Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

“ Chap. IX. Prologue to the subjoined canons. “ Seeing that in this age many errors are disseminated, and many persons teach and dispute in opposition to this ancient faith, which is founded on the holy gospel, the traditions of the apostles, and the doctrine of venerable fathers, this most holy council, having frequently, seriously, and maturely discussed the subject, hath determined by unanimous consent to condemn and root out of the church all that is contrary to this pure faith and sacred doctrine, by the canons hereto subjoined.

Canon 1. Whoever shall affirm, that a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God in the mass; or that the offering is nothing else than giving Christ to us to eat : let him be accursed.

Lib. xviii. c. 10. It is peculiar to the Romish church to maintain that “ignorance is the mother of devotion."

Gother thus defends the practice of his church :-“ He [the Catholic] is commanded to assist at the church service, and to hear mass; and in this he is instructed, not so much to understand the words, as to know what is done. For the mass being a sacrifice, wherein is daily commemorated the death and passion of Christ, by an oblation, made by the priest, of the body and blood of the immaculate Lamb, under the symbols of bread and wine, according to his own institution; it is not so much the business of the congregation present to employ their ears in attending to the words, as their hearts in contemplation of the divine mysteries, by raising up fervent affections of love, thanksgiving, sorrow for sins, resolutions of amendment, &c. That thus having their hearts and intention united with the priest's, they may be partakers of his prayers, and the sacrifice he is then offering, than which he believes nothing is more acceptable to God, or beneficial to true believers. And for the raising of these affections in his soul, and filling his heart with love and devotion, he thinks, in this case, there is little need of words; a true faith, without these, is all-sufficient. . . . . It nothing therefore concerns his devotion that the mass is said in Latin ; if the church has ordered it thus, to preserve unity, as in faith, so in the external worship of God, and to prevent the alterations and changes which it would be exposed to if in the vulgar language, and for other good reasons—what is that to him? He should receive but little advantage if it were in his mother tongue. For besides that the greater part is said in so low a voice that it is not possible he should hear it, the words do not belong to him, but to the priest's office only; his obligation is, to accompany the priest, in prayer and spirit, to be a joint offerer with him, to contemplate the mysteries there represented, and to excite in his soul devotions according to the exigency of every passage ; according to the directions he finds in his English prayer-books, of which there are a great variety extant, set forth for the help of the ignorant; by which they are taught the meaning of every part and ceremony of the mass, and how to apply their devotions accordingly.”-Papist Misrepresented and Represented, pp. 54 58.

“ 2. Whoever shall affirm, that by these words, • Do this for a commemoration of me,' Christ did not appoint his apostles priests, or did not ordain that they and other priests should offer his body and blood : let him be accursed.

"3. Whoever shall affirm, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a service of praise and thanksgiving, or a bare commemoration of the sacrifice made on the cross, and not a propitiatory offering; or that it only benefits him who receives it, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities : let him be accursed.

66 4. Whoever shall affirm, that the most holy sacrifice of Christ, made on the cross, is blasphemed by the sacrifice of the mass; or that the latter derogates from the glory of the former: let him be accursed.

“5. Whoever shall affirm, that to celebrate masses in honour of the saints, and in order to obtain their intercession with God, according to the intention of the church, is an imposture: let him be accursed.

66 6. Whoever shall affirm, that the canon of the mass contains errors, and ought therefore to be abolished : let him be accursed.

“7. Whoever shall affirm, that the ceremonies, vestments, and external signs, used by the Catholic church in- the celebration of the mass, are excitements to irreligion, rather than helps to piety: let him be accursed.

68. Whoever shall affirm, that those masses in which the priest only communicates sacramentally are unlawful, and therefore ought to be abolished : let him be accursed.

“9. Whoever shall affirm, that the practice of the Roman church, in uttering with a low voice part of the canon and the words of consecration, is to be condemned; or that the mass should be celebrated in the vernacular language only; or that water is not to be mixed in the cup with wine, when the sacrifice is offered, because it is contrary to Christ's institution : let him be accursed.”

As the mass is the chief service of the Romish church, a detailed account of the order and ceremonies observed therein will probably be acceptable.

1. The priest, standing at the foot of the altar, having made

a low reverence, begins with the sign of the cross, saying,

In Nomine Patris, &c. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" and then recites, alternately with the clerk, the 42nd Psalm, composed by David when he was persecuted by Saul, and kept at a distance from the tabernacle or temple of God.

2. Bowing down at the foot of the altar, he says the Confiteor, or general confession, acknowledging his sins to God, to the whole court of heaven, and to all the faithful there assembled, begging their prayers to God for him; and the clerk repeats the same in the name of the people; to the end that both priest and people may dispose themselves for the great sacrifice, by a sincere repentance for their sins.

3. The priest in going up to the altar begs for himself and the people, that God would take away their iniquities, that they may be worthy to enter into his sanctuary. Then coming up to the altar, he kisses it in reverence to Christ, of whom it is a figure; and going to the book, he reads what is called the Introit, or entrance of the mass ; which is different every day, and generally an anthem taken out of the scripture, with the first verse of one of the Psalms, and the Gloria Patri, to glorify the blessed Trinity.

