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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

WHEN we assisted at the holy Sacrifice during Passiontide. our attention was fixed on the real immolation of the Lamb; we looked upon the altar as a new Calvary; and our devotion was centred upon the divine Victim slain for our ransom. During Eastertide the Lamb presents himself to us in another aspect; he is living, he is resplendent with glory, he is the Conqueror. He still deigns to be immolated; but it is that he may invite us to a joyous banquet—the banquet of the Pasch—wherein he gives us to eat of his Flesh. In her chants during the Mass the Church is untiring in her Alleluia; she affectionately kisses the Wounds of her Jesus, which now dart forth rays of dazzling brightness. Her altar is the throne of the risen God; she approaches it without fear, for the divine Conqueror of death, though so resplendent in his glory, is more loving and affable than ever.

Another source of joy to the Church, when at the holy altar, is the sight of her children partaking of the banquet of the Paschal Lamb. Each church is now a Cenacle, where Jesus celebrates the Pasch with his disciples. The holy Table is no longer the feast of a chosen few; the guests come in in crowds, and the House is filled. Now is the great figure of the Old Law changed into a reality. ‘At this Table of the great King, the new Pasch of the New Law puts an end to the ancient Passover. The new excludes the old; reality puts the shadow to flight; light expels night.’[1] We are the children of the promise; we have not denied Christ, as did the Jews; but we acknowledged him to be our King, while his faithless people were dragging him to execution. He, in return, has invited us to his Pasch, and there he is our host and our food.

During Eastertide, then, the holy Sacrifice puts these two spectacles before us in a most special way: a Victim who is risen from the dead, and yet is still immolated in a real though unbloody manner; and a Table prepared for the eating of the Lamb, which is, indeed, offered during the whole year to the faithful for the life of their souls, but which is now frequented by all. At this Table is likewise fulfilled the prophetic symbol of the ancient Paschal Lamb. For fifteen hundred years it was the figurative Lamb; the true Lamb has now reigned nineteen hundred; and this is the Lamb whom the holy Mass reproduces in all the efficacy of his Sacrifice and in all the magnificence of his glory.

We ought, therefore, during Paschal Time, to assist at holy Mass with these great truths present before our minds; and whilst thinking of the beauty of the ancient types we should be most grateful to our Heavenly Father for having given us to live under the reign of the new Pasch. Let us be present at this great act of the Christian Religion with extreme joy of soul, for it is here that we have, in all his reality, the same Jesus who rose again from the dead, to die no more. Let us unite with his holy Mother Mary, with Magdalen, and with his disciples. They had the immense happiness of seeing and conversing with him for forty days after his Resurrection: he shows himself to us, also, in this august Sacrifice. Let us give him our adoration and love, and with all possible fervour.

We will now endeavour to embody these sentiments in our explanation of the Mysteries of the holy Mass, and initiate the faithful into these divine secrets; not, indeed, by indiscreetly presuming to translate the sacred formulae, but by suggesting such acts as will enable those who hear Mass to enter into the ceremonies and spirit of the Church and of the priest.

During a considerable portion of Paschal Time the Mass is celebrated in commemoration of the great Mysteries which were accomplished at this season of the liturgical year; the prayers used by the Church on these several feasts are given in their proper places. On other days the holy Sacrifice is generally said in honour of the saints, except when a Sunday occurs.

On the Sundays, if the Mass at which the faithful assist be the Parochial, or as it often is called the public Mass, two solemn rites precede it, and they are full of instruction and blessing: the Asperges, or sprinkling of the Holy Water, and the procession.

During the Asperges let us recall to our minds the baptism received on Easter Eve by the Neophytes. Let us also think of our own, whereby we were made members of Christ. The water that thus regenerated us was made fruitful by the Blood of the Lamb and by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Antiphon of the Asperges

 

Vidi aquam egredientem de templo a latere dextro, alleluia: et omnes, ad quos pervenit aqua ista, salvi facti sunt et dicent: Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus: quoniam in sæculum misericordia ejus.
Gloria Patri. Vidi aquam.

℣. Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam, alleluia.
℟. Et salutare tuum da nobis, alleluia.

Oremus.

Exaudi nos, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus: et mittere digneris sanctum angelum tuum de cœlis, qui custodiat, foveat, protegat, visitet, atque defendat omnes habitantes in hoc habitaculo. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Amen.
I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple, alleluia: and all to whom that water came were saved, and they shall say: Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Praise the Lord, because he is good; because his mercy endureth for ever.
Glory, etc. I saw.

℣. Show us, O Lord, thy mercy, alleluia.
℟. And grant us thy salvation, alleluia.

Let us Pray.

Graciously hear us, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God: and vouchsafe to send thy holy angel from heaven, who may keep, cherish, protect, visit and defend all who are assembled in this place. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The procession, which immediately precedes the Mass, represents the holy women going to the Sepulchre, with the intention of re-embalming the body of their divine Master. They found it not there; but Jesus at once showed himself to them, and they returned filled with wonder and joy.

But see, Christians; the Sacrifice begins! The priest is at the foot of the altar; God is attentive, the angels are in adoration, the whole Church is united with the priest, whose priesthood and action are those of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ. Let us make the sign of the cross with him.

 

THE ORDINARY OF THE MASS

 

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

℣. Introibo ad altare Dei.
℟. Ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me.

Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea: quare me repulisti? et quare tristis incedo, dum affiigit me inimicus?

Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam: ipsa me deduxerunt et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua.

Et introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

Confitebor tibi in cithara Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es anima mea? et quare conturbas me?

Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

℣. Introibo ad altare Dei.
℟. Ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

℣. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
℟. Qui fecit cœlum et terram.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

I unite myself, O my God, with thy Church whose heart is filled with the hope of soon seeing, in all the splendour of his Resurrection, Jesus Christ thy Son, who is the true Altar.

Like her I beseech thee to defend me against the malice of the enemies of my salvation.

It is in thee that I have put my hope; yet do I feel sad and troubled at being in the midst of the snares which are set for me.

