Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/44

This page needs to be proofread.


MASS


MASS


stitutc just prounds for the rpduotion of the numlior of Masses, sinoo it inayl'e reiisonal>ly prcsmneil tliattJie deceased founder wo\ild not under such difhcult cir- cumstance insist upon the olilipation. On '21 ,lune, 1625, the rifilit of reduction, which the Council of Trent had conferred on bisliops, abbots, and tlie nen- erals of reliniovis orders, was again reserved by Urban VIII to the Holy See.

Consult PAagcAUGO. De sacrificw Nova Legis quast. theolo- gicct. morahs. iuriiliiir (2 \ols.. I.voiis. lefilll ; Bona, Dr snrrificio missatr.i.i ,, . ,;,, ;. .,,,« , .i , I'm 11,,,, i,, I'm,',, i;;,i;,l„„,. 1909); Bf.nei.i.-i \n , />. U . ;,,,.., M, ,7 ../ furx.

CompUl. \\\\\ K , ., ; ' ■ W,,s-,(3rd

ed.. Miiiisl, ,, ish'i I n M 11,,! I , , //. ■, , ■ : ',. ■,".,! l.iluroik (2 vol3.. Kri-ibun!. 1S7(I1; Hi^Tiiii i:, / ■ ,-,.,/./„. diuis If ilogme cathol. €t itans ta vie chrtt. (Paris, iss'.n: liiLAiiius a .Sexten, Tract, pastoratis de sacramentis (^l:lillz. IS'.t'it; (iASPAnni, Tract, canonicus de ss. Eucharistia (Paris, IS'.tT); * !i(iiti>ANO, Das euch. Lehen u. das ewige Kimigtum Christi, tr. from Italian (Freiburg, 1900): Pruner. Lehrhuch der Pastoraltheol., I (2d ed., Frei- burg. 1904); Balthasar, Das Gelteimnis alter Geheimnisse in hi. Sttkramcnl des Altars (Freiburg, 1905); Tyrrell-Green, The Kurhari-ilt Devotional Addres.'ies on its chief Aspects (London, 190S): ICiNANK. Dore of the Tabernacle; or. The Love of Jesus in Iht Mo.ll HoUi Eucharist (Dublin), German tr. (Freiburg. 1910). <.)n particular points consult ^nKVa.Realencykl. der christi. Alter- turner (2 vols.. Freiburg, 1S79-S6); Wieland, Mensa u. Con- fessio. I (Munich, 1906); R.uble, Der Tabemakel einst u. jetzt (Freiburg, 1908); Braun, Die priesterl. Gewtinder des Abend- lander nach ihrer geschichtl. Entwicklung (Freiburg, 1897); Idem, Die liturg. Gewandung im Occident u. Orient nach Ursprung u. Entwicklung (Freiburg, 1907) Concerning mass-stipends, see hEnL.ESVls,Deoblationibusetstipendiis{'Venice, 1743); .Schmid, Messopfer, Messapplikation u. M esstipendien (Passau, 1834); Leinz, Die Simonie, eine kanonistische Studie (Freiburg. 1902). Consult further Philups, Lehrbuch des Kirchenrechts (2d ed., Ratisbon, 1871), 549 sqq.; Lermkuhl. Theol. moralis, II (10th ed., Freiburg. 1902): Gopfert, Moraltheologie, III (5th ed., Paderbom, 1906). On mass-foundations see Benedict XIV, De synod, diocer., V. x; XII, xxv; EuZET, Nature juridique de la fondation de Messes (Paris. 1906); Dejust. Des fondations de Meases (Paris, 1908); Thurston in The Month (1908), 13-27.

(2) Precepts to secure the Worthiness of the Cele- brant.— Although, as declared by the Council of Trent (Sess. XXII, cap. i), the venerable, pure, and sublime Sacrifice of the God-man "cannot be stained by any unworthiness or impiety of the celebrant", still ec- clesiastical legislation has long regarded it as a matter of special concern that priests should fit themselves for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice by the cultivation of integrity, purity of heart, and other qualities of a personal nature.

