Catechism of the Liturgy by a Religious of the Sacred Heart - Chapter 3

The Mass

55. What is the meaning of the Word "Doxology"?

Doxology means a word of praise or glory. The minor

Doxology is the "Glory be to the Father," and the major Doxology is the "Gloria in Excelsis."

56. How many languages are used in the Mass?

Three languages are used in the Mass: Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

57. Why are these three languages used?

Because the title of the Cross was written in these three languages.

58. Which are the Greek and Hebrew words used in the Mass?

The Greek words are "Kyrie Eleison" and "Agios o Theos, etc.," on Good Friday; and the Hebrew words are "Hosannah— Sabaoth—Alleluia—Amen—Seraphim and Cherubim."

59. How many Collects are allowed in the Mass?

It is forbidden to say more than seven Collects at any time, and this number is rarely said. On great feasts, only one is said but on ordinary occasions three is the usual number.

60. Why is the Gradual so called?

The Gradual is so called not as some suppose from the steps of the altar, for it was never read there, but rather from the steps of the ambo.

61. What was the ambo?

The ambo was an elevated lectern or pulpit placed generally in the nave of the church from which the epistle used to be read or chanted. Specimens of these may yet be seen in the ancient Church of San Clemente in Rome.

62. What is a Sequence?

A Sequence is a rhythmical composition which on certain occasions in the year is added immediately after the Gradual.

63. What other names are given to Sequences?

Sequences are also called proses or jubilations.

64. What is the reason of these names?

They are called "proses" because, though in verse, they have not the qualities of regular metrical compositions, i. e., more attention is paid to accent than to quantity. The name "jubilation" was given for their being employed for the most part on occasions of great solemnity and rejoicing; and because the musical phrase following the Allel, to which the early Sequences were set, was called a jubilus, the name Sequence came from their following the "alleluia."

65. How many Sequences have now a place in the Mass?

There are only five Sequences: 1st. The "Victimae Paschali," proper to Easter; 2d. the "Veni Sancte Spiritus," proper to Pentecost; 3d. the "Lauda Sion," proper to Corpus Christi; 4th. the "Stabat Mater," proper to the feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 5th. the "Dies Irae," proper to Masses for the dead.

66. What do you know of the authorship of any of these Sequences?

The "Veni Sancte Spiritus" is generally ascribed to Blessed Hermann Contractus or the Cripple; by others it is ascribed to Pope Innocent III. and to Robert, King of the Franks.

67. Who composed the "Lauda Sion"?

The "Lauda Sion" was composed by St. Thomas Aquinas at the request of Pope Urban IV.

68. Who was the author of the "Stabat Mater" ?

The "Stabat Mater" is generally ascribed to Jacopone da Todi, a Franciscan Friar.

69. What was the Discipline of the Secret?

The "Disciplina Arcana," or Discipline of the Secret, was the custom which prevailed in the Church during the first five centuries, of carefully concealing the principal mysteries of Our Holy Faith from pagans and Catechumens, and those were therefore dismissed before the most solemn part of the Mass began.

70. What is meant by the Mass of the Faithful?

The Catechumens were dismissed from Mass the moment the sermon was finished at the end of the Gospel, and then the Mass of the Faithful began with closed doors.

71. Who also were dismissed besides Catechumens?

Besides the Catechumens there were also dismissed* those

troubled with unclean spirits; the lapsed, or those who openly denied the faith; public sinners whose term of penance had not yet expired, and Jews, Gentiles and pagans.

72. What is meant by the Mass of the Catechumens?

The Mass of the Catechumens means that part of the Mass when Catechumens might be present, that is, up to the sermon


73. On what feasts is the Creed said at Mass?

The Creed is said on all Sundays of the year, feasts of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the Holy Angels, the Apostles, and Doctors of the Church. The only woman saint besides the Blessed Virgin who has a Creed in her Mass is St. Mary Magdalene because she was the "Apostle of the Apostles."

74. What old dictum gives the feasts upon which the Creed is not said at Mass?

The dictum, "MUC NON CREDUNT," M stands for Martyrs, U or V for Virgins, widows and non-virgins, C for Confessors, all of whom have no Creed special to them.

75. What is the origin of the Nicene Creed?

The Nicene Creed was framed in the year 325 at the general Council of Nicea, a town of Bithynia in Asia Minor, where three hundred and eighteen Fathers assembled at the call of Pope Sylvester, to condemn the heretic Arius, who denied the Divinity of Our Lord.