Send me, then, him who is light and truth: it is he who will open to us the way to thy holy mount, to thy heavenly tabernacle.
He is the Mediator, and the living Altar: I will draw nigh to him and be filled with joy.

When he shall have come, I will sing in my gladness: Be not sad, O my soul! Why wouldst thou be troubled?

Hope in thy Jesus, who will soon show himself to thee as the conqueror of that death which he suffered in thy stead; and thou wilt rise again together with him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

I am to go to the altar of God, and feel the presence of him who desires to give me a new life!

This my hope comes not to me as thinking that I have any merits, but from the all-powerful help of my Creator.

 


The thought of being about to appear before his God excites in the soul of the priest a lively sentiment of compunction. He cannot go further in the holy Sacrifice without confessing, and publicly, that he is a sinner, and deserves not the grace he is about to receive. Listen with respect to this confession of God’s minister, and earnestly ask our Lord to show mercy to him; for the priest is your father; he is answerable for your salvation, for which he every day risks his own. When he has finished, unite with the servers or the sacred ministers in this prayer:

Misereatur tui omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis tuis, perducat te ad vitam æternam.
May Almighty God have mercy on thee, and, forgiving thy sins, bring thee to everlasting life.

The priest having answered Amen, make your confession, saying with a contrite spirit:

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatæ Mariæ semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptistæ, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus sanctis, et tibi, Pater: quia peccavi nimis, cogitatione, verbo, et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Archangelum, beatum Joannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes sanctos, et te, Pater, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum.
I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to thee, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, and thee, Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me.

Receive with gratitude the paternal wish of the Priest, who says to you:

Misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis vestris, perducat vos ad vitam æternam.
℟. Amen.

Indulgentiam, absolutionem, et remissionem peccatorum nostrorum tribuat nobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
℟. Amen.
May Almighty God be merciful to you, and forgiving your sins, bring you to everlasting life.
℟. Amen.

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins.
℟. Amen.

 

Invoke the divine assistance, that you may approach to Jesus Christ.

℣. Deus, tu conversus vivificabis nos.
℟. Et plebs tua lætabitur in te.
℣. Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam.
℟. Et Salutare tuam da nobis.
℣. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
℟. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
℣. O God, it needs but one look of thine to give us life.
℟. And thy people shall rejoice in thee.
℣. Show us, O Lord, thy mercy.
℟. And give us to know and love the Saviour whom thou hast sent unto us.
℣. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come unto thee.


The Priest here leaves you to ascend to the altar; but first he salutes you:

℣. Dominus vobiscum.
℣. The Lord be with you.

 

Answer him with reverence:

℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.                                                                   ℟. And with thy spirit.

He ascends the steps and comes to the Holy of Holies. Ask, both for him and for yourself, deliverance from sin:

Oremus.                                                                                    Let us pray.

Take from our hearts, O Lord, all those sins which make us unworthy to appear in thy presence; we ask this of thee by thy divine Son, our Lord.

Aufer a nobis quæsumus, Domine, iniquitates nostras; ut ad Sancta sanctorum puris mereamur mentibus introire. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

When the priest kisses the altar, out of reverence for the relics of the martyrs which are there, say:

Oramus te, Domine, per merita sanctorum tuorum, quorum reliquiæ hic sunt, et omnium sanctorum: ut indulgere digneris omnia peccata mea. Amen.
Generous soldiers of Jesus Christ, who have mingled your own blood with his, intercede for us that our sins may be forgiven: that so we may, like you, approach unto God.

 


If it be a High Mass at which you are assisting, the priest incenses the altar in a most solemn manner; this white cloud which you see ascending from every part of the altar signifies the prayer of the Church, who addresses herself to Jesus Christ, while the divine Mediator causes that prayer to ascend, united with his own, to the throne of the majesty of his Father.

The priest then says the Introit. It is a solemn opening anthem, in which the Church, at the very commencement of the holy Sacrifice, gives expression to the sentiments which fill her heart.

It is followed by nine exclamations which are even more earnest, for they ask for mercy. In addressing them to God the Church unites herself with the nine choirs of angels who are standing round the altar of Heaven, which is one and the same as this before which you are kneeling.

To the Father:

Kyrie eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Lord, have mercy on us!
Lord, have mercy on us!

To the Son:

Christe eleison.
Christe eleison.
Christe eleison.
Christ, have mercy on us!
Christ, have mercy on us!
Christ, have mercy on us!

To the Holy Ghost:

Kyrie eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
Lord, have mercy on us!
Lord, have mercy on us!
Lord, have mercy on us!

Then, mingling his voice with that of the heavenly host, the priest intones the sublime Canticle of Bethlehem, which announces glory to God and peace to men. Instructed by the revelations of God, the Church continues, in her own words, the hymn of the angels. She celebrates with rapture the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world; and, as it were in return for the humiliations he suffered in his Passion, she proclaims that he alone is Holy, he alone is Lord, he alone Most High. Enter, Christians, into these sentiments of profound adoration, confidence, and tender love, towards the Paschal Lamb.

The Angelic Hymn

Gloria in excelsis Deo, Et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis.
Laudamus te: benedicimus te: adoramus te: glorificamus te: gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, Rex cœlestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine, Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will.
We praise thee: we bless thee: we adore thee: we glorify thee: we give thee thanks for thy great glory.
O Lord God, Heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son.
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.
Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our humble prayer.
Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For thou alone art holy, thou alone art Lord, thou alone, O Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The priest then turns towards the people, and again salutes them, as it were to make sure of their pious attention to the sublime act for which all this is but the preparation.

Then follows the Collect or Prayer, in which the Church formally expresses to the divine Majesty the special intentions she has in the Mass which is being celebrated. You may unite in this prayer, by reciting with the priest the Collects which you will find in their proper places: but on no account omit to join with the server of the Mass in answering Amen.

After this comes the Epistle, which is generally a portion of one or other of the Epistles of the Apostles, or a passage from some book of the Old Testament. While it is being read, ask of God that you may profit by the instructions it conveys.

The Gradual is an intermediate formula of prayer between the Epistle and the Gospel. It again brings to us the sentiments already expressed in the Introit. Read it with devotion, that so you may enter more and more into the spirit of the mystery proposed to you by the Church.

