Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Do we still remember that The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the perfect offering of Christ?

CommentTime3 days ago edited

To me it has become crystal clear in the last 15-20 years. This music (P&W) is all about emotion, and MY feelings about God. That may have a place in your personal prayers, or in a gathering of Christians wishing to express devotion to God. But as Steve noted, the liturgy is a RITUAL. And the ritual is completed by the priest. The people need not even be present for there to be the remittance of sin which is the primary reason why the Mass is celebrated.

Hanc ígitur oblatiónem servitútis nostræ, sed et cunctæ famíliæ tuæ, quæsumus Dómine, ut placátus accípias, diésque nostros in tua pace dispónas, atque ab ætérna damnatióne nos éripi, et in electórum tuórum júbeas grege numerári. (Jungit manus.) Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.
Quam oblatiónem tu, Deus, in ómnibus, quæsumus,
We therefore beseech thee, O Lord, to be appeased, and to receive this offering of our bounden duty, as also of thy whole household; order our days in thy peace; grant that we be rescued from eternal damnation and counted within the fold of thine elect. (He joins his hands together.) Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Which offering do thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things.
He makes the sign of the cross three times over the offerings.
benedíctam, adscríptam, ratam, rationábilem, acceptabilémque fácere dignéris:
to bless , consecrate , approve , make reasonable and acceptable:
He makes the sign of the cross once over the host and once over the chalice.
ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis fiat dilectíssimi Fílii tui Dómini nostri Jesu Christi.
Qui prídie quam paterétur (accipit hostiam), accépit panem in sanctas ac venerábiles manus suas (elevat oculos ad cœlum), et elevátis óculis in cœlum, ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipoténtem, tibi grátias agens,
that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who the day before he suffered took bread (he takes the host) into his holy and venerable hands (he raises p. 467 his eyes to heaven), and with his eyes lifted up to heaven, unto thee, God, his almighty Father, giving thanks to thee,
He makes the sign of the cross over the host.
benedíxit, fregit, dedítque discípulis suis, dicens: Accípite, et manducáte ex hoc omnes.
he blessed , brake, and gave to his disciples, saying: Take and eat ye all of this,
Holding the host between the first fingers and thumbs of both hands, he says the words of consecration, silently with clearness and attention, over the host, and at the same time over all the other hosts, if several are to be consecrated.
Hoc est enim Corpus meum.
For this is my Body.
As soon as the words of consecration have been said, he kneels and adores the consecrated host. He rises, shows it to the people, puts it on the corporal, and again adores. Then, uncovering the chalice, he says:
Símili modo postquam cœnátum est,
In like manner, after he had supped,
He takes the chalice with both hands.
accípiens et hunc præclárum Cálicem in sanctas ac venerábiles manus suas, item tibi grátias agens,
taking also this excellent chalice into his holy and adorable hands; also giving thanks to thee,
Holding the chalice with his left hand, he makes the sign of the cross over it with his right.
benedíxit, dedítque discípulis suis, dicens: Accípite, et bíbite ex eo omnes:
he blessed , and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, and drink ye all of this;
He utters the words of consecration over the chalice silently, attentively, carefully, and without pausing, holding it slightly raised.
Hic est enim Calix Sánguinis mei, novi et ætérni testaménti; mystérium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundétur in remissiónem peccatórum.
For this is the Chalice of my Blood, of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.

This is why the overly-stressed importance of active participation is a weak argument. The ritual is complete and is fully composed with all of its music in the official books of the church. NO ONE has anything to add to the Mass. It is perfect in itself, by itself. As a composer of sacred music, the best I can do concerning the Mass might be to compose a new setting of the ordinary in polyphonic form. Other than that, anything else seems like a vane effort. I don't believe that anyone's music and singing, including my own, have any bearing whatsoever on the efficacy of the ritual and the remission of sin. Period. I might even go so far as to say that most of the music (and the preaching) these days is no more than a tickling of the ears. We seem to write music and words that only try to convince ourselves of our great goodness and holiness in the sight of God and assure ourselves of his love for us when in truth the main thing that pleases him is our obedience to him, and in partaking in the sacraments, especially confession and the Mass.
"For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Now to contradict myself, I will also say that God is pleased that we worship him, but we should worship him as He desires, not as we think. And that, my dear friends, is where this type (P&W) of music falls short.

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