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Fr. Gavin - The Sacrifice of the Mass - The Doctrine of the Mass

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Immaculate Conception 2016

THE DOCTRINE OF THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.

 

THE Eucharist is both Sacrament and Sacrifice. There are several points of difference between the Eucharist as a Sacrament and as a Sacrifice. The efficacy of the Sacrifice lies in its being offered, and of the Sacrament in its being received. The Eucharist as a Sacrament increases our merit, and gives to the soul all the advantages that food gives to the body. As a Sacrifice the Eucharist is not only a source of merit but also of satisfaction for sm. Again, the Eucharist as a Sacrament benefits only the person who communicates: if it obtains graces and blessings for others, this happens only through the goodness of God. But as a Sacrifice the Eucharist is offered for and benefits the whole Catholic Church, and its satisfactory power is extended to all faithful Christians living and dead. Lastly, the chief end of the Holy Eucharist as a Sacrament is our own sanctification, while its chief end as a Sacrifice in the Mass is the supreme worship of God. There is consequently a clear difference between the Eucharist as a Sacrament and as a Sacrifice.

 

The Council of Trent (Sess. xxii. can. 22) defines the Mass to be a true and proper Sacrifice; and says "it is one and the same Victim and the same Offerer now offering by the ministry of His priests Who then offered Himself on the Cross, only the manner of offering is different." The Council has not defined a Sacrifice. Sacrifice is commonly held to be an offering of a substantial thing made to God by a fitting minister through its destruction, or equivalent destruction. Sacrifice is made to God alone; 1 His supreme dominion over life and death is shown in the destruction of the victim, to acknowledge God s supreme dominion and to appease Divine Justice when sin has been com mitted.

 

The Mass, according to the Penny Catechism, is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, really present on the altar under the appearance of bread and wine, and offered to God for the living and the dead. In the Mass there is all that we need for a true Sacrifice:

(1) a visible thing, i.e., the Body and Blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine;

(2) the offering is made by Christ through His minister;

(3) there is the mystical destruction in the consecration of bread and wine;

(4) Mass is offered to God alone never to saints or to our Lady;

(5) Mass is offered for the living and dead, "for all faithful Christians living and dead," as the Church says at the Offertory.

 

1 See Trent, Sess. xxii. cap. 3, where the Council teaches that though the Mass is said in honour and in the memory of the Saints, sacrifice is offered not to them but to God alone who crowned them.

  • INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER
  • PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
  • CHAPTER THE FIRST. The Doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass 
  • CHAPTER THE SECOND. The Essence of the Mass 
  • CHAPTER THE THIRD. The Consecration of the Altar 
  • CHAPTER THE FOURTH. The Vestments 
  • CHAPTER THE FIFTH. The Asperges
  • CHAPTER THE SIXTH. The Ordinary of the Mass. Part the First: From the Beginning to the Offertory                                    
  • CHAPTER THE SEVENTH. The Introit, Kyrie, and Gloria in excelsis
  • CHAPTER THE EIGHTH. The Dominus vobiscum, Collect, Epistle                                   
  • CHAPTER THE NINTH. The Gradual, Alleluia, Tract, and Sequence   
  • CHAPTER THE TENTH. The Gospel and the Creed                               
  • CHAPTER THE ELEVENTH. Part the Second: The Offertory to the Canon                                   
  • CHAPTER THE TWELFTH. Part the Third: The Canon of the Mass                                   
  • CHAPTER THE THIRTEENTH. Part the Fourth: From the Pater Noster to the end of Mass                                    
  • CHAPTER THE FOURTEENTH. The Ceremonies of High Mass                                   
  • CHAPTER THE FIFTEENTH. Mass for the Dead                                    
  • APPENDIX: The Language of the Mass