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MASS


MASS


The rite of the nuptial Mass and blessing is this: The Mass has neither Gloria nor Creed. It counts as a votive Mass not for a grave matter; therefore it has three eolleets. its own, the commemoration of the day, and the third which is the one chosen for semi-doul)l('s at that time of the year, miless there lie two com- memorations. At the end lifmilicuDiiis Domino and the Ctos|H'l of St. .John are said. The colour is white. The bridegroom and bride assist near the altar (just outside the sanctuary), the man on the right. After the PatcT nosUr the celebrant genuflects and goes to the epistle side. Meanwhile the bridegroom and bride come up and kneel before him. Turning to them he says the two prayers Propiliarc Doiiiinr and Drua qui polcstalc (as in the Missal) with foldr<l hands, lie then goes back to the middle and continues the Mass. They go back to their places. He gives them Com- munion at the usual time. This implies that they are fasting and explains the misused name "wedding breakfast" afterwards. But the Communion is not a strict law (S. R. C, no. 5582, 21 March. 1874). Imme- diately after the Benedicamus Domino and its answer the celebrant again goes to the Epistle side and the bridegroom and bride kneel before him as before. The celebrant turning to them says the prayer Deus Abraham (without Oremus). He is then told to warn them " with grave words to be faithful to one an- other". The rest of the advice suggested in the rubric of the Missal is now generally left out. He sprinkles them with holy water; they retire, he goes back to the middle of the altar, says Placeat tibi, gives the blessing and finishes Mass as usual.

In the cases in which the "Missa pro sponso et sponsa" may not be said but may be commemorated, the special prayers and blessing are inserted in the Mass in the same way. But the colour must be that of the day. During the closed time it is, of course, quite possible for the married people to have a Mass said for their intention, at which they receive Holy Communion. The nuptial Blessing in this Mass is quite a different thing from the actual celebration of the marriage, which must always precede it. The blessing is given to people already married, as the prayers imply. It need not be given (nor the Mass said) by the priest who assisted at the marriage. But both these functions (assistance and blessing) are rights of the parish priest, which no one else may undertake without delegation from him. Generally they are so combined that the marriage takes place immediately before the Mass; in this case the priest may assist at the marriage in Mass vestments, but without the maniple. In England and other countries where a civil declaration is required by law, this is usually made in the sacristy between the marriage and the Mass. Canon Law in England orders that marriages be made only in churches that have a district with the cure of souls (Cone. prov. Westm. I, deer. XXII. 4). This implies as a general rule, but does not command absolutely, that the nuptial Mass also be celebrated in such a church.

See Rubrics of the Mism pro sponso ei sponsa in the Missal;

Rituale Romanum. Tit. VII: de Sacramento matrimonii; Le

Vavassedr, Manuel de Liturgie, I (Paris, 1910), 228-229;

DE Eerdt, 5acrff Li(urff«E Praxis, III (Lou vain, 1894), 361-377.

Adrian Fortescue.

Mass, Sacrifice op the. — A. The Dogmatic Doc- trine of the Mass. — The word Mass (missa) first estab- lished itself as the general designation for the Euchar- istic Sacrifice in the West after the time of Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604), the early Church having used the expression the " breaking of bread " (frartio panis) or "liturgy" (Acts, xiii, 2,\(iTovpyovi^es); the Greek Church has employed the latter name for al- most sixteen centuries. Then; were current in the early days of Christianity other terms: "The Lord's Supper" (ciena il(imiiiica), the "Sacrifice" {vpoaipopi, ablatio), "the gathering together" ((rim^is, cuiiyre-


galio), "the Mysteries", and (since Augustine) "the Sacrament of the Altar". With the name "Love- Feast" (iyiirri) the idea of the sacrifice of the Mass was not necessarily connected (see Agape). Etymo- logically, the word missa is neither (as Baronius states) from the Hebrew HDD nor from the Greek fiiirts. but is simply derived from tnissio, just as olilato is deriv<'d from ohiatio, collecta from collectio, and idla from utlio (Du Cange, "Glossar.", s. v. "Missa"). 'I'lie reference was however not- to a Divine "mission", but simply to a "dismissal" {dimissio), as was also customary in the Greek rite (cf. "Canon. Apost.", VIII. XV: dTo\ieaOe iv elpiivTj), and as is still echoed in the phrase Ite missa est. This solemn form of leave- taking was not introduced by the Church as something new. but was adopted from the ordinary language of the day, as is shown by Bishop Avitus of Vienna as late as a. d. 500 (Ep. 1 in P. L., LIX, 199): "In churches and in the emperor's or the prefect's courts, Missa est is said when the people are released from attendance." In the sense of "dismissal", or rather "close of prayer", missa is used in the celebrated " Peregrinatio Silvife" at least seventy times (Corpus scriptor. eccles. latinor.. XXXVIII, .366 sq.), and the Rule of St. Benedict places after Hours, Vespers, and Compline, the regular formula: Et missa- fiant (pr.ayers are ended). Popular speech gradually applied the ritual of dismissal, as it was expressed in both the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful, by synecdoche to the entire Eucharistic Sacrifice, the whole being named after the part. The first certain trace of such an application is found in Ambrose (Ep. XX, 4, in P. L., XVI, 995). We will use the word in this sense in our consideration of the Mass in its (1) existence, (2) essence, and (3) causality.

(1) The Existence of the Mass. — Before dealing witih the proofs of revelation afforded by the Bible and tradition, certain preliminary points must first be decided. Of these the most important is that the Church intends the Mass to be regarded as a " true and proper sacrifice", and will not tolerate the idea that the sacrifice is identical with Holy Communion. That is the sense of a clause from the Council of Trent (Sess. XXII, can. i): "If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to lie offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema" (Denzinger, " Enchir.", 10th ed., 1908, n. 948). When Leo XIII in the dog- matic Bull "Apostolicae Curse" of 13 Sept., 1896, based the invalidity of the Anglican form of consecra- tion on the fact among others, that in the consecrating formula of Edward VI (that is, since 1549) there is no- where an unambiguous declaration regarding the Sac- rifice of the Mass, the Anglican archbishops answered with some irritation: "First, we offer the Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; next, we plead and represent before the Father the Sacrifice of the Cross . . . and, lastly, we offer the Sacrifice of ourselves to the Creator of all things, which we have already signified by the oblation of His creatures. This whole action, in which the people has necessarily to take part with the priest, we are accustomed to call the Eucharistic Sacrifice." In regard to this last contention. Bishop Hedley of Newport declared his belief that not one Anglican in a thousand is accustomed to call the communion the " Eucharistic Sacrifice ". But, even if they were all so accustomed, they would have to interpret the terms in the sense of the Thirty-nine Articles, which deny both the Real Presence and the sacrificial power of the priest, and thus admit a sacrifice in an unreal or figurative sense only. Leo XIII, on the other hand, in union with the whole Christian past, had in mind in the above-mentioned Bull nothing else than the Eu- charistic "Sacrifice of the true Body and Blood of Christ" on the altar. This Sacrifice is certainly not identical with the Anglican form of celebration (see Anglicanism).