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He ascends the steps, and comes to the Holy of Holies. Ask, both for him and yourself, deliverance from sin :
LET US PRAY. Aufer a nobis, quæsumus, Take from our hearts, O Domine, iniquitates nostras; Lord, all those sins, which ut ad Sancta Sanctorum pu- make us unworthy to appear ris mereamur mentibus in- in thy presence. We ask this troïre. Per Christum Domi- of thee, by thy divine Son, our num nostrum. Amen. Lord.
When the Priest kisses the altar, out of reverence for the relics of the Martyrs which are there, say:
Oramus te, Domine, per Generous soldiers of Jesus merita sanctorum tuorum Christ, who have mingled your quorum reliquiæ hic sunt own blood with his, intercede et omnium sanctorum, ut for us, that our sins may be indulgere digneris omnia forgiven : that so we may, like peccata mea. Amen. you, approach unto God.
If it be a High Mass at which you are assisting, the Priest censes the Altar in a most solemn manner; and this white cloud, which you see ascending from every part of the Altar, signifies the prayer of the Church, who addresses herself to Jesus Christ; and which this Divine Mediator then causes to ascend, united with his own, to the throne of the majesty of his Father.
The Priest then says the Introit. It is a solemn opening-anthem, in which the Church, at the very commencement of the Holy Sacrifice, gives expression to the sentiments which fill her heart.
It is followed by nine exclamations, which are even more earnest still,—for they ask for mercy. In addressing them to God, the Church unites herself with the nine choirs of Angels, who are standing around the altar of Heaven,-one and the same with this, before which you are kneeling.
Then, mingling his voice with that of the heavenly host, the Priest intones the sublime Canticle of Bethlehem, which announces glory to God, and peace to men. Instructed by the revelations of God, the Church continues, in her own words, the Hymn of the Angels.
THE ANGELIC HYMN.
GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH; GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO, AND, ON EARTH, PEACE TO MEN ET IN TERRA PAX HOMINIBUS OF GOOD WILL.
BONÆ VOLUNTATIS. We praise thee: we bless Laudamus te: benedicithee: we adore thee: we glo mus te : adoremus te: glorify thee: we give thee thanks rificamus te: gratias agimus for thy great glory.
tibi propter magnam glo
riam tuam. O Lord God, Heavenly King, Domine Deus, Rex coelesGod the Father Almighty. tis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
O Lord Jesus Christ, the Dominė, Fili unigenite, Only Begotten Son.
Jesu Christe. O Lord God, Lamb of God, Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Son of the Father.
Filius Patris. Who takest away the sins Qui tollis peccata mundi, of the world, have mercy on miserere nobis. us.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, Who takest away the sins of suscipe deprecationem nos- the world, receive our humble tram.
prayer. Qui sedes ad dexteram Who sittest at the right Patris, miserere nobis. hand of the Father, have
mercy on us. Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, For thou alone art holy, tu solus Dominus, tu solus thou alone art Lord, thou Altissimus, Jesu Christe, · alone, O Jesus Christ, together cum Sancto Spiritu, in glo- with the Holy Ghost, art most ria Dei Patris. Amen. high, in the glory of God the
The Priest then turns towards the people, and again salutes them, as it were to make sure of their pious attention to the sublime act, for which all this is but the preparation
Then follows the Collect, or Prayer, in which the Church formally expresses to the divine Majesty the especial intentions she has in the Mass which is being celebrated. You may unite in this Prayer, by reciting, with the Priest, the Collects which you will find in their proper places; but, on no account, omit to join, with the Server of the Mass, in answering Amen.
After this, comes the Epistle, which is, generally, a portion of one or other of the Epistles of the Apostles, or a passage from some Book of the Old Testament. Whilst it is being read, give thanks to that God, who not satisfied with having spoken to us, at sundry times, by his Messengers, deigned, at last, to speak unto us by his well-beloved Son."
