Sacrifice or Meal

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wet-rat

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It seems that many of the debates over the liturgy concern the question of emphasis of the sacraficial nature of the mass vs. emphasis of the understanding of the Mass as a meal.

Both are aspects of the Mass. “Do this in memory of me” was said at the Last Supper. However, it is Christ the Lamb who we see on the altar as John did in Revelation 4,5, etc.

What do you think is the best balance of emphases?
 
Hmmm. Wrong question.

The Mass is:

A Meal
A Memory
A Sacrifice

We participate simultaneously in all three of those at each Mass.

It’s not an “either/or.” It’s the classic (Catholic) “both/and.”
 
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wet-rat:
It seems that many of the debates over the liturgy concern the question of emphasis of the sacraficial nature of the mass vs. emphasis of the understanding of the Mass as a meal.

Both are aspects of the Mass. “Do this in memory of me” was said at the Last Supper. However, it is Christ the Lamb who we see on the altar as John did in Revelation 4,5, etc.

What do you think is the best balance of emphases?
Excellent question. There is only one correct answer here.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to His Father for propitiation of man’s continuous flow of sins. It’s the celebration of the Pashcal Mystery, with a hard focus on His Ultimate Sacrifice.

The element of Mass as a communal meal is an extremely distant (albiet also important) second to the sacrifice.
 
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Crusader:
Excellent question. There is only one correct answer here.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to His Father for propitiation of man’s continuous flow of sins. It’s the celebration of the Pashcal Mystery, with a hard focus on His Ultimate Sacrifice.

The element of Mass as a communal meal is an extremely distant (albiet also important) second to the sacrifice.
I agree. St. Paul in fact scolds the Corinthians in 1 Cor 11:17ff for getting too much involved in their meals, which apparently at that time really was a kind of potluck supper done in conjunction with the Eucharist. (“Do you not have homes where you can eat and drink?”)

JimG
 
A question for any pre-Vatican 2 generation Catholics:

If, in pre-Vatican 2 days, we overemphasized the sacrificial nature of the Mass, do you think we will see a more correct balance formed between these two aspects?

It drives me crazy to have my child come home from CCD with papers talking about “sharing a meal” etc without any mention of Christ being present on the altar, but I always wonder if this new emphasis is a big over-reaction to a pre-Vatican 2 over-emphasis on the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
 
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maxk:
A question for any pre-Vatican 2 generation Catholics:

If, in pre-Vatican 2 days, we overemphasized the sacrificial nature of the Mass, do you think we will see a more correct balance formed between these two aspects?

It drives me crazy to have my child come home from CCD with papers talking about “sharing a meal” etc without any mention of Christ being present on the altar, but I always wonder if this new emphasis is a big over-reaction to a pre-Vatican 2 over-emphasis on the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
What you suggest is simply impossible.
 
IMHO when dealing with this issue I believe the most important scripture for understanding the Mass in it’s totallity is Exodus 12:6-14 …
 
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Crusader:
What you suggest is simply impossible.
Ooookay. recently you posted that the meal nature is a distant second, but still important aspect of the Mass. IOW, it exists. If the Mass is celebrated as if it didn’t exist, then it follows that the sacrificial nature of the Mass has been over-emphasized at the expense of the meal aspect. Therefore, it is possible. QED.

I am no fan of the replacement of terms like “holy sacrifice of the Mass” with cheap imitations like “celebration”, “gathering”, “community meal”, etc but it seems to me that we are having a terribly destructive war in our Church over two polar extremes. Instead of going back and forth between the extremes and ignoring our ‘enemies’ favorite aspect, shouldn’t we pay attention to the entire message of Christ?
 
BTW, Crusader, I agree that the meal aspect is WAY over-emphasized. I am simply saying that we also err when we ignore the distant second place aspect.
 
:confused: pre-V2 Overemphasized Christs Sacrifice? How does one do that?rolleyes:
 
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maxk:
Ooookay. recently you posted that the meal nature is a distant second, but still important aspect of the Mass. IOW, it exists. If the Mass is celebrated as if it didn’t exist, then it follows that the sacrificial nature of the Mass has been over-emphasized at the expense of the meal aspect. Therefore, it is possible. QED.
Only you are suggesting it’s a zero sum game and it’s not. Strong emphasis on the sacrifice does not need to come at the expense of the “meal aspect.” That’s faulty thinking.
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maxk:
I am no fan of the replacement of terms like “holy sacrifice of the Mass” with cheap imitations like “celebration”, “gathering”, “community meal”, etc but it seems to me that we are having a terribly destructive war in our Church over two polar extremes. Instead of going back and forth between the extremes and ignoring our ‘enemies’ favorite aspect, shouldn’t we pay attention to the entire message of Christ?
This destruction is a product of treating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as some kind of social gathering where we can catch-up with our friends. It’s taken a terrible toll.
 
A generic term like “celebration” or “meal” removes it from an act of worship of God the Father to something horizontal.

Every reference to the Mass should incorporate some aspect of it being holy, sacred, and an act of worship (the vertical) as well as the horizontal.
 
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Crusader:
Only you are suggesting it’s a zero sum game and it’s not. Strong emphasis on the sacrifice does not need to come at the expense of the “meal aspect.” That’s faulty thinking.

This destruction is a product of treating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as some kind of social gathering where we can catch-up with our friends. It’s taken a terrible toll.
OK, I think I need to clarify my comments. First, I don’t think it is a zero sum game, but it seems pretty clear that it is being treated like it is. When the meal aspect gets emphasized, it is at the expense of the sacrificial nature of the Mass. My question for the pre-Vat 2 Catholics was if they thought this happened in reverse before Vat 2 and perhaps the current mess we are in might be a backlash against a total denial of the community/meal aspect of the Mass in Vat 2 days. Not that the sacrifice was over-emphasized, but that the community nature was completely ignored. I wasn’t alive then, so I am asking.

