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

ACCORDING to the present discipline of the Church, regulated in a great measure by the General Council of Trent, it is required that at every parochial Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation a sermon touching the great truths of our holy faith should be preached to the people. To do this the more effectually it is recommended to follow the line of thought expressed in the Gospel of the day, as it is the wish of the Church that this portion of the sacred writings should be carefully expounded and developed in all its bearing.

The custom of thus preaching at Mass is of the highest antiquity, the ablest critics maintaining that it is of apostolic origin; and the Holy Scriptures themselves would seem to warrant this assertion. St. Justin Martyr (A.D. 167) tells us in his Apology, i. 67, that it was the practice in his day to read portions of the Sacred Scriptures first in the assemblies of the people, and then explain their application and meaning afterwards. The ancient Hebrews always preached to the people after the reading of the Sepher Tora, or book of the Law (Bannister, Temples of the Hebrews, p. 351).








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