Explanation of the Traditional Latin Mass

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

THE Mass is the perpetual sacrifice of the New Law, in which Christ our Lord, under the appearances of bread and wine, offers Himself to His heavenly Father, by the hands of the priest, in an unbloodied manner, as He once offered Himself on the cross in a bloody manner. To celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass the priest needs : 

    1. The altar. 

    2. The chalice. 

    3. The prescribed vestments. 

    4. The Missal, or Mass-book, containing the formula of the Mass for each day. 

    5. The assistants, or acolytes. 

The altar is the place consecrated by the bishop for offering up the holy sacrifice of the Mass. It represents the table at which Jesus instituted the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and has, therefore, the form of a table. We distinguish the high altar upon which, with us, the Blessed Sacrament is usually placed, and the side altars. On the altar of the Blessed Sacrament there is always a tabernacle, before which the sanctuary lamp is kept perpetually burning. 

How must the altar be prepared for the sacrifice of the Mass? 

The altar-table must be made of stone, within which are en closed holy relics, and it must be covered with three linen cloths, and bear a crucifix with two candlesticks and wax candles. To decorate the altar sacred images, reliquaries, and flowers may also be used. 

Why must the altar be of stone, and why must it contain sacred relics? 

Because it represents Christ, the corner-stone of the Church, and because in the early days of the Church Mass was usually offered up on the tombs of the holy martyrs. 

Why must it be covered with linen cloths? 

Partly as a sign of respect and reverence for the holy sacrifice, and partly to prevent the precious blood from falling to the floor, should any be spilled. It is strictly prescribed that linen only shall be used for dressing the altar, as well as in the general use of the Church, first, in accordance with an old custom that owes its origin to the fact that the dead body of Christ was clothed with linen when laid in the sepulcher, and, moreover, on account of the significance usually attached to a linen garment, namely, sincerity and purity of heart (Acts xix. 8). These virtues are attained with difficulty by frequent prayer, vigilance, and self-denial, as pure linen cloth was formerly prepared by hard and toilsome labor. 

Why is a crucifix placed on the altar? 

To remind us that the holy sacrifice of the Mass is the unbloodied renewal of the sacrifice of the cross. The chalice is the vessel into which at the Offertory the priest pours the wine which is about to be changed into the blood of Christ. The cup of the chalice, as distinguished from the stand or foot, must be made of gold, or at least of silver gold-plated inside, as a mark of the reverence due to the precious blood. To the chalice belongs the paten, or plate, which must also be gold or gold-plated. The chalice and paten are consecrated by the bishop. To prevent anything dropping into the chalice a small frame covering is provided, called the pall. Beneath the chalice and the sacred Host is placed a linen cloth called a corporal, from corpus, body, because the body of Our Lord is placed upon it. After Mass is over the corporal is placed in the burse. For cleaning the chalice, and also the lips and fingers of the priest, a small linen cloth is used, called a pacificator. When the priest approaches the altar and until the Offertory, the chalice is covered with a cloth called the veil, similar in color to the vestments used in the Mass.

THE VESTMENTS. 

Why has the Church prescribed particular vestments for the officiating priest? 

In order to remind us that the priest ministers at the altar, not in his own person, but as the representative of Jesus Christ, and that he celebrates a most sacred and divine mystery. In the Old Law God Himself prescribed and commanded explicitly the character of the vestments to be worn (Exodus xxviii. 43). The particular vestments worn by the priest during the holy sacrifice of the Mass are: 

    1. the amice is a shoulder-cloth of linen, which is first laid upon the head, then upon the neck and shoulders, of the priest, signifies the helmet of salvation" (Ephes. vi. 17), with which the priest arms himself against the assaults of the evil spirit.

    2, the Alb is a long white garment, is a symbol of the spotless innocence and perfect purity of soul and body with which the priest should approach the altar.

    3, the cincture is a symbol of priestly continence and chastity. 

    4, the maniple is a handkerchief borne on the left arm, is a symbol of penance, and of the cares and burdens of the priestly calling.

    5, the stole was formerly an entire garment indeed a splendid garb of honor and dignity; now, however, it is but a narrow strip placed over the shoulders and crossed upon the breast. It is worn not only during Mass, but also at the performance of every priestly function. Worn over the shoulders it signifies that the priest in his calling assumes the sweet yoke of the Lord. As a garb of splendor it symbolized the robe of immortality. 

