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to thee; it is just, therefore, that we return it unto thee. But how wonderful art thou in the inventions of thy immense love! This bread which we are offering to thee, is to give place, in a few moments, to the sacred Body of Jesus. We beseech thee, receive, together with this oblation, our hearts which long to live by thee, and to cease to live their own life of self.

hanc immaculatam hostiam, quam ego indignus famulus tuus offero tibi Deo meo vivo et vero, pro innumerabilibus peccatis et offensionibus et negligentiis meis, et pro omnibus circumstantibus, sed et pro omnibus fidelibus christianis vivis atque defunctis; ut mihi et illis proficiat ad salutem in vitam æternam. Amen.

When the Priest puts the wine into the chalice, and then mingles with it a drop of water, let your thoughts turn to the divine mystery of the Incarnation, which is the source of our hope and our. salvation; and say:

O Lord Jesus, who art the true Vine, and whose Blood, like a generous wine, has been poured forth under the pressure of the Cross! thou hast deigned to unite thy divine nature to our weak humanity, which is signified by this drop of water. O come and make us partakers of thy divinity, by showing thyself to us in thy sweet and wondrous visit.

Deus qui humanæ substantiæ dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti : da nobis per hujus aquæ et vini mysterium, ejus divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostræ fieri dignatus est particeps, Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

The Priest then offers the mixture of wine and water, beseeching God graciously to accept this oblation, which is so soon to be changed into the reality, of which it is now but the figure. Meanwhile, say, in union with the Priest:

Graciously accept these gifts, O sovereign Creator of all things. Let them be fitted

Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris, tuam deprecantes clementiam : ut in

conspectu divinæ Majestatis tuæ, pro nostra et totius mundi salute, cum odore suavitatis ascendat. Amen.

for the divine transformation, which will make them, from being mere offerings of created things, the instrument of the world's salvation.

After having thus held up the sacred gifts towards heaven, the Priest bows down: let us, also, humble ourselves, and say:

In spiritu humilitatis, et in animo contrito suscipiamur a te, Domine : et sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu tuo hodie, ut placeat tibi, Domine Deus.

Though daring, as we do, to approach thy altar, O Lord, we cannot forget that we are sinners. Have mercy on us, and delay not to send us thy Son, who is our saving Host.

Let us next invoke the Holy Ghost, whose operation is about to produce on the altar the presence of the Son of God, as it did in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the divine mystery of the Incarna

tion:

Veni, Sanctificator omnipotens æterne Deus, et benedic hoc sacrificium tuo sancto nomini præparatum.

Come, O Divine Spirit, make fruitful the offering which is upon the altar, and produce in our hearts Him whom they desire.

If it be a High Mass, the Priest, before proceeding any further with the Sacrifice, takes the thurible a second time. He first incenses the bread and wine which have been just offered, and then the altar itself; hereby inviting the faithful to make their prayer, which is signified by the incense, more and more fervent, the nearer the solemn moment approaches.

But the thought of his own unworthiness becomes more intense than ever in the heart of the Priest. The public confession, which he made at the foot of the altar, is not enough; he would now, at the altar

itself, express to the people, in the language of a solemn rite, how far he knows himself to be from that spotless sanctity, wherewith he should approach to God. He washes his hands. Our hands signify our works; and the Priest, though by his priesthood he bear the office of Jesus Christ, is, by his works, but man. Seeing your Father thus humble himself, do you also make an act of humility, and say with him these verses of the Psalm.

PSALM 25.

I, too, would wash my hands, O Lord, and become like unto those who are innocent, that so I may be worthy to come near thy altar, and hear thy sacred Canticles, and then go and proclaim to the world the wonders of thy goodness. I love the beauty of thy House, which thou art about to make the dwellingplace of thy glory. Leave me not, O God, in the midst of them that are enemies both to thee and me. Thy merey having separated me from them, I entered on the path of innocence, and was restored to thy grace; but have pity on my weakness still; redeem me yet more, thou who hast so mercifully brought me back to the right path. In the midst of these thy faithful people, I give thee thanks. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas: et circumdabo altare tuum, Domine.

Ut audiam vocem laudis: et enarrem universa mirabilia tua.

Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuæ, et locum habitationis gloriæ tuæ.

Ne perdas cum impiis, Deus, animam meam, et cum viris sanguinum vitam meam.

In quorum manibus iniquitates sunt: dextera eorum repleta est muneribus.

Ego autem in innocentia mea ingressus sum: redime me, et miserere mei.

Pes meus stetit in directo: in ecclesiis benedicam te, Domine.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

The Priest, taking encouragement from the act of humility he has just made, returns to the middle of

the altar, and bows down full of respectful awe, begging of God to receive graciously the Sacrifice which is about to be offered to him, and expresses the intentions for which it is offered. Let us do the

same.

Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hane oblationem, quam tibi offerimus ob memoriam Passionis, Resurrectionis, et Ascensionis Jesu Christi Domini nostri : et in honore beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis, et beati Joannis Baptistæ, et sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, et istorum, et omnium Sanctorum ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad salutem et illi pro nobis intercedere dignentur in coelis, quorum memoriam agimus in terris. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

:

O Holy Trinity, graciously accept the Sacrifice we have begun. We offer it in remembrance of the l'assion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. Permit thy Church to join with this intention that of honouring the ever glorious Virgin Mary, the Blessed Baptist John, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the Martyrs whose relics lie here under our altar awaiting their resurrection, and the Saints whose memory we this day celebrate. Increase the glory they are enjoying, and receive the prayers they address to thee for us.

The Priest again turns to the people; it is for the last time before the sacred Mysteries are accomplished. He feels anxious to excite the fervour of the people. Neither does the thought of his own unworthiness leave him; and before entering the cloud with the Lord, he seeks support in the prayers of his brethren who are present. He says to them:

Orate, fratres: ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium acceptabile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipotentem.

Brethren, pray that my Sacrifice, which is yours also, may be acceptable to God, our Almighty Father.

This request made, he turns again to the altar, and you will see his face no more, until our Lord himself shall have come down from heaven upon that same altar. Assure the Priest that he has your prayers, and say to him:

May our Lord accept this Sacrifice at thy hands, to the praise and glory of his name, and for our benefit and that of his holy Church throughout the world.

Suscipiat Dominus sacrificium de manibus tuis, ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui, ad utilitatem quoque nostram totiusque Ecclesiæ suæ sanctæ.

Here the Priest recites the prayers called the Secrets, in which he presents the petition of the whole Church for God's acceptance of the Sacrifice, and then immediately begins to fulfil that great duty of religion,―Thanksgiving. So far he has adored God, and has sued for mercy; he has still to give thanks for the blessings bestowed on us by the bounty of our heavenly Father, the chief of which, during this Season, is his giving us his Only Begotton Son, to be our Mediator by his Blood. The Priest, in the name of the Church, is about to give expression. to the gratitude of all mankind. In order to excite the Faithful to that intensity of gratitude which is due to God for all his gifts, he interrupts his own and their silent prayer by terminating it aloud, saying:

For ever and ever!

Per omnia sæcula sæculorum!

In the same feeling, answer your Amen! Then he continues :

. The Lord be with you.

B. And with thy spirit. . Lift up your hearts!

V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
. Sursum corda!

Let your response be sincere:

B. We have them fixed on R. Habemus ad Domi

God.

num.

And when he adds:

Let us give thanks to

. Gratias agamus Do

the Lord our God.

mino Deo nostro.

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