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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/36

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MASS


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MASS


of the Church (cf. Tri-iit. Srss. XXII, i) that the Mass isinits viTV nature a" ri'iuvsi'iitation " (represent alio), a "commemoration" (inemoria) andan "apphcation" (application of the Sacrifice of the Cross. When indeed the Roman Catechism (11, c. iv, Q. 70), as a fourth relation, adopts the daily repetition (instauratio), it means that such a repetition is to lie taken not in the sense of a multiplication, hut simply of an application of the merits of the pa.ssion. Just as the Church repu- diates nothing so much as the suggestion that iiy the Mass the sacrifice on the Cro.ss is as it were set aside, so she goes a step farther and maintains the essential identity of lioth sacrifices, holding that the main <lif- ference between them is in the different manner of sacrifice — the one bloody, the other unbloody (Trent, Sess. XXII, ii): " Una enim eudemque est hostia, idem nunc ofTerens sacerdotum ministerio, ijui seipsum tunc in cruce obtulit , sola offerendi rationc diversa." Inas- much as the sacrificing jiriest (offercns) and the sacri- ficial victiin (hostia) in lioth sacrifices are Christ Him- self, their sameness amounts even to a numerical iden- tity. In regard to the manner of the sacrifice (offerendi ratio) on the other hand, it is naturally a question only of a specific identity or uiiit.v that includes the possibility of ten, a hundred, or a thousand masses.

(b) Turning now to the other question as to the constituent parts of the liturg.v of the Mass in which the real sacrifice is to lie looked for, we need only take into consideration its three chief parts; the OiTertory, the Consecration and the Communion. Tiie antiquated view of Johann Eck, according to which the act of sac- rifice was comprised in the prayer " Unde et memores . . . ofTcrimus". is thus excluded from our discussion, as is al.so the opinion of Melchior Canus, who held that the sacrifice is accomplished in the symbolical cere- mony of the breaking of the Host and its commingling witli the Chalice. The question therefore arises first: Is the sacrifice comprised in the Offertory? From the wording of the prayer this much at least is clear, that bread and wine constitute the secondary sacrificial elements of the Mass, since the priest, in the true lan- guage of sacrifice, offers to God bread as an "un- spotted host" (immaculatam hostiam) and wine as the "clialice of salvation" (calicem salutaris). But the very significance of this language proves that at- tention is mainly directed to the prospective transub- stantiation of the Eucharistic elements. Since the Mass is not a mere offering of bread and wine, like the figurative food offering of Melchisedech, it is clear that only the Body and Blood of Clirist can be the primary matter of the sacrifice, as was the case at the Last Supper (cf. Trent, Sess. XXII, i, can. 2; Denzinger, n. 938, 949). Consequently, the sacrifice is not in the Offertory. Does it consist then in the priest's Com- munion? There were and are theologians who favour that view. They can be ranged in two classes, accord- ing as they see in the Communion the essential or the co-essential.

Those who belong to the first category (Dominicus Soto, Henz, Bellordj had to beware of the heretical doctrine proscriticd by the Council of Trent (Sess. XXII, can. 1), viz., that Mass and Communion were identical. In American and English circles the so- called " bamiuet-theory" of the late Bishop Bellord once created some stir (cf. The Ecclesiastical Review, XXXIII, 190.5, 2.5S sq.). According to that view, the essence of the sacrifice was not to be looked for in the offering of a gift to (Sod, but solely in the Communion. Without communion there was no sacrifice. Regard- ing pagan .sacrifices Dijllinger (" Hcidentura und Judentum", Ratisbon, IH'tl) ha<l already demon- strated the incompatibility of this view. With the complete shedding of blood pagan sacrifices ended, .so that the supper which .sometimes followed it was ex- pressive merely of tlu^ sal isfa<tion felt at the reconcil- iation with the gods. I^ven the horrible human sacri- ficea had as their object the death of the victim only


and not a cannibal feast (cf. Mader, "Die Menschcn- opfer dcT alien llcbr:ier und der benachbartcn Volker", I'reiliurg, ]9()!H. As to the .lews, only a few Levitical .sacrifices, such as flic pciice offering, had feasting con- nected with them; most, and especially the ournt offerings (holocausta), were accomplished without feasting (cf. Levit., vi, 9 sq.). Bishop Bellord, having cast in his lot with the " banquet-theory ", could natu- rally find the esscMicc of the Mass in the priests' Com- munion only. lie was indeed logicall.y bound to allow that the Crucifixion itself had the character of a sacri- fice only in conjunction with the Last Supper, at which alone food w.as taken; for the Crucifixion excluded any ritual food offering. These disquieting conse- fiuences are all the more serious in that they are devoid of anv scientific basis (see Pesch, " Prsel. dogmat.", VI. 379 sq., Freiburg, 1908).

Harmless, even though improbable, is that other view (Bellarmine, De Lugo, Tournely, etc.) which in- cludes the Communion as at least a co-essential factor in the constitution of the Mass; for the consumption of the Host and of the contents of the Chalice, being a kind of destruction, would appear to accord with the conception of the sacrifice developed above. But only in appearance; for the sacrificial transformation of the victim must take place on the altar, and not in the body of the celebrant, while the partaking of the two elements can at most represent the burial and not the sacrificial death of Christ. The Last Supper also would have been a true sacrifice only on condition that Christ had given the Communion not only to His apos- tles but also to Himself. There is however no evidence that such a Communion ever took place, probable as it may appear. For the rest, the Communion of the priest is not the sacrifice, but only the completion of, and participation in, the sacrifice; it belongs therefore not to the essence, but to the integrity of the sacrifice. And this integrity is also preserved absolutely even in the so-called "private Mass" at which the priest alone communicates; private Masses are allowed for that reason (cf. Trent, Sess. XXII, can. 8). When the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia (1786), proclaiming the false principle that "participation in the sacrifice is essential to the sacrifice ", demanded at least the mak- ing of a "spiritual communion" on the part of the faithful as a condition of allowing private Masses, it was denied by Pius VI in his Bull "Auctorem fidei" (1796) (see Denzinger, n. 1528).

After the elimination of the Offertory and Com- munion, there remains only the Consecration as the part in which the true sacrifice is to be sought. In reality, that jiart alone is to be regarded as the proper sacrificial act which is such by Christ's own institu- tion. Now the Lord's words are: "This is my Body; this is my Blood." The Oriental Epiklesis (q. v.) can- not be considered as the moment of consecration for the reason that it is absent in the Mass in the West and is known to have first come into practice after Apos- tolic times (see Eucharist). The sacrifice must also be at the point where Christ personally appears as High Priest and the human celebrant acts only as his representative. The priest docs not however assume the personal part of Christ either at the Offertory or Communion. He only does so when he speaks the words: ' ' This is My Body; this is My Blood ", in which there is no possible reference to the body and blood of the celebrant. While the Consecration as such can be shown with certainty to be the act of Sacrifice, the necessity of the twofold consecration can be demon- strated only as highly probable. Not only older theo- logians such as Frassen, Ciotti, and Bonacina, but also later theologians such as Schouppen, Stentrup and Fr. Schmi<l, have supported the iuitenal)le theory that when one of the consrcra(<Ml elcniciits is invalid, such as barley bread or cider, the coiisccral ion of the valid element not onl.v produces the .Sa<rainent, but al.so the (mutilated) sacrifice. Their chief argument is that the