76. Which was the principal clause inserted in the Creed by the Fathers?

"Consubstantial with the Father" was the clause which took from Arius the last prop on which his heresy rested.

77. When was the Creed further added to ?

The Nicene Creed was added to at the Council of Constantinople a. d. 381, which condemned the heresy of Macedonius, who denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost.

78. How many Prefaces are in use in the Roman Church now?

The number of Prefaces in use in the Roman Church is thirteen: 1st. The Preface of the Nativity; 2d. of the Epiphany; 3d. of Lent; 4th. of the Cross and Passion; 5th. of Easter Sunday; 6th. of the Ascension; 7th. of Pentecost; 8th. of the Blessed Trinity, used on every Sunday; 9th. of the Blessed Virgin; 10th. of the Apostles; 11th. of St. Joseph; 12th. of the Dead, 13th. of

the Common.

79. What is the meaning of the word Canon?

The word CANON in Greek signified a straight rod, then a rule used by masons and carpenters for measuring; now, by a metaphor, it is used as a rule in art, and accordingly the sense of something fixed is found in the various uses of the word Canon as applied by the Church,



80. What are some of the uses of the word Canon?

The Canon of Scripture is the fixed list of books which the Church recognizes as inspired. Ecclesiastical laws and definitions of councils are called CANONS and are the fixed rules of faith or conduct. CANONIZATION is the inscribing the name of a Servant of God on a fixed list of Saints whom the Church places on her altars. CANON as an ecclesiastical dignity, means originally one on a fixed list of clerics attached to a church or a cathedral.

81. What is the Canon of the Mass?

The Canon of the Mass means the fixed rules according to which the Holy Sacrifice is offered. It means the fixed portion of the Mass. Its present form was arranged chiefly by St. Gregory the Great.

82. What is meant by the term, "Within the Action"?

The Canon was sometimes called by ancient writers the Action or the Great Act of the priest, as it included the consecration of the Bread and Wine, changing them into the Body and Blood of Our Lord. The words, "Within the Action," are now applied to the prayer in the Canon which begins with the word, "Com-municantes."

83. What is to be noticed about the prayer, "Communi-cantes"?

Although this prayer is part of the Canon of the Mass which otherwise never changed, an addition is made to it on five great feasts of the year: Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. . | '

84. What Saints are mentioned by name in the Canon of the Mass before the Consecration?

Before the Consecration there are mentioned by name, the Blessed Virgin, the twelve Apostles and twelve Martyrs, the first five of whom were Popes.

85. Which of the Apostles is omitted from the list?

St. Matthias is omitted because he was not an Apostle at the time of Our Lord's Passion and St. Paul is inserted, though not one of the twelve Apostles as he is always united to St. Peter in the Liturgy of the Church.

86. Name the five Popes mentioned in the Canon?

SS. Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus and Cornelius, the first three of whom were fellow laborers with St. Peter.


87. Which are the other Martyrs, not Popes, mentioned at this place in the Canons?

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage; SS. Lawrence, Chryso-gonus, John and Paul, brothers; Cosmos and Damian, also brothers and physicians.

88. What persons of the Old Testament are mentioned in the Ordinary of the Mass?

Abel, Abraham, Melchisedech and Isaias are mentioned in the Ordinary of the Mass.

89. Are any women Saints mentioned in the Canon?

Yes, SS. Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia and Anastasia are mentioned in the Canon after the Consecration.

90. What custom formerly prevailed at the Memento of the living and of the dead?

Up to the twelfth century in the Latin Church it was customary to read aloud from the diptychs the names of those to be prayed for.

91. What were the diptychs?

Diptychs were tablets on which were inscribed the names of the living and the dead, and the deacon read them aloud from the ambo. In the Mozarabic rite the custom of the reading of the diptychs is still in use.

92. What was the origin of the elevation of the Host after the Consecration?

The present custom of the elevation of the Host after the Consecration dates from the eleventh century and was introduced as a protest against the heretic Berengarius, who denied the doctrine of transubstantiation.

93. What is the minor or little elevation?

The minor elevation takes place a little before the "Pater Noster" at the words, "omnis honor et gloria," when the priest raises the chalice and Host a few inches from the altar. This used to be the only elevation.

