The Sacrifice of the Mass that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper has been in existence for 2000 years and is an unequivocal profession of our Catholic faith.
In the first three centuries Greek was the liturgical language of the Mass. St. Jerome in the Fourth Century translated the Bible into Latin when it became the language of the church, and is the core of the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass.
It is structured for reverence, is served at an Altar by a Priest, and is clearly a Sacrifice.
Hear Father Voigt’s instruction on the structure and meaning of the
Traditional Latin Mass in the video below.
If this is the first time you plan to attend a Traditional Latin Mass
it is suggested that you view the video several times.
Video Transcript : 2/21/2016
Fr. Richard Voigt, S.D.B. Dedication of
Our Lady Help of Christians, Utica NY
“The Structure & Meaning of the Latin Mass”
8:30 Expressions of Divine Love now lead us to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
First I want to welcome each and every one of you to the Utica Chapel Mary Help of Christians.
First thing I need to explain to you is that God, the different divine Trinity, has nine expressions of love: Three Father, three Son, and three the Holy Ghost. These nine expressions of love teach us where we’re at in our eternal union with God at any moment. So the first thing I want to do is go over these nine and then I’m going to go to the three that are incorporated in this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
First, the act of the Father from all eternity, he preferred each and every one of you; your soul over a googolplex of other souls, so the love of preference is primary in the action of God toward each of you.
Second act of the Father’s love. He chose you for these days. The act of love of selection. You and I are in a conflict in this world, you and I are meant to be here in this world at this particular time to do something for Almighty God that nobody else can do. And so the consequence is we must realize that we are preferred, we must realize we are chosen for these days and now we must realize the third act of God – the Father’s love for us.
He responds because we wound him, we sinned against him. Sin is a break in my relationship with the Father, and because we sinned his wounded heart says, whom might I send to rebond all of these souls of my Sons and daughters back to my heart? Whom might I send? From all the eternity he cried out and from eternity there was a response. Father, send Me. Son, how might I send you? How might I send you? And so he sent Gabriel, the strength of God to the humblest of women, Virgin Mary.
Our Lady in prayer hears and sees Gabriel, an Angel kneeling before him. And he asks; will you give God a human nature? Will you allow God to have body and blood?
Now remember, if you take the shroud of Turin and the analyze the blood, what do you find? 27 chromosomes female, not 27 of the male, and 27 of the female as you and I; but only 27 female. In the miracle of Santorini we find the same thing when we analyze the blood of that host. Female chromosomes. And so the consequence is; God said to our Blessed Mother, will you give me a human nature, body and blood? And she corresponds and obeys and says” fiat voluntas tua”, thy will be done in me.
And hence the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, the first act of the divine love of the Son, the humiliation of incarnation. I try to explain this to young people. By just the other day, I had these girls and I said supposing you love cats (I didn’t know she really loved cats) but she loved cats and I told her, you love cats and those cats are going around scratching up all this furniture in your house and around the world and you decide I’m gonna teach these cats how to be good cats. You become a cat, you would not be able to speak as I am speaking or you speak, you would meow, meow, and you would try to teach these cats how to behave in the , and they would turn on you and claw to death. Now would that be humbling for you? Yes. Well, if that is humbling for you, the action of Jesus the Son of God becoming flesh is an infinite amount of times more humbling to Almighty God than we could ever be in any way shape or form by becoming simply a cat. And so the humiliation of incarnation.
Second, the humiliation of Crucifixion. Not only did he become man like us but he took upon himself like a divine sponge, every sin that you and I could ever think, speak, or do. He took it, every one of us, and he did what? He crucified it that you and I might be set free, he had to crucify our sins upon a cross. And so the second act of the divine love is that, the humiliation of Crucifixion. And it didn’t end then, because then he said, I will be with you all days, eat my body and drink my blood and you shall have Eos, eternal life, in you. And so the humiliation of communion.
A host, worth a penny, is then made the infinite God, and thus you and I receive him and if we’re truly pure in spirit, truly pure in our desire to honor Almighty God, then we give him our human nature. Lord, you have no hands but our hands to do your work today, you have no feet but are feet to lead others in your way. You have no tongue but our tongues to tell men and women how you lived and died, and you have no help but our help to bring others to your side.
