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last time before the sacred Mysteries are accomplished. He feels anxious to excite the fervour of the people. Neither does the thought of his own unworthiness leave him; and, before entering the cloud with the Lord, he seeks support in the prayers of his brethren present. He says to them:
Orate, fratres: tit meum Brethren! pray that my
ae vestrum sacrificium ac- Sacrifice, which is yours also,
ceptabile fiat apud Deum may be acceptable unto God,
Patrem omnipotentem. our Almighty Father.
Scarcely has he uttered the first words, than he turns again to the altar; and you will see his face no more, until our Lord himself shall have come down from Heaven upon that same Altar. Assure the Priest that he has your prayers, and say to him:
Suscipiat Dominus sacri- May our Lord accept this
ficium de manibus tuis, ad Sacrifice at thy hands, to the
laudem et gloriam nominis praise and glory of his name,
sui, ad utilitatem quoque and for our benefit and that
nostram totiusque Ecclesise of his holy Church through
suiB sanctse. out the world.
Here the Priest recites the prayers called the Secrets; in which he presents the petition of the whole Church for God's acceptance of the Sacrifice; and then immediately begins to fulfil that great duty of religion,—Thanksgiving. So far, he has adored God, and has sued for mercy; he has still to give thanks for the blessings bestowed on us by the bounty of our heavenly Father, the chief of which is the having sent us his own Son. The blessing of a new visit from this divine Word is just upon us; and in expectation of it, and in the name of the whole Church, the Priest is about to give expression to the gratitude of all mankind. In order to excite the Faithful to that intensity of gratitude, which is due to God for all his gifts, he interrupts his own and their silent and mysterious prayer by terminating it aloud, saying:
For ever and ever! Per omnia ssecula ssecu
In the same feeling answer your Amen! Then he continues:
y. The Lord be with you. y. Dominus vobiscum.
I$t. And with thy spirit. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
y. Lift up your hearts! ~p. Sursum corda!
Let your response be sincere:
IJ. We have them fixed on R. Habemus ad DomiGod. num.
And, when he adds:
y. Let us give thanks to the y. Gratias agamus DomiLord our God. no Deo nostro.
Answer him with all the earnestness of your soul: #. It is meet and just. R. Dignum et justum est.
Then the Priest:
It is truly meet and just, Vere dignum et justum
right and available to salva- est, eequum et salutare, nos
tion, that we should always, tibi semper et ubique gra
and in all places, give thanks tias agere: Domine Sancte,
to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Pater omnipotens, seterne
Almighty, Eternal God; Deus; per Christum Domi
through Christ our Lord; by num nostrum. Per quern
whom the Angels praise thy majestatem tuam laudant
majesty, the Dominations Angeli, adorant Dominatio
adore it, the Powers tremble nes, tremunt Potestates; Cceli cceloruinque Virtutes, before it; the Heavens and the
ac beata Seraphim, socia heavenly Virtues, and the
exsultatione concelebrant. blessed Seraphim, with com
Cum quibus et nostras vo- mon jubilee, glorify it. To
ces, ut admitti jubeas de- gether with whom, we beseech
precamur, suppllci oonfes- thee that we may be admitted
sione dicentes. to join our humble voices,
Here unite with the Priest, who, on his part, unites himself with the blessed Spirits, in giving thanks to God for the unspeakable Gift: bow down and say:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Dominus Deus sabaoth! of hosts!
Pleni sunt coeli et terra Heaven and earth are full gloria tua. of thy glory.
Hosanna in excelsis! Hosanna in the highest!
Benedictus qui venit in Blessed be the Saviour who nomine Domini. is coming to us in the name of
the Lord who sends him.
Hosanna in excelsis! Hosanna be to him in the
After these words commences the Canon,—that mysterious prayer, in the midst of which heaven bows down to earth, and God descends unto us. The voice of the Priest is no longer heard; yea, even at the altar, all is silence. It was thus, says the Book of Wisdom, in the quiet of silence, and while the night was in the midst of her course, that the Almighty Word came down from his royal throne. 1 Let a profound respect stay all distractions, and keep our senses in submission to the soul. Let us respectfully fix our eyes on what the Priest does in the Holy Place.
THE CANON OF THE MASS.
In this mysterious colloquy with the great God of heaven and earth, the first prayer of the sacrificing Priest is for the Catholic Church, his and our Mother.
1 Wisd. xviii. 14, 15.
O God, who manifestest thyself unto us by means of the mysteries which thou hast intrusted to thy holy Church, our Mother; we beseech thee, by the merits of this sacrifice, that thou wouldst remove all those hindrances which oppose her during her pilgrimage in this world. Give her peace and unity. Do thou thyself guide our Holy Father the Pope, thy Vicar on earth. Direct thou our Bishop, who is our sacred link of unity; and watch overall the orthodox children of the Catholic Apostolic Eoman Church.
Te igitur, clementissime Pater, per Jesum Christum Filium tuum Dominum nostrum supplices rogamus ac petimus, uti accepta habeas, et benedicas hsec dona, hssc munera, hsec sanota sacrificia illibata; in primis que tibi offerimus pro Ecclesia tua sancta Catholica; quam pacificare, custodire, adunare, et regere digneris toto orbe terrarum, una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N., et omnibus orthodoxis, atque catholic» et apostolic» fldei cultoribus.
Here pray, together with the Priest, for those whose interests should be dearest to you.
Permit me, O God, to intercede with thee for special blessing upon such of thy servants, for whom thou knowest that I have a special obligation to pray: * * * Apply to them the fruits of this divine Sacrifice, which is offered unto thee in the name of all mankind. Visit them by thy grace, pardon them their sins, grant them the blessings of this present life and of that which is eternal.
Memento, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum N. et N., et omnium circumstantium, quorum tibi fides cognita est, et nota devotio: pro quibus tibi offerimus, vel qui tibi offerunt hoc sacrificium laudis pro se suisque omnibus, pro redemptione animarum suarum, pro spe salutis et incolumitatis suse; tibique reddunt vota sua seterno Deo vivo et vero.
Here let us commemorate the Saints : they are that portion of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is called the Church Triumphant.
But the offering of this Sacrifice, O my God, does not unite us with those only of our brethren who are still in
Communicantes, et memoriam venerantes, in primis gloriosse semper Virginis Marise, Genitricis Dei et E
Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et beatorum Apostolorum ac Martyrum tuorum, Petri et Pauli, Andrese, Jaoobi, Joannis, Thoinse, Jaoobi, Philippi, Bartholomsei, Matthsei, Simonis et Thaddsei: Lira, Cleti, dementis, Xysti, Cornelii, Cypriani, Laurentii, Cbrysogoni, Joannis et Pauli, Cosmse et Damiani, et omnium sanctorum tuorum: quorum mentis precibusque concedas, ut in omnibus protectionis tuss muniamur auxilio. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
this transient life of trial: it brings us closer to those also, who are already in possession of heaven. Therefore it is, that we wish to honour, by it, the memory of the glorious and ever Virgin Mary, of whom Jesus was born to us; of the Apostles, Confessors, Virgins, and of all the Saints; that they may assist us, by their powerful intercession, to be worthy of this thy visit, and of contemplating thee, as themselves now do, in the mansion of thy glory.
The Priest, who up to this time had been praying with his hands extended, now joins them, and holds them over the Bread and Wine, as the High Priest of the Old Law was wont to do over the figurative victim: he thus expresses his intention of bringing these gifts more closely under the notice of the Divine Majesty, and of marking them as the material offering whereby we profess our dependence, and which, in a few instants, is to yield its place to the living Host, upon whom are laid all our iniquities.