    6, the chasuble or outer garment is a symbol of holy love, and the yoke of the Lord which the priest joyfully bears. The covering for the head, worn by the priest, is called a biretta. The cope is worn in processions, at solemn Vespers, at blessings, and benedictions

What is the meaning of the different colored vestments used by the Church?

    1. White signifies innocence and spiritual joy, and is used on feasts of the Lord and of such saints as were not martyrs. 

    2. Red signifies love of God and martyrdom, and is therefore used at Whitsuntide and on the feasts of martyrs. 

    3. Green signifies hope of eternal life, and is used on the Sundays after Epiphany and Pentecost, when no other feast occurs. 

    4. Violet signifies humility and penance, and is therefore used during Lent and Advent, and on fast- days when on these days no other feast is to be celebrated. 

    5. Black is the color of sorrow, and is used on Good Friday and at Masses for the dead.

SYMBOLICAL OBJECTS USED DURING THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS. 

What objects are employed as symbols during Mass? 

Lights and incense. 

What do the lights on the altar signify? 

They are symbolical: 

    1, of Jesus Christ, the God-man, the true Light of the world ; 

    2, of faith which enlightens, hope which aspires, and charity which should always burn in our hearts ;

     3, they remind us also of the persecutions of the early Christians, who were forced to offer up the sacrifice in the dark catacombs or caves. 

What is the meaning of incense? 

Incense is a symbol of prayer which ascends to heaven as a sweet odor before God (Ps. cxl. 2). The incense is kept in a small vessel, from which it is taken with a spoon made for the purpose, and placed on the coals burning in the censer. 

GENERAL CEREMONIES OBSERVED DURING THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS. 

What symbolical acts are most frequently used during Mass? 

    1. The sign of the cross; 

        The sign of the cross: 

  •     reminds us of the death of Christ on the cross, which is commemorated in the Mass ; 
  •     it gives to the objects so marked a certain dedication and sanctification ; 
  •     it is an invocation for the grace, the blessing, and the protection of the Most High, for through the sign of the cross all blessings are given to us.

        2, genuflection or bending of the knee; 

        3, bowing of the head; The bending of the knee and bowing of the head are signs of adoration, respect, and homage.

        4, joining and lifting the hands; Joined and upraised hands indicate earnest supplication and entreaty for aid. 

        5, imposing of hands; The imposition of hands is a symbol of the bestowal of God's blessing and that of the Holy Ghost. 

        6, striking the breast; The striking of the breast springs from the consciousness of culpability and unworthiness in the sight of God.

        7, kissing sacred objects. The kissing of sacred objects, such as the gospel, the altar, etc., is an expression of reverence, of a pure and holy love, a longing for union and communion with God.

PRAYERS AT MASS


THE PREPARATION AT THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR. 

    This prayer offered at the foot of the altar signifies our unworthiness to approach the Holy of holies, unless freed from sin. 

    ✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. I will go in to the altar of God. To God Who giveth joy to my youth. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy : deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. For Thou art God, my strength; why hast Thou cast me off? And why do I go sorrowful, whilst the enemy afflicteth me? Send forth Thy light and Thy truth : they have conducted me and brought me to Thy holy mount, and into Thy tabernacles. And I will go in to the altar of God; to God, Who giveth joy to my youth. To Thee, O God, my God, I will give praise on the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul, and why dost thou disquiet me? Hope in God, for I will still praise Him : the salvation of my countenance and my God. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. 

Joining his hands and humbly lowing down the priest says 

THE CONFITEOR. 

    I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary ever virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to our Lord God for me. 

    P. May Almighty God have mercy upon thee, forgive thee thy sins, and bring thee to life everlasting. It. 

    R. Amen. 

The acolyte or server, in the name of the congregation, now recites the CONFITEOR. Unite your prayers to his, and ask God to forgive you your sins. When the server is finished, the priest, with joined hands gives the ABSOLUTION, saying : 

    P. May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to everlasting life. 

    R. Amen. 

    Signing himself with the sign of the cross, he says : 

    P. May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, ✠ absolution, and remission of our sins. 

    R. Amen. 

Then, bowing down, he proceeds : 

    P. Thou wilt turn, O Lord, and bring us to life. 

    R. And Thy people shall rejoice in Thee. 

    P. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy. 

    R. And grant us Thy salvation. 

    P. O Lord, hear my prayer. 

    R. And let my cry come unto Thee. 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

Going up to the altar, the priest says in a low voice : 

    Take away from us our iniquities, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the Holy of holies : through Christ our Lord. Amen. ✠ 

Bowing down, he kisses the altar and says : 

    We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy saints, whose relics are here, and of all the saints, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to forgive me all my sins. Amen. ✠

Joining his hands and humbly lowing down the priest says 

THE CONFITEOR. 