During Paschal Time the Gradual is not said, except for the first six days: we have elsewhere explained the reason of this exception. On all other days of the season the interval between the Epistle and Gospel is filled up by two Verses, to each of which is added Alleluia, the word that is now ceaselessly on the Church’s lips. After the fifty days of Paschal joy the Gradual will be resumed in the Liturgy.

Next follows the Gospel. It was the Holy Ghost who guided the four Evangelists; their Gospel, which is our light and life, is one of the fruits of the glorious Pentecost. Let us prepare for hearing the words of our risen Lamb: it is he himself that is about to speak to us, as he did to his disciples, when he appeared to them during the days between his Resurrection and Ascension.

If it be a High Mass, the deacon meanwhile prepares to fulfil his noble office—that of announcing the Good Tidings of salvation. He prays God to cleanse his heart and lips. Then, kneeling before the priest, he asks a blessing: and, having received it, at once goes to the place where he is to sing the Gospel.

As a preparation for hearing it worthily, you may thus pray, together with both priest and deacon:

Munda cor meum ac labia mea, omnipotens Deus, qui Jabia Isaiæ Prophetæ calculo mundasti ignito: ita me tua grata miseratione dignare mundare, ut sanctum Evangelium tuum digne valeam nuntiare. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Dominus sit in corde meo et in labiis meis: ut digne et competenter annuntiem Evangelium suum: In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Saucti. Amen.
Alas! these ears of mine are but too often defiled with the world’s vain words; cleanse them, O Lord, that so I may hear the words of eternal life, and treasure them in my heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Grant to thy ministers thy grace, that they may faithfully explain the law; that so all, both pastors and flock, may be united to thee for ever. Amen.

You will stand during the Gospel, as though you were waiting the orders of your Lord; and at the commencement make the sign of the cross on your forehead, lips, and breast; and then listen to every word of the priest or deacon. Let your heart be ready and obedient. ‘While my beloved was speaking,’ says the Spouse in the Canticle, ‘my soul melted within me.’[2] If you have not such love as this, have at least the humble submission of Samuel, and say: ‘Speak, Lord! thy servant heareth.’[3]

After the Gospel, if the priest says the Symbol of Faith, the Credo, you will say it with him. Faith is that gift of God without which we cannot please him. It is Faith that initiates us into the sublime Easter Mysteries, which divinize our whole life, and put us in possession of the good things of eternity. Like the holy women at the Sepulchre, let us believe with a lively and simple faith. Let us not wait for experience, as Thomas did; for our Lord has said: ‘Blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.’[4] Let us, then, say with the Catholic Church our Mother:

The Nicene Creed

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem cœli et terræ, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia sæcula, Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri, per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem, descendit de cœlis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine; ET HOMO FACTUS EST. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in cœlum; sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos; cujus regni non erit finis.
Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur; qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam sanctam Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum Baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. And born of the Father before all ages; God of God, light of light; true God of true God. Begotten, not made; consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And became incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary; AND WAS MADE MAN. He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And he is to come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end.
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified; who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Priest and the people should by this time have their hearts ready: it is time to prepare the offering itself. And here we come to the second part of the holy Mass, called the Oblation, and immediately following that which was called the Mass of Catechumens, on account of its being formerly the only part at which the candidates for baptism had a right to be present.

See, then, dear Christians! bread and wine are about to be offered to God, as being the noblest of inanimate creatures, since they are made for the nourishment of man; and even that is only a poor material image of what they are destined to become in our Christian Sacrifice. Their substance will soon give place to God himself, and of themselves nothing will remain but the appearances. Happy creatures, thus to yield up their own being, that God may take its place! We, too, are to undergo a like transformation, when, as the Apostle expresses it, ‘that which is mortal shall put on immortality.’[5] Until that happy change shall be realized, let us offer ourselves to God as often as we see the bread and wine presented to him in the holy Sacrifice; and let us glorify him, who, by assuming our human nature, has made us ‘partakers of the divine nature.’[6]

The priest again turns to the people with the usual salutation, as though he would warn them to redouble their attention. Let us read the Offertory with him, and when he offers the Host to God let us unite with him in saying:


Suscipe, sancte Pater, omnipotens æterne Deus, hanc immaculatam hostiam, quam ego indignus famulus tuus offero tibi Deo meo vivo et vero, pro innumerabilibus peccatis et offensionibus et negligentiis meis, et pro omnibus circumstantibus, sed et pro omnibus fidelibus christianis vivis atque defunetis; ut mihi et illis proficiat ad salutem in vitam æternam. Amen.
All that we have, O Lord, comes from thee, and belongs to thee; it is just, therefore, that we return it unto thee. But how wonderful art thou in the inventions of thy immense love! This Bread which we are offering to thee is to give place, in a few moments, to the sacred Body of Jesus. We beseech thee, receive, together with this oblation, our hearts, which long to live by thee, and to cease to live their own life of self.

When the priest puts the wine into the chalice, and then mingles with it a drop of water, let your thoughts turn to the divine mystery of the Incarnation, which is the source of our hope and our salvation, and say:

Deus qui humanæ substantiæ dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti: da nobis per hujus aquæ et vini mysterium, ejus divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostræ fieri dignatus est particeps, Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
O Lord Jesus, who art the true Vine, and whose Blood, like a generous wine, has been poured forth under the pressure of the Cross! thou hast deigned to unite thy divine nature to our weak humanity, which is signified by this drop of water. O come and make us partakers of thy divinity, by showing thyself to us in thy sweet and wondrous visit.

The Priest then offers the mixture of wine and water, beseeching God graciously to accept this oblation, which is so soon to be changed into the reality of which it is now but a figure. Meanwhile, say in union with the Priest:


Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris, tuam deprecantes clementiam: ut in conspectu divinæ Majestatis tuæ, pro nostra et totius mundi salute, cum odore suavitatis ascendat. Amen.
Graciously accept these gifts, O sovereign Creator of all things. Let them be fitted for the divine transformation,which will make them, from being mere offerings of created things, the instrument of the world's salvation.