We submit ourselves to the divine invasion. He doesn’t leave us there, he’s now given us the three acts of the Son, he says I will send to you the Holy Ghost. And he will do three things. First the Holy Ghost will convict us of our sins. Then we really see ourselves as we are when we come to the Holy Ghost and say, please show me, who am I?
It’s like the poet says:
Within my earthly temple there is a crowd.
There’s one of me that’s humble and one who is awfully proud.
There’s one who was repentant for his sins;
and another who unrepentant sits and grins.
There’s one who loves his neighbor as himself;
and another who thinks of nothing save fame, fortune and pelf.
For much corroding care I would be free, if once I could determine which is me?
And so he sends the Holy Ghost and he convicts us of our sins. We go to confession; we begin to realize I have been forgiven. Now the Holy Spirit leads us to forgive others as we have been forgiven, the Our Father. But this is not the end of the Holy Spirit’s love. The Holy Spirit then pushes us to this extent – you will love and forgive the one who is going to murder you.
St. Stephen was being stoned, Saul was right there ready to say, Do it! And thus St. Stephen said, Father hold not this sin against them. Our lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Father forgive them they know not what they do. The Holy Spirit leads us to realize we must learn to forgive to the extent that we will even forgive those who are going to murder us.
Now these are the nine expressions of Divine Love. These expressions of Divine Love now lead us to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass there are the three expressions of the Divine Love of the Son. How is it going? At the beginning of the holy Mass the priest will indicate the humiliation of incarnation. How? He bends over and he begins the Confiteor and he confesses his sins. He tells Almighty God we are a sinful people, and it is because of that sin, that wounding of your heart, Father, that you were so good as to give us this sacrifice. And so here the bending over indicates the humility that is necessary and the act of humility that Christ performed from all eternity. And hence, we see this, by the actions of the priest first the bending over, second the striking of the breast mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
And then the priest ascends to the altar because now at the altar we’re going to have the incarnation, the Word will be made flesh so what happens? The priest takes the Word and says we must break this word with those who have come to this sacrifice so that the word will interpret the action. God always works with a word and a work. The Word interprets the work and so I must first of all have the Word, and that is why the priest goes to the left side of the altar. The left side indicates the Old Testament, just as my vestment here I have the right going over the left, the left indicates the human, the right indicates the Divine. Over here we remember the prophets and the word of God that gave us the commandments, over there left, now, the server, when we have a server, will take the book from the left, come down to the middle of the altar, the middle is the representation of the centrality of Christ. That’s why he genuflects there, then comes and places it on the right side of the altar for the reading of the Holy Gospel, the Word of God himself.
And now, the priest will bend over at the center and pray that his words may be in correspondence to the word of God. Then comes to the right, and he says seven times, he’s going to turn to you and say, Dominus Vobiscum. Each one of these seven times is a gift to you of one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and we can go through them, wisdom, by means of the word of God, knowledge, council, understanding, all refer to the word of God you’ll find four. Then it moves into the word of piety, the word of courage because we have to fight in this world, and then the communion to go forth, so the seven turning around in the seven times we say Dominus Vobiscum is in reference to the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.
The priest will then come over and then read those words. We generally say we come to this podium and then we will repeat what we has prayed or read in the Latin. So Latin to the English, then from the English the priest then opens the Word of God to you as I am trying to do now concerning the entire sacrifice. I will refer to those words in the gospel of today and I will try to make those words live in your hearts and souls so that through the week, you live the spiritual sacrifice of Christ. Every day you renew it by your own spiritual communion, so that you do not allow this sacrifice simply to remain in one place. It is meant to be taken out into the world and hence sanctify yourself by saving souls in the world.
We have Catholic as our adjective, you are a Catholic Christian. It means go out to the whole world and bring them all back to Me. And that means that you and I have an avocation, that vocation is to save souls. We have forgotten this vocation, and the consequence is we don’t do the simplest things in such a way that we put a lot of love into them to save a soul. The Little Flower (St. Therese of Lisieux a Carmalite Nun) understood this, and so she took the most grumpy of nuns and made that person the means of saving souls and in the Missions helping the priest, hence she becomes an advocate for all the missions of the world, and the church proclaims her Patroness Of Missions. She never left her convent, she saved souls by her desire and that is what we have to have as Catholics, great desire. And that is what the Holy Eucharist seeks to present to us – great desires, sanctify oneself and so the word of God is given to you. Now the priest moves back to the center and professes the faith.
