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to heaven, in imitation of our divine Lord, when invoking his eterpal Father, then he respectfully kisses the altar, and at the words “ these gifts, these presents, these holy and unspotted sacrifices," he thrice makes the sign of the cross over the offering to consecrate it to God through the merits of Christ, and then continues the prayer with his hands lifted and extended, until that part where he invokes the Lord for his living friends, “ Be mindful, O Lord”here he closes his hands, and rests for a short time in mental prayer for them, and also to give the con gregation an opportunity of enumerating their friends in their prayers. After which he extends his hands and continues, to the end of that prayer, “ Througla the same Christ, our Lord-Amen."
The object of this prayer is evident; it is to obtain from the eternal Father, the author of all good, through the merits of his beloved Son, the blessings which we ask for. The first of those is, that he “ would vouchsafe to accept” the offering which we make, it is as yet but bread and wine, but we offer it for the purpose of its being made the body and blood of Jesus Christ--for which end the blessing of the eternal Father is necessary thereon; hence he is prayed “ to bless these gifts. Wecall that which is given by a superior to an inferior, a gift, and as we have received those from God, who is our superior, we make the acknowledgement of his bounty even in our making the offering ; but what an inferior presents with a request that it may be received well, expresses what we do in giving " these presents” to our superior, with a request that he may accept them as our “ sacrifice” which is already “ holy," as having been consecrated to him, and is unspotted,” for it is the purest which we can bestow, and we anticipate that under those mystic veils will soon be placed the “ unspotted" lamb figu. red by him who in Egypt was chosen without blemish.
quest of the Lord
to heaven, in imitation of our divine Lord, whes k.
The object of our oblation is in the first place for voking his eterpal Father, then he respectfully be the Holy Catholic Church--because we are brethren es the altar, and at the words “ these gilts
throughout the whole world, * having but one Lord, presents, these holy and unspotted sacrifices: " . ont faith, one baptison, one God and father of all, to thrice makes the sign of the cross over the one whom Christ our Lord, ascending on high, led capto consecrate it to God through the merits of Contity captive, and gave gifls to men. We then reand then continues the prayer with his hands Les and extended, until that part where he idroks by saying it from the persecution of enemies, “ to
** to grant peace" to the church Lord for his living friends, " Be mindful, O Lortu preserve it" in that peace by taking away enmity, here he closes his hands, and rests for a short ter
ill will and malice, « to unite it” by removing the in mental prayer for them, and also to give the ce
spirit of schism which too often exhibits itself, and gregation an opportunity of enumerating their friend in their prayers. After which he extends his band preserving the spirit of unity in the bond of peace.,
govern the church throughout the world,” by and continues, to the end of that prayer,
the next petition is for him who as the vicegerent of And as we are but one
fold under one shepherd; the same Christ, our Lord-Amen.”
The object of this prayer is evident; it is the Christ, is our visible head here below, we theretain from the eternal Father, the author of all ovat
fore pray specially for our holy father the Pope through the merits of his beloved Son, the blestie
according to the injunction of St. Paul to the He. which we ask for. The first of those is
, that is « would vouchsafe to accept” the offering what
brews, Remember your prelates who have spoken
the word of God to you, and the bishop of Rome be. we make, it is as yet but bread and wine, bate
ing the centre of Catholic communion, we should offer it for the purpose of its being made the heat
necessarily first offer up our prayers for him after and blood of Jesus Christ--for which end the bless
asking for the unity of the Catholic Church ; such ing of the eternal Father is necessary therea hence he is prayed - to bless these gifts. Wenn
tions the necessity of every other church agreeins that which is given by a superior to an inferior, 1
sides as the vicar of Jesus Christ, as the successor
with that of Rome, and as St Cyprian says, be pregift, and as we have received those from God. ) is our superior, we make the acknowledgements
of Peter, upon whom only the church was founded, his bounty even in our making the offering;
In the year 449 Dioschorus, patriarcb of Alexan. what an inferior presents with a request that it be received well, expresses what we do in
dria, struck the name of Pope Leo from the dy ptics " these presents" to our superior, with a
of his church, and it was looked upon as an enorhe may accept them as our sacrifice” which is
mous crime. Nicephorus mentions in his xvi L.
17c. Acacius, the bishop of Constantinople dared to ready " holy," as having been consecrated to be and “ unspotted," for it is the purest which we can
in 480. The emperor Constantine, Pogonat men
efface from the dyptics the name of Pope Felix II. bestow, and we anticipate that under those me veils will soon be placed the “ unspotted" lamb in red by him who in Egypt was chosen without ble
* Ephes, iv.5&c. John X. 16. xii. 7. § Lib. 3, ish.
