of the small Hosts, holds it above the ciborium, and turns to the people again. He says in a voice they can hear:

Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who taketh away the sins of the world. And three times he says: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

St. John the Baptist first said: “Behold the Lamb of God; behold Him Who taketh away the sins of the world.” Our Lord, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, continues to take away the sins of the world.

It was the centurion, during the life of Our Lord on earth, who went to Him and said: “I am not worthy to have You enter under my roof.” But the same centurion also said: “Only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Our Lord was pleased with the faith of the centurion. He cured the servant by saying just a word. Knowing that Our Lord has power to cure and to forgive, we make the centurion’s prayer our prayer, as we get ready to recieve Holy Communion.

This is what the priest does as he gives Holy Communion to each person receiving. First, he blesses the person, making the Sign of the Cross with the Sacred Host. Then, as he places the Host on the tongue of the person, he says: May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ keep thy soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Three Prayers Before the Priest’s Communion Lesson 4.

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The First Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast said to Thy apostles: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, regard not my sins but the faith of Thy Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Thy will. Who livest and reignest, God world without end. Amen.

The three prayers before the priest’s Communion are made to Our Lord. It is Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, Whom priest and people will recieve in Holy Communion. These prayers are in preparation for Holy Communion. They are the prayers of the priest offering Holy Mass. In them he uses the words I, my, and me. But they can also be the prayers of the people.

In the first of the three prayers, priest and people pray for peace. This is the fourth time they pray for peacein the Communion part of the Mass. The prayer reminds Our Lord of words He spoke to the apostles at the Last Supper. He said to them: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” Then the priest asks Our Lord to give peace and unity to the Church.

When we pray for peace and unity in the Church, we are praying for oeace and unity among the members of the Church. In Holy Communion, we recieve grace to love God and our neighbor. This is the greatest help to peace and unity. Because people do not love one another, there are wars and other kinds of suffering.

The Second Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who by the will of the Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, hast by Thy death given life to the world, deliver me by this Thy most sacred Body and Blood from all my sins and from every evil. Make me always cling to Thy commands, and never permit me to be separated from Thee. Who with the same God the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, God world without end. Amen.

As the priest says this prayer and the next one, his hands are folded. His eyes are on the Sacred Host, and he goes before the altar. He is speaking to Our Lord Whom he will recieve in Holy Communion. The prayer reminds Our Lord that, by His death, He gave life to the world. This is the life of grace that we first recieve in the Sacrament of Baptism.

This prayer asks Our Lord for four favors. First, each one praying it asks to be delivered from his or her sins. This means the punishment due to sin. At the same time, priest and people also ask to be delivered from every evil. They ask for these favors because of the body and blood of Our Lord which they are about to recieve. Next, they ask for grace always to keep the commandments. Lastly, they pray never to be separated from Our Lord. Mortal sin alone can separate us from Him. Our prayer is for grace never to commit mortal sin.

The Third Prayer

Let not the partaking of The Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I, all unworthy, make bold to recieve, turn to my judgement and condemnation, but by reason of The loving kindness, may it be to me a safeguard of both soul and body, an effective remedy. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the union of the Holy Ghost, God world without end. Amen.

In this prayer, priest and people pray that Our Lord will keep them from making an unworthy Communion. The Catechism says: “To recieve Holy Communion worthily it is necessary to be free from mortal sin, to have a right intention, and to obey the Church’s laws on fasting before Holy Communion.” The Catechism also says: “He who knowingly receives Holy Communion in mortal sin receives the body and blood of Christ, but does not recieve His graces, and commits a grave sin of sacrilege.”

Each one making this prayer asks two other things. Priest and people pray that Holy Communion may protect them and help them, both in body and soul. The prayer says they ask for these favors because of Our Lord’s loving kindness.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Agnus Dei

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Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Before the Agnus Dei

After the priest says the prayer beginning, “Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech,” he prays that the peace of the Lord may be always with us.

Then there is a short prayer. It asks that all those who recieve Holy Communion may be helped to save their souls and be happy forever in heaven. This prayer is made by the priest as he drops a small piece of the Sacred Host into the chalice. The chalice contains the blood of Our Lord.

The Agnus Dei

The prayer that we call “The Agnus Dei” is said next. “Agnus Dei” is the Latin for “Lamb of God.” Three times this prayer uses words spoken by St. John the Baptist. St. John called Our Lord the “Lamb of God” when he pointed Jesus out to the Jews. He was showing Him to them as their Savior. St. John said: “Behold the Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world.” He meant that Jesus would give His life for them.

The Bible tells us that the Jews offered a lamb to God on their greatest feast of the year. The lamb was the victim of their sacrifice. The lamb was offered to God to make up for sin. The lamb was a sign of Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus alone could make up to God for the sins of men.

When the priest says “have mercy on us” and “grant us peace,” he strikes his breast. People strike their breasts as a sign of what they are thinking. They wish to make known to God and to others that they are thinking of their sins.

