Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"For All the Saints, Who From Their Labors Rest..."

One of the wonderful things about the Traditional Latin Mass, which in its basic form, countless saints heard for centuries, is its the number of times the saints are mention. The first time we hear names of saints is in the priest's Confiteor. I confess to almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to Blessed Michael the Archangel, to Blessed John the Baptist, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.... The second time the priest mentions the saints is when he venerates the relics of the saints that are enclosed in the altar. After the Lesson/Epistle, the Gradual/Alleluia/Tract, and the Gospel, we confess what our basic beliefs are in the Creed. We profess that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. While the communion of saints isn't specifically mentioned in the Nicene Creed, it is mentioned in the Apostles' Creed.

Soon after the Mass of the Faithful begins, the priest offers the host and the chalice, and then washes his hands. He then says a prayer, asking the Holy Trinity to accept these offerings, which is not also being made in honor of Christ, but also "in honor of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of (name of the Saints whose relics are in the Altar) and of all the Saints; that it may add to their honor and aid our salvation; and may they deign to intercede in heaven for us who honor their memory here on earth."

The next time the Saints are mentioned is in the Canon of the Mass, in the Communicantes prayer. Most of the saints mentioned in this prayer are martyrs.

In the unity of holy fellowship we observe the memory, first of all, of the glorious and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ. Next we observe the memory of Blessed Joseph, Spouse of the same Virgin, and of Your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus; of Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and all Your Saints. By their merits and prayers grant that we may be always fortified by the help of Your protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Subsequently, the consecration takes place. Jesus Christ Himself, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, becomes present on the altar. The priest then says a series of prayers. One of the last of these is another prayer where specific saints are invoked.

To us sinners also, Your servants, trusting in the greatness of Your mercy, deign to grant some part and fellowship with Your Holy Apostles and Martyrs with John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and all Your Saints. Into their company we implore You to admit us, not weighing our merits, but freely granting us pardon. Through Christ our Lord.

After the minor elevation of the host and the chalice, the priest, along with the whole congregation, prays the Pater Noster, which all saints have prayed many times during their lives on earth. The priest then invokes the saints one last time (in many instances, the servers mention the saints one more time when the say the Confiteor before Communion).

Deliver us, we beg You, Lord, from every evil, past, present, and to come; and by the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever-Virgin, Mother of God, Mary, and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, of Andrew, and all Saints; grant of Your goodness, peace in our days, that aided by the riches of Your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all disturbance. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.

It's hard to "escape" the presence of the Church Triumphant when one attends the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Let us remember them this day, which is dedicated to their memory.

Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei, intercedite pro nobis!


Blogger Iosephus said...

That's a nice picture which you found for the top of this post.

12:18 PM  

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