Tag Archives: altar

The Ablution Prayers Lesson 6

image

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.

image

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!!

Advertisements

The Prayers of the People’s Communion Lesson 5

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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!!

The Mass of the Faithful: The Cannon; The Preface Lesson 1

image

It is indeed meet and just, right and profitable unto salvation, always and everywhere to give thanks to Thee, holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God, who with Thine only begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God, one Lord; not in the unity of a single person, but in the trinity of a single nature. For that which we believe from Thy revelation concerning Thy glory, that same we believe of Thy Son, that same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or discrimination. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, we shall adore distinction in persons, oneness in being, and equality in majesty. This the angels and the archangels, the cherubim, too, and the seraphim do praise; day by day they cease not to get out, saying as with one voice:

Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts! Heaven and earth are filled with Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

image

The Canon is the Consecration part of the Mass.

The Preface is the introduction to the Canon. It is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the most Blessed Trinity–to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

Before the priest says the Preface, he speaks to the people with the words: “The Lord be with you.”

The altar boys answer: “And with thy spirit.”

Then the priest says to the people: “Lift up your hearts.” And what does that mean? His words say: “Pay very special attention. Let it be loving attention.”

Again the altar boy answers in the name of the people: “We have lifted them up to the Lord.”

Next the priest says to us: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.”

And again the boy answers for the people: “It is meet and just.” He means that it is the right thing for us to do, to give thanks to Almighty God.

Then the priest recites the Preface. He says it aloud. As he does so, his hands are extended outward. They show that he is begging God to listen.

In the Preface we speak our thanks to God. Our gift of thanksgiving we give to God immediately after the Consecration when we offer Our Lord to God the Father.

The word eucharist means “giving thanks.” To thank God for His many favors is one of the four chief purposes for which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered.

The Preface, given at the beginning of this lesson, is the one used on almost all Sundays. At certain times parts of the Preface change.

The short prayer after the Preface is called “The Sanctus.” Sanctus is the Latin word for holy. In the Sanctus we use words of the angels in giving praise to our Blessed Lord. He will become present on the altar at the Consecration. At that time He becomes our Gift to God. He becomes the victim of sacrifice.

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 Lavabo Lesson 5

image

After the prayer to the Holy Ghost, the priest goes to the Epistle side of the altar. There the altar boy pours a little water over his fingers. As the priest washes his fingers, he says a Psalm from the Bible that begins with the words, “I will wash my hands.” This part of the Mass is called Lavabo, because lavabo is the Latin word for “I will wash,” and the first word in the Psalm as the priest recites it in Latin.

The Psalm speaks of two things in particular, desire of pardon for sin and God’s glory. Long ago, the priest washed his fingers because they often became soiled as they received the gifts the people brought. Today, the priest continues to wash his fingers, but as a sign that he wishes his soul to be made clean from sin. The people say the Psalm for the same reasons as the priest, to ask pardon of God for their sins and to tell Him that they wish to honor Him.

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!!

Mass of the Faithful: The Offertory; The Offering of the Host Lesson 1

image

Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offenses, and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation unto life everlasting. Amen.

image

Before The Priest Offers The Host

Long ago, people brought their gifts for the Church to the altar at the beginning of the Offertory of the Mass. During this time the choir sang a Psalm from the Bible. Today, a few sentences are read at the beginning of the Offertory. They contain part of the Psalm that the choir once sang. The priest reads this short prayer from the Missal. It is called the Offertory of the day and changes daily.

After the Offertory prayer the priest is ready to say the prayer offering the host to God. First, he takes the veil off the chalice and puts it on the right side. You already know that the paten is the small gold-like plate on which the priest brought the host to the altar. This is the host which is to be consecrated during Holy Mass.

The priest holds up the paten with the host on it and offers the host to God in the prayer printed at the beginning of this lesson. The prayer reminds us that God is our Father, that He is holy, that He can do all things, and that He always was and always will be.

