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A History Of The Mass And Its Ceremonies In The Eastern And Western Church -Rev John O'Brien A.M.

The opinion is sustained by the ablest liturgical writers that it was St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles and head of Christ’s Church, who said the first Mass, and this after the descent of the Holy Ghost, in the very same Cenacle at Jerusalem where the Blessed Eucharist was instituted, and where our Lord uttered the words, “Do this in commemoration of me.”

And as it will be asked why Mass was not celebrated before Pentecost, we give what the best authorities say upon the matter—viz., that, in the first place the Apostles would not presume to perform so august an action before they had received the plenitude of the Holy Ghost; and, in the second place, that inasmuch as the Ancient Law was not wholly abrogated in what pertained to the priesthood until after the descent on Pentecost, it was not deemed expedient to begin the sacred ministrations of the New Law until this abrogation had taken effect. The Holy Scriptures seem to corroborate this statement also, for we read in the Acts of the Apostles (1:14) that before he descent of the Holy Ghost “they were all persevering with one mind in prayer,” but after the descent the “breaking of bread”—i.e., the celebration of Holy Communion—is mentioned (Acts 2:42 and 46; see Gavantus and Merati, Thesaur. Sacr. Rit., pp. 7, 12, 14; and Bona, Rer. Liturg., book i. p. 206).








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