I dag forbereder jeg meg til mitt foredrag om den gamle latinske messen – som jeg skal holde førstkommende søndag – og det er blitt klart for meg at jeg må begynne foredraget med å fokusere på at messen er et offer. Det er fra det utgangspunktet min egen vandring mot den tradisjonelle messen begynte, og det er når katolikker mister fokus på det sentrale poenget, at forståelsen av messen ødelegges.
På nettsidene til The Latin Mass Society i England fant jeg denne beskrivelsen:
It is because of the supremely sacred nature of this Sacrifice that it is celebrated with solemnity and devout veneration. All the words and gestures of the priest are meticulously regulated by the rubrics, which include multiple genuflections, to ensure the greatest possible reverence in worship.
The old rite omits nothing that may serve to remind us that the Sacrifice of the Mass is the Sacrifice on Calvary mystically re-enacted on the altar. Hence the many Signs of the Cross made over the Sacred Species and the orientation of the priest towards the altar of Sacrifice. The essence of the Mass is the offering of the Divine Victim to God through the intermediary of a priest acting in the person of Christ. It is a fitting and very powerful symbol of Sacrifice that all participants in the Mass face the same way, that is towards the Lord, as was the practice of the Universal Church from earliest times.
The priest recites the Canon (the central part of the Mass) in a low voice. The Church has taught for centuries that the silent Canon is the most fitting way in which to encounter what is most holy and mysterious.
The essence of the Mass is the Sacrifice of the Cross made present each day upon our altars and offered to God as a Sacrifice of propitiation for the souls of the living and the dead. For this purpose Christ gave His Apostles and their successors in the priesthood the power to bring about the change of bread and wine into His Body and Blood and offer this Sacrifice to the Heavenly Father.