If you were to put this prayer in simple English it would read like this:

“Recieve, O God the Father, this host which is to be consecrated and offered to You. I know how sinful I am, but I offer this host to You to make up for my sins. I offer it to You for all present in this church. I also offer it to You for all Catholics, living and dead, that it may help me and them to be happy with You forever in heaven.”

This prayer tells us that the priest is offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to atone for his sins, and to pray for all present and for all faithful Christians, living and dead. The prayer reminds us of the love that Christians should have for one another and, first of all, for the people of their own parish.

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 Collect Lesson 7

image

O almighty and eternal God who has granted us the favor of honoring the merits of all the Saints on this one feast day, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of so many saints, to enrich us with the fulness of Thy much-desired mercy. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the union of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. (Collect for the Feast of All Saints.)

Before The Collects

After the Gloria, or if there is no Gloria in the Mass, after the Kyrie, the priest say to the people, “The Lord be with you.” In Latin this greeting is “Dominos vobiscum.” The priest turns his back to the altar for a second to make this prayer. The people answer through the server by saying, “And with your spirit .” In Latin this reply is “Et cum spiritu tuo.”

When the priest says “Dominus vobiscum,” meaning “The Lord be with you,” he is saying to all the people in the church, “May God’s grace be with you.” As we all know, God’s grace comes to us in a special way through the Mass. The server’s reply, “Et cum spiritu tuo,” means “And with you, too.” The priest has prayed for God’s grace for the people, and they pray for God’s grace for him.

The Collects

image

The priest then goes again to the right of the altar to read from the Missal. At this time, he reads the prayer or prayers called Collects. The Collect changes each day. It belongs to the Proper of the Mass. It is called Collect because it collects together the prayers of the people. Before beginning the Collect, the priest says “Oremus.” This means “Let us pray.” He says in a clear voice because he wants all to pay attention. He wants to remind people to unite themselves with him in a special way while he offers to God the prayers of all those present.

The Collect are short prayers, but they are full of meaning. Sometimes there is only one Collect in the Mass, and very often there are two or three. The Collect is the prayer of the people. It never uses the words I or me, but always we and us.

The Collect for the Feast of All Saints is printed at the beginning of this lesson. What are the priest and people asking God for in this prayer? They are praying that God, Who is all-powerful and Who always will be, will hear the prayer of all the saints for them. And what is the favor they know the saints are asking for them? It is mercy. Let us never forget that when we pray for mercy we are praying that God will be kind to us, even though we do not deserve it. We are asking God to give us His 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 Gloria Lesson 6

image

Introduction: Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men of good will.

First Part: We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We glorify Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty.

Second Part: O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou alone art holy. Thou alone art Lord. Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, art most high.

Third Part: Together with the Holy Ghost in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Gloria is prayed immediately after the Kyrie. The priest is standing at the middle of the altar as he does so. The Gloria is a joyous prayer. For this reason, it is said only on certain days, like Sundays and joyous feasts. It is omitted in Masses for the dead and during Lent.

The Gloria gets its name from the first word of the prayer when it is said in Latin. The word gloria or glory means “great praise and honor.” The prayer gives praise and honor to the Blessed Trinity. You already know one prayer offering glory to the Blessed Trinity, the prayer that begins with the words, “Glory be to the Father.”

The Introduction to the Gloria

Words the angels sang at the birth of Our Lord make up the introduction to this prayer: Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men of good will. The angels sang their Gloria because of the wonderful work Our Lord did. He gave glory to God when He made up to God for the sins of men. He obtained peace for men when He procured pardon for their sins and the gift of grace. Our Lord continues to do this in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

You know what your Catchism says about sanctifying grace. It gives our souls a new life. We share in the life of God Himself. Because of the life of grace in us, we have great peace. This comes from being children of God, with the right to heaven.

You also know that to get God’s grace we must be persons of good will. The angels sang, “Peace on earth to men of good will.” Who are men of good Will? We can answer that question very easily. We are men of good will when we are good Catholics, when we love God, our neighbor, and ourselves in the way the Catholic Church teaches. Jesus, the Son of God, teaches us through the Catholic Church.

