Thursday, September 13, 2018

Traditional Latin Mass vs. Novus Ordo, Part 3: The rest of the Novus Ordo Mass

Previous parts in this series:
Part 1: A brief history
Part 2: First half of the Novus Ordo Mass

Following the Preparation of the Gifts is the most important part of the Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer. There are four Eucharistic Prayers to choose from. A few more have also been written and approved for use, including four Eucharistic Prayers “for various occasions.” In the Eucharistic Prayer, the bread and wine are offered to God, along with our contrite and devout hearts, and we participate in our Lord's sacrifice on the Cross. The priest begins by greeting the people and exhorting them to lift up their hearts to God in thanksgiving. This dialogue is identical to the one found in the traditional Latin Mass and dates back to the apostles.

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right and just.

This leads into the Preface, the first part of the Eucharistic Prayer, which has the character of giving thanks to God for his work of salvation. It is dependent on the day, season, or choice of Eucharistic Prayer. The Preface leads into the Sanctus, in which we join the eternal hymn of the holy angels.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Eucharistic Prayer I is the Roman Canon from the traditional Latin Mass. Read about it in part 7 and part 8 of our series Liturgy of the Traditional Mass. There are only a few differences between Eucharistic Prayer I in the Novus Ordo and the Canon of the Mass in the traditional Latin Mass. The priest does not make twenty-five Signs of the Cross over the Host and Chalice in the Novus Ordo. Instead, he makes only one Sign of the Cross at the words, “these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices,” in the first prayer of the Canon. In addition, unlike in the traditional Latin Mass, the words “the mystery of faith” are not said as part of the words of consecration. Since Jesus did not say these words at the Last Supper, the Novus Ordo moves them to after the consecrations. Finally, in the Novus Ordo, the Eucharistic Prayer is always said aloud instead of silently.

Eucharistic Prayer II is somewhat shorter, and the GIRM recommends it for ferias (GIRM 365). It is theoretically based on the Eucharistic Prayer from the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, which dates from the third century. However, at least at a cursory glance, the resemblance is practically nonexistent. It begins with the epiclesis, praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon the host and chalice and transform them into the Body and Blood of Christ. After a strange comparison between the Holy Spirit and dewfall, the priest makes a single Sign of the Cross over the host and chalice.

You are indeed holy, O Lord, the fount of all holiness. Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is followed by the words of consecration, in which the priest quotes our Lord's words at the Last Supper and the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. First, he takes the bread in his hands.

At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

The priest elevates the Sacred Host so that the faithful may look upon it and worship it. The bell is rung, and the Host is incensed. After the elevation, the priest replaces the Host on the paten and genuflects in adoration. He then takes the chalice of wine.

In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave it to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT, FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

The priest elevates the Chalice. After setting it down and genuflecting, he says, “The mystery of faith.” The people respond with one of three possible acclamations, expressing our faith in Christ's Death and Resurrection.

The mystery of faith.
We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.
Or When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Or Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

The priest continues with the anamnesis, or remembrance of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, and the oblation of the Host and Chalice to God. Only now, after the consecrations, is there any mention of an oblation, and it is still only a minimal mention.

Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you.

The priest then prays that all may receive the benefits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass before praying for Holy Mother Church, with special mention of the Pope and the local bishop.

Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.


Remember, Lord, your Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity, together with Francis our Pope and ___ our Bishop and all the clergy.

Next, the priest prays for the poor souls suffering in purgatory before asking God's mercy for all of us, through the intercession of the saints. This prayer is analogous to the two prayers Memento etiam Domine and Nobis quoque peccatoribus in the Roman Canon.

Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection, and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face. Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with the blessed Apostles, and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Finally, the priest elevates the Host and the deacon elevates the Chalice as the priest concludes the Eucharistic Prayer by giving praise to God.

Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Pictured here is the minor elevation at a typical Novus Ordo Mass.

Image credit: Philos009298

On Sundays, Eucharistic Prayer I or III is recommended by the GIRM. Both are longer and more elaborate than Eucharistic Prayer II. Eucharistic Prayer III has no antiquity and was composed for the Novus Ordo Mass. For the sake of completeness, I will include it here without commentary. It begins after the Sanctus.

You are indeed holy, O Lord, and all you have created rightly gives you praise, for through your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, you give life to all things and make them holy, and you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.


Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you: by the same Spirit graciously make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration, that they may become the Body and Blood of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.


For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT, FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

The mystery of faith.
We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.
Or When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Or Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the saving Passion of your Son, his wondrous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, and as we look forward to his second coming, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.

Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.

May he make of us an eternal offering to you, so that we may obtain an inheritance with your elect, especially with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with your blessed Apostles and glorious Martyrs and with all the Saints, on whose constant intercession in your presence we rely for unfailing help.

May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation, we pray, O Lord, advance the peace and salvation of all the world. Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity your pilgrim Church on earth, with your servant Francis our Pope and ___ our Bishop, the Order of Bishops, all the clergy, and the entire people you have gained for your own.

Listen graciously to the prayers of this family, whom you have summoned before you: in your compassion, O merciful Father, gather to yourself all your children scattered throughout the world. To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life, give kind admittance to your kingdom. There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of your glory through Christ our Lord, through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.

Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer IV is not commonly used, nor are any of the other Eucharist Prayers that have been approved. After the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest introduces the Our Father, which is sung by everyone together. Thus, after we have participated in our Lord's sacrifice on the Cross and made present his most sacred Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, we respond with the prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us.

