In the early days of the Church, those who were not baptized were sent out of the Church after the Mass of the Catechumens for the completion of the homily and the Creed signaled the beginning of the Mass of the Faithful. Today, this has been brought back during preparation for becoming a Catholic.
The groundwork for the mind has been accomplished through the first part or the Liturgy of the Word. Now comes the foundation for feeding the soul: the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Then, as now, this vital part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass begins with the Offertory. This consists of two parts: the offering of the bread on the paten and the offering of the wine in the chalice. Then as now, they have to be offered separately, not together. Water is mixed with wine because Jesus did the same at the Last Supper. Though the prayers have been shortened in the Novus Ordo the essence remains the same. In fact, the congregation is brought more into it today by responding “Blessed be God forever” after the priest has said “Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.” This is repeated for the wine with the same response. The "Orate, Frates" has remained the same throughout the ages.
The phrasing for the Secret of the Mass and the Canon of the Mass has been incorporated into the Eucharistic Prayer. This includes the Preface which is geared to the season, intention of the Mass or feast. Yet this is always prceded by the same response leading into the Consecration Ceremony "Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo", etc. "The Lord be with you. And also with you." It actually should be translated “And with your spirit.”
The Sanctus has not changed in all this time. What has changed is the procedure for either kneeling, sitting or standing. The proper mode is to kneel for we are about to witness the greatest miracle ever the Transsubstantiation when the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Soul and Divinity. For God Himself has said in Isaiah 45:23 “To Me every knee shall bend”. The Apostle Saint Paul reiterates this in Phillippians 2:10, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in Heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”
The only difference between the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass is that on the former Jesus physically shed His Blood, while in the latter there is no physical shedding of blood nor physical death because Christ has already been immolated once. By His death He gained for us the merit and, through the Mass, applies to us that merit and reward of His Bloody death through the unbloody oblation of His Body and Blood during Mass.
Therefore, during the Consecration when the priest elevates the Host and the Chalice to commemorate the lifting up of Our Lord on the Cross when on Calvary He gave up His life in sacrifice, and as Our Lord becomes present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, we should kneel in devotional respect and raise our eyes in adoration, making our own Christ's sacrifice through the preist, for we are Christ’s community. His "Holy people." In many churches the bells are still rung by the servers. And it is a tradition that should be resurrected in all parishes for it calls to the faithfuls' attention these most sacred and profound moments.
This brings us to another point that we must address. Up until a few years ago, the servers have always been altar boys. Now, the bishops have been able to effect that there be altar girls. Though we are not in favor, we are always obedient to the Magisterium. This is the crux of our faith: Obedience. It bears the greatest fruit and therefore we must be obedient to the directives each bishop sets down and if their episcopacy deigns altar girls are accepted, or that you stand or sit instead of kneel, accept these in obedience but always show the utmost reverence during Mass for truly Jesus Christ, Kiing of Kings is there before us in all His glory...no matter the distractions.
Whereas in the Gregorian era the congregation was silent and, for the most part, quite passive, today we take a more active part in the Mass such as immedicately after the Elevation reciting a particular Mystery of Faith dependent on the season, intention of the Mass or feast day. The prayers for the living and dead, bringing to mind the Church Triumphant, Church Militant and Church Suffering have basically remained the same over the ages. The same for the Doxology or Little Elevation in which the celebrant raises the chalice and Sacred Host together from the altar, raising them up to God as an oblation. As in the Papal Mass established by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, so today the congregation stand after the Amen in preparation for the Lord’s Prayer.
In the next installment we shall cover part two of the Liturgy of the Eucharist with the Communion and Post Communion.
Next Wednesday: Installment Eighteen: The Gregorian Plan of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Eucharist - part two
Death of the antipope Clement III during the reign of the real authorized pontiff Pope Paschal II. Clement was one of many antipopes during this era. Clement opposed the policies of the great Hildebrand who became Pope Saint Gregory VII. Clement tried to be a thorn in the side of many official pontiffs but the Church survived despite his interference.