After having thus held up the sacred gifts towards heaven, the Priest bows down: let us also humble ourselves, and say:

In spiritu humilitatis, et in animo contrito suscipiamur a te, Domine: et sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu tuo hodie, ut placeat tibi, Domine Deus.
Though daring, as we do, to approach thy altar, O Lord, we cannot forget that we are sinners. Have mercy on us, and delay not to send us thy Son, who is our saving Host.

Let us next invoke the Holy Ghost, whose operation is about to produce on the altar the presence of the Son of God, as it did in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the divine mystery of the Incarnation:

Veni, Sanctificator, omnipotens æterne Deus, et benedic hoc sacrificium tuo sancto nomini præparatum.
Come, O Divine Spirit, make fruitful the offering which is upon the altar, and produce in our hearts him whom they desire.

If it be a High Mass, the priest, before proceeding any further with the Sacrifice, takes the thurible a second time. He first incenses the bread and wine which have been just offered, and then the altar itself; hereby inviting the faithful to make their prayer, which is signified by the incense, more and more fervent the nearer the solemn moment approaches.

But the thought of his own unworthiness becomes more intense than ever in the heart of the priest. The public confession, which he made at the foot of the altar, is not enough; he would now at the altar itself express to the people, in the language of a solemn rite, how far he knows himself to be from that spotless sanctity wherewith he should approach to God. He washes his hands. Our hands signify our works; and the priest, though by his priesthood he bear the office of Jesus Christ, is, by his works, but man. Seeing your father thus humble himself, do you also make an act of humility, and say with him these verses of the Psalm:

PSALM 25

 

Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas: et circumdabo altare tuum, Domine.
Ut audiam vocem laudis: et enarrem universa mirabilia tua.
Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuæ, et locum habitationis gloriæ tuæ.
Ne perdas cum impiis, Deus, animam meam, et cum viris sanguinum vitam meam.
In quorum manibus iniquitates sunt: dextera eorum repleta est muneribus.
Ego autem in innocentia mea ingressus sum: redime me, et miserere mei.
Pes meus stetit in directo: in ecclesiis benedicam te, Domine.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
I, too, would wash my hands, O Lord, and become like unto those who are innocent, that so I may be worthy to come near thy altar, and hear thy sacred Canticles, and then go and proclaim to the world the wonders of thy goodness. I love the beauty of thy House, which thou art about to make the dwellingplace of thy glory. Leave me not, O God, in the midst of them that are enemies both to thee and me. Thy mercy having separated me from them, I entered on the path of innocence, and was restored to thy grace; but have pity on my weakness still; redeem me yet more, thou who hast so mercifully brought me back to the right path. In the midst of these thy faithful people, I give thee thanks. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Priest, taking encouragement from the act of humility he has just made, returns to the middle of the altar, and bows down full of respectful awe, begging of God to receive graciously the Sacrifice which is about to be offered to him, and expresses the intentions for which it is offered. Let us do the same.

Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offerimus ob memoriam Passionis, Resurrectionis, et Ascensionis Jesu Christi Domini nostri: et in honorem beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis, et beati Joannis Baptistæ, et sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, et istorum, et omnium Sanctorum: ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad salutem: et illi pro nobis intercedere dignentur in cœlis, quorum memoriam agimus in terris. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
O Holy Trinity, graciously accept the Sacrifice we have begun. We offer it in remembrance of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. Permit thy Church to join with this intention that of honouring the ever glorious Virgin Mary, the Blessed Baptist John, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the Martyrs whose relics lie here under our altar awaiting their resurrection, and the Saints whose memory we this day celebrate. Increase the glory they are enjoying, and receive the prayers they address to thee for us.

The Priest again turns to the people; it is for the last time before the sacred Mysteries are accomplished. He feels anxious to excite the fervour of the people. Neither does the thought of his own unworthiness leave him; and before entering the cloud with the Lord, he seeks support in the prayers of his brethren who are present. He says to them:

Orate, fratres: ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium acceptabile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipotentem.
Brethren, pray that my Sacrifice, which is yours also, may be acceptable to God, our Almighty Father.

With this request he turns again to the altar, and you will see his face no more until our Lord himself shall have come down from heaven upon that same altar. Assure the Priest that he has your prayers, and say to him:

Suscipiat Dominus sacrificium de manibus tuis, ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui, ad utilitatem quoque nostram, totiusque Ecclesiæ suæ sanctæ.
May our Lord accept this Sacrifice at thy hands, to the praise and glory of his name, for our benefit and that of his holy Church throughout the world.

Here the priest recites the prayers called the Secrets, in which he presents the petition of the whole Church for God’s acceptance of the Sacrifice, and then immediately begins to fulfil that great duty of religion, thanksgiving. So far he has adored God and has sued for mercy; he has still to give thanks for the blessings bestowed on us by the bounty of our heavenly Father, the chief of which, during this season, is his gracious fulfilment of the promise he made after the sin of our first parents: he fulfilled it by the Resurrection of the Lamb, who thereby conquered death. The priest, in the name of the Church, is about to give expression to the gratitude of all mankind. In order to excite the faithful to that intensity of gratitude which is due to God for all his gifts, he interrupts his own and their silent prayer by terminating it aloud, saying:

Per omnia sæcula sæculorum!
For ever and ever.

In the same feeling, answer your Amen! Then he continues:

℣. Dominus vobiscum.
℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
℣. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.

℣. Sursum corda!
℣. Lift up your hearts!

Let your response be sincere:

℟. Habemus ad Dominum.
℟. We have them fixed on God.

And when he adds:

℣. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
℣. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

Answer him with all the earnestness of your soul:

℟. Dignum et justum est.
℟. It is meet and just.