    I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary ever virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to our Lord God for me. 

    P. May Almighty God have mercy upon thee, forgive thee thy sins, and bring thee to life everlasting.

     R. Amen. 

    The acolyte or server, in the name of the congregation, now recites the CONFITEOR. Unite your prayers to his, and ask God to forgive you your sins. When the server is finished, the priest, with joined hands gives the ABSOLUTION, saying : 

    P. May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to everlasting life. 

    R. Amen. 

    Signing himself with the sign of the cross, he says : 

    P. May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, ✠ absolution, and remission of our sins. 

    R. Amen. 

Then, bowing down, he proceeds : 

    P. Thou wilt turn, O Lord, and bring us to life. 

    R. And Thy people shall rejoice in Thee. 

    P. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy. 

    R. And grant us Thy salvation. 

    P. O Lord, hear my prayer. 

    R. And let my cry come unto Thee. 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

Going up to the altar, the priest says in a low voice : 

    Take away from us our iniquities, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the Holy of holies : through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Bowing down, he kisses the altar and says : 

    We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy saints, whose relics are here, and of all the saints, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to forgive me all my sins. Amen.

Then the priest, signing himself with the sign of the cross, reads the 

INTROIT. 

    The Introit, or Entrance, is so called because formerly it was sung when the bishop entered the church. It consists of two verses from Scripture and the " Glory be to the Father." The selection from Scripture at times expresses the spirit of the festival of the day. 

    Blessed be the Holy Trinity and Undivided Unity ; we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us.  

    Ps. O our Lord God, how wonderful is Thy name in all the earth ! 

    Glory be, etc. Blessed, etc., to Ps. 

    After the INTROIT the KYRIE is sung. 

    The Kyrie is a prayer for mercy offered by the priest, who stands at the center of the altar. The responses are given by the acolytes. The words of the prayer are in the Greek tongue. 

    It is addressed to the Blessed Trinity, and is repeated three times to each person. 

    Lord, have mercy on us. (Three times.) 

    Christ, have mercy on us. (Three times.) 

    Lord, have mercy on us. (Three times.) 

Afterward, standing at the middle of the altar, he says the GLORIA. 

    The Gloria is a solemn song of praise to the goodness and majesty of the Triune God, and begins with the words of the angel at the birth of Jesus, namely, "Glory be to God on high," etc. 

    Being a joyful hymn, it is not recited at Masses offered up for penitence or mourning, such as those in Advent, Lent, fast- days of precept, Masses for the dead, or whenever the priest wears violet vestments.

    Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise Thee; we bless Thee; we adore Thee; we glorify Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us ; Who takest away the sins of the world, re ceive our prayers ; Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou only art holy : Thou only art Lord; Thou only, O Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen. 

    After the Gloria the priest, turning to the people, either speaks or sings the oft-repeated salutation, " Dominus vobiscum." " The Lord be with you; " the server, or the choir at High Mass, answering, " Et cum spiritu tuo."  And with thy spirit. 

Then follows the COLLECT. 

    By the Collect we understand the prayer of the Church which is offered up by the priest in the name of all the faithful present. In this prayer all the wants and cares of the Church and her children are united and laid before God. 

    The Collect and other prayers, both at the holy sacrifice of the Mass and other religious services, begin witli the word Oremus Let us pray, calling on the people to offer up their prayers with the priest, who is the representative of all. They generally close with the following words : " Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in union with the Holy Ghost, God forever and forever." To which the server or the choir answers for the people, "Amen." 

    Almighty and eternal God, we humbly beseech Thee merci fully to give ear to the prayers of Thy servant, which he offers Thee in the name of Thy Church and in behalf of us Thy people : accept them to the honor of Thy name and the good of our souls ; and grant us all those blessings which may in any way contribute to our salvation; through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Then is read the EPISTLE of the day, or the following may be read instead : 

    Rejoice in the Lord always : again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men : The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous : but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, what so ever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, what so ever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things. The things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, these do ye : and the God of peace shall be with you. 

    After this follows a species of interlude called the Gradual, which, in accordance with the feast, expresses either praise, thanks, longing, or petition. 

    At Easter it is called Alleluia, in times of penance Tract. 

    On certain feasts and at Masses for the dead another hymn is sung called Sequence.

