Category Archives: Mass and the Liturgy
Mass and the Liturgy
The Holy Mass is an inexhaustible fountain of grace. As a most divine mystery it is an unfathomable source of wonder and contemplation. Countless spiritual writers have made it, and the divine liturgy enshrining it, the subject of their books and meditations, each attempting to glorify so great and terrible a gift, so holy a sacrifice. That is what the Mass is, first and foremost, the unbloody sacrifice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, our Victim and Priest. It is the same identical sacrifice as that offered on Calvary near two thousand years ago, only the manner of offering being different. It is Calvary re-presented in an unbloody manner in every time and every place until the end of the world.
Four hundred years before the Incarnation of the Son of God, Malachias, the last of the Old Testament prophets, foresaw the Holy Mass, and, through him, God announced to Israel its advent with these words: “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachias 1:11).
The liturgy of each individual Mass, in every approved rite, honors the whole life of Our Lord. At the consecration of the bread the altar becomes Bethlehem; with that of the wine, the altar becomes Calvary; with the covering of the chalice with the pall after consecration is symbolized the burial of Christ; and with the Minor Elevation before the Pater Noster is symbolized the Resurrection. The Victim who is glorified and Immortal cannot be slain again, but He is truly made present under the sacramental species, and He appears in that guise, as the Apostle John saw Him in vision, “as a Lamb standing as it were slain” (Apoc. 5:6).
The articles in this section deal in some way with the Holy Mass and/or the liturgical life of the Church in her feasts. Gary Potter’s article, for example, on the greatest of all liturgical writers, Dom Prosper Guéranger, is a magnificent tribute to this prolific Benedictine reformer and writer. Guéanger’s masterpiece, The Liturgical Year, employs all the Church’s liturgical treasures, East and West, to immerse the reader in the life of Christ as He lives it in our sanctuaries from Advent to last day of Pentecost.
AsiaNews: ”We Christians may have lost our “sense of worship” of God, Pope Francis said this morning at Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta, centered on the physical “temple” as a building where we go to worship and the “spiritual temple”, the human being as a “temple of the Holy Spirit” called to listen to God, to ask Him for forgiveness and follow Him. Vatican Radio … More →
CNA: The road leading to St. Peter’s Square was packed on Saturday morning: but not with the usual tourists or merchants. Instead, a long line of pilgrims processed along the street carrying candles and singing hymns. They were participants in an international pilgrimage to Rome celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass made widely available by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2007. Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan … More →
There is no aspect of Catholic theology more compelling to non-Catholics than the existence of Angels. Oh, where does one begin? Movies? It’s A Wonderful Life, Here Comes Mr. Jordan! (and its sequels and remakes), Gabriel Over the White House, and the odious Michael come to mind among a horde. Music? Innumerable Christmas carols and I have a Dream. Popular books? At this writing Amazon … More →
[This is a re-post.] In 1683, the forces of the Holy League, under Poland’s King Jan Sobieski, roundly defeated the Mohammedan invaders at the Battle of Vienna. Here is a brief telling of that triumphant occasion by Gary Potter (in “Saint Mary of Victory – The Historical Role of Our Lady in the Armed Defense of the Faith”): Fortuitously, the pope of the day, Innocent … More →
California Catholic Daily: San Francisco’s Star of the Sea Church will soon host a daily celebration of the traditional Latin Mass. Beginning on Monday, September 9, the old Mass will be celebrated Monday through Friday at 7:30 AM. Star of the Sea already celebrates the traditional Mass every Sunday at 11:00 AM. Father Mark Mazza, the pastor at San Francisco’s Star of the Sea Church, made … More →
Two unrelated posts from two sites on the Internet bring to our attention the “devirilization” of the Church, that is, the stripping away of virtuous Catholic masculinity. The first one — whence comes the word — is from Rorate Caeli, and is called “The Devirilization of the Liturgy in the Novus Ordo Mass.” This ought to be required reading for anyone who wishes to be … More →
California Catholic Daily; Recently there was a news item about some Italian bishops griping (that’s not news) to Pope Francis (ditto) about Summorum Pontificum (as before). They think it should be extirpated (more of the same). Francis shot them down. That’s news. Read more here.
These are a very English couple of days, yesterday and today, in the Church’s calendar, what with Saint Bede the Venerable yesterday and Saint Augustine of Canterbury today. That the former wrote about the latter in his famous Ecclesiastical History of the English People, establishes a certain literary solidarity between the two, a sign of their spiritual communion in Christ’s Mystical Body. St Augustine of … More →
CNA: Father Scott R. Carroll, ordained a priest of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, on May 8, died of cancer two days later after battling the disease for some time. More here.
Rorate Caeli: From the Archdiocesan intranet: At the request of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will begin to be celebrated at Star of the Sea Parish, 4420 Geary Boulevard (at 8th Avenue) in San Francisco on May 26th, Trinity Sunday, at 11:00 A.M. and will continue each Sunday and Holy Day on a regular basis. There is ample parking behind the … More →
Looking at any traditional missal, one will come across a couple somewhat puzzling observances: the Greater and Lesser Litanies — the former on the feast of St. Mark (April 25), and the latter on the “Rogation Days” (the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday preceding the feast of the Ascension). These required violet vestments, proper Masses, and processions during which the Litany of the Saints was chanted. … More →
Recommended reading for Holy Week, the sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday: Holy Week in General — The Drama of Holy Week by Brother André Marie. Holy Thursday — The Eucharist in Four Simple Mysteries by Father Feeney, introduced by Brother Francis; Delivering What We Have Received (on the Eucharist) by Brother André Marie. Good Friday — The Seven Words by Brian Kelly, Imitating Christ’s Humility: … More →
A blessed Passiontide to you all, and a Happy Saint Joseph’s Day! Is today a liturgically conflicted concurrence, or a providential pairing of mysteries that really go together? I will not answer the question. Comments are welcome. Meantime, here is some Josephite reading for this day that inaugurates the Franciscan Papacy of our Jesuit Holy Father: The Passion of Saint Joseph Apostrophe to Saint Joseph … More →