The Gradual is a formula of prayer, intermediate between the Epistle and the Gospel. Most frequently, it again brings before us the sentiments already expressed in the Introit. Read it devoutly, that so you may the more and more enter into the spirit of the mystery proposed to you this day, by the Church.
1 Heb. i. 2.
The song of praise, the Alleluia, is next heard. Let us, whilst it is being said, unite with the holy Angels, who are, for all eternity, making heaven resound with that song, which we on earth are permitted to attempt.
The time is now come for the Gospel to be read. The Gospel is the written word; our hearing it will prepare us for the Word, who is our Victim and our Food.
If it be a High Mass, the Deacon prepares, meanwhile, to fulfil his noble office, -that of announcing the Good Tidings of salvation. He prays God to cleanse bis heart and lips. Then, kneeling before the Priest, he asks a blessing ; and, having received it, at once goes to the place where he is to sing the Gospel.
As a preparation for worthily hearing it, you may thus pray, together with both Priest and Deacon :
Alas! these ears of mine are Munda cor meum, ac labut too often defiled with the bia mea, omnipotens Deus, world's vain words : cleanse qui labia Isaiæ Prophetæ them, O Lord, that so I may calculo mundasti ignito : hear the words of eternal life, ita me tua grata miseraand treasure them in my heart. tione dignare mundare, ut Through our Lord Jesus Christ. sanctum Evangelium tuum Amen.
digne valeam nuntiare. Per. Christum Dominum
nostrum. Amen. Grant to thy ministers thy Dominus sit in corde meo, grace, that they may faith- et in labiis meis : ut digne fully explain thy law; that so et competenter annuntiem all, both pastors and flock, Evangelium suum. may be united to thee for ever. Amen.
You will stand during the Gospel, out of respect for the divine Word, and as though you were awaiting the orders of your divine Master. At the commencement, make the sign of the Cross on your forehead, lips, and breast; and then listen to every word of the Priest or Deacon. Let your heart be ready and obedient. Whilst my beloved was speaking, says the Bride in the Canticle, my soul melted within me. If you have not such love as this, have, at least, the humble submission of Samuel, and say: Speak, Lord ! thy servant heareth.
After the Gospel, if the Priest says the Symbol of Faith, the Credo, you will say it with him. Faith is that grand gift of God, without which we cannot please him. It is Faith that makes us see the Light which shineth in darkness, and which the darkness of unbelief did not comprehend. Let us, then, say with the Catholic Church, our Mother :
THE NICENE CREED. Credo in unum Deum Pa- I believe in one God, the trem omnipotentem, facto- Father Almighty, maker of rem cæli et terræ, visibilium heaven and earth, and of all omnium et invisibilium. things visible and invisible.
Et in unum Dominum And in one Lord Jesus Jesum Christum, Filium Christ, the only begotten Son Dei unigenitum. Et ex Pa- of God. And born of the tre natum ante omnia Father, before all ages; God sæcula. Deum de Deo, lu- of God, light of light; true men de lumine, Deum ve- God of true God. Begotten, rum de Deo vero. Genitum, not made; consubstantial to non factum, consubstantia- the Father, by whom all things lem Patri: per quem om- were made. Who, for us men nia facta sunt. Qui propter and for our salvation, came nos homines et propter nos down from heaven. And betram salutem, descendit de came incarnate by the Holy colis. Et incarnatus est de Ghost of the Virgin Mary; Spiritu Sancto ex Maria AND WAS MADE MAN. He was Virgine : ET HOMO FACTUS crucified also for us, under EST. Crucifixus etiam pro Pontius Pilate, suffered, and nobis sub Pontio Pilato, pas- was buried. And the third sus et sepultus est. Et day he rose again, according resurrexit tertia die, secun- to the Scriptures. And dum Scripturas, et ascendit ascended into heaven; sitteth in ccelum: sedet ad dexte- at the right hand of the
i Cant. v. 6.
2 1 Kings, iii, 10.