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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/42

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MASS


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See Bf.llarmink, De Euchar., vi, 2 aqq.; Sdahez. I)r Kurhnr., disp. Ixxix; De Li'oo, De Euchar., disp. xix; Billuakt. Dc Eiicftar.. dissert, viii; especially Sanchkz. Spiritualis Themitrus A/iasir (Ingoldstftdt, 1620); Gotzmann, Das fuchar. Opfcr nach dcT Lehre tier ttUeren Scholastik (FreiburR, 190!). Also Kos- 8I.NG. Uluritise/ic Erkl/irung der hi. .\frx^,- r<y] <••] . Ritisbon, lS69);OuviKR.Snlulionstheol. el Ulurn I I Sacri- fice de la M esse {Fatia. 1873); Si'KinT, /< a - : ./,s eu- rAnr. Op/rM(AugsbiirK, 1S76); Mi l.i.KU. y ' - ;; If, . tl,r Sac- rifice for Ihe l.iring and the Dead (.Nok\~>iI. I-, I KvMKZ.flU diiin Sacrifice et du prtirc qui le ci-Ubre O'lii , isss, |j dtke. Erklarung des hi. Messapfern (Danzie. l^'i': II.ihmi.t de Fledhv, /-M.Snin(«do(n A/fssf (10 vols.. I'm,, is'.i.; '.n. Wal- ter. Die hi. Messe, der grusste Schatz der \\ ill (01 h ud.. Brixen, 1901); GiBR, Das hi. Messopfcr dogmatisch, liturgisch u. asze- tisch erkliirt (10th cd.. Freiburg, 1907); 6th ed. tr. (St. Louis, 190S).

B. Practical Questions Concerning the Mass.- — From the excpcdiiigly high vahiation, which the Church places on the Mass as the unbloody Sacrifice of the God-Man, issue, as it were spontaneously, all those practical precepts of a positive or a negative nature, which are given in the Rul)rics of the Mass, in Canon Law, and in Moral Theology. They may be conven- iently divided into two categories, according as they are intended to secure in the highest degree possible the objective dignity of the Sacrifice or the subjective worthiness of the celebrant.

(1) Precepts for the Promotion of the Dignity of the Sacrifice. — (a) One of the most important requisites for the worthy celebration of the Mass is that the place in which the all-holy Mystery is to be celebrated, should be a suitable one. Since, in the days of the Apostohc Church, there were no churches or chapels, private houses with suitable accommodation were appointed for the solemnization of "the breaking of bread" (cf. Acts, ii, 46; xx, 7 sq.; Col., iv, 15; Philem.. 2). During the era of the persecutions the Eucharist ic services in Rome were transferred to the catacombs, where the Christians believed themselves secure from government agents. The first "houses of God" reach back certainly to the end of the second centuT}', as we learn from TertuUian (Adv. Valent., iii) and Clement of Alexandria (Strom., I, i). In the sec- ond half of the fourth century (a. d. 370), Optatus of Mileve (De Schism. Donat., II, iv) could already reckon more than forty basilicas which adorned the city of Rome. From this period dates the prohibition of the Synod of Laodicea (can. Iviii) to celebrate Mass in private houses. Thenceforth the public churches were to be the sole places of worship. In the Middle Ages the synods granted to bishops the right of allow- ing house-chapels within their dioceses. According to the law of to-day (Council of Trent, Sess. XXII, de reform.), the Mass may be celebrated only in chapels and public (or semi-public) oratories, which must be consecrated or at least blessed. At present, private chapels mav be erected only in virtue of a special papal indult (S. C. C, 23 Jan., 1847; 6 Sept., 1870). In the latter case, the real place of sacrifice is the consecrated altar (or altar-stone), which must be placed in a suit- able room (cf. Missale Romanum, Ruhr, gen., tit. xx). In times of great need (e. g. war, persecution of Cath- olics), the priest may celebrate outside the church, but naturally oidy in a becoming place, provided with the most necessary utensils. On reasonable grounds the bishop may, in virtue of the so-called "quinquennial faculties", allow the celebration of Mass in the open air, but the celebration of Mass at sea is allowed only by papal indult. In such an indult it is usually pro- vi<led that the sea be calm during the celebration, and that a second priest (or deacon) be at hand to prevent the spilling of the chalice in case of the rock- ing of the ship.

