Assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
The motto "Be prepared" was never more true than before Holy Mass when we place ourselves in the presence of the True Presence. |
Editor's Note: This series is an effort to return to basics since too often we all make the holy Faith complicated, whereas in reality the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith are quite simple. God doesn't complicate things, man does. Realizing the fact that, for many generations indoctrinated by conciliar ambiguities, it all seems so confusing, we are introducing this series which is an adaptation of an earlier series titled "Appreciating the Precious Gift of the Faith" in utilizing a combination of the excellent compendium of the late Bishop Morrow's pre-Vatican II Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith and Dom Prosper Gueranger's incomparable The Liturgical Year as well as the out-of-print masterpieces The Catholic Church Alone The One True Church(1902) and the Cabinet of Catholic Information (1903). Through prayer and discussions, we've decided to employ this revised series to simplify the tenets of the Faith for those who continue to wallow in what they think is the 'Catholic Church' out of obedience to a man and his hierarchy who long ago betrayed Christ and His flocks. This then, is an affirmation of the basic truths the Spotless Bride of Christ has always taught and cannot change or evolve as "living documents" for truth is truth. As we say every day in the Act of Faith, "We believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." If you have been deceived, and the vast majority have been, then realize what you've been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years cannot be from God but from His adversary. Our advice: flee the conciliar confines as well as other man-made religions which do not teach these truths without compromise. Seek out a traditional chapel nearest to you. There is a list of churches you can absolutely trust at Traditional Latin Masses
Prior to Vatican II, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered every hour somewhere in the world. Where any Catholic would be on earth, he knew that whatever he may have been doing, he could join spiritually in the Holy Sacrifice. Today? Well, the true Canonized Apostolic Traditional Latin Mass decreed by Pope St. Pius V that it must be said in perpetuity with no changes to the Ordinary of the Mass in his codifying the infallible dogmatic Council of Trent, has dwindled to a few in the grand scheme of things thanks to the CONciLIAR revolution that, spurred on by satan, has tried to eradicate the True Mass from the face of the earth.
Yet, despite the devil's determination there remains a remnant of true Catholics who rally around true priests to carry on the Holy Sacrifice as the only means of confecting the bread and wine into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Vivat Christus Rex! Vivo Christo Rey! Long live the King! Yes, the King of kings, our Lord and Savior is truly present only in the tabernacles where the true Latin Mass is said.
That is because, as we have documented ad nauseam, those men 'ordained' in the new man-made rite of 1968 by Paul the Sick (aka Archbishop Giovanni Montini) stripped the Sacrament of Holy Orders of its authority in the same manner as 'ordinations' and 'episcopal consecrations' of the Anglicans, which had been soundly condemned by Pope Leo XIII in his infallible decree Apostolicae Curae, declaring the 'ordinations' "completely null and utterly void." His Holiness Pope Pius XII cemented the parameters for a valid ordination in his Papal decree Sacramentum Ordinis.
The great tragedy here is that the vast majority are not aware of the above and thus are under the false assumption that their parish priest can absolve their sins in the confessional and that when they traipse up for 'communion' and slurp from the cup at their Novus Ordo service that they're receiving the True Presence, when in fact they're eating a wafer and drinking straight wine that is no different than any Protestant service. The sad truth is that those ordained in the new rite since 1968 cannot confect the true Sacrament any more than any Tom, Dick, and Harry could. And we know they can't!
That funnels down to the few who truly can change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood: those priests ordained in the Sacrament of Holy Orders prior to Montini's sweeping change. Also these ordinations are only valid by a bishop consecrated in the episcopal consecration ceremony in vogue prior to 1968. Age does not matter for there are several young bishops today who were consecrated in the true rite. Priests ordained prior to 1968 have the power to absolve sins, but they cannot confect the Sacrament in the Novus Ordo since that is a sacrilegious service devoid of the propitatory nature of the Holy Sacrifice and the form set in stone by St. Pius V in De defectibus , whereas if they were to say the Traditional Latin Mass, then they would for, "thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech who, as is confirmed in the Ordinary of the True Mass in the Supra quae after the Consecration "...et quod Tibi Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam." translated "...and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered to Thee, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim." Even if he were an apostate priest, an immoral priest, the greatest sinner who didn't believe in the True Presence it would still be a valid Mass if he followed the form of the Latin Mass as it was before the Novus Ordo.
With that fact established, who then may attend a Traditional Latin Mass? Answer: Anyone for God's flock knowns no bounds. Who then can receive Holy Communion? Ah, there's the rub. To receive the True Presence of the Altar one must have made a worthy confession to a true priest, be in the state of Sanctifying Grace, and have fasted before Mass the required hours of three hours from any food and one hour of liquids, except for water. Prior to Pius XII relaxing the fasting rules, one could not eat or imbibe anything, even water from midnight on. Oh, and one more thing: one must resolve to attend the Latin Mass exclusively and not just when it is convenient. In other words, to fully assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, one must swear off ever again stepping foot in a Novus Ordo lodge, also called church which is questionable concerning the demonic Masonic service carried out there even if they still use the moniker "Catholic."
Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for all Catholics to flee the confines of the counterfeit church of conciliarism and return to where the true Faith resides and is carried out in the Church's holy, grace-giving sacraments. That is why whenever we assist at Holy Mass we do so with reverence, attention, and devotion. This begins when we enter the church, bless ourselves with holy water in making the sign of the cross, and remain silent out of respect for Christ, present in the tabernacle as we genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament. In many traditional areas, it is impossible to keep the True Presence in a tabernacle because of the venue and lack of a permanent church. In those cases, one still remains silent and bows reverently towards the altar. One only genuflects when Christ is in the tabernacle, known by the red vigil light near the altar. If one enters or leaves after the Consecration up to the ablution after Holy Communion or when the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the monstrance for Benediction, one genuflects on both knees and bows.
It goes without saying that you are visiting the King. Therefore, dress as if you were in the presence of such royalty because you are. One should not come to Mass overdressed. It is a distraction for others to see people entering in the height of fashion. However, in the past fifty years congregants have gone to the other extreme and 'underdressed' when participating in the nefarious Novus Ordo, wearing shorts, sleeveless blouses, revealing clothing or grunge clothing, t-shirts and jeans. Hardly the type of apparel one would wear when going to meet a King! In fact, while you don't need a tuxedo or formal dress, it is important that you dress white-collar like, so to speak. That means men and boys should wear dress coats and suits, ties preferred, unless the weather is unusually warm. Some women seem to go to church only to attract attention by their clothes, their new hair-style, their paint, aka make-up and glitter. The church is not a fashion parade. In fact, according to Apostolic Tradition and Church law women and girls must cover their heads with a modest hat, mantilla or veil and must wear dresses, not slacks, and all dresses or skirts must cover the knee completely when standing or sitting. Again, when assisting at a Traditional Latin Mass slacks, shorts, sleeveless, tight or low-cut clothing are not permitted. That also means jeans, tight-fitting clothes, sloppy clothes, flip-flops or other beach-like apparel is forbidden for they are inappropriate for attendance at Mass.
We should remember that we are present at the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ's Body and Blood. Whispering, laughing, and looking about during Mass are out of place and irreverent. When we are conversing with anyone, we give him all our attention, and do not even think of other people. At Mass we are in the Real Presence of God. We should fix our attention on Him, and forget everything else. It is the practice to kneel during Mass, at least from the beginning to the Offertory, and from the Sanctus till after the Communion, standing for the Gloria, Gospels, and Credo. There are other times when standing is called for in a High Mass that are listed in the Ordinary of the Mass beginning with the Asperges me at Preparation for Holy Mass
And speaking of preparation, it is important that one arrives early enough to have some time to reflect and recollect before Mass begins. In almost every Sunday traditional Latin Mass Confessions are heard before Mass while the Rosary is being recited. It's a good idea to arrive early to join in the Rosary and make a worthy confession. Too many Catholics, yes Traditional Catholics, arrive late. Yes, traffic can play a role, but anticipation of this should prompt them to leave earlier so they can arrive in time. If one arrives late that is a venial sin, if one arrives after the Offertory and expects to assist at Mass, to do so would be wrong and one would need to wait for another true Mass or be in the state of mortal sin for missing Mass. That can all be alleviated by arriving on time with plenty of room to spare, and use that time to communicate with God by mentally preparing your body, mind and soul to be one with Him at the upcoming Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
It need not be said that one does not hear Mass outside the church, but inside. Too often men stand outside and talk together while Mass is going on, and go in only if they feel like doing so. These people do not hear Mass However, if one goes to hear Mass and finds the church packed, he really hears Mass so long as he prays and unites himself with the Sacrifice, even though he could not see from behind a post. Of course, this was written when churches were packed every Sunday and there were many Masses on Sunday. Since the reforms of Vatican II churches are not teeming with parishioners as they once were, and besides, if they are attending a Novus Ordo no graces are possible and it's fruitless. If only they'd known. We know, because we wasted 20 years not realizing this fact. We share this here so that others won't wallow away their time attending a useless service that replicates a Protestant service.
It is related of St. John the Almoner, Patriarch of Alexandria in the 7th century, that he observed some of his parishioners on Sundays and holydays had formed the habit of standing about the churchyard and talking together instead of entering the church to hear Mass. The good Bishop determined to put an end to this bad habit. One Sunday, instead of saying Mass in the church, he went outside and stood with the idlers. They looked at him in surprise. He said, "You wonder what I am doing here. But remember where the flock is, there the pastor must be. If you enter the church, I shall also go in," Shamed into their right senses, the idlers went in at once and from that time never again "heard Mass" outside.
In ancient days the Jews offered thousands of victims at sacrifice in the Temple, all in silence. The early Christians remained motionless at Mass, kneeling in reverence throughout the Holy Sacrifice. The best method of assisting at Mass is to unite with the priest in offering the Holy Sacrifice, and to receive Holy Communion worthily - always in the state of Sanctifying Grace. To receive Our Lord while our soul is stained with Mortal Sin is a blasphemy of the highest order and a grave scandal to others. We know what Jesus says about those who cause scandal.
We should try to give the Holy Sacrifice all our attention and devotion. We should keep away from our minds all distractions as far as possible, and unite ourselves with Jesus in His Sacrifice, especially in the principal parts of the Mass. That means not looking around or staring at others, keeping our focus on the altar. The best way of uniting ourselves in offering the Holy Sacrifice is by following the prayers of the Mass from a Missal, and meditation on the mysteries presented therein. If we have no Missal, we should devoutly meditate, especially at the principal parts, on Our Lord's Passion; the Mass is a reenactment of the sacrifice on the cross, a commemoration of Christ' death. If one cannot follow along in an approved missal, one can also pray the holy Rosary or other prayers as long as one is uniting those prayers with Christ for that Mass.
Sadly today this focal point of the Mass has been lost with the emphasis on communal participation and the 'Lord's Supper' - a most Protestant concept that flies in the face of the Traditional Latin Mass. Features like everyone standing during the Consecration, joining hands at the Our Father and the kinky Kiss of Peace only add to the fraternal aspect of the brotherhood of man with Christ quite forgotten - for the vast majority believe they are becoming Christs by participating in the manner they are told. Reverence has given way to mob rule. But then what do you expect in a false rite? That is why one should avoid the Novus Ordo and anything offered by the church of Vatican II like the plague.
Those attending the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass who say vocal prayers must be careful not to whisper so loud as to disturb others. That means not repeating the responses of the server in a tone that is audible to others. One may do so in one's mind or lip sync but not that it can be heard. Some think since the introduction of the "Dialogue Mass" that all should respond along with the server. No, the only out loud responses should be at a High Mass by the Choir and in that respect, you may join in as long as you're not off key for that would bring attention to you rather than what is happening on the altar.
At the principal parts of Mass, we should always suspend our private devotions and meditate on the particular mystery presented: at the Offertory uniting our intentions with the priest, and this means not traipsing up with a laundry list to announce to the congregation on causes that often times lean towards politics and ideologies. That's the nature of the abominable Novus Ordo. In the True Mass there is no room for such aberrations. At the Consecration one should welcome Jesus at the transubstantiation by saying to ourselves "My Lord and my God" at the elevation of the Host and at the elevation of the Chalice, "Dominus meus et Deus meus" in repeating St. Thomas' words in the upper room after the Resurrection. Finally, we should suspend private devotion at the Communion for the purpose of inviting Our Lord into our hearts and thanking Him for the consummation of His sacrifice. We should also unite ourselves with the rest of those who hear the Holy Mass, and with all true Christians throughout the world, for whom Christ died as well as for us.
Sacred songs are in themselves prayer. Our Lord and His Apostles sang a hymn at the Last Supper. In the New Order everyone chimes in with whatever they are comfortable with, rubrics and reverence are sacrificed in order to showcase the talents of the parish no matter what musical instrument they play. No matter how badly one may be offkey, he is coerced into singing along or else. Nevermind his or her own sense of oneness with Christ. That must be put aside for the good of the community. That is why there's been a plethora of rock n' roll, hootenanny, soul, hip-hop, clown and pagan dance 'masses' in the Novus Ordo because they've lost all sense of the sacred, all sense of Christ first and foremost. It all lends to the axiom, "Lex orandi, lex credendi" - the law of praying determines the law of believing, or to put it simply: how one prays is how one believes.
With the time bombs from Vatican II the liberals pressured, cajoled and stole the privilege, thanks to the feminist progressive movement that demanded equality by introducing girls to serve at the altar. First of all, there was no longer an altar since the sacrificial aspect had been stripped in the Novus Ordo; secondly the altar gave way to the table. Gone was the sacredness for prior Vatican II and still current for Traditional Catholics is the fact serving was and is reserved to boys and men since the acolyte is the first step to the priesthood. Every boy was encouraged to avail himself of the opportunity when it offered itself. He was taught that when mingled with the angels in the sanctuary he obtained special graces for his service. Parents were encouraged to see to it that their boys joined the Altar Boy Society or Knights of the Altar for the parish. It is a great honor and privilege to be allowed to serve Mass and the Knights of the Altar was as prestigious a group one could belong to and of which every altar boy was proud to be a member of in his parish. It also served as a conduit for vocations to the priesthood. Before the liberal diabolical reforms that ushered in the Great Apostasy, a young boy just 7 or 8 years old was encouraged to become accustomed to serving Mass. He was encouraged to learn the Mass prayers well, pronounce them distinctly, and understand their meaning when he was sufficiently advanced. He was taught that he should be recollected in manner, remembering where he was and in what holy ceremony he was taking part.
All that went the way of the dinosaur when they turned the altars around, took out the tabernacles, and allowed the women to flood the sanctuaries and the feminist agenda to outmuscle and demasculate the 'Altar Boy' and all he stood for. From there it was the slippery slope to allowing anyone to partake at the Novus Ordo 'communion' time as they sloughed to the front and slurped from the cup handed to them by some woman in high-heels, miniskirt and low cut blouse. Oh, how sacred they are! Not!
So why is the Mass in Latin so important one might ask. "I can't understand it, and I feel English is so much easier, especially with all the participation that makes me feel good. I feel I'm part of the community of unity." That is the excuse one often gets from those who attend the Novus Ordo. You'll note the emphasis on "feelings" rather than faith. That same thing is a staple of Protestantism. They go on feelings. So what happens when they don't feel like praying? They don't. That's why it so easy to pray on Easter morning, but very difficult to pray on Good Friday.
Let us answer first on why Latin is vital. Mass is said in Latin because Latin is the official language of the Western Church. To the surprise of many, it still is. The use of Latin, a dead language, has many advantages. It insures unity and uniformity in faith and practice. There can be no change from one church to another using the same Latin rite. Because Latin is a dead language, the words do not change their meaning and the interpretation is always uniform. At least it was up until the modernists sacked the Traditional Catholic Mass, inserting a Protestant rite and ransacking the Latin translations to fit their modus operandi. Before that you could go anywhere in the world in a Latin rite Mass and feel instantly at home in the universal Church. In the recognized Catholic Eastern Churches, Mass is said in several other ancient languages that had Church approval long before Vatican II. A good gage on which Eastern rites are valid and which have caved to Vatican II is to see who veered from their ancient language to opt for the vernacular.
It is not necessary to hear the Mass prayers as pronounced by the priest, as they are generally pronounced in a very low tone of voice called sotto voce. The prayers are not supposed to be addressed to people, but to God. Mass is not instruction, but sacrifice. We repeat that last part. Mass is not instruction, but SACRIFICE. When was the last time you heard that emphasized in your pulpit? Today everyone in the counterfeit church of conciliarism calls, what they think is the Mass, the "Eucharistic Celebration" - totally downplaying the Sacrifice of the Altar and worship of Christ for there are no altars anymore; they are all 'tables of the Lord.' And the Lord is not happy that He is no longer being offered up in every church to the Father in an unbloody manner by the alter Christus on behalf of the faithful present in expiation for our sins.
The people by means of their missals, can follow the movements of the priest, and offer the Mass. Missals for the laity have all the prayers read by the priest, translated from the Latin. Those who still have their Latin Missals from before Vatican II truly have a treasure for so many have been discarded. Those who still have their Latin Missals and still attend the Novus Ordo, we encourage you to compare the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to what today passes as 'The Eucharist'. You will truly see how so much has been deleted, twisted and devalued. You will see why it is truly a sacrilege to be avoided for the sake of your own soul. Unfortunately, as your own horror stories will affirm, this has been enabled by the modern 'brainwashing' of the Missalette which drummed the need to sacrifice self for the good of the community, rather than sacrificing self for the immolated Lamb of God. He died for us, but we are unwilling to do the same for Him. Rather, we are insisting that He make life easier for us by our dictating that we skip Calvary altogether and go right to the Resurrection - a theme emphasized in practically every conciliar parish and diocese today and reinforced in the throw-away Missalettes.
Finally, it is important to remember the ends and fruits of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which are four. You can remember them more easily with the acronym PACT as in a pact with God with the four fruits of Petition, Adoration, Contrition, and Thanksgiving. YOU can see more on these fruits at The Sacrificial Aspects of the True Mass. There is also a a prayer you can memorize and say before every Holy Mass from the Raccolta 1575 - 20:
First. To adore Thee and give Thee the honor which is due Thee, confessing Thy supreme dominion over all things, and the absolute dependence of everything upon Thee, Who art our one and last End.
Second. To thank Thee for innumerable benefits received.
Third. To appease Thy justice, aroused against us by so many sins, and to make satisfaction for them.
Fourth. To implore grace and mercy for myself, for all present at this Mass, for my loved ones, for my friends and enemies, and for all afflicted and sorrowing, for poor sinners, for all the world, and for the holy souls in Purgatory.
If we understand the ends and fruits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then all the above will come naturally and you'll long for the time of Holy Mass, and, if you've been attending the Novus Ordo all these years, you'll realize you're now home in the Traditional Latin Mass and wonder what took you so long. Why now have you realized that? One word: Grace.
Let us never forget that the best act of piety, the most excellent and the most salutary, is the act instituted by Christ Himself, the act which He has said: "Do this in remembrance of Me"... vis., the Holy Mass with subsequence Holy Communion. The late great Pope Saint Pius X has put in these few words: "Don't pray at Holy Mass, but pray the Holy Mass." Explaining himself further, His Holiness set forth:
"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass."
While we all wish to be present in a church which offers exclusively the Mass of All Ages, this as we all sadly know is not possible in these times of darkness when the True Mass can only be found in a very few communities and in the catacomb chapels under the skeptical, accusing eye of the New Order 'bishops'. Therefore you are strongly advised to set aside in your home a quiet chapel-like area where you can retreat and either alone or with family members or other members of your community, pray as St. Pius affirms. In the Orient for centuries the Faith survived when there were no priests. So also in these times when, like the great Arian heresy, the overwhelming majority of the 'bishops' and 'priests' have sold out Christ's True Church and the True Mass out of blind obedience, we must endeavor to do all we can to keep the fires of the True Faith and its traditions alive.
Catholicism Made Simple