94. How many ceremonies is the priest obliged to observe while saying Mass ?

The priest has to observe 500 ceremonies while saying Mass, besides 400 rubrics, which makes in all 900 obligations which he is bound to observe under pain of sin.


95. What are some of the ceremonies he is bound to observe?

He has to turn six times towards the people, to kiss the altar eight times, to raise his eyes to heaven eleven times, and to strike his breast ten times in Masses for the Living, seven times in Masses for the Dead.

96. How many times does the priest join his hands and bow his head during Mass?

He joins his hands fifty-four times and bows his head twenty-one times; and he puts both hands on the altar twenty-nine times.

97. How many times does the priest make the sign of the cross?

The priest makes the sign of the cross thirty-three times over the offering, sixteen times on himself and twice when he turns and blesses the people; once on the book; and he makes the sign of the cross with the Host before he gives Holy Communion to each communicant.

98. What are some of the differences between a High Mass and a Low Mass?


High Mass differs from Low Mass merely by way of addition. Music is of obligation, the Gospel is solemnly chanted by the deacon and the Epistle by the subdeacon. The altar and the people are incensed, and the Pax or Kiss of Peace is given by the priest to the deacon and by him to the subdeacon after the Pater Noster.

99. Which parts of a High Mass are sung by the choir?

The choir sings the Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual, Creed, Offertory, Sanctus, and Benedictus, Agnus Dei and Communion.

100. What powers does a deacon receive at Ordination?

The deacon at Ordination receives the power of assisting the

priest at High Mass, of solemnly singing the Gospel, of preaching, and of administering solemn baptism.

101. How does the deacon wear the stole?

The deacon wears the stole across the left shoulder instead of crossed in front like the priest.

102. How does a Mass for the Dead differ from a Mass for the Living?

Chiefly by way of omission—The psalm, "Judica me," is omitted—also the Gloria and Creed as in other votive Masses. At the Agnus Dei the words, "Dona eis requiem," are substituted for "Miserere nobis" and before the last Gospel instead


of saying, "Ite Missa est," the words, "Requiescat in pace," are said, and the priest's blessing is not given.

103. What is the special advantage of a Requiem Mass?

So far as the essence of the Sacrifice is concerned, all Masses

are equal, but the prayers in the Requiem Mass are said in the Church's name and by the Church's order, and consequently obtain special graces for the departed.

104. Mention some differences between a Bishop's Mass and a priest's Mass.

The Bishop vests at the altar. He receives the maniple only at the "Indulgentiam" after the Confiteor. He says "Pax Vobis" after the Gloria instead of the "Dominus Vobiscum."

At the blessing the Bishop makes three signs of the cross over the people. In the first prayer of the Canon, instead of saying the words, "our Bishop N.," he says, "and I Thy unworthy servant." He is always assisted by a priest.

105. What is a Pontifical Mass?

A Pontifical Mass is the solemn High Mass celebrated by a Bishop. The full ceremonial is carried out when he celebrates at the throne in his own Cathedral Church or with permission at the throne in another diocese.

106. What are some of the ceremonials?

The Canons assist in their vestments, besides priests, deacons and subdeacons. Nine acolytes or clerics minister the book, bugia, mitre, crosier, censer, two candles, gremiale and cruets and four minister in turn at the washing of the Bishop's hands. There should also be a train-bearer and at least four torch-bearers

at the Elevation.

107. What are the ornaments worn by a Bishop or Archbishop besides the usual Mass vestments?

The ornaments worn by a Bishop or an Archbishop are the buskins, sandals, pectoral cross, tunic, dalmatic, gloves, pallium, mitre, ring, crosier which he carries and the gremiale or apron.

108. What peculiar ceremonies has the solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by the Pope in St. Peter's?

In a Papal Mass a Cardinal Bishop acts as assistant priest— a Cardinal Deacon is the deacon of the Mass, and an auditor of the Rota is subdeacon. The Epistle and Gospel are sung first in Latin and then in Greek. While elevating the Host and the Chalice the Pope turns in a half circle towards the Epistle and



Gospel side. The Pope receives Communion standing at the throne, the deacon bringing him the Chalice and the subdeacon the paten with the Host.

109. What privilege is retained in the Pope's solemn Mass at the tombs of the Apostles?

The deacon and subdeacon are privileged to partake of the Precious Blood from the Chalice. This is the only survival of a usage which was almost universal in the Church for eleven hundred years.