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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 moment the priest has finished the Lord’s Prayer he wipes the paten with the purificator, in order to prepare it for receiving the sacred Host; and then, holding it in his right hand, resting erect on the altar, recites the sequence, or, as it is called, the embolismus (that is, something added on) of the “Pater noster.” It is worded as follows: “Deliver us, O Lord! we beseech thee, from all evils, present, past, and future, and through the intercession of the blessed and ever-glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew, and all thy saints, grant of thy goodness peace in our days, that, being assisted by the help of thy mercy, we may be always free from sin and secure from all disturbance.”

Many writers are of opinion that the name of St. Andrew was here added by Pope Gregory the Great, because he cherished a singular devotion to him and built several churches in his honor. In early times it was left entirely to the celebrant of the Mass what saints’ names to add to this prayer after that of St. Andrew. He could name any one that his own devotion prompted; and this was the rule, with little interruption, until the eleventh century, when that now in vogue superseded it.

The embolismus is recited in secret, because, on account of all the saints’ names that used to be added to it formerly, it could not be easily chanted in High Mass; and from that the custom found its way into Low Mass also. De Vert, however, says that this way of saying it was adopted in order not to interfere with the singing of the choir at this place (Romsee, p. 264).

When the priest comes to the words, “grant of thy goodness peace in our days,” he makes the sign of the cross upon his person with the paten, and then kisses the latter at its rim. The paten is here kissed because it is about to receive our Divine Lord, who is pre-eminently the author of peace, and who makes the paten his throne at this solemn part of the Mass. Having come to the words, “being assisted by the help of thy mercy,” etc., he places the paten under the Host, and then, removing the pall from the chalice, genuflects to adore our Lord. He then becomes erect, and, bringing the Host over the chalice, breaks it first into two equal parts, saying, “Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, thy Son.” The part held in the right hand is now placed on the paten, and from the part he holds in his left, still over the chalice, he breaks a minute particle, and places the remainder with the other large portion on the paten also, reciting during this action the concluding words of the prayer, “Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God.” Still holding the minute particle over the mouth of the chalice, he says aloud, “Per omnia sæcula sæculorum,” and then, “Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum”—“The peace of the Lord be always with you.” When reciting these last words he makes three crosses over the mouth of the chalice with the particle held in his right hand, and then lets it fall into the Precious Blood, saying at the same time, “May this commixture and consecration of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be to us who receive it unto life everlasting.”








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