Tag Archives: reverence

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!!

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Veiling, a disappearing reverence

This is a repost on the topic of wearing a veil in the presence of Christ at mass. Thank you Patrick D. For sharing please look for his blog The Catholic Thinker.

Posted by  in Catholic Tradition,Faith

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Go to any Roman Catholic, Anglo Catholic or Orthodox Mass today and the chances are you will see very few women wearing any kind of head covering, let alone the mantilla or chapel veil. It would seem this ancient and reverent custom is now so counter-cultural and viewed by some as discriminatory, that it has fallen well and truly off the sacramental radar.

Over the centuries women have worn mantillas when going to Mass, when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and when meeting his Holiness, the Pope. Wearing a mantilla or chapel veil has been a common practice amongst faithful women across the churches, with this custom most commonly practiced in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Traditonally married women or widows wore black veils, while white veils were worn by young girls or unmarried women.

The practice of women covering their heads when in the presence of God has been well documented since the time of the early Christians. For centuries women followed this custom as a sign of humility and reverence but often also to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is always portrayed with a veil and is the archetype of purity and humility. Historically, a woman’s long hair was considered to be a thing of beauty and so by covering her head, the woman was seen to be covering her own beauty, so that the true glory may be given to God instead.

Women were also viewed as being a life-giving vessel with Our Blessed Lady being the most precious vessel of all, the one in which Jesus Christ was carried. In the same way, the chalice holding the blood of Christ, the very essence of Life, is veiled until the Preparation of the Gifts, and the tabernacle veiled between Masses. Unfortunately with the decline in religious teaching of any kind, understanding of this symbolism is completely lost on most people.

Before Vatican 11 women in the Catholic church were required to veil when attending Mass as a symbol of their modesty and humility before God.    Latterly, the practice of veiling has declined as has wearing a hat or even a scarf. It would seem in the 21stcentury that head wear of any description has finally been thrown out as ‘old hat,’ and as it no longer forms part of canon law, is not really encouraged. Consequently as the practice of veiling has become redundant, most people have little understanding of it and therefore no interest.

Ask your average church-goer why women used to wear mantillas and you will generally be met with blank faces. It is also likely that people (more so perhaps in the Protestant churches) would not even know what a mantilla or chapel veil was, let alone what one looked like.   Of those that do, some may view it as a discriminatory practice left over from the ancient church as a symbol of woman’s subservience to male ‘headship’. The progressive, modernist agenda has so muddied and influenced Christian practices that I would guess liberal christian women today would regard this practice as ‘repressive’ and a throw-back to misogynistic practices.

In St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (11:1-16) he declares that we must cover our heads because it is Sacred Tradition commanded by our Lord himself and entrusted to Paul. Sadly with the pressure of modern society and its secular values, many people have dropped what was once a beautiful and reverent custom and as many churches too have yielded to modern thinking, there is no longer a requirement to wear any type of head covering.

Yet I would say to those who still think that the veil is an outdated custom, remember that: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever” (Heb. 13:8) Showing reverence and humility in the presence of God is not a practice applicable only to a particular period in time. It is for eternity, because He is the Alpha and the Omega – infinite.

So why do I veil? Well certainly not to make any kind of fashion statement as veiling today is probably considered completely ‘uncool’. I veil because I am in the presence of Almighty God, my Creator, my source of Life and my soul’s delight.   I veil as an external manifestation of my belief that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and I wish to show love, reverence and humility in his Holy presence. I veil because like the Angels I feel I should cover myself in the presence of the Holy One. I veil because I love Our Lord. I veil simply because I feel it matters

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Truth Lives. Error Dies.

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