WHAT IS THE MASS?
WHAT IS THE CHURCH FOR?
The Mass is believed by Catholics to be an unbloody sacrifice in which by the power of God, the institution of Christ, and the ministry of the priest, the body and blood of our blessed Saviour are produced upon the altar, under the appearances of bread and wine, and are there offered to the Almighty, not only as a propitiation for the sins of mankind, but also in testimony of the adoration or homage which is his due; in thanksgiving, for benefits received, in which view it is eucharistic; and to beseech future favors, whereby it is impetratory.
A Catholic church is a Christian temple, erected for the purpose of having the holy sacrifice of the Mass offered therein. This sacrifice is made upon an altar, which is a table sufficiently large to sustain the offerings, the book and other necessaries. Formerly the holy sacrifice was offered in the catacombs, upon the tombs of the martyrs. And frequently since that period, when splendid temples were erected, their bodies or remains have been removed from those obscure resting places, and enshrined in rich sarcophagi, over which the table of the altar was placed. The relics of other saints have been also, in several instances, thus entombed.The rapt Evangelist beheld under the heavenly altar, where stood the immolated Lamb, the souls of those slain for the word of God. Glorious in their blood, they reposed in celestial bliss until their expected companions should arrive; whilst under the altars upon the earth, their bodies rested honorably enshrined in those places where the Lamb was produced as slain, and offered in the midst of the holy choirs below.The crucifix or image of the Saviour in his state of bloody immolation, is very appropriately placed upon the centre of the altar where that commemorative immolation is to be made. On each side candles are lighted, not only as a token of joy, but also as by their blaze they mystically exhibit the descent of the Holy Ghost in the form of tongues of fire, for the purpose of endowing the Apostles, the first ministers of the Catholic Church, with power from on high, to perform the stupendous works for which they were commissioned by an incarnate God.The altar is a consecrated stone. This has been the case during upwards of fifteen hundred years, previously to which period, no law prescribed any particular material. The Church also by the very color of the front of the altar, and of the vestments, teaches her children the nature of the solemnity which she celebrates. Thus, for instance, white is used upon the great festivals of the Trinity, of the Saviour, of his blessed mother, of angels, of saints, who without shedding their blood gave their testimony by the practice of exalted virtues; and on some other occasions. Red is used on the feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost descended in the form of tongues of fire; on the festivals of martyrs, and the like. In times of penance, violet is used, green on days when there is no special solemnity, and black on Good Friday, and on occasion of offices for the deceased.Ceremonial:for the use of the Catholic Churches of the United States of America.Published by Order of the First Council of Baltimore,with the approbation of the Holy See
(Prepared by Fr. Joseph Rosati. Introduction by Bp. John England, of Charleston)
Why do some Catholics worship in small Churches, Chapels,
& other Mass Centers?
Holy Mass as offered at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Chapel
-Holy Mass offered the truly Catholic way is always "God centered."
Before the “New Mass” in the early 1970's was fully implemented, sweeping changes took place in the rite of priestly ordination. The old rite of ordination took about 3 hours, while the New rite (contained in the new Roman Pontifical) takes probably about one hour. We would not detail every single change, but it is important that we have a sense of what happened to the Catholic priesthood:
Besides the actual changes in the rite of ordination in 1968, we find the New Church did away with most of what were called the “Minor orders.” The Subdiaconate, tonsure, porter, exorcist, lector, were done away with. Each one of these ordinations had a great significance that would indicate some of the responsibilities and role of the future priest. This was all an attack on the priesthood of course.
The Church teaches us that what is needed for a valid Sacrament are three things: the matter, the form, the intention. If one is lacking, no sacrament is produced. For example, bread and wine are the “matter” for Holy Mass, so that if you don’t use bread, or substitute a cookie, even using the correct words, which are the form, you do not confect or produce the Mass. It is not valid, there is no Mass at all. The same with baptism: true water is required. If you substitute gasoline for water, even if you use the correct words, the baptism is not valid. The Church has no power whatsoever to change the matter, the form, the intention. In some modern parishes "grape juice" is often substituted for wine, or other types of "bread" for unleavened. We often hear of New Church clergy who substitute "gluten free" hosts for the valid matter, as required by the Catholic Church. Yet, laity will continue to attend and support such institutions.