Birth of Richard the Lionhearted who would go on to become King of England and lead a Crusade.
The lacksadaisical Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II Hohenstauffen finally sets sail on the Fifth Crusade but his inaction cost the Christian forces dearly and because of his indifference and disobedience he would eventually be excommunicated and be a thorn in the Holy See's side.
Saint Joan of Arc is wounded in battle at Paris in her attempt to recapture the city and retreated to remount a campaign the following spring that would end in her capture.
The magnificent work of art of the Psalmist "David" by the master Michelangelo is revealed to the public for the first time. It had been commissioned by Pope Alexander VI and was first displayed during the reign of Pope Julius II who is the Pope who clashed with Michelangelo while he was working on the Sistine Chapel.
Pope Leo XIII issues his 44th encyclical Magnae Dei Matris on the Holy Rosary.
Pope Leo XIII releases his 47th encyclical Laetitiae sanctae also on the Rosary which commended devotion to the Rosary.
Pope Leo XIII follows up with another encyclical, his 53rd, on the Rosary Iucunda semper expectatione.
Pope Leo XIII ushers his 67th encyclical Depuis le jour aimed at the French bishops on education of the clergy.
Pope Saint Pius X issues the landmark encyclical, his 11th, Pascendi dominici gregis on the doctrines of the Modernists, warning all of this threat.
Pope Pius XI issues his 12th encyclical of his regime Rerum Orientalium on promoting Oriental studies.
Pope Pius XII issues his 23th encyclical Sempiternus Rex Christus on the Council of Chalcedon.
Pope Pius XII releases his 27th encyclical Fulgens corona in which he proclaimed a Marian Year to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the proclaiming of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
Pope Pius XII issues his 40th encyclical Miranda prorsus - another landmark encyclical in which the Holy Father broaches the subject of television, radio and films.
As Bishop Belo arrived in Australia, just days after his home and offices were burned by anti-independence militias and he had to flee to the neighboring diocese of Baucau, he called on world powers to save his homeland. "They are very sad and they feel they are unable to fight against all the waves of violence," said the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "They expect that the international community should act, urgently -- immediately -- to protect the people."
Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. In January, President B.J. Habibie proposed a referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy within Indonesia or full independence, with the pro-independence results of last Monday's poll being released on Saturday. Anti-independence forces, trained and armed by Indonesia's military, then went on a rampage killing hundreds and displacing tens of thousands from their homes as Indonesian security forces looked on.
About 2,000 refugees who had sought shelter in the grounds of Bishop Belo's residence -- previously regarded as once of the capital's untouchable bastions -- were rounded up at gunpoint and moved out of Dili by the military. Their fate is unknown, but it is understood they were sent by truck and boat out of East Timor. An American Catholic nun recently returned from the village of Aileu said that the town was burning when she left Monday and people were being ordered onto trucks. "There never was any militia in Aileu, it is the Indonesian army that's doing this," she said from her hiding place in Dili.
Bishop Belo joined the evacuation of UN personnel -- in the country to monitor the vote -- and journalists from Bacau by the Australian Air Force after their compound came under sustained fire. He said he would travel to Rome this week to seek Pope John Paul II's advice.
"Washington," the article begins, "is voicing opposition even to the thought of Pope John Paul II visiting Iraq as part of his tour of biblical sites in the Middle East region on the occasion of the advent of the third Millennium."
Even though no concrete itinerary has been confirmed by the Vatican, it is expected that the Pope would like to include at least a brief visit to Iraq, which has set off an international debate as to whether or not the Iraqi regime would exploit such a high profile visit by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to its advantage.
"While it is obvious that the purpose of the Pope's trip to Iraq to visit the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham is purely religious," the editorial affirms, "Washington insists on viewing it as politically charged."
The article points out that "the U.S. has made its views well-known to the Vatican" that they do not consider a trip at this time to Iraq the politically correct thing to do.