De Heres. Lib. de unit. Eccl.
to shew its essential unity.
tions in a letter which is found in the acts of the Council of Constantinople, in the year 680 and is addressed to the Pope Agatho, that he resisted the patriarch who strove to erase his name from the dyptics : but the great schism under Photius, in 876, completely separated a great portion of the east from Catholicity, and thenceforward it is exclude by his adherents ; but the Catholics whether in the east or the west have retained it.
After the name of him who governs the entire church, the name of him who governs the particular portion is next mentioned, for as the Pope is the centre of unity for the whole church, the bishop is for the whole diocess, as St. Cyprian says in his 66th epistle, “ that is a church, a people united to their priest, and the shepherd adhering to his flock." And nothing can be more natural than that the faithful should pray for their bishops,* be. cause they watch as being to render an account of the souls of their fock, therefore the flock should pray for them, and in some places where there are Catholic princes, their names are added.
The names of those persons of whom special mention was made in the Mass, were formerly written on papers or parchments folded twice, so ibat they were called dyptics, from this double fold ; hence then were found upon the dyptics, the names of the Pope, of the Bishop, of the King or Emperor, where he was a Catholic, and in another part of the saints of whom commemoration was made, or whose festivals were celebrated ; and again, of the dead to be prayed for, as we shall see in their proper places. Thus a name being on the dyptics meant its being written on the scrip of the altar for some one of those purposes.
The prayer continues to advert to the sacrifice being oliered not only for those, but also for our
* Heb. xii. 17.
s of the 0 and
other living friends of whom we choose to make special mention ; and to allow an opportunity for this the celebrant rests to make his own memento in the proper place, and to allow the assistants to make theirs
, but the prayer first reminds them of the necessity of *faith without which it is impossible to pleuse God; and hence the prayer continues “ as also for all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and apostolic faith”--that faith which is the belief of all nations, and which has been derived from the apostles, and
not the offspring of human partiet vanity nor of human ingenuity, but of apostolic tra
dition, and which was originally received from Christ himself
, and is not the little produce of any sinCypriangle nation and its colonics, and the descendants of
the colonists, but that body of doctrine spread through every nation by the messengers of Christ, and exhibited in every age by their successors.
Aster this special application to individuals the celebrant nextirilects upon the numbers that surround him--and says " and of all here present, whose faith and devotion is known unto thee, for whom we offer, or who offer up to thee this sacrifice of praise ;" because
, although the sacrifice is in itself excellent, its application to individuals will be generally beneficial, only in proportion to their faith and devotion, of which the searcher of bearts alone can judge; hence the necessity of our attending with the dispositions which have been before enumerated, and of preserving our devotion unimpaired tluough
Formerly, as we have scen, the faithful made offerings in kind for the sacrifice, and other offerings towards the support of the clergy; hence that expression, who offer unto thee," but subsequently upon the custom falling into disuse, an offering was made in noney, instead of the original one in kind,
It of the
; of the
I to be
with a request that the celebrant would make a spe. cial offering of the sacrifice on behalf of the contributor; hence the words " for whom we offer"_but as the faithful join with the celebrant, and as he acts as their minister, and on their behalf, they too may be said “ to offer this sacrifice of praise for themselves, their families and friends."
Every christian has these great objects in view, the preservation of his bodily health, which is the chief temporal blessing he can expect, his spiritual freedom and the eternal salvation, but he recollects the injunction of his Lord.* Be not solicitous says ing what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be covered—for all those things the heathens seek after. ***** seek first the king dom of God and his justice, &c.—hence his first petition for himself and his friends is, “ for the redemption of their souls." Which have been enslaved by sin ; and next “ for the health" of the body, and casting his eyes forward to those regions of eternity, whither he and his friends must pass from this vale of tears, he adds, “ and the salvation they hope for, and for which they now pay their vows” that is, offer up their earnest supplications “to thee, the eternal living and true God."
The first word of the next paragraph is differently understood by writers on the liturgy, « Communicating” or holding communion with, is by many, referred to the Saints, whose names follow, to shew that though now seperated from us, and in glory as the Church triumphant, we are members of the same body, holding the same faith as they did on earth. Whilst others say, that it only means bolding communion with each other, as members of the true church here below, and adduce in support of their opinion other parts of the liturgy, which on some oco casions are introduced immediately after the word