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I Never get Anything out of Mass!!. An Overview in Two Parts on “The Greatest Thing this side of Heaven”. Some Introductory Terms. Sacrament In Roman times was a sacred oath taken by soldiers Latin translation of Greek mysterion – you’ll see this again Mass

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i never get anything out of mass

I Never get Anything out of Mass!!

An Overview in Two Parts on

“The Greatest Thing this side of Heaven”

some introductory terms
Some Introductory Terms
  • Sacrament
    • In Roman times was a sacred oath taken by soldiers
    • Latin translation of Greek mysterion– you’ll see this again
  • Mass
    • Comes from Itemissaest- Dismissal in Latin
  • Liturgy
    • A Greek word meaning a public action offered by an individual for the sake of the common good
1 st century liturgical sees
1st Century Liturgical Sees
  • Jerusalem
  • Antioch
  • Rome
  • Alexandria
  • All connected to St. Peter
why did i just show you those two previous slides
Why did I just show you those two previous slides…
  • The spouse of the Incarnate Word, which is the Church, is taught by the Holy Spirit. She strives to reach day by day a more profound understanding of the sacred Scriptures, in order to provide her children with food from the divine words. For this reason she also duly fosters the study of the Fathers, both Eastern and Western, and of the Sacred Liturgies [Italics mine]. Dei Verbum, 23.

…Vatican II made me do it.

on the night he was betrayed
On the night He was betrayed…
  • Synoptic Gospels
    • Matthew 26:26ff
    • Mark 14:22 ff
    • Luke 22:17 ff
    • John gives us the teaching in Ch. 6
    • 1 Cor. 11:23-29—St. Paul receives, “tradition”
the roman or latin rite
The Roman or “Latin” Rite
  • No written documents about the form of the Mass but we do get a glimpse from various sources
  • Didache; St. Ignatius of Antioch;

St. Clement of Rome Didascalia; &

  • St. Hippolytus
  • St Justin Martyr does give us the structure of the Mass in the mid-2nd Century in Rome
  • Letter in Defense to the Emperor
citations east and west
Citations: East and West
  • St. Ignatius of Antioch
    • Knew St. John the Apostle
    • Martyred in Rome but wrote Letters to 7 Churches in Asia Minor
    • Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God…They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Epist. to the Smyrnaeans, Ch. 6) 110 A.D.
    • Let that Eucharist be held valid which is offered by the bishop or by the one to whom the bishop has committed this charge. Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. (Epist. to the Smyrnaeans, 8:1) 110 A.D.
  • St. Clement of Rome
    • 4th Pope; Mentioned by St. Paul in Philippians 4:3?
    • Wrote his famous Letter to the Corinthians ca. 96 A.D.
    • The apostles established the rule that when they [the overseers and ministers the apostles had appointed] should die, other tested men should succeed them in their cultic ministry (leitourgian). We regard it as unjust, therefore, to remove from their cultic functions (leitourgias) those who were put in charge by the apostles or by other eminent men with the approbation of the entire Church.
st justin the martyr does this sound familiar
St. Justin the Martyr: Does this sound Familiar?

On the day we call the day of the Sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place…

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read…

When the reader has finished, he who presides…admonishes & challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves…and for all other…

Sign of peace w/ a kiss

Then, someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Gk: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: ‘Amen.’

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted”

bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.”