The Gloria is made up of an introduction and three parts. The first part is addressed to God the Father, the second part to God the Son, and the third part to God the Holy Ghost. We have already examined the introduction, the words the angels sang at the birth of Our Lord.

The First Part: To God The Father

The first part of the Gloria uses four different words to offer honor to God the Father. The prayer says: We praise Thee. We bless Thee. We adore Thee. We glorify Thee. When we make this part of the prayer with the priest, we are expressing our desire to give God the honor due to Him.

Next, this first part of the prayer says: We give thanks for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. Here we are thanking God for His own greatness. We know a little about God’s greatness from the world about us. The Church also teaches us about His greatness. Some of the teachings of the Church are in our Catechism, in the lesson called “God and His Perfections.”

The Second Part: To God The Son

The second part of the Gloria is addressed to God the Son. It begins with the words, “O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, and ends with the line, Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, art most high. In this part of the prayer we praise Our Lord, and we again pray for mercy.

We praise Our Lord when we use the different names given to Him on this prayer. We call Him Lord, Jesus Christ, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father. At the close of this second part of the Gloria, we praise Him in a very special way. Later, when we look at the third part of the prayer, we will see that this praise also is for God the Holy Ghost and for God the Father.

St. John the Baptist called Our Lord the Lamb of God. When John pointed out Jesus to his disciples, he said: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takest away the sins of the world.” The words Lamb of God describe Jesus who offered Himself in sacrifce by giving up His life to make up for the sins of men. The Bible tells how the Jews would offer a lamb to God in sacrifice. In the Mass Jesus continues to offer Himself in sacrifice, but in an unbloody manner.

Twice, in this second part of the Gloria, we say who takest away the sins of the world. The first time we ask Our Lord to have mercy on us; the second time we ask Him to receive our prayer. Then again we ask Him to have mercy on us. This time we show that we believe He is equal to God the Father. We say who sittest at the right hand of the Father.

When we ask Our Lord to have mercy on us, we are praying for pardon for our sins and for God’s grace. At the same time we are thinking how unworthy we are.

The Third Part: To God The Holy Ghost

In the introduction to the Gloria, we offer praise to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. We do this in the words, Glory to God in the highest.

In the third part of the prayer we give praise to the Holy Ghost in a special way when we pray: With the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father, Amen. These words remind us that Jesus and the Holy Ghost are one with Father. As the Catechism says: “The Three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another because all are one and the same God.”

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 Introit Lesson 4

image

Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of all the Saints, in whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and join in praising the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, he just; praise becometh the upright. (Introit for the Feast of All Saints.)

Before the Introit

image

Three things, in particular, you will want to remember about the prayers the priest says at the foot of the altar: (1) He expresses his desire to offer the Holy Sacrifice in these words, I will go to the altar of God. (2) He shows confidence in God. You remember this line, For Thou, O God, art my strength. And this line, you also will recall, Our help is in the name of the Lord. (3) He speaks of his sins in the Confiteor, and he asks God’s pardon for himself and for us.

These are three thoughts from the priest’s preparation for Holy Mass that is made at the foot of the altar. We could have no better thoughts in preparing to unite with him in offering the Holy Sacrifice. When the priest goes up to the altar, he kisses it. He does so to show respect for Our Lord and for the relics of the saints that are in it.

The Introit

image

After kissing the altar, the priest goes to the Mass book on the right. This is really the beginning of Holy Mass. Everything up to this moment has been in preparation. The priest makes the Sign of the Cross. He reads the first part in the Proper of the Mass. It is called the Introit. You already know that the parts of the Mass that change from day to day are called the Proper of the Mass.

In the Introit there is almost always a sentence from one of the Psalms. Hundreds of years ago the Introits were much longer. Often a whole Psalm was included. The Introits, at that time, were sing by the choir during a procession to the altar before Holy Mass. Today, many Introits are hard to understand because of the parts that are now omitted.

Often the Introit tells something about the feast of the day, as you can see in the Introit at the beginning of this lesson.

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!!