LITURGY CORNER 3
with Fr. James
Here is another “Pop Quiz” question about Vatican II’s teachings on the Mass.
3. The nature of the Mass is primarily:
a. Catholic entertainment.
b. Praise of God.
c. Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
d. None of the above.
ANSWER: d. None of the above.
“The liturgy, then, is rightly seen as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. It involves the presentation of man’s sanctification under the guise of signs perceptible by the senses and its accomplishment in way appropriate to each of these signs. In it full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.” (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #7)
Commentary. It is in the Eucharist’s nature to be a sacrificial thanksgiving offering to God, and the offering is itself Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us at his paschal mystery, re-presented for us and by us in the Eucharist. As it says in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:
“The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the center of the whole Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually. In it is found the high point both of the action by which God sanctifies the world in Christ and of the worship that the human race offers to the Father, adoring him though Christ, the son of God, in the Holy Spirit.” (GIRM #16)
Sadly, for some people the subjective entertainment value of the music at Mass has priority over almost everything else. You may never have thought of this before, but whether or not we “like” the music at a Liturgy is secondary to whether it serves the purpose of the Mass.