Then the Priest:

The Preface[7]

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, te quidem Domine omni tempore, sed in hoc potissimum gloriosius prædicare, cum Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus. Ipse enim verus est Agnus, qui abstulit peccata mundi. Qui mortem nostram moriendo destruxit, et vitam resurgendo reparavit. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militia cœlestis exercitus, hymnum gloriæ tuæ canimus, sine fine dicentes:
It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, to praise thee, O Lord, at all times, but chiefly at this time, when Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For he is the true Lamb, who hath taken away the sins of the world. Who, by dying, hath destroyed our death, and by rising again, hath restored us to life. And therefore with the Angels and Archangels, with the Thrones and Dominations, and with all the heavenly host, we sing a hymn to thy glory, saying unceasingly:

Here unite with the Priest, who on his part unites himself with the blessed Spirits, in giving thanks to God for the unspeakable Gift: bow down and say:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus sabaoth!
Pleni sunt cœli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis!
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis!
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed be the Saviour who is coming to us in the name of the Lord who sends him.
Hosanna be to him in the highest!

After these words commences the Canon, that mysterious prayer, in the midst of which heaven bows down to earth, and God descends unto us. The voice of the priest is no longer heard; yea, even at the altar all is silence. Let a profound respect stay all distractions and keep our senses in submission to the soul. Let us fix our eyes on what the priest does in the holy place.

 

THE CANON OF THE MASS

 

In this mysterious colloquy with the great God of heaven and earth, the first prayer of the sacrificing Priest is for the Catholic Church, his and our mother.

Te igitur, clementissime Pater, per Jesum Christum Filium tuum Dominum nostrum, supplices rogamus ac petimus, uti accepta habeas, et benedicas hæc dona, hæc munera, hæc sancta sacrificia illibata, in primis quæ tibi offerimus pro Ecclesia tua sancta Catholica: quam pacificare, custodire, adunare et regere digneris toto orbe terrarum, una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N., et Antistite nostro N., et omnibus orthodoxis, atque catholicæ et apostolicæ fidei cultoribus.
O God who manifestest thyself unto us by means of the mysteries which thou hast entrusted to thy holy Church, our mother; we beseech thee, by the merits of this sacrifice, that thou wouldst remove all those hindrances which oppose her during her pilgrimage in this world. Give her peace and unity. Do thou thyself guide our Holy Father the Pope, thy Vicar on earth. Direct thou our Bishop, who is our sacred link of unity; and watch over all the orthodox children of the Catholic Apostolic Roman Church.

Here pray, together with the Priest, for those whose interests should be dearest to you.

 

Memento, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum N. et N. et omnium circumstantium, quorum tibi fides cognita est, et nota devotio: pro quibus tibi offerimus, vel qui tibi offerunt hoc sacrificium laudis, pro se, suisque omnibus, pro redemptione animarum suarum, pro spe salutis et incolumitatis suæ; tibique reddunt vota sua æterno Deo vivo et vero.
Permit me, O God, to intercede with thee in more earnest prayer for those for whom thou knowest that I have a special obligation to pray: .  .  .  Pour down thy blessings upon them. Let them partake of  the fruits of this divine Sacrifice, which is offered unto thee in the name of all mankind. Visit them by thy grace, pardon them their sins, grant them the blessings of this present life and of that which is eternal.

Here let us commemorate the Saints: they are that portion of the Body of Jesus Christ which is called the Church Triumphant.

Communicantes, et memoriam venerantes, in primis gloriosæ semper Virginis Mariæ, Genitricis Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et beatorum Apostolorum ac Martyrum tuorum, Petri et Pauli, Andreæ, Jacobi, Joannis, Thomæ, Jacobi, Philippi, Bartholomæi, Matthæi, Simonis, et Thaddæi: Lini, Cleti, Clementis, Xysti, Cornelii, Cypriani, Laurentii, Chrysogoni, Joannis et Pauli, Cosmæ et Damiani, et omnium sanctorum tuorum, quorum meritis precibusque concedas, ut in omnibus protectionis tuæ muniamur auxilio. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
But the offering of this Sacrifice, O my God, does not unite us with those only of our brethren who are still in this transient life of trial: it brings us closer to those also who are already in possession of heaven. Therefore it is, that we wish to honour by it the memory of the glorious and ever-Virgin Mary, of whom Jesus was born to us: of the Apostles, Confessors, Virgins, and of all the Saints; that so they may assist us by their powerful intercession, to become worthy to contemplate thee, as they now do, in the mansion of thy glory.

The Priest, who, up to this time has been praying with his hands extended, now joins them, and holds them over the bread and wine, as the High Priest of the Old Law did over the figurative victim: he thus expresses his intention of bringing these gifts more closely under the notice of the Divine Majesty, and of marking them as the material offering whereby we profess our dependence, and which is, in a few instants, to yield its place to the living Host, upon whom are laid all our iniquities.

Hanc igitur oblationem servitutis nostræ, sed et cunctæ familiæ tuæ, quæsumus Domine, ut placatus accipias: diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab æterna damnatione nos eripi, et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerari. Per Christum Dominuin nostrum. Amen.

Quam oblationem tu Deus in omnibus, quæsumus, benedictam, adscriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere digneris; ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
Vouchsafe, O God, to accept this offering which this thy assembled family presents to thee as the homage of its most happy servitude. In return, give us peace, save us from thy wrath and number us among the elect, through him who is coming to us—thy Son our Saviour.

Yea, Lord, this is the moment when this bread is to become his sacred Body, which is our food; and this wine is to be changed into his Blood, which is our drink. Ah! delay no longer, but send to us this divine Son our Saviour!

And here the Priest ceases to act as man; he now becomes more than a mere minister of the Church. His word becomes that of Jesus Christ, with all its power and efficacy. Prostrate yourself in profound adoration; for Emmanuel, God with us, is coming down from heaven.

Qui pridie quam pateretur, accepit panem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas: et elevatis oculis in cœlum, ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem, tibi gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, deditque discipulis suis, dicens: Accipite, et manducate ex hoc omnes. HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM.
What, O God of heaven and earth, my Jesus, the long expected Messias, what else can I do at this solemn moment but adore thee, in silence as my sovereign Master, and open my whole heart to thee, as to its dearest King! Come then, Lord Jesus, come!