Our Lord is still saving men. In the Mass He continues to offer Himself to God the Father to make up for the sins of men. He is the lamb or victim offered in sacrifice. He is making up for sin and obtaining grace for men.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

“Deliver Us, O Lord, We Beseech Thee” Lesson 2

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Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, from all evils, past, present, and to come; and through the intercession of the glorious and blessed Mary, ever virgin, mother of God, together with The blessed apostles, Peter and Paul and Andrew, and all the saints, grant of Thy goodness, peace in our days, that aided by the riches of Thy mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all disquiet.

The priest makes this prayer immediately after the Our Father. The lesson gets its name from the first words of the prayer. Priest and people make again the last request of the Our Father, “deliver us from evil.”

The prayer asks that we may be protected from all evils, those of the past, those of the present, those which may come upon us. In the same prayer we also ask for “peace in our days.” Peace comes to us when we keep away from sin and are safe from troubles outside of us.

In the Communion part of the Mass the peace is repeated frequently. Sin is the great enemy of peace. On the other hand, love of God and love of neighbor gives peace to families, countries, the whole world. There would be no wars if all men loved God and their neighbor. God’s grace, which we recieve in a special way in Holy Communion, is the greatest help possible to grow in love of God and love of our neighbor.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

Unit 6 The Mass of the Faithful The Communion; The Our Father Lesson 1

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Priest: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation.
Altar Boy: But deliver us from evil.
Priest: Amen.

The Communion part of the Mass begins with the Our Father.

During the Offertory and Canon we give to God. In the Communion of the Mass, God gives to us. He gives us Himself. Our Lord wishes to give us in Holy Communion the blessings He obtained for us in dying on the Cross.

Holy Communion is a part of the Mass. When we do not recieve Holy Communion, we are not receiving all the graces that Our Lord obtained for us in His sacrifice on the cross.

In the Mass, the Our Father is introduced with these words: Let us pray. Instructed by Thy saving commandments and following Thy divine directions, we presume to say, Our Father…

You know why we have these words in the Mass. One day, when Our Lord was on earth, the apostles said to Him: “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Our Lord replied: “When you pray, pray thus.” And then He gave them the Our Father.

In the Mass, the Our Father is the first step in our preparation for Holy Communion. This prayer asks God to give us our daily bread. Our Lord Himself told His followers that He is the “bread of life.”

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Last Prayer of the Canon Lesson 7

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Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, is to Thee, God the Father Almighty, in the union of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory world without end. Amen.

This is the last prayer of the Canon of the Mass. It is a prayer of praise. The Preface, the prayer that introduces the Canon, is also a prayer of praise. The first purpose for which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered is to give to God the honor that should be given to Him.

This short prayer speaks of honor and glory for the Most Holy Trinity. Our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross, which is continued in the Mass, makes it possible for us to give worthy praise to the Most Holy Trinity.

The priest holds the Sacred Host in his hands as he says this prayer. With it he makes three crosses over the chalice and two crosses before the chalice. Then he raises both chalice and Host. As he does these things he is saying the last prayer of the Canon of the Mass.

The people can hear the last words of this short prayer of praise. The priest raises his voice as he says “per omnia saecula saeculorum.” In English per omnia saecula saeculorum means “world without end” or “forever and ever.” All the other prayers of the Canon, after the Preface, have been recited silently. The Amen is said by the altar boy. He does so for all the people in the church. Amen means “So be it.”

The offering part of the Mass ends with this last prayer of the Canon. During the Offertory, priest and people offered bread, wine, and themselves to God. At the Consecration, Our Lord offered Himself to His Father, just as He did at the Last Supper and on the Cross. Immediately after the Consecration, we joined with the priest and offered Our Lord to God the Father.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Three Remembrance Prayers After the Consecration Lesson 6

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The Fourth Remembrance: Of the Dead

Be mindful, O Lord, also of Thy servants and handmaids, N. and N., who have gone before us with the sign of faith, and rest in the sleep of peace.

To these, O Lord, and to all who sleep in Christ, we beseech Thee to grant, of Thy goodness, a place of comfort, light, and peace. Through the same Christ Our Lord, Amen.

There are three remembrance prayers before the Consecration in the Mass, and there are three remembrance prayers after the Consecration. In the remembrance prayers after the Consecration we pray for the dead, for ourselves who are sinners, and for everything in nature.

Let us look at the first of these prayers after the Consecration. You will see there is a special place in this prayer for us to mention the names of our dead. We ask for own dead, and for all who died in the grace of God, comfort, light, and peace. The prayer uses the words comfort, light, and peace to describe the happiness of heaven.

The Fifth Remembrance: Of Ourselves

To us also, sinners. Yet Thy servants, trusting in the goodness of Thy mercy, deign to grant some part and fellowship with Thy holy apostles and martyrs: with Stephen, John, Matthias, Barnabus, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Feclicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and all Thy saints; into whose company we implore Thee to admit us, and not weighing our merits, but freely granting us pardon. Through Christ Our Lord.