justin cont
Justin, cont….
  • Gives the Emperor an overview of the structure of the Mass and not every detail.
  • He also writes 
  • From: Apology I. 66-67. ca. 150 A.D.
  • “Because this bread and wine have been made [into the] Eucharist…no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.”
  • For we do not take these things as ordinary bread or ordinary drink. Just as our Savior Jesus Christ was made flesh by the word of God and took on flesh and blood for our salvation, so, also we were taught that the food, for which thanksgiving has been made through the word of prayer instituted by Him, and from which our blood and flesh are nourished after the change, is the flesh of that Jesus who was made flesh.”
papal sacramentaries
Papal Sacramentaries
  • Leonese (440 – 461)
  • Gelasian (492 – 496)
  • Gregorian (590 – 604)
  • Hadrian I & Charlemagne
    • Copies produced like the one on the left (mid-8th. Cent. Gelasian)
    • Scribes & Carolingian Miniscule
medieval missals
Medieval Missals
  • Dominican Missal from 1240
  • Leaf from French Missal ca. 1290
the council of trent
The Council of Trent
  • Convened 1545-1563
  • Reasserted the teachings of the Church against Protestantism
  • Importance of the Sacraments
  • Reformed the Sacred Liturgy
  • 1st Universal Catechism
  • Impetus behind the Catholic Reformation
liturgical reform a la vatican ii
Liturgical Reform a la Vatican II
  • SacrosanctumConcilium
    • Difference between the documents and what actually happened. Implementation is a work in progress
    • Latin and the proper parts
    • Decorum
    • Sacred Music
      • Chant
      • Polyphony
      • Organ
how biblical is the mass very
How Biblical is the Mass…Very!!!
  • The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the body of the Lord…particularly in the Sacred Liturgy…She has always regarded and continues to regard the Scriptures, taken together with Sacred Tradition, as the supreme rule of her faith…In the Sacred Books the Father Who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children and talks with them. And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor. Dei Verbum, 21.
  • Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ– St. Jerome
actual participation
Actual Participation
  • The celebrating assembly is the community of the baptized who, “by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, that through all the works of Christian men they may offer spiritual sacrifices. This “common priesthood’ is that of Christ the sole priest, in which all his members participate: Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people, have a right and an obligation[Emphasis mine] by reason of their Baptism. CCC par. 1141.
the priesthood of the laity
The Priesthood of the Laity
  • Is the idea of the priesthood of the Laity a Biblical concept? See 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • The Sacrifice of our hearts and internal participation
  • Remember, we’re all in this together
  • Pope Benedict in SacramentumCaritatis: Occasionally, even with the best intentions, the goal of participation in the Sacred Liturgy is sometimes misunderstood primarily as something external, as though the goal is to engage as many people as possible as often as possible in the celebration of the Mass. However, authentic participation must be first and foremost an interior participation that engages the heart, soul, and mind in the action of the Sacred Liturgy in a way that expresses the faithful’s love of the Lord with all their “heart, mind, soul and strength (see Mark 12:30)
you mean vatican ii actually said that
You mean Vatican II actually said that?!
  • “It should be made clear that all who gather for the Eucharist constitute that holy people which, together with the ministers, play its part in the sacred action. It is indeed, the priest alone, who, acting in the person of Christ, consecrates the bread and wine, but the role of the faithful in the Eucharist is to recall the passion, resurrection, and glorification of the Lord, to give thanks to God, and to offer the immaculate Victim not only through the hands of the priest, but also together with him; and finally, by receiving the Body of the Lord , to perfect that communion with God and among themselves which should be the product of participation in the sacrifice of the Mass.” EucharisticumMysterium, 12
  • VII made me do this, too! All of these things should be explained to the faithful, so that they may take an active part in the…Mass
the priesthood of the ordained
The Priesthood of the Ordained
  • The clearest way to understand the liturgy is to see it as the exercise now on earth of Christ’s priestly office…Since the priestly work of Christ concerns itself with worship and man’s sanctification, we should expect the liturgy to be specially directed toward giving due honor to God and making the faithful more holy and pleasing to God. (Fr. John Hardon, The Catholic Catechism)
  • CCC 1120
  • Cont. Reading: See the Priestly Office as contained in the Book of Hebrews
the liturgy of the word
The Liturgy of the Word
  • Introductory Rites
  • Penitential Rite
  • Gloria
  • Opening Prayer
  • Old Testament
  • Resp. Psalm
  • New Testament
    • Epistle
    • Gospel
  • Homily
  • Nicene Creed
  • General Intercessions
from god
From God….
  • “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
  • Matt. 28:19-20
  • The veil is torn between heaven & earth…
  • See Gloria below
priests offer sacrifice atone for sins
Priests offer Sacrifice & Atone for Sins
  • Penitential Rite
    • Priest and People say together the Confiteor
    • Invocation of the whole Church– the Communion of Saints
    • Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy)
    • Greek– nod to our ancient heritage when the liturgy was in this ancient language. Also the language of the NT. (See Next Slide about “Greek” elements in the Liturgy)
papal liturgy
Papal Liturgy

Greek and Latin Deacons in the Gospel Procession


& Patriarch

  • In ExcelsisDeo
    • Our voices blend with the angels who are praising God eternally
    • A reminder of the heavenly vista that opens up before us
    • Ancient hymn in East and West; first reference to use in the Latin Rite, early 5th Century
the sacred page
The Sacred Page
  • Readings from the OT and the NT
  • Psalms– liturgical prayers for the Jews
  • St. Paul’s Epistle, usually
  • The Gospel
    • Secret prayer (either the deacon or priest)
    • Mundacormeum
    • Cleanse my heart & my lips
as i prepare my homily
As I prepare my homily…

…this never happens to me.

nor this
Nor this….