(b) For tlie worthy celebration of Mass the circum- stance of time is also of great importance. In the Apostolic age the first Christians assembled regularly on Sundays for "the breaking of bread" (Acts, xx, 7: "on the first day of the week"), which day the "Di- dache" (c.xiv),andlatcr Justin Martyr (lApoL.lxvi),


already name " the Lord's day ". ,lus(jn himself seems to be aware oidy of the Sunilay celebration, but Ter- tuUian a<lils the f.ist-days on Wednesday and Friday and the annivfr.'^aries of the martyrs (" De cor. mil. , iii; "De orat. ", .\ix). As TertuUian calls the whole paschal season (until Pentecost) "one long feast", we may conclude with some justice that during this period the faithful not only eommuniinted daily, but were al.so present at the Kudunisi ir Liturgy. .\s regards the time of the day, there < xislcd in the .\po.stolic age no fixed precepts regarding the hour at which the Eucharistic celebration should take place. The Apos- tle Paul appears to have on occasion " broken bread" about midnight (.Acts, xx. 7). But Pliny the Younger, Governor of Bithynia (died a. d. 114), already st.;ites in his official report to Emperor Trajan tluit the Chris- tians assembled in the early hours of the morning and bound themselves by a sacratncntum (oath), by which we can understand to-day onl.y the celel nation of the mysteries. TertuUian gives as the hour of the assem- bly the time before dawn (De cor. rail., iii: antelucanis ctetibus). \Mien the fact was adverted to that the Saviour's Resurrection occurred in the morning before sunrise, a change of the hour set in, the celebration of Mass being postponed until this time. Thus Cyprian writes of the Sunday celebration (Ep., Ixiii) : "We celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord in the morn- ing." Since the fifth century the "third hour" (i. e. 9 a. m.) was regarded as "canonical" for the Solemn Mass on Sundays and festivals. When the Little Hours (Prime, Terce, Sext, None) began in the Middle Ages to lose their significance as "canonical hours", the precepts governing the hour for the conventual Mass received a new meaning. Thus, for example, the precept that the conventual Mass should be held after None on fast days does not signify that it be held between midday and evening, but only that "the recitation of None in choir is followed by the Mass". It is in general left to the discretion of the priest to celebrate at any hour between dawn and midday (ab aurora usque ad meridiem) . It is proper that he should read beforehand Matins and Lauds from his breviary.

The sublimity of the Sacrifice of the Mass demands that the priest should approach the altar wearing the sacred vestments (amice, stole, cincture, maniple, and chasuble). Whether the priestly vestments are his- torical developments from Judaism or paganism, is a question still discussed by archaeologists. In any case the "Canones Hippolyti" require that at Pontifical Mass the deacons and priests appear in "white vest- ments", and that the lectors also wear festive gar- ments. No priest may celebrate Mass without light (usually two candles), except in case of urgent neces- sity (e. g. to consecrate a Host as the Vaticum for a person seriously ill). The altar-cross is also necessary as an indication that the Sacrifice of the Mass is noth- ing else than the unbloody reproduction of the Sacri- fice of the Cross. Usually, also, the priest must be attended at the altar by a server of the male sex. The celebration of Mass without a server is allowed only in case of need (e. g. to procure the Viaticum for a sick person, or to enable the faithful to satisfy their obliga- tion of hearing Mass) . A person of the female sex may not serve at the altar itself, e.- g. transfer the missal, present the cruets, etc. (S. R. C., 27 August, 1836). Women (especially nuns) may, however, answer the celebrant from their places, if no male server be at hand. During the celebration of Mass a simple priest may not wear any head-covering — whether biretta, pileolus, or full wig {coma; fictitice) — but the bishop may allow him to wear a plain perrucjue as a protection for his hairless scalp.

(c) To preserve untarnished the honour of the most venerable sacrifice, the Church has surrounded with a strong rampart of special defensive regulations the in- stitution of "mass-stipends"; her intention is on the one hand to keep remote from the altar all base ava-