THE GRADUAL. 

    Blessed art Thou, O Lord, Who beholdest the deep and sittest on the cherubim.  V. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven, and worthy of praise forever. 

    V. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and worthy of praise forever. 

While the book is being moved to the gospel side of the altar, the priest, standing in the middle, prays that he may worthily announce the Gospel of Christ, as follows : 

    Cleanse my heart and my lips, O Almighty God, 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. 

    May the Lord be in my heart, and on my lips, that I may worthily and in a becoming manner announce His holy Gospel. Amen. 

Then, going to the gospel side of the altar, the priest says : 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

    P. The continuation (or beginning) of the holy gospel ac cording to N. 

    R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord. 

Then is read the GOSPEL of the day, or the following may be read : 

    P. At that time Jesus said to His disciples ; All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. 

    R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ. 

    During the reading of the gospel the people stand as a sign of reverence for the word of God and a willingness to follow it. Each one also makes the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips, and breast, to signify that he believes and maintains the truth of the Gospel, and will proclaim it with his lips, and with up right heart will abide by it. 

    After reading the gospel, the priest as a mark of respect kisses the book, and says in a low voice : By the words of the gospel may our sins be blotted out. 

    On Sundays and holy-days a sermon is usually preached here, on the gospel of the day. Then standing at the middle of the altar, with his hands joined, the priest says the NICENE CREED. 

    The Creed is the profession of faith made by the universal Church assembled in council at Nice in the year 325, and at Constantinople in the year 381. It begins with the Latin word " Credo," " I believe," and the name Credo has been applied to the entire prayer. On days of the week on which no feast occurs, or when the feast is that of a martyr, confessor, virgin, or widow only, the Credo is not said ; nor is it said in Masses for the dead.

THE NICENE CREED. 

    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; consubstantial with the Father, by Whom all things were made, Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven ; and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary; AND BECAME MAN. (Here all kneel.} He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and He is to come again with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; 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 adored and glorified : Who spoke by the prophets. And one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. 

Then the priest kisses the altar, and turning to the people, says : 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. Let us pray. 

Here follows the OFFERTORY. 

    This is a short extract from Holy Scripture which serves to illustrate the motive of the feast. 

    Formerly, during the chanting of the Offertory, the people brought their offerings to the altar. Of this custom we have a survival in the offerings on feast-days and in Masses for the dead. 

    Blessed be God the Father, and the only-begotten Son of God, as likewise the Holy Ghost; for He has shown mercy to us. 

Then taking the paten with the Host, the priest offers it up, saying : 

    Accept, O holy Father, almighty, eternal God, this immaculate Host, which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offences, and negligence's ; and for all here present ; as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead ; that it may be profitable for my own and for their salvation unto life everlasting. Amen. 

Then making the sign of the cross with the paten, he places the host upon the corporal. The priest pours wine and water into the chalice, Messing the water before it is mixed, saying: 

    O God, ✠ Who, in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and hast still more wonderfully renewed it, grant that, by the mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divinity Who vouchsafed to become partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of, etc. 

    The host must be unleavened wheat bread, and the wine must be the pure unadulterated juice of the grape; for they must be similar to the offerings used by Christ at the Last Supper.

    The water poured into the wine signifies the union of the divine and human natures in Christ, and also our union with Him in holy communion. 

Then the priest takes the chalice, and offers it, saying: 

    We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, beseeching Thy clemency that in the sight of Thy divine Majesty it may ascend with the odor of sweetness, for our salvation, and for that of the whole world. Amen. 

Then he makes the sign of the cross with the chalice, places it upon the corporal, and covers it with the pall. Then, with his hands joined upon the altar, and slightly bowing down, he says: 

    In the spirit of humility, and with a contrite heart, let us be received by Thee, O Lord ; and grant that the sacrifice we offer in Thy sight this day may be pleasing to Thee, O Lord God. 

    The priest, elevating his eyes towards heaven, and stretching out his hands, which he afterwards joins, makes the sign of the cross over the host and chalice, while he says: 

    Come, O sanctifier, almighty, eternal God, and bless ✠ this sacrifice prepared to Thy holy name. 

    The priest, with his hands joined, goes to the epistle side of the altar, where he washes his fingers. At the LAVABO the priest recites a part of the 25th Psalm, as follows: 

    I will wash my hands among the innocent, and will compass Thy altar, O Lord. 

    That I may hear the voice of Thy praise ; and tell all Thy wondrous works. 

