Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


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Confiteor Deo… The priest saying the Confiteor represents Christ falling down and sweating blood at Mt. Oremus The priest going to the Epistle side represents Christ being captured, bound and taken to Annas. Dominus vobiscum The priest saying the Dominus vobiscum represents Christ looking at Peter and converting him.


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In spiritu humilitatis… The priest covering the chalice represents Christ being crowned with thorns. Lavabo… The priest washing his hands represents Christ being declared innocent by Pilate. Communicantes The priest making the memento for the living represents Christ carrying the cross to Mount Calvary. Hanc igitur The priest blessing the bread and wine represents Christ being nailed to the cross. Memento The priest praying in a low voice represents Christ seeing His afflicted Mother at the foot of the cross.

Fraction of the Host The priest breaking and separating the host represents Christ giving up His spirit. Haec commixtio… The priest letting a portion of the host fall into the chalice represents His soul going to Limbo. With even better reason we try to assess the "quality" of their participation in the Mass; their understanding of its nature and their application to their own lives of what it should mean for them.

And we often think of the ways in which we can help them. This is where our catechists on the Mass must come in: a constant catechesis, with big groups and small groups, with Sundays congregations and very particularly with the weekday ones; a constant and simple catechesis that is not afraid to drive home the basic points by dint of repetition.

The following commentaries one for each day of the month were first prepared for school use, with the idea of repeating them once every two or three months. They can easily be adapted for use on a different basis. The person-to-person style is no doubt more suited to the spoken word or to be put down in writing, but it seemed preferable not to change it. The Holy Mass is the holiest thing we have here on earth. Because it is the action of Christ. The main thing in the Mass is not what is read from the Holy Scriptures, even though this is the word of God and should be listened to as such.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: The True Renewal — or a Mere Memorial?

The main thing in the Mass is not what the priest preaches in his sermon nor what the people do or sing. The main thing is what Christ does. And what does Christ do in the Holy Mass? He offers himself for us, as he offered himself on the Cross. He sacrifices himself for us. That is why we say that the Mass is the same Sacrifice as that of the Cross renewed in an unbloody manner on the altar. On the altar just on the Cross, Christ offers his body and blood for us.

The difference is that on the Cross his body and blood were visible to the eyes of those who were present, while in the Mass they are hidden under the appearances of bread and wine. But they are really present. This is the great fact. In each Mass, Christ is really present and renews the Sacrifice of the Cross. But to love the Mass does not mean just being present and no more.

It means to be present with faith and devotion. It means to take part in the Mass, realizing what it is: the Sacrifice of the Cross renewed on the altar; and realizing that when we go to Mass, we go, as it were, to Calvary. And that we should be present there, like our Blessed Lady beside the Cross, in loving contemplation of Christ who offers himself lovingly for each one of us. The holy Eucharist is the "mystery of faith. Without faith, the most you could see in this is a gesture, a symbol, nothing more. With faith you know that at the moment of the Consecration which is when the priest says, "This is my body," "This is the cup of my blood" the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ who is then really present as God and as Man sacrificing himself for us on the altar as he sacrificed himself on the cross.

If you come to Mass without faith, or with little faith you will easily get distracted and perhaps even bored. What a sad thing to get bored with Christ's sacrifice! Would we have been bored if we had been present at Calvary? If we hadn't faith, perhaps we would. Or at least we would have completely failed to understand what the death of that Man nailed to the cross really meant.

You will only begin to understand the greatness of the Mass if you have faith. Stir up your faith. And then you will always be amazed at the Mass, you will realize that it is the greatest thing we possess here on earth. What else should you do, besides having a lot of faith, if you want to attend Holy Mass well? You should identify yourself with Christ. You should remember the Scriptures and have "the same mind" "that he had on the cross cf.

Phil The same mind which means the same purposes. What purposes did Jesus have on the cross? What was he concerned about? We can sum up his ends or purposes as four: to give glory to God the Father; to thank him; to make up for the sins of men; and to ask him for graces for us. If each time you go to Mass, you try to live at least one of these four purposes, you will attend Holy Mass well. God is our Creator. He is the Lord of the whole world.