The Divine Lamb is now lying on our altar! Glory and love be to him for ever! But he is come that he may be immolated. Hence, the priest, who is the minister of the will of the Most High, immediately pronounces over the chalice those sacred words which will produce the great mystical immolation, by the separation of the Victim’s Body and Blood. The substances of bread and wine have ceased to exist; the species alone are left, veiling, as it were, the Body and Blood, lest fear should keep us from a mystery which God gives us in order to give us confidence. Let us associate ourselves to the angels, who look upon this deepest wonder with awe and trembling

.

Simili modo postquam cœnatum est, accipiens et hunc præclarum Calicem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas: item tibi gratias agens, benedixit, deditque discipulis suis, dicens: Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes. HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI, NOVI ET ÆTERNI TESTAMENTI: MYSTERIUM FIDEI: QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM. Hæc quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis.
O Precious Blood! thou price of my salvation! I adore thee! Wash away my sins, and give me a purity above the whiteness of snow. Lamb ever slain, yet ever living, thou comest to take away the sins of the world. Come also and reign in me by thy power and by thy love!

 

 

 

The Priest is now face to face with God. He again raises his hands towards heaven, and tells our heavenly Father that the oblation now on the altar is no longer an earthly offering, but the Body and Blood, the whole Person, of his divine Son.

Unde et memores, Domine, nos servi tui, sed et plebs tua sancta, ejusdem Christi Filii tui Domini nostri tam beatæ Passionis, nec non et ab inferis Resurrectionis, sed et in cœlos gloriosæ Ascensionis: offerimus præclaræ majestati tuæ de tuis donis ac datis Hostiam puram, Hostiam sanctam, Hostiam immaculatam: Panem sanctum vitæ æternæ, et Calicem salutis perpetuæ.

Supra quæ propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris: et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui justi Abel, et sacrificium Patriarchæ nostri Abrahæ, et quod tibi obtulit summus Sacerdos tuus Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam.
Father of infinite holiness, the Host so long expected is here before thee! Behold this thy eternal Son, who suffered a bitter passion, rose again with glory from the grave, and ascended triumphantly into heaven. He is thy Son; but he is also our Host—Host pure and spotless—our Meat and Drink of everlasting life.

Heretofore thou didst accept the sacrifice of the innocent lambs offered to thee by Abel; and the sacrifice which Abraham made thee of his son Isaac, who, though immolated, yet lived; and lastly, the sacrifice, which Melchisedech presented to thee, of bread and wine. Receive our Sacrifice, which is above all those others. It is the Lamb of whom all others could be but figures; it is the undying Victim; it is the Body of thy Son, who is the Bread of Life, and his Blood, which, whilst a Drink of immortality for us, is a tribute adequate to thy glory.

The Priest bows down to the altar, and kisses it as the throne of love on which is seated the Saviour of men.

 

Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: jube hæc perferri per manus sancti angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinæ majestatis tuæ: ut quotquot ex hac altaris participatione, sacrosanctum Filii tui Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione cœlesti et gratia repleamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
But, O God of infinite power, these sacred gifts are not only on this altar here below; they are also on that sublime altar of heaven, which is before the throne of thy divine majesty. These two altars are but one and the same, on which is accomplished the great mystery of thy glory and our salvation. Vouchsafe to make us partakers of the Body and Blood of the august Victim, from whom flow every grace and blessing.

Nor is the moment less favourable for making supplication for the Church Suffering. Let us, therefore, ask the divine Liberator who has come down among us that he mercifully visit by a ray of his consoling light the dark abode of Purgatory and permit his Blood to flow, as a stream of mercy, from this our altar, and refresh the panting captives there. Let us pray expressly for those among them who have a claim on our suffrages.

.

Memento etiam, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum N. et N., qui nos præcesserunt cum signo fidei, et dormiunt in somno pacis. Ipsis Domine, et omnibus in Christo quiescentibus, locum refrigerii, lucis et pacis, ut indulgeas, deprecamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Dear Jesus! let the happiness of this thy visit extend to every portion of thy Church. Thy face gladdens the elect in the holy City; even our mortal eyes can see beneath the veil of our delighted faith: ah! hide not thyself from those brethren of ours who are imprisoned in the place of expiation. Be thou refreshment to them in their flames, light in their darkness, and peace in their agonies of torment.

This duty of charity fulfilled, let us pray for ourselves, sinners, alas! who profit so little by the visit which our Saviour pays us. Let us, together with the priest, strike our breast,

saying:

Nobis quoque peccatoribus famulis tuis, de multitudine miserationum tuarum sperantibus, partem aliquam et societatem donare digneris cum tuis sanctis Apostolis et Martyribus: cum Joanne, Stephano, Mathia, Barnaba, Ignatio, Alexandro, Marcellino, Petro, Felicitate, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucia, Agnete, Cæcilia, Anastasia, et omnibus Sanctis tuis; intra quorum nos consortium, non æstimator meriti, sed veniæ, quæsumus, largitor admitte. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem hæc omnia, Domine, semper bona creas, sanctificas, vivificas, benedicis, et præstas nobis: per ipsum, et cum ipso et in ipso, est tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, omnis honor et gloria.
Alas! we are poor sinners, O God of all sanctity! yet do we hope that thy infinite mercy will grant us to share in thy kingdom, not, indeed, by reason of our works, which deserve little else than punishment, but because of the merits of this Sacrifice, which we are offering to thee. Remember, too, the merits of thy holy Apostles, of thy holy Martyrs, of thy holy Virgins, and of all thy Saints. Grant us, by their intercession, grace in this world, and glory eternal in the next: which we ask of thee, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son. It is by him thou bestowest upon us thy blessings of life and sanctification; and by him also, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, may honour and glory be to thee!

Whilst saying these last few words, the priest has taken up the sacred Host, which was on the altar; he has held it over the chalice, thus reuniting the Body and Blood of the divine Victim, in order to show that he is now immortal. Then raising up both chalice and Host, he offers to God the most noble and perfect homage which the divine majesty could receive.

