Tag Archives: Catechism

The Two Offering Prayers Before the Consecration

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Graciously, accept, then, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this service of our worship and that of all Thy household. Provide that our days be spent in Thy peace, save us from everlasting damnation, and cause us to be numbered in the flock Thou has chosen. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Do Thou, O God, deign to bless what we offer, and make it approved, effective, right, and wholly pleasing in every way, that it may be for our good, the Body and the Blood of Thy dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord.

These two prayers come immediately after the three remembrance prayers. As the priest prays the first of the two offering prayers, he spreads his hands over the bread and wine. It is at this time the bells ring once. The bell tells us that it is time for the Consecration, for the bread and wine to be changed into the body and blood of Our Lord.

In the first offering prayer we again ask God to recieve our gift. The words “this service of our worship” mean the offering of Jesus to His Father. Jesus is our gift.

We know that our gift is most pleasing to God because it is Our Lord Himself. But, at the same time, we know the truth about ourselves. We know we are not worthy to offer this gift. For this reason we ask God “graciously” to recieve it.

In the first offering prayer we pray for peace during our lives on earth, to be saved from the never-ending punishment of hell, and to be happy forever in heaven.

As the priest prays the second prayer of offering, he makes the Sign of the Cross five times over the bread and wine. In this prayer, priest and people ask God that the bread and wine may become the body and blood of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. A number of different words are used in this prayer to tell God our desires about the offering. We pray that God may bless it, and that it may be pleasing to Him in every way.

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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The Three Remembrance Prayers Before the Consecration Lesson 2

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The Preface is recited aloud by the priest. If we listen, we can hear it. But after the Sanctus everything is quiet. The priest prays in a very low voice. We are almost at the most holy part of the mass.

You already know that the Preface is the introduction to the Canon. You know, too, that the Canon is the Consecration part of the Mass.

The first three prayers of the Canon are called remembrance prayers. In these prayers the priest and people are remembering to pray for special persons and blessings.

The First Remembrance Prayer

In the first remembrance prayer, after asking Almighty God to accept our gift of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we ask Him for blessings on the Church.

Therefore, most gracious Father, we humbly beg of Thee and entreat Thee, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, to deem acceptable and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unspotted oblations, which we offer unto Thee in first instance for Thy holy and Catholic Church, that Thou wouldst deign to give her peace and protection, to unite and guide her the whole world over; together with Thy servant N., our Pope, and N., our bishop, and all true believers, who cherish the catholic and apostolic faith.

The Second Remembrance Prayer

In the second remembrance prayer, we pray for those near and dear to us. We also pray for all present at Holy Mass.

Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids, N. and N., and of all here present, whose faith is known to Thee, and likewise their devotion, on whose behalf we offer unto Thee, this sacrifice of praise for themselves and all their own, for the good of their souls, for their hope of salvation and deliverance from all harm, and who pay Thee the homage which they owe Thee, eternal God, living and true.

The Third Remembrance Prayer

In the third remembrance prayer, we ask Almighty God, because of the holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, please to hear their prayers and protect us.

In the unity of holy fellowship we observe the memory first of the glorious and ever virgin Mary, mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ; next that of Thy blessed apostles and martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus; of Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy saints, by whose merits and prayers grant that we may be always fortified by the help of Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. 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 Mass of the Faithful: The Cannon; The Preface Lesson 1

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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!

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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 Secret Lesson 8

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Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts we offer, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the union of the Holy Ghost, God world without end. Amen. (Secret for the Second Sunday after Epiphany).

The priest prays the Secret or Secrets right after the Orate Fratres. Sometimes there is one Secret, sometimes two, sometimes three. The priest reads the Secrets from the Missal. These prayers change day to day. The priest prays the Secrets in a voice which the people cannot hear.

The Secret is the tenth and last prayer of the Offertory.

The Secrets are almost always about the bread and wine that are to be changed into the body and blood of Our Lord. The Secrets always ask a favor of God.

The Secret for the Second Sunday after Epiphany speaks of the bread and wine as “the gifts we offer.” When we ask Almighty God to cleanse us from the stains of our sins, we are thinking about the most pleasing offering our Blessed Lord will make to Him at the Consecration of the Mass. At that time He becomes our great gift to God. In a most special way He is making up for our sins.

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 Orate Fratres Lesson 7

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Priest: Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may become acceptable to God the Father Almighty.
Response: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at thy hands, unto the praise and glory of His name, for our advantage, and that of all His holy Church.

When the priest finishes the prayer to the Most Holy Trinity, he kisses the altar. Then he turns to the people and makes a request of them. His request begins with the words “Orate, fratres.” These two words are the Latin for “Pray, brethren.” In language of today “Pray brethren” would be put in words something like “Pray, all of you who are members of the Church with me.”