We depend on him for everything. He is infinite, eternal, all-powerful.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: The True Renewal — or a Mere Memorial?

His infinite greatness and goodness ought to fill us with amazement and enthusiasm. When people get enthused about God, they want to praise him, they want to adore him. Jesus Christ, with his humanity, gave perfect glory to God the Father from the cross, and he continues to do so from the altar. If you unite yourself to him, you will be offering a perfect sacrifice of adoration and praise. Pay special attention to the Gloria and the Sanctus.

God is infinitely good. And all the good things we have, have come from him: life, family, sanctifying grace, faith, the sacraments, the gift of his Mother And so many other natural and supernatural gifts.

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It is good to give thanks. The person who is too proud to say "Thank You" is not only ungrateful but is bound to end up being unhappy. Unite yourself to our Lord in the Mass, giving thanks, and you will see how you also become more optimistic as a result, because you will become more and more convinced of the goodness of God.

Jesus is perfect God and perfect Man. He is all-holy. Therefore he has not and could not have been guilty of any sin. But, as the Holy Scriptures says, he took our sins on himself and made up for them. He did penance for us by dying on the cross. If we want to take part properly in the Holy Mass, we must be sorry for our sins. The person who is not sorry for his sins will never understand or love the Mass, nor will he ever really take part in it. But the person who comes to Mass with real sorrow for his sins, will draw from it great strength to fight against temptations and to realize that, despite his weaknesses, God loves him very much.

The penitential act the "I confess" that we all say together at the start of the Mass does not pardon mortal sins. Forgiveness of mortal sins has to be obtained in the sacrament of penance. It is also important to remember that a person who has committed a mortal sin cannot go to communion unless he goes to confession beforehand. But the penitential act, if it is said well, certainly helps to obtain pardon for present venial sins as well as to stir up new sorrow for past sins that have already been forgiven. In this way it helps us to purify ourselves and so to take better part in the Holy Mass.

Our God is a merciful and a very generous God. He longs to give. He wants to give us what is absolutely the best, what is the greatest gift imaginable: eternal life and all the help we need to make it ours. God wants to give. But he also wants to be asked: "Ask and you shall receive. However, it is wise, when asking, to be able to back up our petition with some proof of special merit on our part.

This is where we seem to run into a big difficulty. For when we look at ourselves, we see ourselves so full of defects and so lacking in merits that there seems to be no reason why God should ever heed our petitions.


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  • That is why we look to the merits of Christ, and to those of our Lady and the saints. That is why, if we are sensible, we unite our prayer to the prayer of Christ. Christ's prayer is always effective because it is simply impossible that God the Father should not listen to the prayer of his beloved Son.

    Jesus prayed for us on the cross. He continues praying for us on the altar. When we pray in the Holy Mass, therefore, and unite our prayers to that of Jesus, we can be sure that our requests will be heard by God the Father. Holy Scripture is God's word. God speaks to us in the inspired books, so that we can know what we have to believe and what we have to do, in order to get to heaven. After each reading we say, "Thanks be to God. Because it is a wonderful thing that God speaks to us, that he addresses his words to us in these holy books, pointing out to us the way to heaven. It is another marvelous proof of his love for us.

    That is why we thank him. They tell us of the things he did and the words he spoke during his life here on earth. We stand at attention, as it were in order to listen to the Gospel. This should be a sign to others and a reminder to ourselves that we are ready and determined to put into practice what we are listening to. You will have noticed how, just before the priest begins to read the Gospel, he turns towards the altar or the tabernacle, bows down and prays.

    The Mass Explained

    What he is doing is to ask God for grace to be able to proclaim the good news of the Gospel well. At that moment you too would do well to ask for grace to be able to listen to the Gospel joyfully, to understand it and to put it into practice. This is said on Sundays and the bigger feasts. We declare our faith.