This solemn and mysterious rite ends the Canon. The silence of the Mysteries is broken. The priest concludes his long prayers, by saying aloud, and so giving the faithful the opportunity of expressing their desire that his supplications be

granted:

Per omnia sæcula sæculorum.
For ever and ever.

Answer him with faith, and in a sentiment of union with your holy Mother the Church:

Amen.
Amen! I believe the mystery which has just been accomplished. I unite myself to the offering which has been made, and to the petitions of the Church.

It is time to recite the prayer which our Saviour himself has taught us. Let it ascend up to heaven together with the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. How could it be otherwise than heard, when he himself who made it for us is in our very hands now whilst we say it? As this prayer belongs in common to all the children of God, the Priest recites it aloud, and begins by inviting us all to join in it.

Oremus

Præceptis salutaribus moniti, et divina institutione formati, audemus dicere:
Let us Pray

Having been taught by a saving precept, and following the form given us by a divine instruction, we thus presume to speak:

The Lord's

Prayer

Pater noster, qui es in cœlis: Sanctificetur nomen tuum: Adveniat regnum tuum: Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cœlo, et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie: Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name: thy kingdom come: thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily Bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation.

Let us answer with deep feeling of our misery:

Sed libera nos a malo.
But deliver us from evil.

The Priest falls once more into the silence of the holy Mysteries. His first word is an affectionate Amen to your last petition—deliver us from evil—on which he forms his own next prayer: and could he pray for anything more needed? Evil surrounds us everywhere, and the Lamb on our altar has been sent to expiate it and deliver us from it.

Libera nos, quæsumus, Domine, ab omnibus malis, præteritis, præsentibus et futuris: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, atque Andrea, et omnibus Sanctis, da propitius pacem in diebus nostris: ut ope misericordiæ tuæ adjuti, et a peccato simus semper liberi, et ab omni perturbatione securi. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus.
How many, O Lord, are the evils which beset us! Evils past, which are the wounds left on the soul by her sins, and which strengthen her wicked propensities. Evils present, that is, the sins now at this very time upon our soul, the weakness of this poor soul, and the temptations which molest her. There are also future evils, that is, the chastisement which our sins deserve from the hands of thy justice. In presence of this Host of our salvation, we beseech thee, O Lord, to deliver us from all these evils, and to accept in our favour the intercession of Mary the Mother of Jesus, of thy holy Apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew. Liberate us, break our chains, give us peace: through Jesus Christ, thy Son, who with thee liveth and reigneth God.

The Priest is anxious to announce the Peace which he has asked and obtained; he therefore finishes his prayer aloud, saying:

Per omnia sæcula sæculorum.

℟. Amen.
World without end.

℟. Amen.

Then he says:

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.
May the peace of our Lord be ever with you.

To this paternal wish reply:

℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
℟. And with thy spirit.

The Mystery is drawing to a close: God is about to be united with man, and man with God, by means of Communion. But first, an imposing and sublime rite takes place at the altar. So far the Priest has announced the Death of Jesus; it is time to proclaim his Resurrection. To this end, he reverently breaks the sacred Host, and having divided it into three parts, he puts one into the chalice, thus reuniting the Body and Blood of the immortal Victim. Do you adore and say:

Hæc commixtio et consecratio Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christi fiat accipientibus nobis in vitam æternam. Amen.
Glory be to thee, O Saviour of the world, who didst, in thy Passion, permit thy precious Blood to be separated from thy sacred Body, afterwards uniting them again together by thy divine power.

Offer now your prayer to the ever-living Lamb, whom St John saw on the Altar of Heaven 'standing as if slain:'[8] say to this your Lord and King, who has taken upon himself all our iniquities, in order to wash them away by his Blood:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, give us peace.

Peace is the grand object of our Saviour’s coming into the world: He is the ‘Prince of Peace.’ The divine Sacrament of the Eucharist ought therefore to be the mystery of peace, and the bond of Catholic unity; for as the Apostle says, ‘all we who partake of one Bread, are all one Bread and one Body.’[9] It is on this account that the priest, now that he is on the point of receiving, in Communion, the sacred Host, prays that fraternal peace may be preserved in the Church, and more especially in this portion of it which is assembled round the altar. Pray with him, and for the same

blessing:

Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti Apostolis tuis: Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis: ne respicias peccata mea, sed fidem Ecclesiæ tuæ: eamque secundum voluntatem tuam pacificare et coadunare digneris. Qui vivis et regnas Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst to thy Apostles,my peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: regard not my sins, but the faith of thy Church, and grant her that peace and unity which is according to thy will. Who livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.

If it be a High Mass, the priest here gives the kiss of peace to the deacon, who gives it to the sub-deacon, and he to the choir. During this ceremony, you should excite within yourself feelings of Christian charity, and pardon your enemies, if you have any. Then continue to pray with the

priest:

Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, qui ex voluntate Patris, cooperante Spiritu Sancto, per mortem tuam mundum vivificasti: libera me per hoc sacrosanctum Corpus et Sanguinem tuum, ab omnibus iniquitatibus meis, et universis malis, et fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis, et a te nunquam separari permittas. Qui cum eodem Deo Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas Deus in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, according to the will of thy Father, through the co-operation of the Holy Ghost, hast by thy death given life to the world; deliver me by this thy most sacred Body and Blood from all my iniquities, and from all evils; and make me always adhere to thy commandments, and never suffer me to be separated from thee, who with the same God the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.

If you are going to Communion at this Mass, say the following Prayer; otherwise, prepare yourself to make a Spiritual Communion:

Perceptio Corporis tui, Domine Jesu Christe, quod ego indignus sumere præsumo, non mihi proveniat in judicium et condemnationem: sed pro tua pietate prosit mihi ad tutamentum mentis et corporis, et ad medelam percipiendam. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Let not the participation of thy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I, though unworthy, presume to receive, turn to my judgement and condemnation; but through thy mercy may it be a safeguard and remedy both to my soul and body. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.

When the Priest takes the Host into his hands, in order to his receiving it in Communion, say:

Panem cœlestem accipiam, et nomen Domini invocabo.
Come, my dear Jesus, come!