In the “Orate Fratres” the priest asks the people to pray that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may be pleasing to God the Father Almighty. He reminds the people that the sacrifice offered to God is both his gift and theirs.

The altar boy answers for the people. He prays that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which the priest is offering may be accepted by God. He asks in this short prayer that the Mass may give God the adoration we owe Him. He also asks that it may help us and all Catholics throughout the world.

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…In Latin? Why In Latin?

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It has been said that the use of any language in itself was immaterial, but in its consequences, or in view of the commands of the Church, it is by no means immaterial. The Church has wisely ordered the Latin tongue only to be used in the Mass and in the administration of the Sacraments, for several reasons.

Latin was the language used by St. Peter when he first said Mass at Rome. It was the language in which that Prince of the Apostles drew up the Liturgy which, together with the knowledge of the Gospel, he or his successors the Popes imparted to the different peoples of Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, and Poland.

From the time of the Apostles down, Latin has invariably been used at the altar through the western parts of Christendom, though their inhabitants very frequently did not understand the language. The Catholic Church, through an aversion to innovations, carefully continues to celebrate her Liturgy in that same tongue which apostolic men and saints have used for a similar purpose during more than eighteen centuries.

Unchangeable dogmas require an unchangeable language. The Catholic Church cannot change, because it is the Church of God, Who is unchangeable; consequently the language of the Church must also be unchangeable.

Mass is said in Latin because a universal Church requires a universal language. The Catholic Church is the same in every climate, in every nation, and consequently its language must be always and everywhere the same, to secure uniformity in her service.Variety of languages is a punishment, a consequence of sin; it was inflicted by God that the human race might be dispersed over the face of the earth. The holy Church, the immaculate Spouse of Jesus Christ, has been established for the express purpose of destroying sin and uniting all mankind; consequently she must everywhere speak the same language.

It is a fact well known that the meaning of the words is changed in the course of time by everyday usage. Words which once had a good meaning are now used in a vulgar or ludicrous sense. The Church, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, has chosen a language which is not liable to such changes. The sermons and instructions, and in short everything that is addressed directly to the people, are all in the language of the country; even the prayers of the Mass are translated in almost every Catholic prayerbook, so that there can be no disadvantage to the Catholic worshipper in the fact that the Mass is celebrated in the Latin tongue; especially as the pastors of the Church are very careful to comply with the injunctions of the Council of Trent, to instruct their flocks on the nature of that great Sacrifice, and to explain to them in what manner they should accompany the officiating priest with prayers and devotions best adapted to every portion of the Mass. 

In the second place, faithful Catholics know well that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the self-same sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered to His Father on the Cross, because both the Priest and the Victim are the same; their faith in the Real Presence is abundantly sufficient to enkindle devotion in their hearts, and to excite in their souls appropriate acts of adoration, thanksgiving and repentance, though they may not understand the prayers which the priest is uttering. For this reason it is that the faithful, pressed by different wants, go to the adorable mysteries of the Mass, never thinking of the language in which they are celebrated. Some, moved by the force of calamities, hasten thither to lay their sorrows at the feet of Jesus. Others go to ask for some grace and special mercy, knowing that the heavenly Father can refuse nothing to His Son. Many feel constrained to fly thither to proclaim their gratitude, and to pour forth the love of a thankful heart, knowing that there is nothing so worthy of being offered to God as the sacred Body and Blood of the eternal Victim. More press forward to give glory to God and to honor His saints, for in the celebration of these mysteries of love alone can we pay worthy homage to His adorable Majesty, while we bear witness to our reverence for those who served Him. 

Lastly, men hasten to Mass on the wings of charity and compassion, for it is there that they can hope to obtain salvation for the living and rest for the dead. Thus to the thirsty pilgrims through the rocks of the desert do the fountains of water appear. Thus do the generation of those who seek justice received benediction from the Lord and mercy from God their Savior.

Pity for those who know not this heavenly Sacrifice! What a misfortune to see one driven from this Eden, and yet to do nothing to obtain the favor of readmittance! How unhappy too are those Catholics who, though knowing it, by their unpardonable indifference deprive themselves of this exhaustless mine of inestimable riches.

The above was taken from Chapter 37 of the book The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Fr. Michael Muller, C.SS.R., available from TAN Books.

Objection: If the Mass is in Latin, no one can understand a thing because it is said in a language that is no longer spoken.

Response: It is true that Latin is no longer spoken ordinarily, but in order to follow this Mass without difficulty, bilingual missals are available which have on one side the text of the Latin prayers which the priest says and on the other side the translation in the every day language of the people. With a bit of practice, it is within the reach of everyone to unite himself with the prayers that are said. In addition, to want to understand everything of the Divine Mystery, which is the Sacred Mass, is impossible, mystery by definition is a truth that one cannot fully comprehend.

