Most Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass
We are Clueless
the foggiest idea what is going on during Mass.
You may not even know why you're there.
The reasons are many:
what Catholics do and I am Catholic.
I want my kids to grow up in this tradition that comes from my parents,
grandparents, and forebears throughout the 2000 years preceding
my coming into this world through them.
It is something good to do and it is holy ... although why it is
good and why it is holy remains a mystery to me.
My friends go ... although they do not know why either.
I need God’s
help, and if I go to Mass He will look favorably on me.
God is there ... although just how He is there, I do not understand
– after all, God is everywhere, right? – so why is this
place so special?
Do not be ashamed. It is not your fault. There are answers
— good answers — for all the questions this short list brings up.
were never taught.
It is really that simple. No one took the time to sit down and talk
with you about what is the most important event in your
life – and it occurs every 7 days. In fact, whatever else
you do during the other 167 hours of the week (job, school, charity
– in fact, every other responsibility, necessity, or good work)
however good, kind, lofty, noble, pales in significance
to the Mass.
Before you go further in this brief study – and it is a study
that we invite you to — of the single most important thing in your life,
we must make a promise to you first: it will not be
dry or boring, nor will it be fraught with meaningless pieties. You
will understand what the Mass is, why it is holy, and why you must be
there. This is our promise to you.
It will not be “socially correct”, sanitized to sensitivities,
or keeping in step with the passing fads that blow through the pews
and across the Altars as so many shifting winds following that elusive
mantra of “what is in vogue”. There is perpetuity in the Church, and
unchangeable elements of the Mass. Hopefully, we will enable you to
see beyond the Mass so often presented as entertainment, hosted by an
entertainer, to the deep and very sacred reality within it.
as we most often call it, is really short for,
Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”.
a moment on those 7 words, for they contain quite nearly everything
that you will need to know in order to understand why you go to Church,
or why you ought to.
The Mass, first and foremost, is a Sacrifice.
Not a figurative sacrifice, not a mere remembrance of something done
long ago, and not a metaphor. It is a real sacrifice. At Mass you are
witnessing – even participating in – a sacrifice, very real and very
Does that surprise you?
We do not hear very much about this — but unless we understand
this most fundamental, this absolutely central
aspect of the Mass, nothing else makes sense. Our lack of understanding
the Mass as a Sacrifice contributes to most of the confusion
that surrounds our going there and being there.
But what is the nature of this Sacrifice, and how is it enacted? Who
does the sacrificing and who or what is sacrificed? How do we
ourselves participate in it?
Tomorrow we will begin to understand.
(click any graphic
above to expand it)
What we have learned
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If you can find
a Traditional Latin Mass in your diocese (the Tridentine Mass
of 1962 or prior to the many devastating changes and liturgical abuses common
to nearly every Mass celebrated in the vernacular subsequent to Vatican
II) ... we have one suggestion:
GO! Find one! If you are in the
Greater Boston area, three immediately come to mind:
321 South Broadway
01843 (Dominican Fathers, Brothers, and
Sisters, O.P. — Ordo Praedicatorum) 978-686-7921
white tunic, or habit, and black scapular of the
are the first intimation that things at Sacred Heart
are different from most parishes — and distinctly different
from Novus Ordo parishes — the more one enters
into the Church. Holy statuary, beautifully crafted,
abounds. There is a Communion Rail!
An Altar of marble
of Sacrifice!) majestically ascends to the Sanctuary
— in place of the dreary wooden “table
of the Lord” that became the pseudo-Catholic equivalent
of Protestant disdain for the Sacraments ... and most
especially “the Holy Eucharist as really and truly the
Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.” And
the Mass is entirely in Latin
(the homily in English)! It is Holy Mother Church in
every way prior to its appalling disfigurement by Vatican
II. In a word, it is unapologetically, vibrantly,
and refreshingly, Catholic.
282 Still River Road Still River, MA. 01467. 978-456-8296
The Benedictine Abbey, and
the Saint Benedict Center (Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) for
many valiant years retained the Traditional Latin Mass — until it relented
to pressure from the Vatican and was eventually reconciled with it.
In turn it was eventually allowed to celebrate the “Extraordinary Form
of the Mass” (the last Traditional Catholic Latin Mass, dated 1962,
and re-instituted by Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter Summorum
Pontificum in July 2007. From the junction of I-93 and 95 (Rt. 128)
it is approximately an hour drive west. It offers The Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass in Latin only.
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes,
270 Elliot Street, Newton, MA 02464
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is a large parish that offers the Most
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Homepage:
Sunday 10 AM High Mass in Latin according to the “Extraordinary
Form of the Mass” . The Novus Ordo is also celebrated daily
at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes. Approximately 15 minutes east from
Rte 95 (128) and about a 45 minute drive south from the junction
of I-93 and 95 (Rt. 128) it is approximately an hour drive west.
you have experienced little of sanctity ... and much in the way of silliness
... if you have encountered (wo)man more than you have encountered God ...
if you have left as empty as you had arrived ... go to a Tridentine
Latin Mass. If you were born after 1960 you will experience something
you have never before encountered; something of unutterable beauty, sanctity,
solemnity, and ceremony that your forbears knelt before for over 2 millennia.
You will find God.
Absolutely everything, every
gesture, every act, is directed to God Who is the sole focus of the
Most Holy Sacrifice that we call the Mass —
and not to a music “Ministry” or a priest as an entertainer
— most often a comedian — who demand your applause
... at the foot of the crucified Christ. If you have never really
and truly experienced “the utterly sacred” and have no idea what it means,
what that experience is ... the experience of proximity to God Himself
... go to a Tridentine Latin Mass! Your life in, with, and through Christ
will never be the same again. You will know what “worship” really
is ... and how very different it is from the many forms of self-adulation
you have encountered in every vernacular Mass (no two are exactly alike).
Instead of the exaltation of man, you will find the exaltation of God
— and come to realize the vast gulf
between the two and the paltry exchange that has been traded off when man
chose to worship God on his own terms and sought to share the very
Throne with Him.
For those who
cannot find a Latin Tridentine Mass, or whose bishop or pastor, in
defiance of Rome, deliberately suppresses it — we offer the following as
a way of attending the vernacular Mass without losing your faith as a
consequence of it:
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet
you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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