If we listen carefully, we can hear the priest as he says the first words of this prayer. In English they mean “To us also, sinners.” As the priest prays them, he strikes his breast.

In this prayer we call ourselves sinners, but we tell God that we put our trust in His very great mercy. We ask that one day we may have some place with the saints in heaven. We say we do not deserve this favor, but we beg it of God just the same. At the same time we ask pardon for our sins.

This prayer is very old. That is why only saints of the early Church are mentioned in it.

The Sixth Remembrance: Of All Nature

Through Whom, Lord, Thou dost ever create, hallow, fill with life, bless, and bestow upon us all good things.

The last remembrance prayer asks God to bless everything on earth. In this prayer we say that we know it is through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who offered Himself to His Father at the Consecration. It is Our Lord Whom we offered to God the Father in the orayer immediately after the Consecration.

In this short prayer we say God creates, makes holy, and fills with life, that He blesses, and gives us all good things.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Offering Prayers After the Consecration Lesson 5

The First Prayer

Mindful, therefore, O Lord, not only of the blessed passion of the same Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, but also of His resurrection from the dead, and finally His glorious ascension into heaven, we, Thy ministers, as also Thy holy people, offer unto Thy Supreme Majesty, of Thy gifts bestowed upon us, the pure Victim, the holy Victim, the all-perfect Victim; the holy Bread of life eternal and the Chalice of unending salvation.

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In this prayer the priest and people offer Christ Our Lord to God the Father. They do so, thinking about the passion of Our Lord, His resurrection from the dead, and His glorious ascension into heaven.

The priest or priests speak to God of themselves as “Thy ministers.” They speak of the people as “Thy holy people.” The prayer addresses God the Father as “Thy Supreme Majesty.” Our Blessed Lord is spoken of as “the pure Victim, the holy Victim, the all-perfect Victim.”

The prayer also speaks of Our Lord as “the holy Bread of life eternal and the Chalice of unending salvation.” These last words remind us that it is through the graces that come to us in Holy Mass and Holy Communion we will get to heaven. These are the graces we need to live a good life now that we may be happy with God forever in heaven.

The Second Prayer

And this do Thou deign to regard with gracious and kindly attention and hold acceptable, as Thou didst deign to accept the offerings of Abel, Thy just servant, and the sacrifice of Abraham our patriarch, and that which Thy chief priest Melchisedech, offered unto Thee, a holy sacrifice of thanks, and a spotless Victim.

The second offering prayer asks God to look upon our offering with pleasure and, please, to recieve it.

The prayer asks that God will accept our offering as He received with pleasure the sacrifices offered by Abel, Abraham, and Melchisedech.

Jesus, our gift to God the Father, is pure, holy, and all-perfect. These are the words of the first prayer after the Consecration. But we who offer the gift are not holy, or perfect, or free from sin. We know how unworthy we are to make this gift to God. For this reason we pray that God will look upon our offering with kindness, and please recieve it.

The Third Prayer

Most humbly we implore Thee, Almighty God, bid these our mystic offerings to be brought by the hands of Thy holy angel unto Thy altar above, before the face of Thy divine majesty; that those of us who, by sharing in the Sacrifice of Thy Son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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This prayer asks two things of Almighty God. First, we pray that God will permit His holy angel to give our offering to Him in heaven. The prayer does not mention the name of any particular angel. Then the prayer speaks of those who are about to recieve Holy Communion. It asks that those who shall receive the body and blood of Our Lord, the Son of God, may be filled with every blessing and grace.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Consecration Lesson 4

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Consecration of the Bread

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Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and having raised His eyes to heaven, unto Thee, O God, His Father almighty, giving thanks to Thee, blessed, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take ye all and eat of this, FOR THIS IS MY BODY.

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Consecration of the Wine

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In like manner, when the supper was done, taking also this goodly chalice into His holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to Thee, He blessed it and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take ye all, and drink of this FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT: THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, WHICH SHALL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY UNTO THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. As often as you shall do these things, in memory of Me shall you so them.

The Consecration is the most holy moment in the Mass. It is the time when then body and blood of Our Lord become present on the altar. It is the time when Our Lord offers Himself again to His Father, just as He did on the cross.

At the Consecration of the Mass Our Lord Himself is the priest. The words and actions are those Our Lord used at the Last Supper.

The priest takes the bread into his hands, lifts his eyes toward heaven, bows in thanksgiving, and blesses the bread. Only after he has done these things does he bend over the altar and say the words of Consecration. Jesus Christ, true God and Man, becomes present. Bread is no longer there, only that which looks like bread. The priest genuflects to adore Our Lord. Next he raises the Sacred Host high so that all the people may see it. Then he puts the Host upon the corporal, and again he genuflects.

The priest does the same at the Consecration of the wine. He takes the chalice, and he blesses it. He bends over it and says the words of consecration. Then he genuflects to adore, holds the chalice up so that all may see it, and again he genuflects.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!