4. He returns to the middle of the altar, and says, alternately with the clerk, the Kyrie Eleison, or, Lord, have mercy on us; which is said three times to God the Father; three times, Christe Eleison, or, Christ, have mercy on us, to God the Son; and three times again Kyrie Eleison, to God the Holy Ghost.

5. After the Kyrie Eleison, the priest recites the Gloria in Excelsis, or, Glory be to God on High, &c., being a hymn, the beginning of which was sung by the angels at the birth of Christ. This being a hymn of joy is omitted in the masses for the dead, and in the penitential times of Advent, Lent, &c. After this, the priest, turning about to the people, says, “Dominus vobiscum, The Lord be with you.” Answ. “ Et cum Spiritu tuo, And with thy Spirit.” Then returning to the book, he says, “ Oremus, Let us pray ;” and then reads the collects or prayers of that day.

6. After the collects, are read the Lesson or Epistle of the day, (and upon the Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Em

ber-weeks, several lessons or epistles.) The lesson or epistle is followed by the Gradual or Tract, consisting of some devout verses taken out of scripture; to which are joined the Alleluias to praise God with joy, excepting the penitential time between Septuagesima and Easter, when Alleluia is not said.

7. After the Epistle and Gradual, the book is removed to the other side of the altar, in order to read the gospel of the day; which removal of the book represents the passing from the preaching of the old law, figured by the lesson or epistle, to the gospel of Jesus Christ, published by the preachers of the new law. The priest, before he reads the gospel, makes his prayer, bowing down before the middle of the altar, that God would cleanse his heart and his lips, that he may be worthy to declare his gospel. At the beginning of the gospel both priest and people make the sign of the cross; I, upon their foreheads, to signify that they will not be ashamed of the cross of Christ and his doctrine; 2, upon their mouth, to signify that they will profess it in words ; 3, upon their breast, to signify that they will always keep it in their hearts. During the gospel the people stand, to shew, by their posture, their readiness to go and do whatsoever they shall be commanded by their Saviour in his divine word. In the high or solemn mass, the gospel is sung by the deacon, and lighted candles are held by the acolytes on each side, to denote the light which Christ brought us by his gospel.

8. After the gospel, upon all Sundays, as also upon the feasts of our Lord, of the blessed Virgin, of the apostles, and of the doctors of the Church, the priest, standing at the middle of the altar, recites, the Nicene Creed; after which he reads a short sentence of scripture, called the Offertory, and then takes off the veil from the chalice, in order to proceed to the offering up the bread and wine for the sacrifice.

9. He offers first the bread upon the paten, or little plate; then pours the wine into the chalice, mingling with it a little water, and offers that up in like manner, begging that this sacrifice may be accepted of by the Almighty, for the remission of his sins, for all there present, for all the faithful, living and dead, and for the salvation of all the world. Then bowing down, he says, “In the spirit of humility, and in a contrite mind, may we be received by thee, O Lord: and so may our

cent, and I will &c. I will wash the tips of

sacrifice be made this day in thy sight, that it may please thee, O Lord God.” Then he blesses the bread and wine with the sign of the cross, invoking the Holy Ghost. After this he goes to the corner of the altar, and there washes the tips of his fingers, saying, “ Lavabo, &c. I will wash my hands among the innocent, and I will encompass thy altar, O Lord,” &c., as in the latter part of the 25th Psalm. This washing of the fingers denotes the cleanness and purity of soul with which these divine mysteries are to be celebrated; which ought to be such as not only to wash away all greater filth, but even the dust which sticks to the tips of our fingers, by which are signified the smallest faults and imperfections.

10. After washing his fingers, the priest returns to the middle of the altar, and there bowing down, begs of the blessed

Trinity to receive this oblation in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ; and for an honourable commemoration of the blessed Virgin and of all the saints, that they may intercede for us in heaven whose memory we celebrate on earth.

11. Then the priest says in a low voice the prayers called the Secreta, which correspond to the collects of the day, and are different every day. He concludes by saying aloud, “ Per omnia sæcula sæculorum,” – that is, “ World without end.” Answ. “Amen." Then follows the preface, so called because it serves as an introduction to the canon of the mass ; in which, after solemnly acknowledging ourselves bound in duty ever to give thanks to God, through his Son Jesus Christ, whose majesty all the choirs of angels ever praise and adore, we humbly beg leave to have our voices admitted, together with theirs, in that celestial hymn,“ Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus,” &c.— that is, “ Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. The heavens and the earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.”

12. After the preface follows the Canon of the Mass—the most sacred and solemn part of this divine service, which is read with a low voice, as well to express the silence of Christ in his passion, and his hiding at that time his glory and his divinity, as to signify the vast importance of that common cause of all mankind which the priest is then representing, as

« PoprzedniaDalej »