As regards the “intention” this confuses people. The person who administers the sacrament must “intend” to produce the Sacrament: He must intend to do what the Church intends. Without the proper intention (to do what the Church intends) no Sacrament is produced, even using the correct words. These three are inseparable: matter, form, intention. To have valid Sacraments requires a validly ordained Catholic priest, at least as regards the Sacraments of Penance, of Communion, Extreme Unction (Last Rites) and even Confirmation (when permitted). Baptism and Marriage are the only Sacraments that can be administered without a priest.
At the same time, we can question the intention of the ordaining bishops in the New Church, those infected greatly with the “new theology“ about so many important Catholic teachings in general. We have to ask: do they really intend to do what the Catholic Church intends at ordination? Do they intend to ordain a sacrificing priest or a modern presbyter as they call them? This problem of intention is serious. Do many of the modernist “presbyters” who function in so many parishes seem to believe the historic and traditional Catholic teachings? When they “preside” at so many modern “new Masses” does one come away with the impression that they are really offering a “holy sacrifice” or merely reading a narrative of events that took place long ago?
We have a problem with the actual change of rite: this we call again as the “form” of the Sacrament. The matter is the laying on of hands which is done in silence, and this accompanied by the long preface with the words of ordination. In 1948 Pope Pius XII issued “Sacramentum Ordinis” where he clarified this matter, that is, what is essential to the form, or what is required and what is necessary for validity in ordination. Some theologians had different opinions on this, prior to the definition of Pope Pius XII. Remember, changing the form of a Sacrament (we are not speaking about non-essential external ceremonies) makes a Sacrament a doubtful or invalid one. In fact, changing the form of the Sacraments is absolutely forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII did not change the form, but clarified the traditional form of the last few centuries. The form for the Sacrament of ordination is: Grant, we implore Thee, Almighty Father, to this Thy servant the dignity of the priesthood, renew within him the spirit of holiness, that he may keep the rank in Thy service which he has received from Thee, and by his conduct afford a holy living.” The New Rite says “Hear us, Lord our God, and pour out upon this servant of yours the blessing of the Holy Spirit and he grace of the power of the priesthood. In your sight we offer this man for ordination: support him with your unfailing love.” The problem with this prayer is found in the intention of the bishop, which is expressed in the questioning of the candidate previous to these words. So the words prior to the actual New form, set the stage for the actual ordination. The form is not only changed, but the intention of the bishop is not the intention of the Catholic Church. You may recall that this was a problem for the Anglicans and why Pope Leo XIII infallibly declared that the Anglican Ordinal greatly defective. Anglican “bishops” (led by former Catholic Archbishop Cranmer) intentionally nullified and removed from the (new Rite) of Anglican ordination that which signified the intention of ordaining a “sacrificing priest.”
-a modern-day "Catholic" priest in Mexico
Many other things are missing: “Receive the power to offer Sacrifice to God, and to celebrate Mass, both for the living and the dead, in the name of the Lord“ as well as the anointing of the hands with holy oil, (now “consecrated" with a doubtful Rite) -the power to forgive sins at the end of the Rite of ordination, all have been changed or done away with. These are all serious grounds for questioning the validity of this New Rite, and this is why we must regard the New Church priests as doubtful priests.
-the above has grave implications for those who attend the Fraternity fo St. Peter and Institute of Christ the King. These organizations rely on and invite for their priestly ordinations New Church bishops who themselves have been ordained in the new defective Rites-
The priesthood cannot die, yet it can falter and fail in many places. Lucifer has worked to destroy the Catholic priesthood. Even among the twelve, a traitor was to be found. We are witnessing in the world today the consequences of not only the changes in the priesthood, which have decimated the sacramental life in so many souls, but we see the effect of the changes in general: society falling apart, falling into the abyss. Recent events in the Supreme Court (received happily by many false Catholics) and even so many "Catholics" supporting contraception and Planned Parenthood...is simply proof positive of defection en masse from the Roman Catholic Church and the one certain path to salvation.
All the dressing up in fine vestments, all the return of Latin and chant in some Novus Ordo parishes will do nothing if it being used by those who are merely lay ministers, those in fact who are not certainly validly ordained Catholic priests. For this reason, we especially turn to the immaculate Heart of Mary who said that in the end her immaculate Heart would triumph. One day, Our Lady said, through the Rosary and the Scapular she would conquer the world. Do those words indicate a time when the Mass and the Sacraments would be seldom found? Pray for your true bishops and priests, and pray that they might continue faithfully with their priesthood in the Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church.