Thanks for all the charitable understanding in your comments. Now, if anyone with some actual experience in the pre-Vat 2 days would like to describe it, I would appreciate it. I think we all agree that the Mass is primarily a sacrifice, so I don’t think we need to prove our ‘cred’ to each other.
 
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wet-rat:
It seems that many of the debates over the liturgy concern the question of emphasis of the sacraficial nature of the mass vs. emphasis of the understanding of the Mass as a meal.

Both are aspects of the Mass. “Do this in memory of me” was said at the Last Supper. However, it is Christ the Lamb who we see on the altar as John did in Revelation 4,5, etc.

What do you think is the best balance of emphases?
both
 
The sacraficial nature of the Mass is FAR more important the understanding of the Mass as a meal.

Without His Ultimate Sacrifice there would be no salvation.
 
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maxk:
A question for any pre-Vatican 2 generation Catholics:

If, in pre-Vatican 2 days, we overemphasized the sacrificial nature of the Mass, do you think we will see a more correct balance formed between these two aspects?

It drives me crazy to have my child come home from CCD with papers talking about “sharing a meal” etc without any mention of Christ being present on the altar, but I always wonder if this new emphasis is a big over-reaction to a pre-Vatican 2 over-emphasis on the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
I am in my mid-70’s and am a cradle-Catholic. I served Mass for eight years in the 1940’s. I attended Catholic Grammar School, Catholic High School, and Catholic College into 1951. My “hobby” since the massive changes started in the 60’s has been studying the Church and its history through encyclical and synod publications.

It is **an impossibility ** to over-emphasize the sacrificial nature of the Mass. It is **an impossibility ** for us to emphasize the sacrificial nature of the Mass sufficiently. It is the CORE of the Mass; it is the REASON for the Mass. It is the REASON for the existence of the Catholic Church. It suspends time, and it places us truly at the foot of the Cross. It’s only relationship to a meal is that we ingest the Sacred Body and Blood to feed our soul which is the life of our body. However, our souls would derive no benefit from the Sacred Species except for the Sacrifice.

Recently I read that a pastor has forbidden the use of bells during the Consecration because it places too much emphasis on that part of the Mass, which he claims is no more important than all the other parts. I have no clue as to what this could be called, except open and profound heresy. Perhaps his plea for larger bills in the collection basket is more imporatant for him. He would never get a single penny from me, ever!
 
The Mass is first and foremost the Holy Sacrifice. It cost Jesus his life. Look at the words of consecration, and we see Jesus saying “This is my body, which will be given up for you . . . . This is my blood which will be shed . . . .” Clearly he is speaking about the Sacrifice. It is also a memorial because Jesus said to “do this in memory of me.”

It is also the fulfillment of the Passover and therefore a meal. However, just as in the Passover, there is no meal without the Sacrifice. There is no memorial without the sacrifice to “remember” or make present. This sacrifice was the price paid for our sins. The Mass is the difference between whether we go to Heaven or to Hell. It is for this reason that the Church rightly declares that we have a most serious obligation to be there on Sunday.

It is also the reason that I remain Catholic despite the continual failure of our leaders to govern or even to catechize. The Holy Eucharist remains the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord regardless of the personal holiness of the priest.
 
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GeorgeCooney:
I am in my mid-70’s and am a cradle-Catholic. I served Mass for eight years in the 1940’s. I attended Catholic Grammar School, Catholic High School, and Catholic College into 1951. My “hobby” since the massive changes started in the 60’s has been studying the Church and its history through encyclical and synod publications.

It is **an impossibility **to over-emphasize the sacrificial nature of the Mass. It is **an impossibility **for us to emphasize the sacrificial nature of the Mass sufficiently. It is the CORE of the Mass; it is the REASON for the Mass. It is the REASON for the existence of the Catholic Church. It suspends time, and it places us truly at the foot of the Cross. It’s only relationship to a meal is that we ingest the Sacred Body and Blood to feed our soul which is the life of our body. However, our souls would derive no benefit from the Sacred Species except for the Sacrifice.

Recently I read that a pastor has forbidden the use of bells during the Consecration because it places too much emphasis on that part of the Mass, which he claims is no more important than all the other parts. I have no clue as to what this could be called, except open and profound heresy. Perhaps his plea for larger bills in the collection basket is more imporatant for him. He would never get a single penny from me, ever!
Amen. http://www.scripturechannel.org/scripturefolks_files/koz.gif
 
David Ancell:
The Mass is first and foremost the Holy Sacrifice. It cost Jesus his life. Look at the words of consecration, and we see Jesus saying “This is my body, which will be given up for you . . . . This is my blood which will be shed . . . .” Clearly he is speaking about the Sacrifice. It is also a memorial because Jesus said to “do this in memory of me.”

It is also the fulfillment of the Passover and therefore a meal. However, just as in the Passover, there is no meal without the Sacrifice. There is no memorial without the sacrifice to “remember” or make present. This sacrifice was the price paid for our sins. The Mass is the difference between whether we go to Heaven or to Hell. It is for this reason that the Church rightly declares that we have a most serious obligation to be there on Sunday.

It is also the reason that I remain Catholic despite the continual failure of our leaders to govern or even to catechize. The Holy Eucharist remains the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord regardless of the personal holiness of the priest.
Amen. Very well said. http://www.scripturechannel.org/scripturefolks_files/koz.gif
 
In our parish in Las Vegas, it’s a Sacrifice. I can see it as the Covenant Meal, too, but only with the caveat that we are actually and really and truly eating the Sacrificial Victim, all glory and praise be unto Him, True Victim, True Priest.
 
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