Tag Archives: Christ

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!!

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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!!

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!!

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!!

Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity Lesson 6

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Accept, most Holy Trinity, this offering which we are making to Thee, in remembrance of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, Our Lord; and in honor of Blessed Mary, ever virgin, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of these, and of all saints; that it may add to their honor and aid our salvation; and may they deign to intercede in heaven for us who cherish their memory here on earth. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

As soon as the priest has washed his fingers, he goes back to the center of the altar. There he bends over the altar and prays to the Most Holy Trinity.

In this prayer the priest says that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being offered to the Most Holy Trinity. He says it is being offered in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He says also that it is in honor of the Blessed Virgin, St. John the Baptist, and the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints.

At this time, priest and people pray that the Most Holy Trinity will accept the offering that they are making. They ask that the Blessed Virgin, St. John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints may be honored by the Mass, and that they who offer it, priest and people, may save their souls. At the close of the prayer priest and people ask that those in whose honor they are offering the Holy Mass will please pray for them. All the favors asked of God in this prayer are asked in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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!!

Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on the “Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970” (July 7, 2007)

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POPE BENEDICT XVIAPOSTOLIC LETTER 
GIVEN MOTU PROPRIOSUMMORUM PONTIFICUMON THE USE OF THE ROMAN LITURGY 
PRIOR TO THE REFORM OF 1970

The Supreme Pontiffs have to this day shown constant concern that the Church of Christ should offer worthy worship to the Divine Majesty, “for the praise and glory of his name” and “the good of all his holy Church.”

As from time immemorial, so too in the future, it is necessary to maintain the principle that “each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally received from apostolic and unbroken tradition.  These are to be observed not only so that errors may be avoided, but also that the faith may be handed on in its integrity, since the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of faith (lex credendi).” [1]

Eminent among the Popes who showed such proper concern was Saint Gregory the Great, who sought to hand on to the new peoples of Europe both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture amassed by the Romans in preceding centuries.  He ordered that the form of the sacred liturgy, both of the sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office, as celebrated in Rome, should be defined and preserved.  He greatly encouraged those monks and nuns who, following the Rule of Saint Benedict, everywhere proclaimed the Gospel and illustrated by their lives the salutary provision of the Rule that “nothing is to be preferred to the work of God.”  In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman usage, enriched the faith and piety, as well as the culture, of numerous peoples.  It is well known that in every century of the Christian era the Church’s Latin liturgy in its various forms has inspired countless saints in their spiritual life, confirmed many peoples in the virtue of religion and enriched their devotion.

In the course of the centuries, many other Roman Pontiffs took particular care that the sacred liturgy should accomplish this task more effectively.  Outstanding among them was Saint Pius V, who in response to the desire expressed by the Council of Trent, renewed with great pastoral zeal the Church’s entire worship, saw to the publication of liturgical books corrected and “restored in accordance with the norm of the Fathers,” and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.

Among the liturgical books of the Roman rite, a particular place belongs to the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and over the centuries gradually took on forms very similar to the form which it had in more recent generations.

“It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and, when necessary, clarified.  From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform.” [2]  Such was the case with our predecessors Clement VIII, Urban VIII, Saint Pius X[3], Benedict XV, Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII.

In more recent times, the Second Vatican Councilexpressed the desire that the respect and reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. In response to this desire, our predecessor Pope Paul VI in 1970 approved for the Latin Church revised and in part renewed liturgical books; translated into various languages throughout the world, these were willingly received by the bishops as well as by priests and the lay faithful.  Pope John Paul II approved the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. In this way the Popes sought to ensure that “this liturgical edifice, so to speak … reappears in new splendour in its dignity and harmony.” [4]

In some regions, however, not a few of the faithful continued to be attached with such love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms which had deeply shaped their culture and spirit, that in 1984 Pope John Paul II, concerned for their pastoral care, through the special Indult Quattuor Abhinc Annosissued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted the faculty of using the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII.  Again in 1988, John Paul II, with the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, exhorted bishops to make broad and generous use of this faculty on behalf of all the faithful who sought it.

Given the continued requests of these members of the faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and having listened to the views expressed by the Cardinals present at the Consistory of 23 March 2006, upon mature consideration, having invoked the Holy Spirit and with trust in God’s help, by this Apostolic Letter we decree the following:

Art 1.  The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite.  The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the samelex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage.  These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.

It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.  The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows:

Art. 2.  In Masses celebrated without a congregation, any Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use either the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII or the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, and may do so on any day, with the exception of the Easter Triduum.  For such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary.

Art. 3.  If communities of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, whether of pontifical or diocesan right, wish to celebrate the conventual or community Mass in their own oratories according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, they are permitted to do so.  If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently, the matter is to be decided by the Major Superiors according to the norm of law and their particular laws and statutes.

Art. 4.  The celebrations of Holy Mass mentioned above in Art. 2 may be attended also by members of the lay faithful who spontaneously request to do so, with respect for the requirements of law.

Art. 5, §1  In parishes where a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition stably exists, the parish priest should willingly accede to their requests to celebrate Holy Mass according to the rite of the 1962 Roman Missal.  He should ensure that the good of these members of the faithful is harmonized with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the bishop in accordance with Canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.

§2  Celebration according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sundays and feast days, however, such a celebration may also take place.

§3  For those faithful or priests who request it, the pastor should allow celebrations in this extraordinary form also in special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.

§4  Priests using the Missal of Blessed John XXIIImust be qualified (idonei) and not prevented by law.

§5  In churches other than parish or conventual churches, it is for the rector of the church to grant the above permission.

Art. 6.  In Masses with a congregation celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, the readings may be proclaimed also in the vernacular, using editions approved by the Apostolic See.

Art. 7.  If a group of the lay faithful, as mentioned in Art. 5, §1, has not been granted its requests by the parish priest, it should inform the diocesan bishop.  The bishop is earnestly requested to satisfy their desire.  If he does not wish to provide for such celebration, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Art. 8.  A bishop who wishes to provide for such requests of the lay faithful, but is prevented by various reasons from doing so, can refer the matter to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which will offer him counsel and assistance.

Art. 9, §1  The parish priest, after careful consideration, can also grant permission to use the older ritual in the administration of the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance and Anointing of the Sick, if advantageous for the good of souls.

§2  Ordinaries are granted the faculty of celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation using the old Roman Pontifical, if advantageous for the good of souls.

§3  Ordained clerics may also use the Roman Breviary promulgated in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII.

Art. 10.  The local Ordinary, should he judge it opportune, may erect a personal parish in accordance with the norm of Canon 518 for celebrations according to the older form of the Roman rite, or appoint a rector or chaplain, with respect for the requirements of law.

Art. 11.  The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established in 1988 by Pope John Paul II [5], continues to exercise its function.  The Commission is to have the form, duties and regulations that the Roman Pontiff will choose to assign to it.

Art. 12.  The same Commission, in addition to the faculties which it presently enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See in ensuring the observance and application of these norms.

We order that all that we have decreed in this Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio take effect and be observed from the fourteenth day of September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in the present year, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the seventh day of July in the year of the Lord 2007, the third of our Pontificate.

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

[1] General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd ed., 2002, 397. 

[2] JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus (4 December 1988), 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.

[3] Ibid. 

[4] SAINT PIUS X, Apostolic Letter given Motu Propio Abhinc Duos Annos (23 October 1913): AAS 5 (1913), 449-450; cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus (4 December 1988), 3: AAS 81 (1989), 899.

[5] Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei (2 July 1988), 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498.

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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!!

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!!

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!!