(a) In the first place it may be asked: Who may celebrate Mass? Smce for the validity of the sacrifice the office of a special priesthood is es.sential, it is clear, to begin with, that only bishops and priests (not dea- cons) are qualified to offer up the Holy Sacrifice (see EucHARKST). The fact that even at the beginning of the second century the regular officiator at the Eu- charistic celebration seems to have been the bishop will be more readily understood when we remember that at this early period there was no strict distinc- tion between the offices of bishop and priest. Like the "Didache" (xv), Clement of Rome (Ad Cor., xl- xlii) speaks only of the bishop and his deacon in con- nexion with the sacrifice. Ignatius of Antioch, in- deed, who bears irrefutable testimony to the existence of the three divisions of the hierarchy — bishop {4nla^Ko- iros), priests {irpeapvTepoi) and deacons (Sidmi/oi) — confines to the bishop the privilege of celebrating the Divine Service, when he .says; " It is unlawful to bap- tize or to hold the agape [iydinii'] without the bishop." The "Canones Hippolyti", composed probably about the end of the second century, first contain the regula- tion (can. xxxii) : " If, in the absence of the bishop, a priest lie at hand, all shall devolve upon him, and he shall be honoured as the bishop is honoured." Subse- quent tradition recognizes no other celebrant of the Mystery of the Eucharist than the bishops and priests, who are validly ordained " according to the keys of the Church" {secundum claves Eccle-iice). (Cf. Lateran IV, cap. "Firmiter" in Denzinger, n. 4.30.)

But the Church demands still more by insisting also on the personal moral worthiness of the celebrant.


This connotes not alone freedom from all ecclesiastical censures (excommunication, suspension, interdict), but also a becoming pri[i:ir:ilioTi of the soul and body of the priest before he approaches the altar. To cele- brate in the state of mortal sin has always been regardetl by th<' Church as an infamous sacrilege (cf. I Cor., xi, 27 S(|(|.). For the worthy (not for the valid) celebration of tlie Mass it is, therefore, especially re- quired that the celebrant be in the state of grace. To place him in this condition, the awakening of perfect sorrow is no longer sufficient since the ( 'oinicil of Trent (Sess. XIII, cap. vii in Denzinger. n. SSO), for there is a strict ecclesiastical precept 1li;it the reception of the Sacrament of Penance must precede the celebration of Mass. This rule applies to all priests, even when they are bound by their office (ex officio) to read Mass, e. g. on Sundays for their parishioners. Only in instances, when no confessor can be procured, may they content themselves with reciting an act of perfect sorrow (coniritio), and they then incur the obligation of going to confession "as early as possible" {ijucwi primum), which, in canon law, signifies within three days at furthest. In addition to the pious preparation for Mass (accessus), there is prescribed a correspondingly long thanksgiving after Mass (recessus), whose length is fixed by moral theologians between fifteen minutes and half an hour, although in this connexion the par- ticular official engagements of the priest must be con- sidered. As regards the length of the Mass itself, the duration is naturally variable, according as a Solemn High Mass is sung or a Low Mass celebrated. To per- form worthily all the ceremonies and pronounce clearly all the prayers in Low Mass reciuires on an average about half an hour. Moral theologians justly declare that the scandalous haste necessary to finish Mass in less than a quarter of an hour is impossible without grievous sin.

With regard to the more immediate preparation of the body, custom has declared from time immemorial, and positive canon law since the Council of Constance (1415), that the faithful, when receiving the Sacra- ment of the Altar, and priests, when celebrating the Holy Sacrifice, must be fasting {jejunium naturale), which means that they must have partaken of no food or drink whatsoever from midnight. Midnight begins with the first stroke of the hour. In calculating the hour, the so-called "mean time" (or local time) must be used: according to a recent decision (S. C. C, 12 July, 1893), Central-European time may be also em- ployed, and, in North America, "zone time". The movement recently begun among the German clergy, favouring a mitigation of the .strict regulation for weak or overworked priests with the obligation of duplicat- ing, has serious objections, since a general relaxation of the ancient strictness might easily result in lessening respect for the Blessetl Sacrament and in a harmful reaction among thoughtless members of the laity. The granting of mitigations in general or in exceptional cases belongs to the Holy See alone. To keep away from the altar irreverent adventurers and unworthy priests, the Council of Trent (Sess. XXIII, de ref.) issued the decree, made much more stringent in later times, that an unknown priest without the Celebret (q. V.) may not be allowed to say Mass in any church.

(b) A second question may be asked : " Who must say Mass?" In the first place, if this question be con- sidered identical with the enquiry as to whether a gen- eral obligation of Divine Law binds every priest by reason of his ordination, the old Scholastics are divided in opinion. St. Thomas, Durandus, Paludanus, and Anthony of Bologna certainly maintained the exist- ence of such an obligation ; on the other hand, Richard of St. Victor, Alexander of Hales, Bonaventure, Ga- briel Biel, and Cardinal Cajetan declared for the oppo- site view. Canon law teaches nothing on the subject. In the ab,sence of a decision, Suarez (De Euchar.. disp. Ixxx, sect. 1, n. 4) believes that one who conforms to