Traditional Mass

Friday, November 03, 2006


The Sacrifice of the altar is no mere commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross. It is one and the same Victim; the same Person now offers it by the ministry of His priests who then offered Himself on the Cross, the manner of offering alone being different. . . . The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person the human priest represents. The priest by reason of his ordination is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power to act in virtue of Christ's very person. In his priestly activity he lends his tongue and hands to Christ.

The Victim is the same, our divine Redeemer in His human nature with His true Body and Blood. The manner of offering, however, is different. On the Cross He willingly and completely offered Himself to God by a bloody death. On the altar, as Christ is glorified and death cannot touch Him, the shedding of His Blood is impossible. Yet by divine plan the Sacrifice of Christ is shown forth by external signs which are the symbols of His death. For by the transubstantiation of bread into His Body and wine into His Blood, His Body and Blood are both really present. The Eucharistic species under which He is present symbolize the actual separation of His body and blood. Thus the Sacrifice of Calvary is repeated in every sacrifice of the altar. It is the commemorative representation of His death on Calvary, for Christ is symbolically shown by separate symbols to be in a state of victimhood. [Excerpted from 'Mediator Dei', Pius XII]