The Profession of Faith ends first part of humbling ourselves to hear the word of God. Now the second part, the humiliation of crucifixion. The gifts are offered; wine, water, and bread. These gifts are going to become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. For that reason the priest will genuflect; genuflect, as soon as the body of Christ comes to this world.
Now there are three things to keep in mind here:
One is this – that I am turned to the cross, to the Father. Why? Because one, I am a sinner like you and I must ask our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins and make reparation for my sins.
Second I am turned that way because I’m interceding for you and asking that God take everyone here and their sins we also offer up this sacrifice for and;
Third I am turned around because I am the veil of our Blessed Mother. That every woman ought to know that she has a veil and that veil within her she opens up to her husband when they are married. And here we have a nuptials and God sets the priest as the veil. You don’t see what is taking place, you hear the words hoc est enim corpus meum and now the body of Christ, and that’s the genuflection and thus the elevation of the body of Christ, and then again a genuflection, so that every time the priest touches the Body, Blood or anything that is Divine he genuflects before and he genuflects after.
And this is why we say the reverence done in this sacrifice outweighs the entire world. One sacrifice like this, well offered, can change the world, convert the world. That is why we as priests are necessary to the world and that sanctity that we have to live by is necessary for the world to come back to its sanity. So now, we have the offering, the sacrifice. You’ll notice there are 12 prayers, five before the consecration of a bread and wine, [2 prayers for the Concecration] and then five after. They represent the 12 pillars, the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 apostles, the 12 pillars of the new Jerusalem. It’s a canonical mass, canon means and that’s why we say that this Mass has the canon rule of life, so these 10 prayers in this action of sacrifice interpret every life in the world.
To destroy this is to destroy the world’s sensibilities to the sacred. Now, the sacrifice is complete. The body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ is there. Now we move into the third action of Christ. I said he has three acts of love. We found that act of the humiliation of Christ in the incarnation, humiliation of Christ in the crucifixion, now we move the humiliation of Christ and communion. It starts with the Our Father, you and I have the same Father, we wounded him, the Son has now payed the price for us. We now know that we are forgiven sinners, we now know that we are worthy because of the blood of Christ to come to this kneeler and to receive the body of Christ, hence the humiliation of communion.
And then from that communion he sends us forth and says, “Go, bring souls back to Me, bring them back.” They need this sacrifice, they need it in order to live as Catholics they need this sacrifice.
Now you know how this Mass is constructed. It’s constructed according to the divine love affair that God has with us and if the divine invasion comes into your heart and soul you will find your salvation. You will be a light, you’ll see, and so understanding this Holy Mass with me we enter into it in this moment.
We thank you for your attention, and we ask you please pay attention especially to the details. I mention the seven times I will turn around and say Dominus Vobiscum, you’ll notice that seven times I will kiss the altar indicating the seven stages of love that are in each and every one of us. You’ll notice that the paten holds the host but after the host is placed upon the corporal, the paten which was the Jewish representation of the Jewish family, Jesus came out of the Jewish family but now the Jewish family goes under the corporal because they go into hiding, abscondito, they are ignorant of the reality of Christ.
And then after with Christ is on our Altar, then the priest stands the paten up looking at the body of Christ and accepts it. When the Jews accept Christ then the fullness of time has come. Hence this whole sacrifice leads us through the entire history of mankind from its beginning to its end, so there are many details. The veil represents that which hides the mystery of life, Jesus Christ, so all of these are indicative, of the fact that I have purple, we are in the season of Lent, the season in which prayer, penance, and the purification, the perfection of the individual character can take place. It’s one 10th of the year, just like we used to say we should tithe whatever you have, you tithe your time. You give one 10th of your year to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving and then you know you are doing that which is asked by God.
We have a lot in the Catholic tradition wrapped up in this month or this 40 days of our Lord’s retreat in the desert, our Lenten season. And the more we understand, the more we can put into it and the more we grow in the Divine Love. So let us enter into that action now as I vest and let us prepare ourselves by praying just a few Hail Marys which brings the descent of the dew of the Holy Spirit upon us.