At the Saviour’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

As in the traditional form of the Mass, the priest elaborates a little on the final line of the Our Father, “But deliver us from evil.” However, the elaboration (or “embolism”) in the Novus Ordo is much shorter and does not mention any saints. The priest sings it aloud.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.

The people's response, “For the kingdom...” is first found appended to the Our Father in the Didache, a treatise on Christian doctrine written by the apostles in the first century. Some translations of the Bible add it to the Our Father in the Gospel According to Matthew, but it is not in the original manuscripts and was not included by our Lord. Thus, in the liturgy, it is not part of the Our Father, but is sung after the embolism.

The priest then sings the first of the three prayers before Communion from the traditional Mass, the prayer for peace. As we prepare to receive Communion, we pray for the divine peace that comes from God's grace. This prayer quotes our Lord's words in John 14:27.

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will. Who live and reign for ever and ever.
Amen.

Our Lord commanded us to make peace with our brother before offering our sacrifice at the altar. Thus, before receiving Communion, we offer our brethren the Kiss of Peace. The priest offers the peace of the risen Christ to the faithful, and the deacon invites us to share that peace with each other.

The peace of the Lord be with you always.
And with your spirit.
Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

The practice of actually kissing each other ended in the Middle Ages and was replaced with a reverent embrace to symbolize the sharing of God's peace. Today, handshakes are common. The GIRM prescribes that the sign of peace be offered “in a sober manner” and “only to those who are nearest” (82).

Once the sign of God's peace has been offered, the priest breaks the Sacred Host, as Christ did at the Last Supper to symbolize the breaking of his Body at his Crucifixion. He then breaks off a small particle of the Host and places it in the Chalice, accompanied by a silent prayer.

May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

The choir then sings the Agnus Dei, addressing our Lord as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,” just as St. John the Baptist did when he first heralded our Lord's arrival (John 1:29).

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Meanwhile, the priest continues his preparation for Holy Communion. He chooses one of the two remaining prayers before Communion from the traditional Massthe prayer for holiness or the prayer for grace. Both prayers are beautiful and ancient.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.


Or May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgement and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.

Now, after the sacrifice has been offered and we have prepared ourselves through prayer, it is time to consume the sacrament. The Novus Ordo does not have the separation between the priest's reception of Communion and the faithful's reception of Communion found in the traditional Mass. The priest receives Communion himself only after inviting the faithful to Holy Communion.

Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

To the cry of St. John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God! Behold him who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29) the Church adds the words of an angel in Apocalypse 19:9, “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” With these words, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the closest we can be to God on earth, is compared to the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb that we hope to enjoy in heaven. The priest and faithful together respond with the prayer of the centurion from Matthew 8:8, said only once.

The priest, deacon, servers, and all of the faithful who are properly prepared then receive our Lord in Holy Communion. To be properly prepared to receive Communion, one must be a practicing Catholic in a state of sanctifying grace and have been fasting for at least one hour prior to receiving Communion. It is laudable to observe the more traditional practice of fasting for three hours or from midnight. Lay people may be appointed by the pastor as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (sometimes incorrectly called “Eucharistic Ministers”) to assist in the distribution of Communion.

When the priest receives Communion, he says a couple very short prayers.

May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Communion is given to the people with even simpler words.

The Body of Christ. Amen.
The Blood of Christ. Amen.

During the distribution of Holy Communion, the choir sings the Communion Chant, which, like the Entrance and Offertory Chants, is proper to the day, is usually taken from a psalm, and may be replaced with another liturgical chant. After Communion, the priest or deacon uses unconsecrated wine and water to purify all vessels used to contain the Blessed Sacrament. Because every particle of the Host and every drop of the Precious Blood is our Lord Jesus Christ, whole and entire, extreme care must be taken to ensure that none of it is profaned. Meanwhile, the priest silently prays that all may receive the benefits of Holy Communion.

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

The priest then returns to the chair. Another hymn may be sung. There is also a period of silent prayer after Communion to allow the faithful to give thanks to God for the immense gift he has given us in Communion. The priest then sings, “Let us pray,” followed by the Postcommunion or “Prayer After Communion,” which is proper to the day. Brief announcements may then be made.

Thus concludes the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which we offered the Holy Sacrifice and received the Blessed Sacrament. What follows are the Concluding Rites, the fourth and final major part of the Mass. Before dismissing the people, the priest gives the last blessing.

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

On certain occasions, a longer, more solemn blessing is given. The deacon then dismisses the people with one of four forms.

Go forth, the Mass is ended.
Or Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
Or Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Or Go in peace.
Thanks be to God.

Now that we have united ourselves to God in the Mass, we go forth into the world to carry out the work of the Church. With the dismissal, the Novus Ordo Mass is ended. The Last Gospel and Leonine Prayers, which conclude the traditional Latin Mass, are never used in the Novus Ordo.

New terms
  • Eucharistic Prayer – The long prayer, beginning with the Preface, in which the bread and wine are offered to God and transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.
  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion – Lay people appointed by the pastor to assist in the distribution of Communion.
  • Communion Chant – A chant proper to the day, usually from a psalm, sung during the distribution of Communion. It may be replaced with another liturgical chant.
  • Concluding Rites – The fourth and final major part of the Novus Ordo Mass, which consists of the last blessing and dismissal.

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