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.
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 →
Father Z blog: (Ecône, Switzerland) In a surprise move [ yes, very surprising indeed] the followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefevbre in the Society of St. Pius X, have issued a document creating within their ranks an “ordinariate” for Catholics who wish to celebrate the Novus Ordo according to the official rubrics. Thank you Father Z for releasing this unexpected development. More on this … 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 →
The announcement of Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013 that he would leave the Papacy (he could not resign it, as there is no earthly authority into whose hands he could do so; he renounced the See of St. Peter and the Diocese of Rome, and abdicated as Sovereign of the Vatican City State) on February 28 sent shock-waves throughout the world, and continues … More →
I have been reading a few good articles about Our Lord’s baptism on Catholic websites, one by Carl Olson for the Catholic World Report, another by Monsignor Charles Pope for the Archdiocese of Washington website, and lastly the Sunday sermon of Pope Benedict XVI. Carl Olson cites a number of the fathers of the Church commenting on the mystery of the baptism of the sinless … More →
The Book of Acts of the Apostles contains many great speeches or sermons, numbering from seventeen to thirty-something, depending on your chosen method of reckoning. The Epistle for today’s Mass is taken, in part, from Saint Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:2-53). As with all of the speeches of Acts, which the skeptics use against the inerrancy of the book, Saint Stephen’s speech is … More →
With Pope Saint Pius V’s reform of the Roman Rite in 1570, many liturgical Sequences that sprung up in sundry dioceses of western Christendom were expunged from the Roman Missal. Four were kept. They were the Victimae Paschali Laudes of Easter, the Dies Irae of All Souls Day and Requiem Masses, the Lauda Sion of Corpus Christi, and the Veni Sanctae Spiritus of Pentecost. In … More →