Tag Archives: altar

The Confiteor Lesson 3

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Altar Boy: I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grevious fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary, ever virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me.
Priest: May almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting.
Altar Boy: Amen.
Priest: May the almighty and merciful God grant us pardon, absolution, and full remission of our sins.
Altar Boy: Amen.

After reciting Psalm 42, the priest bends way over. He is praying the Confiteor. This prayer gets it’s name from the first word of the prayer when it is said in Latin. Confiteor means “I confess.” Most children first learn this prayer when they are in second or third grade.

The Confiteor is a prayer that speakers of sorrow for sin. First, the priest recites the prayer. He tells God he has sinned. Then the altar boy says the same prayer. The Confiteor is said as a preparation to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the priest.

The prayer, as it is given at the beginning of this lesson, is just as the altar boy says it. When the priest makes this act of sorrow for his sins, one word is different. The priest says “and to you, brethren” instead of “and to you, Father.” The priest is telling the people that he has sinned. He wants them to know that he is sorry for having offended God.

When we pray the Confiteor, we want it to mean what it says. If this is true, we must hate our sins. We show God that we are truly sorry when we are determined to try our hardest not to do them again.

It would help us if, when we pray the Confiteor, we would think of the sin we commit which is most displeasing to God and ask His help not to do it again. We prove our sorrow by keeping away from sin.

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!!

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Psalm 42 Lesson 2

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After making the Sign of the Cross, the priest recites a verse from Psalm 42, and the altar boy replies. Then the whole Psalm is said. The priest says one verse; the altar boy says the next. We cannot hear what they are saying. But if we listen, we can hear their voices. Long ago, the Psalm was said by the priest before he came to the altar. It was part of his preparation for Holy Mass. Today, it is also part of his preparation. Now the Psalm is said by the priest as he stands at the foot of the altar.

The first verse the priest says is:
I will go to the altar of God.

That is just what the priest is doing. He is about to go up to the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The altar boy replies:
To God, the joy of my youth.

Even the sound of these verses makes us feel happy. Let us repeat them to ourselves:
I will go to the altar of God,
To God, the joy of my youth.

These two lines are said in every Mass. The priest is happy. We are happy. It is our privilege to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to God. The whole Psalm, from which these lines are taken, is not said during the last two weeks of Lent or in Masses for the dead.

Psalm 42 first asks God to protect us from the enemy. Our greatest enemy is always the person or place or thing that causes us to sin. The Altar boy’s reply to the first verse of the Psalm is something to remember always, especially these words:

For Thou, God art my strength.

God is our strength. If we ask Him, He will help us.

There are beautiful thoughts in Psalm 42. Sometimes you will want to think about one of them, and sometimes about another. These thoughts were out into the words of the Psalm by King David. The Psalms are in the Bible.

Psalms 42 has six verses. After the Psalm has been recited, the priest begins “Glory be to the Father.” When this prayer is finished, the priest and altar boy recite the following verses. They repeat the thought of joy in going to the altar, and the thought of trust in God.

Priest: I will go to the altar of God.
Response: To God the joy of my youth
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response: Who made heaven and earth.

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 Parts of the Mass Lesson 5

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Holy Mass has two large parts. The first part is called The Mass of the Catechumens. It consists of the prayers and readings from the beginning of Mass to the Offertory.

The word catechumens is a very old word. Long ago people who were preparing to receive the Sacrament of Baptism were called catechumens or learners. During the time of instruction, they were permitted to be present only at the first part of the Mass. They had to leave after the sermon. It was in this way that the first part of the Mass received the name, “Mass of the Catechumens” or the “Mass of the Learners.”

The second part of Holy Mass is called The Mass of the Faithful. This part of the Mass begins with the Offertory and continues to the end of Holy Mass.

The word faithful means baptized Christians. For several hundred years, only the baptized were allowed to assist at the second part of Holy Mass.

There is another division of the parts of Holy Mass. One part is called the  Ordinary of the Mass. The other part is called the Proper of the Mass.

The Ordinary of the Mass is made up of the prayers which, with few exceptions, do not change. The Proper consists of the prayers and readings that change from day to day.

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!!

Externals of the Mass Lesson 4

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Externals are those things that one can see. The externals of the Mass are the objects used during Holy Mass that you can see. The Church has exact regulations for all the externals of the Mass.

The Altar

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The Altar is the most important object in a Catholic church. On the altar the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. In the tabernacle of the altar the Blessed Sacrament is kept.

If possible, the top of every altar should be a stone slab. There should be five crosses engraved on this slab. The crosses represent the five wounds of Our Lord. There is one cross in the center and one at each of the four corners.

Sometimes, the top of an altar is not a stone slab. Then an altar stone is used. This altar stone may be as small as a large piece of tile. Five crosses are cut into the top of the altar stone. The crosses are just the same as on a large stone altar.

In the altar stone, or in the top of a stone altar, there is a small box. The box is made of lead. It contains relics of at least two saints who were martyrs.

The altar is always covered with three white cloths of linen. The first two cloths need cover only the top of the altar. Over these cloths a much longer one is placed. This cloth reaches to the floor on both sides. It is the real altar cloth.

Only three things are necessary on an altar. These three things are a crucifix and two candles. The candles must be made of beeswax. They are placed on each side of the crucifix.

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The priest reads from a large book during Holy Mass. This Mass book is called the Missal. It is on the right side of the altar when Mass begins. The Missal is placed on a book rest.

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The water and wine for Mass are put in two cruets. The cruets are little pitchers. They are used with a small dish. The cruets and dish are placed on a table near the altar. Sometimes they are placed on a shelf. When used, this little shelf is on a wall near the altar. At the side of the cruets there is a small white finger towel. This is used by the priest to dry his fingers.

The Vestments

The priest is told just what he should do in dressing for Holy Mass. He has a special prayer to say as he puts on each vestment. The word vestment means a garment that is different from everyday clothes.

Some vestments are plain. Others are very rich. But always vestments are dignified. They are made like clothes people wore hundreds of years ago.

The priest puts the vestments on over his black cassock. The cassock is the long black garment he wears. Vestments are of two kinds, outer vestments and linen vestments.

Outer Vestments

The chasuble is the large outer vestment. Long ago it was much longer. The chasuble and the other outer vestments are always the same color.

The stole is a long narrow vestment. The priest wears it about his neck and crossed on his breast. The stole worn during Holy Mass is made of the same material as the chasuble.

The maniple is worn on the priest’s left arm. It also is made of the same material as the chasuble.

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The Church tells the priest when he is to use different colors. Violet is used during Advent and Lent. White is used during Christmas and Easter time. White is also used on feasts of Our Lord, our Blessed Mother, and for saints who were not martyrs. Red is for the Holy Ghost and for saints who were martyrs. Black is for funerals and for Masses for the dead. Green is used when no special feast is to be celebrated. Sometimes, for special days, vestments of gold or silver cloth may be used. Violet, white, red, black, and green are called liturgical colors.

Linen Vestments

The amice is a white linen color. It is worn by the priest about the neck and over the shoulders.

The alb is the long white vestment. It is very wide. The sleeves reach down to the wrists.

The cincture is a long white cord. The priest ties it around his waist. The cincture holds the alb in place.

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What the Priest Carries

As the priest goes to the altar to offer Holy Mass, he is carrying several objects. Only the outer covering can be seen. The outer covering is called a veil. It is made of the same material and color as the vestments.

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The priest places on the altar the objects he is carrying. He puts them over the altar stone. He does so gently and carefully. He arranges the veil so that everyrhing looks very nice.

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The burse is a hard square folder. It is on top of what the priest carries. The burse is covered with the same material as the vestments. The priest carries the corporal in the burse.

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The corporal is a large square of linen. Before Holy Mass begins, the priests opens the corporal. He places upon it all he has been carrying.

After consecrating the Sacred Host, the priest places it upon the corporal. The chalice also rests upon it. If a drop of the blood of Jesus should spill, it would fall on the corporal. The corporal is a very sacred cloth. No one is allowed to wash it except a priest, or one who is almost ready to be made a priest. No one may touch the corporal until the priest has first washed it. Only then may some one else complete the washing and iron it.

The chalice and paten are under the veil. The paten is a small gold-like plate. On it is the large host. This is the host which is to be consecrated during Holy Mass. The chalice is empty. It is the scared vessel in which the wine will be consecrated. The chalice and paten are always made of gold, or of silver with the inside of the cup gilded.

This is the way the objects are placed under the veil at the beginning of Holy Mass:

1. The chalice stands on the altar.
2. A linen cloth, called the purifactor, is placed across the cup of the chalice. This cloth is folded three times lengthwise. It hangs down on each side. The purificator is used to clean inside the chalice. Like the corporal, the purificator is a very sacred cloth. It also is washed first by the priest.

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3. On the purificator rests the paten. The host is on the paten.
4. The paten is covered with a square piece of starched line. This cover is called the pall. During Holy Mass the priest uses the pall to cover the chalice.

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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!!