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More from Dom Prosper Gueranger – assisting at Mass January 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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I posted an excerpt from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s excellent The Holy Mass, here is a bit more, on the need for true, active participation in the Mass:

…..it is good to assist at Mass as often as possible.  But if we do so, it must be with faith and devotion, for the Priest particularly says: quorum tibi fides cognita est et nota devotio (apply to those we have prayed – including those assisting at Mass- the fruits of this Sacrifice).  It is quite clear that the Priest could never speak thus to God in behalf of such Christians as conduct themselves no differently than they would anywhere else, who are in no way preoccupied with what is going on at the Altar, and who seem to have nothing else to do, but to distract themselves as far as they can, more or less respectably.  So then of those who are present it is only such as assist with faith and devotion that can participate in the fruits of the Holy Mass.

And as Fr. Z has reminded countless times, “active participation” does not mean carrying a chalice or being a lector – it means praying with our hearts, minds, and bodies – bowing, genuflecting, standing reverently, and paying as much attention as we can throughout the entire Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  It is, after all, the greatest miracle the world has ever, and will ever, see.

OH!  One other juicy Mass related tidbit – in the 1962 Missal, yesterday was the feast day for St. John Chrysostom.  A little tidbit from Fr. Alban Butler’s wonderful Lives of the Saints:

St. Nilus relates that St. John Chrysostom was wont to see, when the priest began the holy sacrifice, “many of the blessed ones coming down from heaven in shining garments, and with bare feet, eyes intent, and bowed heads, in utter stillness and silence, assisting at the consummation of the tremendous mystery.”

That’s why it’s appropriate to have many statues and other artworks of Saints and angels around the Altar – they are really, actually there, anyway!  So you should remind those assisting of that fact!