When he strikes his breast, confessing his unworthiness, say thrice with him these words, and in the same disposition as the centurion of the Gospel, who first used them:

Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.
Lord, I am not worthy thou shouldst enter under my roof: say it only with one word of thine, and my soul will be healed.

While the Priest receives the sacred Host, if you also are to communicate, adore profoundly your God, who is ready to take up his abode within you, and again say to him with the spouse: Come, Lord Jesus, come!’

But should you not be going to receive sacramentally, make a Spiritual Communion. Adore Jesus Christ who thus visits your soul by his grace, and say to him:

Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam æternam. Amen.
I give thee, O Jesus, this heart of mine, that thou mayest dwell in it, and do with me what thou wilt.

Then the Priest takes the chalice, in thanksgiving, and says:

Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus, quæ retribuit mihi? Calicem salutaris accipiam, et nomen Domini invocabo. Laudans invocabo Dominum, et ab inimicis meis salvus ero.
What return shall I make to the Lord for all he hath given to me? I will take the Chalice of salvation, and will call upon the name of the Lord. Praising I will call upon the Lord, and I shall be saved from mine enemies.

But if you are to make a Sacramental Communion, you should, at this moment of the Priest’s receiving the precious Blood, again adore the God who is coming to you, and keep to your canticle: Come, Lord Jesus, come!’

If, on the contrary, you are going to communicate only spiritually, again adore your divine Master, and say to him:

Sanguis Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam æternam. Amen.
I unite myself to thee, my beloved Jesus! do thou unite thyself to me! and never let us be separated.

It is here that you must approach to the altar, if you are going to Communion. The dispositions suitable for holy Communion during this season of Paschal Time are given in the next chapter.

The Communion being finished, whilst the Priest is purifying the chalice the first time, say:

Quod ore sumpsimus, Domine, pura mente capiamus: et de munere temporali fiat nobis remedium sempiternum.
Thou hast visited me, O God, in these days of my pilgrimage; give me grace to treasure up the fruits of this visit for my future eternity.

Whilst the Priest is purifying the chalice the second time, say:

Corpus tuum, Domine, quod sumpsi, et Sanguis quem potavi, adhæreat visceribus meis: et præsta ut in me non remaneat scelerum macula, quem pura et sancta refecerunt Sacramenta. Qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Be thou for ever blessed, O my Saviour, for having admitted me to the sacred mystery of thy Body and Blood. May my heart and senses preserve, by thy grace, the purity which thou hast imparted to them: and I be thus rendered less unworthy of thy divine visit.

The Priest having read the Antiphon called the Communion, which is the first part of his thanksgiving for the favour just received from God, whereby he has renewed his divine presence among us, turns to the people with the usual salutation; after which he recites the prayers called the Postcommunion, which are the completion of the thanksgiving. You will join him here also, thanking God for the unspeakable gift he has just lavished on you, and asking him, with most earnest entreaty, that he will bestow upon you perseverance in the joy of Paschal Time, and vigilance over yourself during the whole course of this day, that so you may keep up within you the love of that new life which gives you a right to the company of our risen Jesus.

These Prayers having been recited, the Priest again turns to the people, and full of joy for the immense favour he and they have been receiving, he says:

Dominus vobiscum.
The Lord be with you.

Answer him:


Et cum spiritu tuo.
And with thy spirit.

The deacon, or, if it be not a High Mass, the priest himself, then says:


Ite, Missa est.
Go, the Mass is finished.
℟. Deo gratias.
℟. Thanks be to God.




The Priest makes a last Prayer, before giving you his blessing; pray with him:

Placeat tibi, sancta Trinitas, obsequium servitutis meæ, quod oculis tuæ majestatis indignus obtuli, tibi sit acceptabile, mihique, et omnibus pro quibus illud obtuli sit, te miserante, propitiabile. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Eternal thanks be to thee, O adorable Trinity, for the mercy thou hast showed to me, in permitting me to assist at this divine Sacrifice. Pardon me the negligence and coldness wherewith I have received so great a favour, and deign to confirm the blessing, which thy Minister is about to give me in thy Name.

The Priest raises his hand, and thus blesses you:

Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.

℟. Amen.
May the Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you!

℟. Amen.

He then concludes the Mass, by reading the first fourteen verses of the Gospel according to St John, which tell us of the eternity of the Word, and of the mercy which led him to take upon himself our flesh, and to dwell among us. The Evangelist tells us that this divine Word, the Creator of light, is himself the true Light. This Light suddenly shone forth from the darkness of the tomb. The Jew refused to see it; the Christian hails it with joy, for it is the Life of men.

.

℣. Dominus vobiscum.

℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
The Last Gospel
Initium sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
Cap. I.

In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt; et sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est. In ipso vita erat, et vita erat lux hominum: et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebræ eam non comprehenderunt. Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui nomen erat Joannes. Hic venit in testimonium, ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine, ut omnes crederent per illum. Non erat ille lux, sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Erat lux vera, quæ illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. In mundo erat, et mundus per ipsum factus est, et mundus eum non cognovit. In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. Quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, his, qui credunt in nomine ejus: qui non ex sanguinibus, neque ex voluntate carnis, neque ex voluntate viri, sed ex Deo nati sunt. ET VERBUM CARO FACTUM EST, et habitavit in nobis: et vidimus gloriam ejus, gloriam quasi Unigeniti a Patre, plenum gratiæ et veritatis.

℟. Deo gratias.
℣. The Lord be with you.

℟. And with thy spirit.

The beginning of the Holy Gospel according to John.
Ch. I.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them he gave power to be made the sons of God; to them that believe in his name, who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt amongst us; and we saw his glory, as it were the glory of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

℟. Thanks be to God.

[1] Sequence for the Feast of Corpus Christi.
[2] Cant. v 6.
[3] 1 Kings iii 10.
[4] St John xx 29.
[5] 1 Cor. xv 53.
[6] 2 St Pet. i 4.
[7] The Prefaces for the Ascension, Pentecost, the Annunciation, and the Solemnity of St Joseph, are given in the Masses for those feasts.
[8] Apoc. v 6.
[9] 1 Cor. x 17.