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to heaven, in imitation of our divine Lord, when itivoking his eternal 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 thein, 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, “ Througha 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 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 gist, 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 baving 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 figured by him who in Egypt was chosen without blemish.
to heaven, in imitation of our divine Lord, whet
to consecrate it to God through the merits of Co lidity captive, and gave gifts to men.
and then continues the prayer with his hands Lite
Lord for his living friends, “ Be mindful, O Lone preserve it" in that peace by taking away enmity,
here he closes his hands, and rests for a short til
The object of this prayer is evident; it is to s*
its being made the beast
The object of our oblation is in the first place for the Holy Catholic Church-because we are brethren throughout the whole world,* having but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, to
We then request of the Lord to grant peace” to the church by saving it from the persecution of enemies, " to ill will and malice, to unite it" by removing the spirit of schism which too often exhibits itself, and to govern the church throughout the world,” by preserving the spirit of unity in the bond of peace.
And as we are butt one fold under one shepherd, the next petition is for
him who as the vicegerent of Christ, is our visible head here below, we therefore pray specially for our holy father the Popeaccording to the injunction of St. Paul to the He. brews, Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you, and the bishop of Rome be. ing the centre of Catholic communion, we should necessarily first offer up our prayers for him after asking for the unity of the Catholic Church; such Were the sentiments of St. Ireneus, when be mentions the necessity of every other church agreeing with that of Rome, and as St Cyprian says,ll be presides as the vicar of Jesus Christ, as the successor of Peter, upon whom only the church was founded, In the year 449 Dioschorus, patriarch of Alexandria, struck the name of Pope Leo from the dy ptics of his church, and it was looked upon as an enormous crime. Nicephorus mentions in his xvi L. 17c. Acacius, the bishop of Constantinople dared to efface from the dyptics the narne of Pope Felix II. in * Ephes, iv.5&c. + John X. 16.
* xiii. 7. § Lib. 3, 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 schisen 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 ast or the west hare 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,* because they walch as being to render an account of the souls of their flock, 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 that 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. xvi. 17.
ON THE BASS.
After the name of him who governs the ese
, de bishop is for the whole diocess, as St. Ciprian says in bis 66th epistle, “ that is a church, a united to their priest
, and the shepherd adhering or his flock.” And nothing can be more natural con that the faithful should pray for their bishops ** cause they watch as being to render an account of souls of their flock, therefore the flock should it
! for them, and in some places where there are Cat olic princes, their names are added.
The names of those persons of whom special i
The prayer continues to advert to the sacrižio
Heb, xüi. 17.
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 please 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 is not the offspring of human
nor of human ingenuity, but of apostolic tradition, and which was originally received from Christ himself
, and is not the little produce of any single nation and its colonics, and the descendants of lle colonists, but that body of doctrine spread through every nation by the messengers of Christ, and exhibited in every age by their successors. After
this special application to individuals the celebrant prxt reflects upon the numbers that surround him--and says " and of all here present, whose faith and devotion is known unto thec, 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 hearts alone can judge; hence the necessity of our attending with the dispositions which have been before enumerated, and of preserving our devotion unimpaired throughferings in kind for the sacrifice, and other offerings
as we have scen, the faithful made of towards the support of the clergy ; hence that ex. pression, “who offer unto thee," but subsequently upon the custom falling into disuse, an offering was made in rgoney, instead of the original one in kini,
Heb. si. 6.
with a request that the celebrant would make a special 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 saying what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherercith 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 holding 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 occasions are introduced immediately after the word
* Matt. vi. 31.