    I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. 

    Take not away my soul with the wicked, nor my life with bloody men. 

    In whose hands are iniquities : their right hand is filled with gifts. 

    But as for me, I have walked in my innocence : redeem me and have mercy on me. 

    My foot hath stood in the direct way ; in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord. 

Returning and bowing before the middle of the altar with joined hands, the priest implores the Most Holy Trinity to receive the offering , in union with the sacrifice of the Savior and the merits of His saints, in these words: 

    Receive, O Holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of the blessed Mary ever virgin, of blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, of these and of all the saints, that it may be available to their honor and our salvation: and may they vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven whose memory we celebrate on earth. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Then he kisses the altar, and having turned himself towards the people, extending and joining his hands, he raises his voice a little, and says the ORATE, FRATRES. 

    Brethren, pray that my sacrifice and yours may be accept able to God the Father Almighty. 

    R. May the Lord receive the sacrifice from thy hands, to the praise and glory of His name, and to our benefit, and that of all His holy Church. 

    P. Amen. 

    Then the Secret Prayers are recited. They are so called because uttered by the priest in a low voice. We again beg, with a special reference to the feast of the day, to have our offerings accepted by God. After this comes the Preface. This marks the transition or introduction to the second part of the Mass. This thanksgiving and glorifying of God in the Preface is governed by the feasts and time of the ecclesiastical year. 

THE PREFACE. 


    P. Forever and ever. ✠ Amen. 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

Here he lifts up his hands. 

    P. Lift up your hearts. 

    R. We have lifted them to the Lord. 

He joins his hands before his breast and bows his head while he says: 

    P. Let us give thanks to our Lord God. 

    R. It is just and right. 

He then disjoins his hands, and keeps them in this posture until the end of the PREFACE, after which he again joins them, and lowing, says, SANCTUS, etc. When he says BENEDICTUS, etc., he crosses himself. 

THE PREFACE. 

    It is truly meet and just, right and salutary, that we should always, and in all places, give thanks to Thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God. Who together with Thy only begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God and one Lord ; not in a singularity of one person, but in a trinity of one sub stance. For that which by Thy revelation we believe of Thy glory, the same we believe of Thy Son, and the same of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or distinction ; that in the confession of a true and eternal Deity, distinctness in the per sons, unity in the essence, and equality in the majesty may be adored. Whom the angels and archangels, the cherubim also and seraphim praise ; and cease not daily to cry out with one voice, saying. 

Here the bell is rung thrice. 

    Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts. The heavens and the earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest ! Blessed is He that cometh in ✠ the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest ! These last are the words with which the people of Jerusalem greeted the Savior on Palm Sunday. They call on us to greet Him in like manner, now that He is about to come to us in the Blessed Eucharist.

THE CANON OF THE MASS. 

    This most solemn part of the holy mysteries is so called because the word means, in Greek, a rule. The language is very grave and dignified, and it is -read in a low voice to express the silence of Christ in His passion, and His hiding at that time His glory and divinity, as well as to signify the vast importance of that common cause to all mankind, which the priest is then representing to the ear of God, and the reverence and awe with which priest and people ought to assist at these tremendous mysteries. The priest extending, raising, and joining his hands, (raising, too, his eyes, as if to direct his attention, and immediately lowering them), bows over the altar, and with his hands resting on the altar, invokes the Father of mercies, through Christ His Son, on the Church militant on earth. He continues : 

We therefore humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord (he kisses the altar), that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to accept and bless these ✠ gifts, these ✠ presents, these holy ✠ unspotted sacrifices, which in the first place we offer Thee, for Thy holy Catholic Church ; to which vouchsafe to grant peace, as also to preserve, unite, and govern it throughout the world ; together with Thy servant N. our Pope, N. our Bishop, as also all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and apostolic faith. 

THE COMMEMORATION OF THE LIVING. 

    The preceding prayer contained the offering of the sacrifice for the whole Church, but with holy importunity the priest renews the oblation for those recommended to him, and for all who hear the Mass. 

    Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids N. and N. 

Here the priest joins his hands, and prays, as we all should, for those for whom he specially intends to pray; then extending his hands, he proceeds: 

    And of all here present, whose faith is known and devotion apparent unto Thee, for whom we offer, or who offer up to Thee this sacrifice of praise for themselves, their families and friends, for the redemption of their souls, for the hope of their safety and salvation, and who pay their vows to Thee, the eternal, living, and true God. 

