The Mass (Sanctuary)

The Mass (Liturgy)

Introduction

Liturgy – this is the official public worship. Therefore, we worship in a public place i.e celebration of mass by the gathering of believers in a public place (Church).

Para-Liturgy – Refers to private worship. Simply because one does their own private prayers and meditation. Is also an extension of the Liturgy e.g going for the Small Christian community, visiting the needy, evening prayers.

Liturgy is the complete form of Christian worship because of the element of the Eucharist, whereas Para-liturgy is not yet complete since it lacks the Eucharist in it.

 

Briefly, How the Holy Mass Developed

The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church


Categories and Groups of the Seven Sacraments


Infant Baptism


Baptism

Marian Dogmas

Example:

Para-medics vs Medics –

Paramedics have the potential of providing medical attention but not in the full sense (“No theatre in an ambulance”)

Medics, on the other hand, have the capacity to provide the full medical attention (“one can access major surgical operation in a Theatre”)

Military vs Para-Military –

Military undergo a rigorous full military training (Boot Camp/ Several Months in the forest/Few Days without Food)

Para-Military have the capacity and ability to train in all the basic training but lack the full sense of military training e.g No spending of months in a forest.

Therefore, Liturgy is the highest form of Christian worship simply because; the Eucharist makes it complete and valid.

The Sanctuary

It is important to look at the essential Items and other items at the sanctuary before looking at the structure of the Mass.

Sanctuary – This is usually considered as the most sacred place in any Church, because of the sacred duties that are carried out. Before the Second Vatican Council, these sacred duties were perceived as rituals just like the local traditional diviners, simply because of the language used, but after the Council, this is no longer viewed as ritual acts, but as forms of worship since the language is understood.

So, the Sanctuary is that part that is elevated or separated by rails from the other part of the mass.

In the Western Catholic Church (Roman Catholic), most of the Sanctuaries are usually elevated, but in the Eastern Catholic Churches, you would find rails (E.g Alter rails of the Coptic Church)

 

Marian Dogmas

Briefly, How the Holy Mass Developed


The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church


Categories and Groups of the Seven Sacraments


Infant Baptism


Baptism

The Essential Items at the Alter (Made of Concrete Natural Stone)

Concrete natural stone is best understood as representing Christ the cornerstone.

  1. The President’s/Priest’s Chair
  2. The Ambo
  3. The Alter

The President’s/Priest’s Chair

It is called President’s because the one who sits on it is the presider. It should be visible and unique, not as the chair or bench similar to that used by the faithful.

Other concelebrating priests may sit in a different location at the sanctuary.

The Ambo

This is used as the place where the Word of God is proclaimed by the Priest, Deacon and other Ministers. The Homily (preaching) begins here.

The Alter

The third part is essential for the consecration of the gifts of Bread and Wine into Body and Blood.

All these three essential items must be there for the purpose of celebrating mass. There are those other Items that are not essential, but have a significant role in the liturgy:

  1. The Tabernacle
  2. The Pascal Candle
  3. The Advent Reed
  4. Baptismal Font
  5. Crucifix

 

Marian Dogmas

Briefly, How the Holy Mass Developed


The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church


Categories and Groups of the Seven Sacraments


Infant Baptism


Baptism

Terbanacle

Is used to preserve the Blessed Eucharist, and can be used for private worship. The Eucharist Can be distributed to the sick in hospitals, the prisoners, travellers, etcetera

Pascal Candle

Sign of the Risen Christ and Light of the world at Easter

Advent Wreath

Preparation of the Second and First Coming of Christ with faith, Love Hope, Charity, and Christmas.

Baptismal Font

Used for Baptism of all the Believers from infants to the elderly.

 

Crucifix

A reminder that the saving work of Christ was achieved by the cross.

Conclusion

These are the basic ideas and teachings that the Church gives in the book (GIRM – General Instructions for Roman Missal). I personally consider this as a background for a good understanding of the mass.

The Next Background that I would like to share, is a brief historical background of how the Mass developed and grew up to what we have and experience, in the next post.

If you liked the information, you can leave a comment and also share. Any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you; Jude.

Marian Dogmas

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27 thoughts on “The Mass (Sanctuary)”

    1. Hello there, first of all, the term “reed” is an incorrect term, but for our context, we are referring to the season of Advent. That way people will be able to understand the meaning by the use of the term “reed”. So, the correct term for the Advent “reed” is Wreath(s).
      On the other hand, Advent from its original language means coming, and in this case, itis the context of two things:
      1. Coming of Christ
      2. Beginning / Start of a new liturgical year.

      The advent wreath is usually made up of the circular green wreaths and five Candles (Four for Advent and One for Christmas)

      The Green Advent “Reed”
      This is usually the green leaves/wreaths and not any other colour because, for the Church, the liturgical colour Green is a symbol of Hope and Growth.
      Think of a long period of a dry season, this shows lack of hope since there is nothing that is green that can give life. