Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Pre-Vatican II Voices...
The Mass came to be less and less appreciated as the sacrifice of Christ. Instead, the adoration of the Eucharist was greatly developed, and thereby the spiritual energies of the faithful were in the course of centuries turned away from the sacrifice itself.
We must try to keep in mind that, during the Mass and in particular at the consecration, the primary and essential thing is the offering of the sacrifice; the adoration of the Species is entirely secondary. We should strive to impress ourselves and those committed to our care with a deep understanding and appreciation of the sacrificial action. The Mass is not a “devotion,” it is not the adoration of the Eucharist: it is the sacrifice offered by Christ, and in this offering we are actually participating since it is also our sacrifice. We come to Mass, not so much to adore Christ in His divinity as to offer the body and blood of the divine Lamb to our heavenly Father. [July 1938 issue of Orate Fratres]
Though it has been the complaint of some that the sacrificial character of the Roman Mass was obscured in Vatican II and the decline of the Latin Mass, Parsch is suggesting that the adoration or veneration of Christ in the host had begun this turn away from the sacrificial long before Vatican II, even centuries before. Interestingly absent in this discussion is the sacramental nature of the Sacrament. For this reason the continuing witness of the Lutheran Confessions needs to be heard and its corrective voice remains to address the Roman Catholic Church. Neither the offering of the sacrifice nor the adoration of the Species are the foremost or central focus of the sacrament but "given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins" and received by faith as the gift of God and the richest treasure of His grace.