    Then putting himself in communion with those blessed members of the Church triumphant in heaven, he implores them to unite with him in the sacrifice. Communicating with, and honoring the memory, in the first place, of the ever-glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ; as also of the blessed apostles and martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence. Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy saints, through whose merits and prayers grant that we may be always defended by the help of Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

    Spreading the hands, in the manner of the ancient sacrifices, over the host and chalice, he again renews the oblation, saying, while the server rings the bell to recall the attention of the people : 

    We therefore beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation of our service, as also of Thy whole family, and to dispose our days in Thy peace; preserve us from eternal dam nation, and number us in the flock of Thine elect. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

As the priest closes this prayer, he joins his hands, and continues solemnly signing the oblation with the sign of the cross; imploring the Almighty to effect the miraculous change which His divine Son instituted and first performed. 

    Which oblation do Thou, O God, vouchsafe in all respects to make in all things (he makes the sign of the cross three times over the oblation) ✠blessed, ✠ approved, ✠ ratified, reasonable, and acceptable (he makes the sign of the cross once over the host and once over the chalice), ✠ that it may become to us the ✠ body and ✠ blood of Thy most beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE CONSECRATION. 

    The awful moment of the Mass has come. The bread and wine are to be consecrated in Christ s own words, pronounced by the priest. "While the angels, in adoring awe, bow around the altar, the priest performs this most essential part of the sacrifice, in which the body and blood of Christ are really exhibited and presented to God, and Christ is mystically immolated. Who the day before He suffered (he takes up the host], took bread into His holy and venerable hands (raising his eyes towards heaven), and with His eyes lifted up towards heaven, to God, His Almighty Father : giving thanks to Thee (he makes the sign of the cross over the host), did bless, break, and give to His disciples, saying : Take and eat ye all of this : 

Holding the host between his forefingers and thumbs he pronounces the words of consecration secretly , distinctly, and attentively. 

    FOR THIS is MY BODY. 

Having pronounced the words of consecration, while all the people kneel in profound and silent adoration, the priest, kneeling, adores the sacred host: rising, he elevates it, amid the ringing of the bell; and then placing it on the corporal, again adores it. 

After this he never disjoins his forefingers and thumbs, except when he is to take the host, until the ablution. 

    In like manner, after He had supped (he takes the chalice in loth hands), taking also this excellent chalice into His holy and venerable hands, and giving Thee thanks (holding the chalice in the left hand, the priest makes the sign of the cross over it with his right], He bless✠ed, and gave to His disciples, saying : Take and drink ye all of this: 

The priest then pronounces the words of consecration over the chalice, holding it slightly elevated, saying: 

FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL TESTAMENT ; THE MYSTERY OF FAITH I WHICH SHALL BE SHED FOR YOU, AND FOR MANY, TO THE REMISSION OF SINS. 

The words of consecration having been pronounced, he places the chalice on the corporal, and says in secret: 

    As often as ye do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of Me. 

Kneeling, he adores ; rising, he elevates the chalice for the adoration of the faithful while the bell rings thrice again; then the priest replaces the chalice on the corporal, covers it, and again adoring, proceeds, extending his hands : 

    "Wherefore, O Lord, we Thy servants, as also Thy holy people, calling to mind the blessed passion of the same Christ Thy Son our Lord, His resurrection from hell, and glorious ascension into heaven, offer unto Thy most excellent Majesty, of Thy gifts and grants, 

Here the priest joins his hands, and makes the sign of the cross three times over the sacred host and chalice simultaneously. 

    A pure ✠ host, a holy ✠ host, an immaculate ✠ host. 

He then makes the sign of the cross once over the sacred host and once over the chalice, saying: 

    The holy ✠ bread of eternal life, and the chalice ✠ of ever lasting salvation. 

Then extending his hands, he proceeds : 

    Upon which vouchsafe to look with a propitious and serene countenance, and to accept them, as Thou wast graciously pleased to accept the gifts of Thy just servant Abel and the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham, and that which the high-priest Melchisedech offered to Thee, a holy sacrifice, an immaculate host. 

Bowing down profoundly, with his hands joined and placed upon the altar, he says : 

    We most humbly beseech Thee, Almighty God, command these things to be carried by the hands of Thy angel to Thy altar on high, in the sight of Thy divine Majesty, that as many of us (he kisses the altar) as by participation at this altar shall receive the most sacred (he joins his hands and makes the sign of the cross once over the sacred host and once over the chalice) ✠ body and ✠ blood of Thy Son (making the sign of the cross on himself}, may be filled with all heavenly ✠ benediction and grace. (Joining his hands.) Through the same Christ oar Lord. Amen

COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD. 

    Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids N. and N.) who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and slumber in the sleep of peace. 

Here he pauses to recommend the souls for whom he especially desires to pray; and all should do the same, for it is not only his sacrifice, but theirs. 

    To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and peace : through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Here striking his breast and raising his voice slightly : 

    And to us sinners Thy servants, hoping in the multitude of Thy mercies, vouchsafe to grant some part and fellowship with Thy holy apostles and martyrs ; with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecily, Anastasia, and with all Thy saints : into whose company we beseech Thee to admit us, not as a rewarder of our merit, but as a free bestower of pardon. Through Christ our Lord. 

    By whom, O Lord, Thou dost always create (the priest makes the sign of the cross three times over the host and chalice simultaneously, saying :) sancti✠fy, quick✠en, bless, ✠ and give us all these good things. 

The priest then uncovers the chalice, genuflects ; and taking the sacred host in his right hand, and holding the chalice with his left, he makes the sign of the cross three times over the chalice, saying: 

    Through Him, ✠ and with Him, ✠ and in Him, ✠ is to Thee, God the ✠ Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy ✠ Ghost, all honor and glory. 

He here replaces the sacred host upon the corporal, covers the chalice, and makes a genuflection; and rising again, he says aloud : 

    P. Forever and ever. 

    R. Amen. 

Let us pray. 

    Instructed by Thy saving precepts, and following Thy divine instruction, we presume to say : 

    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 them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation. 

   R. But deliver us from evil. 

    P. Amen. The "Our Father" or " Lord s Prayer" is here repeated because by holy communion we become, in the fullest sense, children of God ; it is moreover truly a daily bread, preserving us from temptation and evil. 

Taking the paten between his first and second fingers, the priest says : 

    Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, from all evils, past and present, and by the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary Mother of God, Thy holy apostles (here he makes the sign of the cross on himself with the paten) Peter and Paul, and Andrew, and all the saints (kisses the pateri), grant peace in our days, that through the assistance of Thy mercy we may be always free from sin, and secure from all disturbance. 

Sliding the paten under the host, he uncovers the chalice and makes a genuflection ; and taking the host, breaks it over the chalice, and says: 

Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, 

Placing the part in his right hand on the paten, he breaks a particle from the other part, and says : 

Who, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, God, 

Placing on the paten what remains in his left hand of the sacred host and holding in his right hand, over the chalice, the particle he has broken off, he says aloud

    V. World without end. 

    R. Amen. 

Making the sign of the cross over the chalice with the particle of the sacred host, he says : 

    V. May the peace ✠ of the Lord be ✠ always with ✠ you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

He then puts the particle of the host into the chalice, saying in a low voice : 

    May this mixture and consecration of the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ be to us that receive it effectual to eternal life. Amen. 

    The breaking of the sacred host into three parts is symbolical of the violent death of Christ. A part of the consecrated host is mingled with the precious blood as a sign that Christ is here present as the risen and transfigured Redeemer, His body and blood reunited. 

He covers the chalice, makes a genuflection, and then bowing down and striking his breast three times, he says : 

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. 

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. 

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace. 

[In Masses for the dead the priest says twice, " Give them rest," and lastly, " Give them eternal rest."] 

Then inclining toward the altar with hands joined upon it, the priest says the following prayers : 

    P. Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Thy apostles, I leave you peace, I give you My peace, regard not my sins, but the faith of Thy Church ; and grant her that peace and unity which is agreeable to Thy will; Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen. 

    P. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who, according to the will of Thy Father, hast by Thy death, through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, given life to the world, deliver me by this Thy most sacred body and blood from all my iniquities, and from all evils; and make me always adhere to Thy commandments, and never suffer me to be separated from Thee ; Who livest and reignest with God the Father, etc. Amen. 

    Let not, O Lord Jesus Christ, the participation of Thy body, which I, though unworthy, presume to receive, turn to my judgment and condemnation ; but, through Thy mercy, may it be to me a safeguard and remedy, both for soul and body : Who with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, forever and ever. Amen.

THE COMMUNION. 

Making a genuflection, and taking the host in his hands, the priest says : 

    I will take the bread of heaven, and call upon the name of the Lord. 

Then slightly bending, he takes both parts of the sacred host, and striking his breast, he says three times, humbly and with devotion, while the bell is rung thrice : 

    Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed. 