…when I’m preaching...

the homily
The Homily
  • Vat. II on the Homily
  • Drawing upon the unity of the OT/NT and Patristics
  • Integral for Sunday and HDOs, not the central point of Mass
  • It helps, Yes, but shouldn’t be our only motive
  • Serves as a “bridge” b/t LOW and LOE
  • The Eucharist is the reason we go to Mass
the creed of two councils
The Creed of Two Councils

St. Gregory of Nyssa

  • A Theological Text on the Trinity
  • The Fruit of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381)– Nyssa’s theol. Contributions here
  • Easy to speed through it without contemplating the mysteries involved
  • History gives us respect for Athanasius’s contribution: homoousios/consubstantial/one-in-being
the liturgy of the eucharist
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
  • Offertory
  • Preface
  • Eucharistic Prayer
  • Our Father
  • Sign of Peace
  • Communion of the Priest
  • Communion of the People
  • Concluding Prayers
  • Itemissaest
  • Bread, Wine, Offering brought forward
  • Recall St. Justin’s overview of the Mass in the mid-2nd Cent.
  • The same elements the Lord used (unleavened bread; wine that is “fruit of the vine”)
  • Offering is two-fold (Mother Teresa’s advice)
  • One of the most ancient parts of the Mass
  • At least, back to the time of St. Hippolytus esp. Euch. Prayer II
  • And with your spirit– see St. John Chrysostom on the meaning of these words

Statue of Hippolytus, Vatican Library

holy holy holy
Holy, Holy, Holy
  • Two Biblical Passages
    • Isaiah 6:3– “And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
    • Revelation4:8– “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
eucharistic prayer
Eucharistic Prayer
  • Addressed to the Father– the whole Liturgy is a prayer to the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Beautiful theme especially in Eucharistic Prayer #1
  • A True “Sacrifice” (mentioned 5xs in this EP)
  • The Summit: the Words of Consecration
  • Surrounded by prayers
    • For the pope and bishop
    • Invocation of the saints and martyrs (men & women)
    • For the living and the dead
  • Reminded of the Trinity at the conclusion

Christ & Apostles at the Last Supper

Catacombs of St. Domitilla, 4th Century

  • All of the Sacraments contain an epiklesis– and invocation of the Holy Spirit
  • St. John Damascene
    • The Holy Spirit comes upon [the elements], and achieves things which surpass every word and thought...“
take eat this is my body
Take…Eat…This is My Body
  • John 6:52 ff. as discussed above: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life within you”
  • St. John of the Cross: “Our heavenly Father in giving us his only Son has given us everything…in uttering that one solitary word He can utter no more since He has said Everything.”
anamnesis remember
Anamnesis– (Remember?)
  • “Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ your son. We your people and your ministers recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into glory;
  • And from the many gifts you have given to us we offer to you God of glory and majesty this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.
the sacrifices of old
The Sacrifices of Old
  • “Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as once you accepted the gifts of your servant Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham our father in faith; and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchizedek.”
  • “Almighty God, we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven. Then as we receive from this altar the sacred body and blood of your Son, let us be filled with every grace and blessing.”
  • Shows the connection between the heavenly and the earthly liturgy
pater noster
Pater Noster

The Our Father

  • πατ̣ε̣ρ αγιασθητω το ονομα σου· ελθ̣ε̣τω η. βασιλεια σου· 3 τον αρτον ημ̣ων τον επιουσιον διδου ημιν το καθ ημεραν· 4 και αφες ημιν τας αμαρτιας ημων· και γαρ αυτοι αφιομεν παντι οφειλοντι ημιν και μη εισενεγκης ημας εις πειρασμον· (From St. Luke’s Gospel, “Bodmer Papyrus,” right)
  • “‘Daily’ occurs nowhere else in the New Testament…Taken literally epi-ousios: ‘super-substantial’ it refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ, the ‘medicine of immortality’ without which we have no life within us…its heavenly meaning is evident: ‘this day’ is the Day of the Lord, the day of the feast of the kingdom, anticipated in the Eucharist that is already the foretaste of the Kingdom. For this reason, it is fitting for the Eucharistic liturgy to be celebrated each day.” (CCC 2837)
the sign of peace
The Sign of Peace

Prayer from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy is worthy of our reflection prior to receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion:

O Lord, I believe and profess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first

Accept me as a partaker of Your mystical supper, O Son of God; for I will not reveal Your mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief I confess to you:

Remember me, O Lord, when You shall come into Your kingdom.

