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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Mass....The Real Question...

Since my days in college where I was a "liturgical assistant," I have fought against this notion that the Holy Sacrifice is a meal, in the first place.  It is not.

It is true that Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, but it was not completed until the Sacrifice on Calvary.  The liturgy is not, as Weakland and his cohorts would have us believe a meal, with sacrificial undertones.

And that is the shift in theology.  And this shift in theology from the Mass being a sacrifice to the Mass being a meal vis-a-vis insitution narrative v. the consecratory prayer.  Ultimately, this is the problem with the Novus Ordo.  It can be argued that the architects changed the intention of the Mass from that which it was understood to be into something wholly and completely new.  And that argument has legs.

We can go on and on and on about the liturgical direction, the posture of the faithful, the attitude of the faithful regarding participatio actuosa v activa, the placement of the pax, etc, etc...those things are all very important discussions, as I can attest, but if we bring it down to brass tacks, it is this theological question, "What is the Mass, primarily, Meal or Sacrifice?"

If the Mass is a Sacrifice, we have 1965 years of theological certainty to back up our position.  If the Mass is a meal, we have 47-64 years to defend a theological shift.  We can find reference to the "meal aspect" going back to the first century, but that aspect is always, always couched as being secondary and subordinate to the Sacrificial action.  This is not the case since at least 1965 and most likely 1948.  When the Mass loses it's Sacrificial nature, it loses it's validity, because while the Eucharist was instituted on Holy Thursday, it was not completed until Good Friday.  And without the bloody Sacrifice of Our Lord and Savior, we have nothing more than a symbol.  There is no sign.  For what is a Sacrament?  An outward sign instituted by Christ to bring about Grace.  Without the Sacrificial action of Christ at Calvary, there cannot be an unbloody sacrifice at each Holy Mass.

So, we can argue all we want about postures and positions, they make the Mass more reverent, but the real question is how do we defend the unbloody Sacrifice against the notion of a meal?  The theological question is in front of us, we must answer it and defend it, in an orthodox manner.

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