Signing himself with the sacred host, he reverently consumes it, saying : 

    May the body of Our Lord ✠ Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen. 

He then joins his hands, and bows down in silent meditation and thanks giving. After which he uncovers the chalice, makes a genuflection, and collecting on the paten any particles which remain on the corporal, says

    What shall I render to the Lord for all He hath rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Praising, I will call upon the Lord, and shall be saved from my enemies. 

Taking the chalice in his right hand, and making the sign of the cross with it on himself, he says the following prayer : 

    ✠ May the blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to everlasting life. Amen. 

He then reverently takes the precious blood. 

Those who are to communicate go up to the sanctuary at the Domine, non sum dignus, when the bell rings ; the acolyte or server spreads a cloth before them, and says the Confiteor. During the Confiteor the priest removes from the tabernacle of the altar the ciborium or vessel containing the Blessed Sacrament ; and placing it upon the corporal he makes a genuflection. 

Turning to the communicants, he pronounces the absolution : 

    May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting. 

    R. Amen. 

Signing them with the sign of the cross, he continues : 

    P. May the almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, ✠ absolution, and remission of your sins.

    R. Amen. 

Elevating a particle of the Blessed Sacrament, and turning towards the people, he says : 

    Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who taketh away the sins of the world. 

And then he repeats three times : 

    Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof : say but the word, and my soul shall be healed. 

Descending the steps of the altar to the communicants, he administers the holy communion, saying to each : 

    May the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul to life everlasting. Amen. 

Returning to the altar, the priest covers the ciborium and replaces it in the tabernacle. The acolyte pours a little wine into the chalice, and the priest takes the first ablution, saying : 

    Grant, O Lord, that what we have taken with our mouth we may receive with a pure mind ; and of a temporal gift may it become to us an eternal remedy. 

Here the acolyte, at the epistle corner, pours wine and water into the chalice, over the priest s fingers, and the priest, returning to the middle of the altar, wipes his fingers and takes the second ablution, saying : 

    May Thy body, O Lord, which I have received, and Thy blood which I have drunk, cleave to my bowels ; and grant that no stain of sin may remain in me, who have been refreshed with pure and holy sacraments. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. 

Then he wipes his lips and the chalice, which he covers, and having folded the corporal, places it on the altar, as at first ; he then goes to the look, and reads 

THE COMMUNION.

    We bless the God of heaven, and we will praise Him in the sight of all the living : because He hath shown us His mercy. 

Then, going to the middle of the altar, he turns to the people, and says : 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

Then, returning to the missal, he reads the post-communions ; at the end of the first and last of which the server answers, "Amen." 

FOR THE POST-COMMUNION. 

    Pour forth upon us, O Lord, the spirit of Thy love, that, by Thy mercy, Thou mayst make those of one mind whom Thou hast fed with one celestial food. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, etc. 

    Graciously hear the prayers of Thy family, O Almighty God, and grant that these sacred mysteries which we have received from Thee may by Thy grace be preserved incorrupt within us. Through Our Lord, etc. Again turning to the people, he says: 

    P. The Lord be with you. ✠ And with thy spirit. 

    P. Go, the Mass is ended. 

    R. Thanks be to God. 

When the GLORIA has been omitted, and when violet is worn, instead of " Go, the Mass is ended, he says : 

    P. Let us bless the Lord. 

    R. Thanks be to God. 

In Masses for the dead, however, he says : 

    P. May they rest in peace. 

    R. Amen. 

Bowing down before the altar, the priest recites the following : 

Let the performance of my homage be pleasing to Thee, O Holy Trinity ; and grant that the sacrifice which I, unworthy, have offered up in the sight of Thy majesty, may be acceptable to Thee, and through Thy mercy be a propitiation for me and all those for whom I have offered it. Through, etc. 

The priest then kisses the altar, and turning to the people, gives the Blessing

    May Almighty God,  the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you. 

    R. Amen. 

Then turning to the gospel side of the altar, he says : 

    P. The Lord be with you. 

    R. And with thy spirit. 

He then makes the sign of the cross, first upon the altar, and then upon his forehead, lips, and breast, and then reads the Gospel: 

    P. The beginning of the Gospel according to St. John. 

    R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord. 

    In the beginning was the Word, and the "Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men ; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 

    There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. 

    He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own rereived Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to be made the sons of God ; to them that believe in His name, who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH (Here all kneel) and dwelt among us ; and we saw His glory, as it were the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 

    R. Thanks be to 

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