Conclusion:

“The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism in respect of the Sacred Liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with laws and rubrics, deserve reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, (…) that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. They are, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august Eucharistic Sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast days – which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation – to other dates; those finally who delete from the prayer books approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times.

The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth.” (Pius XII: Encyclical Mediator Dei, November 20, 1947)

http://www.olrl.org/new_mass/

God Bless BJS!!

The Prayer to the Holy Ghost Lesson 4

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Come, Thou Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Thy holy name.

As soon as the priest has made the short prayer in which we offer ourselves to God, he raises his head. At the same time he raises his hands toward heaven and prays to the Holy Ghost. He asks the Holy Ghost to bless the offering he is going to make to God at the Consecration of the Mass.

Thou Sanctifier is a name for the Holy Ghost. In the Catechism you learned that the Holy Ghost makes our souls holy through the gift of grace. This is another way for saying that the Holy Ghost sanctifies us.

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 Prayer in Which We Offer Ourselves to God Lesson 3

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In a humble spirit and a contrite heart, may we be accepted by Thee, O Lord, and may our sacrifices so be offered in Thy sight this day as to please Thee, O Lord God.

Just as soon as the priest has offered the chalice to God, he makes the prayer that begins with the words, “In a humble spirit.” At that moment you will see the priest bowed a little over the altar. This prayer gives us a time during Holy Mass to offer ourselves to God. In this prayer we offer to God our thoughts, words, and deeds.

In the lesson in the meaning of sacrifice, you learned that the victim of sacrifice is not only an offering but a sign. It is a sign that those who offer the sacrifice desire also to give themselves to God.

The prayer, “In a humble spirit,” asks God that the priest and all those who are offering the Mass with him may be received by God. It tells almighty God that when they offer His Son to Him at the Consecration of the Mass, they are also offering themselves.

What does it mean to offer ourselves to God? It means that we desire to give Him everything we think and do and say all day long. Now if it is our purpose to do this, then we must try to please God in everything we think and say and do. We must try our hardest not to do anything that will displease Him.

We please God most when we do things that show Him we love Him and love our neighbor for His sake. How can we be sure we are loving God and our neighbor? We can be sure we are doing this if we obey the Commandments of God and of the Church, and if we help those in need as much as we are able.

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

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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.

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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 Gospel Lesson 2

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At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the crowds, behold, a ruler came up and worshipped Him, saying, “My daughter has just now died; but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she will return to life.” And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. Now a woman who for twelve years had been suffering from hemorrhage, came up behind Him and touched the tassel of His cloak, saying to herself, “If I touch but His cloak I shall be saved.” But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said, “Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.” And the woman was restored to health from that moment. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the crowd making a din, He said: “Begone, the girl is asleep, not dead.” And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the crowd had been put out, He went in and took her by the hand; and the girl arose. And the report spread throughout all that district. (Gospel for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.)

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Before going to the left side to read the Gospel, the priest stops at the center of the altar. He looks up at the crucifix. Then he bows low, with hands folded, and prays. The prayer he says asks God to prepare his heart and his lips to make the Gospel known.

The Missal, which was at the right side of the altar, has been carried to the left side. The Gospel is one of the parts of the Mass that changes each day. It is the second and the most important of the two instructions in the Mass of the Catechumens.

The people stand during the Gospel to show their respect for the word of God. The Gospel is taken from the Bible. It tells what Our Lord said and did. It tells what He taught. Our Lord never taught a single lesson that He Himself did not put into practice.

Before reading the Gospel, the priest says: “Dominus vobiscum” – The Lord be with you. And the server answers: “Et cum spiritu tuo” – And with you, too.

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Then the priest is ready to read the Gospel. But first he makes four small crosses. You have seen him make a little Sign of the Cross on the book, on his forehead, on his lips, and on his breast. We also can make these little crosses on our foreheads, on our lips, and on our breasts. With the priest, we can ask God that our minds may know the teachings of Our Lord, that our tongues may make them known, and that our hearts may love them.

When the priest has finished reading the Gospel, the server says: “Praise be to Thee, O Christ.” At this time the priest kisses the book saying: “By the words of the Gospel, may our sins be blotted out.”

If you read the Gospel carefully, if you listen to the priest as he reads it to the people, you will learn how Our Lord lived, you will be reminded of lessons, many of which you already know. You will also learn new lessons about the things our Blessed Lord taught while He was on earth.

We should always try to find in the Gospel of the Mass a message from God to us. We should think about that message and plan what we can do about it right away. Sometimes it is not easy to put Our Lord’s teachings into practice. But we should recall the lesson in the Catechism on grace. Actual grace, if we will use it, helps us to do good and to avoid sin. And we know that one of the principal ways of obtaining grace is to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

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!!