Traditional Catholicity of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Part 5
The Daily Knight | Justin Haggerty
Prophet Isaias' lips purified by the angelic burning coal to preach the Word of God.
"And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne. And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." (Apocalypse 5:6-10)
To further illustrate the traditional Catholicity of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the following text has been taken from the Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962, For whom may Mass be celebrated? God always receives infinite praise from the Mass, even should the celebrate be unworthy of his high office; for it is Christ, who---in the Mass, as once on Calvary---is both Priest and Victim. The Mass is offered to God alone; but for the advantage, profit, utility, and benefit of the Mystical Body of Christ. The beneficiaries of the Mass are thus the members of Christ's Mystical Body. The Mass includes the "Memento of the Living" and the "Memento of the Dead." We shall find there indicated the persons for whom Mass may be celebrated. 1.) The living. These are the members of Christ's Mystical Body still on earth: consequently, each one of us. Incidentally, a beautiful prayer formula for offering prayer for dying sinners is the following: "My God, I offer you all the Masses that are being celebrated today for those sinners who are in their agony now and are to die today. May the precious Blood of Jesus obtain mercy for them!" 2.) The dead. In other words, the souls in purgatory. Charity demands that those members of the Mystical Body who have access to Christ's oblation, should not forget those members no longer able to offer the Holy Sacrifice. It devolves on us to see that the Church Suffering is not deprived of its greatest good: the Mass, which applies to it Christ's meritis. If we would have Christians still on earth think of us, when we in our turn shall be in purgatory; let us not forget the departed, who implore our prayers and Masses! The merit of a charitable work depends on three factors: (1) The value of the work in question; (2) the effort involved; (3) the amount of charity with which the work is accomplished. No work of mercy surpasses in value the gift of the Mass. If the cup of cold water is rewarded, of how much greater merit is Christ's infinite oblation applied to a human soul! No other offering or riches is comparable. If material or spiritual aid to a neighbor in need, draws down upon us Heaven's blessings, how much more meritorious still, the offering to a suffering member of the Mystical Body of the very immolation of Christ! Do all members of the Mystical Body have an equal share in the fruits of the Mass? It is customary to distinguish four fruits of the Mass: 1.) A general fruit destined for all members of the Mystical Body. 2.) A special fruit designed for all those assisting at the Sacrifice with suitable dispositions. 3.) A functional fruit directed toward those persons for whose intentions Sacrifice. 4.) A personal fruit designated for the priest celebrating the Holy Sacrifice. Be it noted, however, that whatever may be our title for sharing in the fruits of the Mass, the profit we derive from the Mass will depend on the dispositions with which we hear it." (Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962, pp. liv - lv)
Traditional Catholicity of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Part 3 Sacred Liturgy: From the Epistle to the Credo (Ibid, pp. 851-859) The Epistle "After the preparation, the Epistle and the Gospel form the instruction of the faithful, since this Sacrament is a "mystery of faith." Then the Gradual, Tract, of Alleluia with Verse or Sequence follow, as the season requires. The teaching we have just received (from the Epistle) unfolds in prayer as the verses are chanted. The Gradual signifies our progress in life; the Alleluia, spiritual joy; and the Tract, in mournful offices, expresses the sighing of the soul. The souls should receive the word and truth of God with a purity similar to that of the Blessed Sacrament. The Prophet Isaias beheld the glory of the God of Hosts and heard the Angels singing His praise. Filled with holy awe, he acknowledged and confessed his unworthiness. Then a Seraph took from the heavenly altar of incense a live coal, symbol of purifying grace, and touched the lips of the Prophet, burning away all his defilement. Then only did Isaias respond to God's call: "Lo, here I am, send me." Cleanse my heart and my lips, O God almighty, Who didst cleanse the lips of the Prophet Isaias with a burning coal; and vouchsafe through Thy gracious mercy, so to purify me that I may worthily proclaim Thy holy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord Amen. Pray, Lord, a blessing. The Lord be in thy heart and on thy lips, that thou may worthily and in a becoming manner announce His holy Gospel: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. /V. The Lord be with you. /R. And with thy spirit. Purified and prepared by God's blessing, the priest is a pure channel to receive the salutary waters of the Gospel in a clear state from the fountain-source of the Holy Ghost, and then convey them into the hearts of the faithful. We should keep the word in our hearts, as well as on our lips, since it is important to not only know the Gospel, but also to live it.
The Gospel The Gospel represents Christ Himself, as does the Priest, and so it is incensed three times, just as are the Priest and the tabernacle. When the Priest kisses the book, he is paying homage to the eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Whose human words are contained therein. The faithful rise and remain standing during the Gospel. At the beginning they make the sign of the cross upon the forehead, lips, and heart to declare that they will never be ashamed of the word of God, that they are ready to confess it by word of mouth, and that they love it with all their heart. /R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord. [Gloria tibi, Domine.] /R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ. [Laus tibi, Christe.] By the words of the Gospel may our sins be blotted out. [Per evangelica dicta deleantur nostra delicta.]
The Credo The Creed is said only on Sundays, feasts of the first class, feasts of the second class of our Lord, our Lady, and the Apostles, and at votive Masses of the first class. After the Gospel has been read, the Creed is sung, in which the people show that they assent by faith to Christ's doctrine. Thus the Creed forms the answer and echo to the voice of God, Who has spoken to us by His prophets and Apostles, and even by His own Son. It forms a link between the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful: it is at once the blossom and fruit of the preceding Scriptural readings, and the foundation stone and basis for the sacrifice which is about to begin, the "mystery of faith." The Creed is for Catholics our great Act of Faith in which is contained the twelve articles of our Holy Religion. The mere fact of saying, "I believe in one God," is binding upon us and involves our whole existence. We take a stand for God and against whatever is opposed to Him. Whatever in us is superficial, routine, superstitious, selfish, negative, or inconsistent must be purged. Our daily lives must coincide with the Creed. WHen we know how to harmonize Catholic doctrine with the sum total of our attitudes and actions, then we are prepared to go on to the Offertory of the Mass. The sign of the cross concludes and seals the Creed, as a brief profession of our faith in the Trinity and the Redemption, and a shield and buckler against the adversaries of our Faith. Falling after the words "the life of the world to come," it signifies that the royal way of the cross is the path to eternal glory, and reminds us that the sign of the cross will appear in the heavens with Christ at His second coming to judge the world." (Ibid, pp. 851-859)
In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus.