August 27-29, 2001
volume 12, no. 146

The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar

Part seven: Value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Offerings

    A Holy Mass has infinite value, because it is the renewal of the sacrifice of the cross. The value of a gift is proportionate to the dignity of the giver and the cost of the gift. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the only worthy gift for God, is offered by Jesus Christ, the Son of God; it cost Him His very life.

    Therefore to assist or offer Holy Mass is a good work of greater excellence than any other. By other good works we offer to God gifts that are human. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we offer Him gifts that are divine: His own only-begotten Son. There is no more holy and divine act that can be performed on earth than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    The efficacy of the holy sacrifice does not depend on the worthiness or unworthiness of the priest; he is only the minister of Christ, Who is both Priest and Victim.

    The virtue of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is of itself, quite apart from the worthiness of the priest. For this reason, we do not lose the merits of Holy Mass if it is offered for us by a priest who is not worthy, since Mass has its intrinsic value; in a similar way, a diamond is a diamond, even if the jeweler selling it be a bad man.

    That is also why those attending the Novus Ordo who are not able to attend the traditional Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as perpetuated for all time as unalterable by Pope Saint Pius V, still receive the merits of Holy Mass.

    However, as a good work, the graces and favors are limited, partly by the will of God, and partly by the dispositions of those to whom the fruits are applied. Therefore, the more devotion and reverence we have at Holy Mass, the greater will be the profit we derive.

    Two young men went to visit Rome. Their schedule limited their stay there to one day. The first young man, upon arrival, immediately visited all the famous portions of the city, finally ending with a visit to the Holy Father and the Vatican. The second young man, being fatigued by the journey, lay down to rest. He fell asleep and awoke only when it was too dark to go anywhere. Both went to the same city, but one did not profit from his journey.

    An offering is made to the priest who says Mass, to provide for the things necessary for the Sacrifice, and to assist in the support of the priest. In the early years of the Church the faithful, wishing to participate more fully in the oblation, made offerings of bread and wine for the consecration.

    Today it is more convenient to make a money offering. The stipend is most certainly not the price of the Mass, as the bread and wine were not.

    Many Catholics have the laudable custom of leaving a certain amount of property or money in their wills, in order to have Masses offered for them after their death.

    Up until after Vatican II a Requiem Mass was said in black vestments, and with special prayers for the dead. Masses said for the dead for thirty consecutive days are called Gregorian Masses and are all but forgotten in the post-conciliar Church.

    Bread and wine are used for consecration at Mass; a few drops of water are mixed with the wine. The bread for consecration is made from pure wheat flour mixed with water and baked. No other flour, such as rice, corn, etc., may be used, otherwise there is no consecration. Great care therefore should be taken that the flour is the proper kind. We all know of the atrocities that have been allowed to continue with regular wheat or leavened bread where crumbs of the Precious Body and Blood can be found scattered all over, where they are merely swept up like so much dust. The Church had a reason for the particulars of the elements.

    The wine for consecration must be the pure juice of grapes fermented. No other wine is valid, and if used, no transubstantiation will take place. A little water is mixed with the wine when used for consecration, because this was done by Christ. The water and wine also commemorate the water and blood that flowed from the wound on the side of Our Lord. So many priests today celebrate with glass jugs on the altar to accommodate that everyone receive the 'cup' from one of the many Eucharistic Ministers. Too often they fail to add the water to the wine, only to the celebrant's chalice. Again, abuses that go unchecked. This never ever happened before Vatican II.

    Mass is offered every day of the year except Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the vigil of Easter, although today the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening has become the Mass for the Baptisms and the main stage for candidates from RCIA. We have generations who came into the Church through the pablum and humanism of RCIA and have no concept of what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass truly is or the tenets of their Faith. Again, this never happened before Vatican II.

    In the first centuries, bishops and priests celebrated Mass together, so that one Mass was said by several. Our present Masses, when priests are ordained, and bishops are consecrated, are similar to those early Masses. It is called concelebrating.

    Ordinarily a priest is permitted to say Hly Mass only once a day. On Christmas and All Souls' Day, however, he may say three Masses. On Sundays, holydays, first Fridays, etc., a priest with permission may say two, and even three, Masses when the people's needs so require. Mass is usually said in the morning; with the approval of the bishop, it may also be said in the afternoon and evening. Morning Masses are said till 1 p.m.; in the afternoon Masses may begin at four o'clock. In the early days of Christianity Mass was said in the evening, after the example of the Last Supper, when the Mass was instituted. Later it was thought better to have it said in the morning, for a greater respect to the Holy Eucharist. In these our days, Mass may be said at practically all hours of the day, in order to facilitate attendance and the receiving of Holy Communion.

    With the shortage of priests following the confusion and mass exodus after Vatican II, this rule has been relaxed. Yet too many priests feel it is a duty, not a privilege to say Mass. They have to do it because it's "my job." What would the Cure d'Ars Saint John Vianney or Blessed Padre Pio say to that? There are priests in the modern rite who complain if they have to cross the street to say Mass, or say two or three Masses on Sunday. Many would rather watch football or socialize with the parishioners. Yet there are traditional priests who will drive over 200 miles round trip every week to say Holy Mass and be thankful to be there. This is why, despite the ignorance and ignoring of the Traditional Latin Mass by the vast majority of bishops who expect it to just die out, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass perpetuated by Pius V will never die but will have a resurgence because of the dedication of the priests and faithful who cherish and will preserve it at all costs.

August 27-29, 2001
volume 12, no. 147
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