The Priority of Religion and Adoration over Communion

Huge difference here in the mass of today and the one of fifty years previous to this lengthy and very helpful article in October of 2017. It’s the sort of thing that hits those in the face who heard mass before the Vatican 2 changes. It explains much of the irreverence that characterizes much of today’s worship.

. . . what we have seen in the past fifty years is precisely an inversion of these [once accepted priorities]), so that the Mass as social event is placed first; going up to receive Communion is placed second; the idea of adoration is a muted third; and the notion of the Mass as a propitiatory and impetratory (petitioning) sacrifice is so foreign as to be unintelligible.

The four priorities:

1. The Mass is first the offering, through the sacrifice of Christ, of the religious worship we owe the triune God, for His own sake, because He is worthy of it and we are damaging ourselves if we do not rightly order our minds and hearts to Him.[1] As St. Thomas says, God is offended by our sins not because they injure Him but because they injure the rational creature, whom He loves (that is, whose good He wills). This worship includes the acts associated with the offering of Mass, namely, adoration, contrition, supplication, thanksgiving, and praise, which have both internal and external aspects, as St. Thomas well develops in the Secunda Secundae of the Summa.

2. Second, because the Mass is the august sacrifice of Christ, we are brought into the very presence of the divine Redeemer, “the Lamb that was slain,” who is “worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction” (Rev 5:12). This is why Augustine says that before receiving, we must adore: we would sin if we did not adore.[2]

3. Third, the Mass is the sacrificial banquet of the Lamb, in which we partake of His flesh and blood for our sanctification and salvation, provided we are not conscious of any unconfessed mortal sin, which includes living in a state of life that is not allowed by divine law.

4. As a distant fourth, one might then speak about the Mass as a social event in which the people of God are seen as a people, in which the unity of the Church is represented and accomplished, and in which certain of our needs as communal beings are met.

Something we can take seriously, that is, not a premium brand of community-building.

via New Liturgical Movement

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