« PrécédentContinuer »
be succoured and secured by him who lives and reigns to everlasting ages. Amen.
May our Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evils, and bring us to life everlasting: And may the souls of the faithful departed, thro the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Then if time permits say the Letanies of the B. Virg.
What the Mass is, and for what ends it is to be offered.
Rom the beginning of the
were always accustomed to offer sacrifice to him: by way of acknowledging his sovereignty, and paying their homage to him: and in all ancient religions, true or false, this worship of sacrifice was always looked upon as a most solemn act of religion, due to the deity which they worshipped.
2. In the law of nature, and in the law of Moses, there was a great variety of sacrifices; some bloody, in which the victim was slain, others unbloody: some were called holocaust sy
or whole burnt-offerings, in which the whole host or victim was consumed in fire upon God's altar, for his hḥnour and glory; others were called sinofferings, which were offered for vins ; others were offerings of thanksgiving; others, in fine, were pacific, or peaceofferings, which were offered for obtaining favours of God; the word peace, in the scripture style, signifying all manner of good and prosperity.
3. All these sacrifices of the law of nature, and of the law of Moses, were of themselves but weak and needy ele ments, types and figures of a sacrifice to come, viz. that of Jesus Christ; in consideration of which sacrifice alone, and of the faith of the offerers, by which they believed in this Redeemer to come, those ancient sacrifices were then accepted by the divine Majesty, when they were accompanied with the inward sacrifice of the heart : but not for any intrinsic worth or dignity of the things offered; for no other blood but the blood of Christ could wash away our sins. Hence, in the 39th Psalm, spoken in the person of Christ to his Father, we read: Sacrifice and obla
oblation thou didst not desire, but a bady : thou hast fitted to me. So St. Paul reads. it, Heb. x. 5. Burnt-offering and sinoffering thou didst not require; then, said I, Behold I come, To give us to understand, that by reason of the insufficiency of the sacrifices of the old. law, Christ himself would come to be our sacrifice, and would offer up his own body and blood for us.
4. Accordingly our Saviour Jesus Christ, at the time appointed by his Father, having taken flesh for us, was pleased to offer himself a sacrifice for us all, dying upon the cross for the sins of the whole world. By this one offering we were completely redeemed, in as much as our ransom was paid, and all mercy, grace, and salvation were purchased for us. Neither can there now be any need of his dying any more or purchasing any other graces. for us than those for which he has already paid the price of his blood.
5. Nevertheless, for the daily application of this one eternal redemption to our souls, and that the mercy, grace, and salvation which he has. purchased for us, may be actually com
municated to us, he not only continally appears in our behalf in the sanctuary of heaven, there representing and offering to his Father his death and passion for us, but has also instituted the blessed Eucharist, the night before his passion, in which he has bequeathed us his body and blood under the sacramental veils, not only to be received by us as a sacrament, for the food and nourishment of our souls, but also to be offered and presented by his ministers to his Father mystically broken and shed, as a sacrifice: not by way of a new death, but by way of a standing memorial of his death; a daily celebrating and representing his death to God, and an applying to our souls the fruits of it.
6. This Eucharistic sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ, daily offered under the forms of bread and wine, in remembrance of his passion, is what we call the Mass. This is the solemn liturgy of the catholic church. This is that pure-offering which is made to God in every place among the gentiles, according to the prophecy of Malachi, i. 10, 11. By this Christ is a priest for