"Perhaps what worries the Clinton administration," the author suggests, "is the Vatican's open rejection of the sanctions ... being applied against Iraq which it regards as a form of collective punishment against the innocent Iraqi people."
"At a time when the international community is voicing increasing concern over and opposition to the imposition of the nearly decade-old grueling and indiscriminate sanctions on Iraq," it says, "only a few countries, notably the U.S. and Britain, still cling to the bankrupt sanctions policy."
The article further questions Washington's other efforts to block any kind of recognizance mission whatsoever to Iraq in order to observe first-hand the real social and economic situation of the country.
"Even the impending benign visit by U.S. congressional aides to Iraq to gather information on the implications of the sanctions on the Iraqi people," the editorial sustains, "is being fought tooth and nail by Washington."
"Perhaps the U.S. does not want the truth about the dire effects of the sanctions on the Iraqi people, especially on their children, to be further documented for the whole international community to hear and see," it suggests.
In conclusion, the author asks: "How else can one explain the opposition to the visit of the Pope, the assistants of members of the U.S. Congress and other groups of people whose only agenda is to get at the truth behind the sanctions against Iraq and its people?." ZE99090627
Meanwhile, Catholic World News reports that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has ordered that improvements be made to the ancient city of Ur, birthplace of the biblical patriarch Abraham, in anticipation of a visit by Pope John Paul II later this year, according to newspapers in Baghdad on Tuesday.
According to the reports, the Iraqi government set up a commission representing the Presidential Office and the ministries of culture, religious affairs, and information. The articles said the committee will submit proposals, but made no mention of the papal visit.
The politically sensitive trip to Iraq is part of the Holy Father's plan to visit significant sites in the Old and New Testaments as part of millennial celebrations. Ur is 200 miles south of Baghdad in a desert area and contains the Ziggurat, a three-tiered pyramid, among the oldest in the world.
Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid of the Eastern-rite Chaldean Church said in a French interview on Friday that the official announcement of the trip would be made by Iraq and the Vatican this week, and that the date of the trip would be set for early December.
In a letter sent yesterday to the Colombian radio network Caracol, the rebels apologized to the Pope for kidnapping the bishop of Tibu, but called it "a desperate measure to attract the nation's attention" to what they describe as "the systematic murder of peasants by paramilitary groups logistically supported by the Army."
The EPL also said in its message that they want the Pontiff's support for the creation of an international tribunal headed by the Colombian episcopate to probe human rights violations in the region. The message was sent with proof that Bishop Quintero and the other six people kidnapped by the EPL are alive and well.
Hours after the statement was made public, Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo, president of the Colombian Bishops' Conference, announced that an agreement was reached with the EPL for the "prompt release" of Bishop Quintero. In exchange, the bishops have agreed to head a humanitarian commission -- not an International tribunal -- that will include Archbishop Giraldo, the Bishop Gustavo Marin of Pamplona, as well as Americo Incaldaterra and Javier Hernandez, both delegates in the Bogota bureau of the UN High Commission for Human Rights.
Today, Greek Orthodox leaders are meeting to discuss the proposal. They say that the Holy Father must receive the invitation of the Holy Synod and its primate Archbishop Christodoulos if he wants to be received as a religious leader. Given the opposition among conservatives, an invitation seems unlikely, though the Pope did visit Orthodox Romania earlier this year.
Archbishop Chirstodoulos' spokesman, Theoklitos Koumarianos stated, "The Pope can come here as a visitor. This does not mean we have to welcome him as the head of a church." The Greek clergy has long been suspicious that Rome is trying to spread its influence eastward.
Archbishop Christodoulos met with Cardinal Edward Cassidy on Sunday to discuss the visit, which would promote a pan-Christian encounter during the Jubilee. There are an estimated 50,000 Greek Catholics in the overwhelmingly Orthodox country, mostly living on the islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. ZE99090621