Remember me, O Master, when You shall come into Your kingdom.

Remember me, O Holy One, when You shall come into Your kingdom.

May the partaking of Your holy mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation, but for the healing of soul and body.

O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly Your most precious body, and Your life-giving blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen

O God, be merciful to me a sinner.

O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.

O Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned without number

agnus dei
Agnus Dei
  • “The Lamb”– Prefigured and Fulfilled
    • OT: Passover Lamb see the prescription in Exodus. A perpetual institution. (Memorial or Anamnesis)
    • NT: John’s Gospel, “Behold the Lamb of God…
    • Revelation 5: the lamb slain who has power…
    • Rev. 19:9: “Blessed are those who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb!”
wholly communion
Wholly Communion
  • Why would Jesus do it this way? Believe it or not, there is a discernible pattern:
    • Recall, how the Bible recounts we “fell from grace”
    • By way of “eating”
    • The restoration of grace– that which we lost– comes about by way of our own “eating”
    • Death came into the world through one man (Adam)
    • Eternal Life is inherited through the actions of Christ, the “New Adam” as St. Paul refers to Him
one with the saints
One with the Saints

To the offering of Christ are united not only the members here on earth, but also those already in glory in heaven. In communion with and commemorating the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the Church offers the Eucharistic Sacrifice. In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ.(CCC 1370)

heaven on earth
Heaven on Earth!!
  • You every wonder why the Mass just ends after we receive Holy Communion?
  • We can go no “higher” on this earthly plane
  • In the presence of and have received the God of the universe
  • We have experienced a foretaste of the summit
final thoughts st augustine
Final Thoughts– St. Augustine
  • The Sacrifice of Christians:
    • It follows that the whole redeemed city, that is to say the congregation and community of the saints, is offered as a corporate sacrifice through the great High Priest, who also offered Himself in His Passion for us in the form of a servant, that we might be the body of so glorious a head. As a servant He offered Himself; in this form was He offered because in this form is He mediator, in this form priest…this is the sacrifice of Christians: “we, the many are one body in Christ” [Rom. 12:5]. And this is also the sacrifice which the Church continually celebrates in the sacrament of the altar– which is known to the faithful. In it the Church learns that in the offering which she makes…. she herself is offered…
okay really these are the final thoughts from st augustine
Okay, Really, these are the “Final” Thoughts” from St. Augustine

Every other food we eat we assimilate into our bodies…extracting the nutrients necessary for us to function in a healthy way. Not so with this ‘heavenly food.’ In this instance [reception of Holy Communion] we do not do the “assimilating” here. It’s Christ Who assimilates us and draws us into His Divine Life. We don’t change Christ– it is He Who changes us!!!

Truly become partakers of the Divine Nature according to 2 Peter 1:4

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church. Doubleday: New York, 1995.
  • Danielou, Jean. The Bible and the Liturgy. University of Notre Dame Press: Notre Dame, IN, 1956.
  • Early Christian Writings. Translated by Maxwell Staniforth. Penguin Books: London, 1968.
  • Flannery, Austin, gen. ed. Vatican Council II, Volume I: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents.

Costello Publishing Company, Inc.: Northport, New York, 1996.

  • Hahn, Scott. The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth. Doubleday: New York, 1999.
  • Hardon, John. The Catholic Catechism. Doubleday: New York, 1975.
  • The Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2005.
  • Jungmann, Josef. The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development. 2 vols.

Four Courts Press Ltd: Dublin, 1955.

  • Lang, Uwe-Michael. Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer.

Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2004.

  • Ratzinger, Joseph. Feast of Faith– Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy. Translated

By Graham Harrison. Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 1986.

  • _________. The Spirit of the Liturgy. Translated by John Saward. Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2000.
  • Reid, Alcuin. The Organic Development of the Liturgy. Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2005.
  • Stravinskas, Peter. The Bible and the Mass. Newman House Press: Mount Pocono, PA, 2000.