Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Friday, August 17, 2007



THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
Continued . . .

35d--A DRAMA IN FOUR ACTS

Nothing could be easier to prove!
Act I: The Mass of the Catechumens or Mass Prelude, from the Introit to the Offertory.
Act II: The Offertory. From the Oblation to the Sanctus.
Act III: The Consecration. From the Sanctus to the Pater Noster.
Act IV: The Communion. From the Pater Noster to the end of the Mass.

To stage this drama we need:
1. A stage. This is the altar with its raised platform, enabling the "audience" to see and hear what is taking place.
2. A cast. The visible "cast" is composed of the priest, the server, and all those who are offering the Mass along with the priest. (Our Lord, who plays the lead, is invisible.)
3. A prompter. This role belongs to all those who are present at Mass. For the role of the faithful at Mass is to offer up Christ and themselves with Him to the Heavenly Father. The prayers and gestures of the priest are an invitation to this twofold oblation. Those who participate in the Holy Sacrifice, should follow the priest at the altar, inwardly reproducing his movements and gestures. They ought not only to follow him with their eyes, but repeat along with him the same words. That is why we say that they are "prompters" in this great drama. (Hence, the necessity of a good missal.)

It should be noted however, that a mere mumbling of the prayers of the Mass to oneself, without having brought one's share in the Sacrifice, means leaving out the main part altogether. For the Mass, as we know now, does not consist in prayers and formulas; but consists above all in the inner immolation of each Christian, united to that of his brothers and of Christ, to the glory of the Trinity.

That is why, even should you not know how to read, even should you not understand the words of the mass, you can take part--and that actively--in the Holy Sacrifice. provided you bring your sacrifices to be offered along with Christ's sacrifice. This is very important to remember: for it is the condition required for having your Mass bring about the constant ascension of your soul toward God.
[From 'Your mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]