minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Missa – Sanctus

item_1601The Eucharistic Prayer is a section of the Mass which is found in the Liturgy of the Eucharist and follows the Presentation of the Gifts. It is a very special point in the liturgy because it truly is the heart of the Liturgy and of the Mass. In preparation of this prayer we find the Sanctus, which is part of the Ordinary of the Mass.

The word sanctus means “holy” and the prayer begins by repeating this three times. The first part of the sanctus comes from Isaiah 6:3 and as well as Revelation 4:8, which also uses the three “holy’s”. The second comes from the Gospels and reminds us of the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

It is interesting that so much of the Mass uses this picture of “procession”, from the Entrance, to the gifts, and here the words from the triumphal entry. I suppose that the idea is to focus on movement, or more specifically to point out that the Lord is moving or active in our midst. In his covenant with Abraham he proceeds through the sacrifice, the incarnation he comes and dwells among us, he proceeds to Jerusalem and eventually he will bear the cross and again picture the idea of procession. In the end He is now still in movement as we participate in the mass and as He moves into our hearts. I am thinking of all of this when singing the Sanctus because all of this is essential but there is something more. As we conclude the Sanctus we will begin the Eucharistic Prayer and it is at this time that our gifts of bread and wine will become the Body and Blood of Christ. The Real Presence in the Eucharist and the concept of communion are all hinted at in the Sanctus by our profession of Holiness and Christ coming, for now we are entering the Holy of Holies of the mass. As the song concludes the people kneel and until the completion of Communion and the Host has been put away we will either stand or kneel in the Presence of the Lord.


Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus

Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.

Hosanna in excelsis.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

Hosanna in excelsis

Holy, Holy, Holy

Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest

Wild Flowers

Took a shot of some wild flowers while berry picking a few weeks ago and decided to try a shot of it. Canvas is 18×24. Heavy acrylic layered for the flowers to give them a little pop.

I think the flowers are Plains Coreopsis.



Missa – Orate, fratres et sorores

Institution-of-the-eucharist--Sassetta--Siena_PinacotecaThis post is a follow up to “Bearing Gifts” as it is the completion of this first part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. As noted the gifts are brought forward and the priest along with his assistants will bring them to the altar which has been prepared earlier during the collection. So lets look at this first.

The altar itself is an idea; a symbol. To most the very word brings to mind things like worship or sacrifice. And so it is in the Mass. The altar is very much the centerpiece of the church and the centerpiece of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. During the first part of the Mass the main focus is on the Lectern or “pulpit” because the Liturgy of the Word is primarily about the revelation of God in the Sacred Scriptures and Tradition. We read the Scriptures and hear a Homily. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist we are exploring the revelation of God through the Incarnation, the event where God became flesh for the purpose of the Sacrifice we know as the Crucifixion. So the Altar is now before us to remind us of the cost of our salvation. To also remind us that this sacrifice is unlimited by time and space, but will be present in these gifts just as it will be present to the believer today, like it will be a hundred years from now or as it was to the very apostles who sat in wonder at the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.imagesCAT2BBUS

In preparation for the gifts several items were placed on the altar. The Corporal, the Purificator, the Chalice and a Missal. The Corporal is a large square cloth where the Body and Blood will be placed. Corporal comes from the Latin for “body” and its purpose very much like a “place mat” to catch crumbs and drips from the Body and Blood. In a similar way the Purificator is similarly like a “napkin” which will be used for cleaning the Chalice and Paten (a gold dish used to hold the Eucharistic bread). Keeping in mind that in the catholic faith the Eucharist is the Real Presence of our Lord, these items are meant to keep the Body and Blood from being treated like mere crumbs or spilled wine. As such even the cleaning of these must be done with certain care.

The Chalice is pretty obvious. When the bread and wine are brought forward the wine is brought also with another container of water. In the chalice the wine will be poured and a few drops of water will be added. Water and wine, divine and human, or the water that poured from the side of at the crucifixion is tied into this. On top of the chalice is another cloth called the pall which is used simply to keep dust or insects from falling into the chalice.

The last item is a Missal which is where the prayers will be read for the liturgy, and several of them will be read during this first process which will conclude the “Preparation of the Gifts”

The Preparation, if you haven’t noticed is very much like the setting of a dinner table. The altar has a table cloth, dinner matt, a cup and napkins and even candles to provide light and in this case to also increase illumination to draw attention to the altar. And the prayers are also very much like dinner prayers. This is the other side of our altar idea. The altar is a symbol of sacrifice and worship but it is also very much like that heart of the home where people gather in the domestic communion of dinner. As a matter of fact it is very easy to see the church’s’ roots in Jewish tradition here where there are similar blessings for the bread and wine used before dinner.

Here are some of the prayers and responses you will hear as the gifts are prepared:

The Priest holds the paten, a dish which contains the bread, above the altar.
Priest: Blessed are you, Lord God of all
creation, for through your
goodness we have received the
bread we offer you: fruit  of the
earth and work of human
hands, it will become for us the
bread of  life.

People: Blessed be God forever.

The priest pours the water into the wine and says: Priest: By the mystery of this water and wine
my we come to share in the divinity of Christ
who humbled himself to share in our humanity

And then he will raise the chalice:
Blessed  are you, Lord God of all
creation, for through your
goodness we have received
the wine we offer you: fruit of
the vine and work of human
hands it will become our
spiritual drink.

The priest bows and says: With humble spirit and contrite
heart may  we be accepted by
you, O Lord, and may our
sacrifice in your sight this day
be  pleasing to you, Lord God.

The priest stands and washes his hands at the side of the altar. Wash me, O Lord, from my
iniquity and cleanse me from my

The Priest moves to the center of the altar and extends his hands to the congregation and says:
Priest: Pray, brethren (brothers and
sisters), that my sacrifice and
yours may be acceptable to
God, the almighty Father.

People: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good, and the good of all his holy Church.

The sacrifice here is our offering of the bread and wine as well as ourselves. Our words are meant to identify us as a body,  in communion, for a purpose which will be the very Eucharist, but also our spiritual sacrifices which we all offer together with the priest.

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