I have just returned home from one of the most edifying experiences of my life – a sung mass and procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi.
*A note for the unfamiliar: in the traditional calendar, this feast is celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday (not on Sunday as in the NO calendar).
I wish I could accurately describe to you my experience tonight but words fail me; and I never have a hard time with words.
There were a number of First Communions. There was a procession. The gold vestments, the incense, the chant… How does one put into earthly language the presence of the divine? And it’s really no different at every other mass. There was something about the solemn focus tonight that really drove home the point.
Our Lord, like the “good pelican” (see Barnhardt’s latest for the reference), feeds us with His Body and Blood. The Communion verse taken from I Corinthians tells us that “As often as you shall eat this Bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.”
And that’s the difference between trad and non-trad.
The focus must always be on commemorating His Passion and Death until He returns to us in glory. Why? Because it is His Passion and Death that is the Sacrifice by which we are saved. Hear that? The Sacrifice. Nothing else is or could be acceptable to the Father. The Second Person of the Trinity became man to die and to offer Himself as a recompense for our sins.
And He renews that sacrifice at every mass.
It is not a recreation. It is not a representation.
It. Is. Calvary.
And the Bugnini rite, for whatever reason, ok let’s not pretend… It was nefarious. The Bugnini rite obscures that sacrifice. The venerable mass of the ages exalts and explicates it.
Not sure what I’m saying or if tradition is “rite” for you? Take the challenge. Find a TLM. Commit to going for a month. Follow the book or don’t. Let your senses inform your soul that Our Lord’s selfsame sacrifice is unfolding before your eyes.
Go to confession. Receive Him worthily lest, as St. Paul assures us, you eat His Body unto your own condemnation.
And when He is enthroned in your own flesh as King of the hearts of all poor, struggling sinners He promises to be, tell Him you desire to love Him with all your heart and ask Him to look upon you as though your love for Him was already perfect. Whisper your innermost thoughts to Him. Give Him thanks. Ask Him to draw you up to His cross with Him.
He Is Truth.
He has promised He will.
Then proclaim with all the saints and angels and Mary, their Queen and ours the words of Aquinas: