December 10-16, 2001
volume 12, no. 160

The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar

Part Twenty-two : The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

The Mass of the Faithful part six - Holy Communion

    In the Tridentine Mass after the Agnus Dei the priest returns to silent prayer in the Prayers for Holy Communion saying the Prayer for Peace -

    Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti Apostolis tuis: Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis: ne respicias peccata mea, sed fidem Ecclesiae tuae: eamque secundum voluntatem tuam, pacificare et coadunare digneris: qui vivis et regnas Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

    "O Lord Jesus Christ, Who has said to Thy Apostles: Peace I leave you, My peace I give you: Look not upon my sins but upon the faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant her peace and unity according to Thy will. Who lives and reigns God, world without end. Amen."

This prayer is juxtaposed in the New Mass, going before the Agnus Dei and leaving out the important words "according to Thy will." Also in the the Novus Ordo the peccata mea - "my sins" said by the priest is now "our sins" which again indicates the people are now performing sacerdotal prayers and duties and the priest is only a 'presider.' In the Tridentine it is after the Agnus Dei that the Kiss of Peace is carried out and only in the Solemn High Mass where only the celebrant, deacon, subdeacon and acolytes partake in this ancient custom with a bow to each side while holding one's hands on the other's shoulders. It was never a handshake and never observed in a Low Mass or Requiem Mass.

    In the Mass of Paul VI here again the people take on the priest's role, often times the choir director intoning the words the priest should say. Also, another abuse that takes place is the addition of words and additional "Lamb of God's" that might be sung. But this is lost for the great wave of laity invade the sanctuary at this point as men and women crowd the area to take their place as Eucharistic ministers, another abuse that further denigrates the priest's consecrated role. While everyone stands with, often times, lay people or altar girls pouring chalices or preparing ciboriums, the 'presider' breaks the Host without the words of the Haec commixtio but rather goes right into,

    "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper."
Then all join him in the "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed." This translation defies the Latin, but more on that shortly. For now it is important to realize that lost are the further cleansing, preparatory words the priest in the Tridentine Mass says silently first the Prayer for Sanctification, then the Prayer for Grace:
    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 inhaerere mandatis, et a te numquam separari permittas. Qui cum eodem Deo Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas Deus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

    Perceptio Corporis tui, Domine Jesu Christe, quod ego indignus sumere praesumo, 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 saecula saeculorum. Amen

    "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who, by the will of the Father, with the cooperation 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 every evil: make me always cling 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, world without end. Amen.

    Let not the partaking of Thy Body, Lord Jesus Christ, which I, though unworthy, presume to receive, turn to my judgment and condemnation; but through Thy loving kindness, may it be to me a safeguard and a remedy for soul and body, Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever. Amen."

    Why such important words were omitted puzzles countless Catholics, who realize the importance of humility and worthily preparing for this most august moment. If the priest, the consecrator and alter Christus who enables us to be in communion with Christ at Holy Communion, needs to pray to be further worthy and cleansed, how much more the faithful? Yet the 'presider' today goes right to receiving the Body and then the Blood with the simple:
    "The body of Christ"

    "The blood of Christ."

    While in the Traditional Mass of the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V the priest genuflects and takes the Host in his hands and says:
    Panem coelestem accipiam, et nomen Domini invocabo

    "I will take the Bread of Heaven, and call upon the Name of the Lord."

He then strikes his breast three times reciting aloud the words of the centurion whose faith and humility merited the healing of his servant.
    Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.

    "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

The bells are rung three times during this. You'll note the Latin translation sed tantum dic verbo, et sanibitur anima mea. Now look at the new English rationalization for this:
    "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I will be healed."
No mention of soul anima mea; no mention of 'enter under my roof' ut intres sub tectum meum. In the new translation it indicates that the body will be healed, whereas the centurion was asking for physical healing for his servants, he knew that his soul would be healed through believing. His Faith made that possible. Do you see how the meaning of the unchangeable words in the Mass are twisted when they are changed and taken out of context or eliminated for expediency sake?

    Speaking of eliminating, in the New Order Mass everybody immediately traipse up for Communion, standing while the priest or lay ministers put the Host in their hands and then in rote they move to the station where the cup is offered, then return to their place and remain standing watching the rest while the choir drones on, making any kind of contemplative thanksgiving prayer, any kind of quiet time with Jesus nigh unto impossible. From the end of Communion to the end of Mass you can often time it: less than five minutes for those who remain until the final procession. Often times many have already left before, during or after Communion to 'beat the traffic.' This mass exodus only gives credence to the fact that so many have lost reverence and respect for the Mass and the True Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Would they leave a king's palace or a president's court before the subject had completed what they had come for? We doubt that very much. Why then would one leave when the King of kings is present?

    Perhaps one reason why so many leave early today in the New Order Mass compared to the Tridentine Mass - where all stayed until the Prayers at the end of the Mass - is also the fact that those attending the True Latin Mass of All Ages were better prepared and immersed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Consider that after the Domine non sum dignus special prayers that properly prepare one - first the priest - then the faithful - to worthily receive Our Lord have been dropped. The priest consumes both parts of the broken Sacred Host after pronouncing the words:

    Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen.

    "May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen."

He then receives the Body of Christ and meditates for a short time in reflection of the awesome gift of Christ Himself Who Father has just received.

    The priest then uncovers the Chalice and genuflects, signaling the altar boy to ring the bell for Holy Communion. As the altar servers move to the Offertory side of the altar, the priest collects whatever particles of the Body of Christ might still be on the corporal and purifies the paten over the Chalice while saying:

    Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae 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 has given me? I will take the chalice of salvation, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord. Praising will I call upon the Lord and I shall be saved from my enemies."

    Father then takes the chalice and, making the Sign of the Cross over it, says:
    Sanguis Domini nostri Jesu Christi custiodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen

    "May the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen."

As the priest consumes the Precious Blood, the altar servers, kneeling say the Confiteor - the third time it is said during Holy Mass - again that significant number three, for the most part lost in the New Mass which seems to relish repeating chanted parts six times instead of three (vg. Alleluia before the Gospel and Amen at the Minor Elevation). When the server/s have completed the Confiteor, Father turns to them and the faithful and gives absolution, another sacramental which the Church implores for us the cleansing and forgiveness of our venial sins. Note: Mortal Sin cannot be forgiven except in the Sacrament of Penance. If you are healthy enough to be at Mass, you are healthy enough to go to confession. Too many in the post-conciliar Church assume they can receive Communion no matter what state their soul is in. This is heresy of the worst kind. One can only receive Our Lord in the state of Sanctifying Grace. There is a new code today that is greatly abused, that being that if one didn't get to confession they can still go to Communion and then go to confession afterwards. This exception, and it is a rare exception applied to dire circumstances, has been widely, widely misunderstood and abused.

    It is another reason Holy Mother Church in her wisdom made the Sacrament of Penance so available prior to Vatican II. It is another reason she placed absolution of venial sins twice within the Mass. It no longer exists as such in the New Order Mass, now called the 'Eucharistic Celebration.' The priest, turning to the servers representing the faithful, he says aloud:

    Misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis tuis, perducat te ad vitam aeternam

    "May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to everlasting life."

The servers respond "Amen" and the priest then blesses the faithful with the Sign of the Cross and the faithful do likewise in grateful reception of the absolution for venial sin on our souls for those in the proper state of grace and temperament as the priest says:
    Indulgentiam, + absolutionem, et remissionem peccatorum nostrorum, tributat nobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus

    "May the Almighty and Merciful Lord grant us pardon, + absolution, and remission of our sins."

    The celebrant then holds a small Sacred Host over the ciborium and announces,

    Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi

    "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world."

The altar server rings the sanctuary bell each of the three time the priest again repeats:
    Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea.
He then gives Holy Communion to each of the servers before moving down to the communion rail where all kneel in total reverence - "every knee shall bend." Before each communicant the priest says the words,
    Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen

    "May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen."

You'll note this is quite different than the abbreviated: "Body of Christ." Not only that, but in the True Roman Rite, the priest pronounces all the words, including the "Amen," not the communicant as in the Novus Ordo. You'll also notice the salvific essense of the words "May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen." Far more definitive. There is that word again "soul" animam a word sorely lacking in the New Mass promulgated by Paul VI. For those who do not receive Holy Communion for whatever reasons, are encouraged to make a spiritual communion with the following prayer:
    "O Jesus, my soul hungers and thirsts after Thee. I long to receive every day Thy most Holy Body. I implore, at least, Thy spiritual presence. I beg of Thee to descend into my soul and give me some share in the infinite merits of Thy death, the memory of which we celebrate in this Mass. Grant, O loving Savior, that I may be made one in union with Thee and Thy Mystical Body."

Next issue: Post Communion: Thanksgiving

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December 10-16, 2001
volume 12, no. 160
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