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in the manner of the offering ; because upon the cross our Saviour offered Himself in such a manner as really to shed his blood, and die for us, whereas now He does not really shed his blood, nor die any more. And therefore this is called an unbloody sacrifice; and that of the cross a bloody sacrifice.
By reason of this near alliance which this sacrifice of the Mass has with the sacrifice of the cross, it completely answers all the different ends of sacrifice, and that in a manner infinitely more perfect than any of the ancient sacrifices. Christ is here both priest and victim, representing in person, and offering up his death and passion to his Fatlier.
This sacrifice of the Mass is offered up to God, in the Catholic Church, first, as a daily remembrance of the passion of Christ: “Do this for a commemoration of me" (St. Luke xxii.). Secondly, as a most solemn worship of the divine Majesty. Thirdly, as a most acceptable thanksgiving to God; from whence it has the name of Eucharist. Fourthly, as a most powerful means to move God to show mercy to us in the forgiveness of our sins; for which reason we call it propitiatory. And, lastly, as a most effectual way to obtain of God all that we want, coming to Him, as we here do, with and through Christ.
For these ends both priest and people ought to offer up the sacrifice of the Mass : the priest, as Christ's minister, and in his person; and the people, by the hands of the priest; and both the one and the other, by the hands of the great High-Priest, Jesus Christ. And with this offering of Christ's, both the one and the other ought to make a total offering of themselves also by his hands, and in union with Him.
Il The Public Ceremonies of the Church. Although the homage which man owes to his Creator $0 essentially consists in the interior dispositions of the soul, that without these all outward worship is unprofitable and rain, yet the constitution of onr nature is such as to require external signs and ceremonies, which may operate through the medium of the bodily senses upon our souls, and elevate them to God. To this čnd are directed all the Ceremonies of the Church, and it is the Christian's duty to learn to use them accordingly. Hence
1. The custom of placing a vessel containing blessed or HOLY WATER at the entrance of the church has been handed down to us from the Apostolic age. Into this the faithful dip the fingers of the right hand, and form upon themselves the sign of the cross, repeating at the same time the invocation of the ever-blessed Trinity. As water denotes purity and innocence, by using it on enter. ing a place of worship, we are admonished with what cleanliness of heart and hand we should appear in the presence of our Maker.
2. The sign OF THE CROSS, which we make upon ourselves in using holy water, as well as on many other occasions, is a sign or ceremony in which, with St. Paul (Gal. vi. 14), we should place our greatest happiness and glory, as being a striking memorial of the sufferings and death of our Redeemer,--that mystery whence are derived all our hopes for mercy, grace, and salvation. By the words that accompany this ceremony, we are no less forcibly reminded that the God whom we serve, although One in nature, exists in Three Persons really distinct from each other.
3. The first ohject that arrests the Christian's notice on entering the church is, the altar, with its tabernacle and crucifix. The Altar is the place of sacrifice-as it were, another Calvary, whicreon is celebrated, as Christ ordained, the memorial of his passion and death by the pure and unbloody sacrifice of his body and blood. Upon the altar we always have a CRUCIFIX, or image of our Saviour upon the cross, that, as the Mass is said in remembrance of Christ's passion and death, both priest and people may have before their eyes during this sacrifice the image which puts them in mind of those mysteries. The TABERNACLE contains the consecrated species. It is to Jesus Christ, therefore, truly present within the tabernacle, that we bend the knee in homage and adoration when we enter or depart from the church.
4. Vestments : As the Mass represents the passion of Christ and the priest officiates in his person, so the vestments in which he officiates represent those with which Christ was ignominiously clothed at the time of his passion. Thus the Amice represents the cloth or rag with which the Jews inuffled our Saviour's face, when at every blow they bid Him prophesy who it was that struck Him (St. Luke xii. 64). The Alb represents the white garment with which He was vested by Herod. The Girdle, Maniple, and Stole, represent the cords and bands with which He was bound in the different stages of his passion. The Chasuble, or outward vestment, represents the purple garment with which He was clothed as a mock King: upon the back of which there is a cross, to represent that which Christ bore on his sacred shoulders. Lastly, the priest's Tonsure or crown is to represent the crown of thorns which our Saviour wore.
