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

At the end of the last of the three prayers mentioned the priest genuflects, and, upon becoming erect, says: “I will receive the Bread of heaven, and call upon the name of the Lord”—words taken from the one hundredth and fifteenth Psalm, with the exception of “Bread of heaven.” Formerly the words used here varied very much, nor was it until the thirteenth century that anything like uniformity was established concerning them. The Carmelite priests say here at the present day: “Hail, Salvation of the world, Word of the Father, Sacred Host, Living Flesh, Perfect God, Perfect Man!”

Having recited the words above given, the priest takes the sacred Host from the paten, and, supporting the latter under it with his left hand, raises it a little from the altar and says: “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; say but the word and my soul shall be healed.” This solemn protest, taken from the reply of the centurion mentioned in the Gospels, he repeats three times, striking his breast at each repetition; and then raising the Host to about the height of his eyes, and tracing with it the sign of the cross in front of him, says: “May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen.” He then stoops down, and, resting his elbows reverently on the altar, receives the sacred Host. After this he becomes erect and pauses awhile in solemn meditation with his hands joined before his face.

It is well to remark here that the teeth must never be applied to the sacred Host when it enters the mouth. It must be swallowed by the sole aid of the tongue; and if a difficulty should be experienced in this respect, on no account must the finger be introduced to overcome it.

Next follows the communion of the chalice. To this end the priest removes the pall from the mouth of the chalice, and, having made a genuflection as before, recites the words, “What shall I render to the Lord for all the good things that he has rendered me?” (Psalm 115) He then takes the paten in hand, and gathers up with it, from the corporal, any loose particles that may have remained upon the latter from contact with the sacred Host, all of which he allows to drop into the chalice by the aid of the thumb and index finger of his right hand. After this he places his hand on the Chalice, saying, “I will receive the Chalice of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord; praising I will invoke the Lord, and will be safe from my enemies” (Psalm 115.) Then placing the paten under his chin with his left hand, and taking the chalice in his right, he makes the sign of the cross and communicates with the words, “May the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen.”








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