Tag Archives: Catholic

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!!

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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!!

The Offering of the Chalice

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We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, humbly begging of Thy mercy that it may arise before Thy divine majesty with a pleasing fragrance, for our salvation and that of all the world. Amen.

It is easy to see the priest offer the wine to God. Before he does so, the people have seen him pour the wine and a little water into the chalice. As the priest offers the chalice to God, he is holding it in his hands.

In the prayer, priest and people offer to God the wine that is to be changed into the blood of Christ. In their prayer they pray not only for all faithful Catholics, but for everyone in the world.

In simple English, the prayer of offering the chalice to God would read something like this: “We offer to You, O God, the wine that is to be changed into the blood of Christ. We know we are not worthy to make this offering, but we pray that it may be pleasing to You. We offer it to You, asking Your help to live a good life here on earth, that we may be happy with You one day in heaven. We ask this same help for everyone in the world. 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!!

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!!

The Creed Lesson 3

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I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, light of light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made; of one being with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, come down from heaven.

And was made flesh by the Holy Ghost,
Of the Virgin Mary; and was made man.

He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures. And ascending into heaven, He sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is no less adored and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. And in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen.

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On Sundays and special feasts, the priest makes the beautiful act of faith called the Credo or Creed. He does so immediately after the Gospel, or after the sermon, if there is one. The people stand as the priest recites the Creed. The word Credo, with which the Creed begins in Latin, means “I believe.” The people have an opportunity to recite the Creed at the same time the priest does. The way a person does so shows how he feels about the things he believes.

When you recite the Creed, silently or aloud, you are putting into words some of the things you believe. In a way, you are making known publicly what you believe. You do this not only by reciting the Creed, but also by standing. To stand is a special mark of respect.

The Creed which is recited in the Mass is called the Nicene Creed. When you were in second or third grade, you learned the Apostles’ Creed. You know that the first part of the Catechism explains the Apostles’ Creed. Just as the Apostles’ Creed is a summary of the things we believe, so, too, is the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed has more to say about the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity than the Apostles’ Creed.

The Nicene Creed was first written in 325. At that time there were people who said that Christ was not the Son of God. It is for this reason that the Nicene Creed has so much to say about the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God, Who is equal to the Father and the Holy Ghost in all things. As the priest recites the Creed in the Mass, he kneels at those words that tell about the Son of God becoming man. At this time, we also kneel to adore the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In the Creed we tell, one after the other, some of the things we believe about God, about the Father, about the Son, about the Holy Ghost, and about the Church.

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 Catechumens Unit 3: The Epistle Lesson 1

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In those days I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth. Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them.” (Epistle read in the third Mass on All Souls Day. Apocalypse 14).

After praying the Collects, the priest reads the Epistle from the Missal. The Epistle changes every day.

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This part of the Mass is called the Epistle because parts of letters, written by the apostles St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, St. James, and St. Jude, are often read at this time. An epistle is a letter. The Epistles in the Bible are letters to the first Christians who were at a distance from the Apostles. These letters contain advice or instruction.

Sometimes the Epistle of the Mass is from the Acts of the Apostles or the Apocalypse or the Old Testament. But always it is from a book of the Bible. The Bible is the word of God. God is it’s real author. The Bible contains lessons from God for men.

The Epistle of the Mass gives instruction. It teaches a lesson, sometimes several lessons, to help men grow in the knowledge and love of God or their neighbor.

Many of the Epistles are hard for boys and girls to understand at first. But always they should make an effort to find in the Epistle a special message or lesson for themselves. The Epistle given at the beginning of this lesson is taken from one of the Masses for All Souls’ Day. It is not hard to understand.

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

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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

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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 Kyrie Eleison Lesson 5

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Priest: Kyrie, eleison.
Response: Kyrie, eleison.
Priest: Kyrie, eleison.

Response: Christe, eleison.
Priest: Christe, eleison.
Response: Christe, eleison.

Priest: Kyrie, eleison.
Response: Kyrie, eleison.
Priest: Kyrie, eleison.

When the priest has finished reading the Introit, he goes to the center of the altar. The people in the church can hear him begin the prayer called the Kyrie. They can hear the altar boy make the responses. He does This for the people. He represents them. In some churches, everyone present makes the responses aloud.

The Kyrie is not in Latin as are all the other prayers of the Mass. It is in Greek. Kyrie, eleison means, “Lord, have mercy on us.” Christe, eleison means, “Christ, have mercy on us.”

In the Kyrie, priest and people are asking the most Blessed Trinity to be kind to them, even though they do not deserve it. They are asking for the graces Our Lord obtained for them in the sacrifice of the cross and which they hope to receive during Holy Mass. This is what “have mercy on us” means.

This prayer asks for mercy nine different times. It expresses the very great desire of priest and people for God’s mercy. If we wish, we can think of the Kyrie as said the first three times to God the Father, the next three times to God the Son, and the last three times to God the Holy Ghost.

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!!

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!!