Moreover, as, in the old law, the priests that were wont to officiate in the sacred functions had, by the appointment of God, vestments assigned for that purpose, as well for the greater decency and solemnity of the divine wor. ship as to signify and represent the virtues which God required of his ministers, so it was proper that, in the Church of the New Testament, Christ's ministers should in their sacred functions be distinguished, in like manner, from the laity by their sacred vestments; which might also represent the virtues which God requires in them. Thus the Amice, which is first put upon the head, represents divine hope, which the apostle calls the helmet of salvation; the Alb, innocence of life; the Girdle (with which the loins are begirt), purity and chastity; the Maniple (put on the left arm), patient suffering of the labours of this mortal life; the Stole, the sweet yoke of Christ, to be borne in this life, in order to a happy immortality; in fine, the Chasuble, which is uppermost, and covers all the rest, represents the virtue of charity.
Ju these vestments the Church makes use of five colours, viz. the white on the feasts of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, of the angels, and of the saints that were not martyrs; the red on the feasts of Pentecost, of the finding and the exaltation of the cross, and of the apostles and martyrs; the purple, which is the penitential colour, in the penitential tines of Advent and Lent, and upon Vigils and Ember-days; the green on most
other Sundays and ordinary days throughout the year, and the black on Good Friday, and in Masses for the Dead.
5. There are always LIGHTED CANDLES upon the altar during Mass, as well to lionour the victory and triumph of our great KING by these lights, which are tokens of our joy and of his glory, as to denote the light of faith, with which we are to approach to Him.
6. A small belL is occasionally ring. This is done to give notice to sucli as cannot see the altar of certain more solemn parts of the sacrifice; to recall the wandering mind from distraction, and to excite all to greater fervour and devotion.
7. INCENSE is symbolical of prayer, according to that of holy Darid: Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed as incense, in Thy sight.
III. The Manner of hearing Mass. When you are going to hear Mass, let your first care be to endeavour to recollect yourself, as well as you can, by calling home your wandering thoughts, and taking them off from all other concerns. Imagine that you hear within you the sweet voice of your Saviour, inviting you to come to his sacrifice, and to unite yourself to Him.
In your way to the church or chapel, place yourself in spirit in the company of the Blessed Virgin, and the other pious women going to Mount Calvary sent at the passion and death of our Lord. Represent your Saviour as carrying his cross before you, to be crucified upon it for your sins, and bewail these sins of yours as the causes of all his sufferings.
When you enter the church or chapel, humble yourself profoundly in the presence of God, whose house you come into; and if the Blessed Sacrament be kept there, adore your Saviour upon your bended knees. At taking of Holy Water make the sign of the cross upon yourself, beg pardon for your sins, and humbly crave that you may be washed and cleansed from them by the Blood of the Lamb.
When you kneel dowo, represent to yourself, by a lively faith, the majesty of God, and humbly beg his mercy and grace, that you may assist at this tremendous sacrifice in the manner you ought.
DEVOTIONS FOR MASS.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
At the beginning of the Mass the priest, at the foot of the altar, makes the sign of the cross, saying, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen; and then recites with the clerk the 420 Psalm., “ Judica ine, Deus, &C., Judge me, O God," which you may either recite with him, or pray as follows:
A Prayer at the beginning of the Mass.
O Almighty Lord of heaven and earth, behold I, a wretched sinner, presume to appear before thee this day, to offer up to thee by the hands of our High-Priest, Jesus Christ, thy Son, the sacrifice of his Body and Blood, in union with the sacrifice which he offered to thee upon the cross : first, for thinc own honour, praise, adoration, and glory ; secondly, in remembrance of his death and passion; thirdly, in thanksgiving for all thy blessings bestowed on thy wliole Church, whether triumphant in heaven or militant on earth, and especially for those bestowed on me, the most unworthy of all; fourthly, for obtaining pardon and remission of all my