!!!A Tridentine High Mass for First Saturday

Posted: 06 Mar 2016 07:06 PM PST


Yesterday, on First Saturday in honor of Our Lady, I had the blessing of attending a sung Tridentine Mass with a beautiful Gregorian schola and the use of incense. It was the first time I’d been to a Mass like that since I was a teenager.

What struck me particularly during Mass was how it is so much about worshiping God, not celebrating the community or a performing priest.

Every liturgical action focuses on the Holy Sacrifice offered to God and our participation in that sacrifice. Those who say the congregation aren’t involved are just silly. Is a student attending his professor’s lecture not involved because he’s silent? Is someone attending a symphony not engaged with the music because he’s not a member of the orchestra?

Of course the congregation is involved — more involved, in fact, than those who are focused on superficials like holding hands at the Our Father and singing Gather Us In.

Consider St. Paul saying that we make up for what’s lacking in the sacrifice of the Lord and you realize that we are doing it right there during the Mass. We join our free will to Jesus’ saving action to become partners with Him in rescuing sinners from eternal damnation. Wow!

As I was reading my missal during the lavabo when the priest washes his hands, these words made a deep impression:

Destroy not my soul with the wicked, O God; nor my life with men of blood. In whose hands are iniquities; their right hand is filled with gifts.

Haven’t we seen that in spades recently? Think about the Planned Parenthood videos showing the women “of blood” eagerly discussing the sale of tiny brains and “cute” hearts while they poor their blood money (and our tax dollars) into Hillary Clinton’s coffers. Yes indeed, their hands are filled with murderous iniquity and their right hand is filled with gifts to politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, and all the pro-abort Democrats who make abortion a diabolical sacrament.

And thanks to these evil men, all of us have blood on our hands because of the institutionalization of the killing. Despite our desire not to participate, it’s impossible. If we pay taxes, buy a plane ticket, or medicine, or groceries, or use our credit cards or cell phones we unwillingly support organizations whose hands are covered in blood.

And so we turn to the Lord and plead, “I have walked in mine innocence; redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the straight way; in the churches I will bless thee, O Lord.”

I think the only time I’ve “walked in mine innocence” was before I reached the age of reason. I’m too conscious of my own past (and present) sinfulness to claim innocence. But Christ, through His sacrifice, which is so evident in the Tridentine Mass, can restore me to innocence as I pray with the priest, “I will wash my hands among the innocent; and compass thine altar, O Lord….My foot hath stood in the straight way; in the churches I will bless thee, O Lord.”

The Mass yesterday brought tears to my eyes and once again reminded me how much we have lost in our modern, noisy churches often filled with music more appropriate for a caberet than a liturgy, where the focus is on celebrating a banquet rather than offering with the patriarchs and prophets of old a holy sacrifice. Yesterday, my husband and I clearly participated in a service worshiping God. Unfortunately, that is often not so clear in our modern liturgies.

“Take away from us our iniquities, we beseech thee, O Lord; that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the Holy of Holies. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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