    Cochem's Explanation of the holy sacrifice of the Mass

    Do we really believe in the things we say in the Creed? Of course! But do we realize how big these things are? We believe in God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is One and Three, who created us, who redeemed us by means of his Son, Jesus Christ, who sanctifies us, giving us a share in his own life by means of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit and that of the holy Church who forgives us always always provided we are sorry and ask for his pardon , and who is determined to bring us to heaven.

    There are some people who live in a closed world, as if they were inside a tunnel. Faith brings us out of the tunnel and let us live in the wonderful world of God. To declare our faith, as we do in the Creed, is something that should fill its with wonder, thanks and joy.

    We have ended the liturgy of the word. Now we start the eucharistic liturgy in which the main actions of the Mass take place. The eucharistic liturgy is made up of three main parts: the presentation of the gifts, the eucharistic prayer or Canon with the consecration , and the communion. In the presentation of the gifts or the offertory the priest and we with him offers the hosts some small particles of unleavened bread and small quantity of wine. What he offers is really very little. We could say that it has practically no value. But, it should represent us.

    If you want to learn to take proper part in the Holy Mass, it is important that you learn to offer yourself and to offer all that is yours in this moment of the Mass. Take all of that and put it on the paten beside the hosts, those small pieces of bread. Put it on the chalice with the wine. Jesus Christ is going to come to this altar within a few minutes. There are many ways in which he could have chosen to come. But he has wished to come by marvelously turning the bread and the wine into his own body and blood.

    He has wished to come by means of transubstantiation, by which something that we offer him, something that is ours, is changed into his body and blood, while of the bread and wine only the appearances remain. The bread and the wine are our gifts, our offering to God. They will be your gift and your offering if you make them yours, if you put yourself there, on the paten with the bread, in the chalice with the wine. If you let yourself get distracted at the moment when the priest is offering the gifts, then the bread and the wine will be other people's gifts, something that other people offer to God.

    But they won't be your gifts, because you have not offered them, you have not offered yourself with them. Now do you see how important it is not to get distracted at the moment of the offertory? We have seen how in the presentation of the gifts, we offer to God a little bread and wine. We have seen too that these offerings ought to represent us.


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    In themselves they are things of little value, but our affection accompanies them. Now think of what is going to happen to these gifts of ours. At the moment of the consecration, God is going to change them into something divine: into himself. From bread and wine they become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man! Up to the moment of the consecration our offering to God has practically no value. From the moment on, it has infinite value!

    Doesn't this help you see the importance of offering yourself with the bread and the wine so that they represent your day, your life? If you do this you are participating in the Mass, and God will gradually do with your life what he does with the bread and wine. He will gradually turn your life your ordinary everyday life into something with divine value in his eyes. Your life your work, your rest, your sports, your friendships if you associate it closely to the Holy Mass, will be a sanctified life, which means sanctified work, sanctified rest, sanctified sports, sanctified friendships.

    Unite yourself well to the Holy Mass. We have spoken of how we ought to offer ourselves on the paten with the bread, and in the chalice with the wine. You have probably noticed how the priest, before he offers the chalice, adds a few drops of water to the wine, the wine that will soon be turned into the blood of our Lord. These drops of water which are dissolved in the wine and therefore also turn into the Blood of Christ represent us and all that we offer to God with Christ.

    Consider what happens next.

    After offering the bread and wine, the priest turns to the people and invites them to pray "so that our sacrifice," he says my sacrifice and yours "may be acceptable to God the Father Almighty," Don't pass over this too lightly: the sacrifice of the Mass is Christ's action, Christ's sacrifice. But it is also the sacrifice of the priest and of the people. It is your sacrifice if you have made it yours, if you have really put some part of yourself into this sacrifice. The Preface introduces the Canon which is the central and most solemn part of the Holy Mass.

    Let us think for a moment what our God is like. He is all powerful he can do anything. He is infinite Love he loves us as no one else could ever love us. He is all goodness and truth and greatness he became Man out of love for us; he died on the cross to redeem us; and then he overcame death by rising again. All of this should fill us with gratitude and joy.

    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
    Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

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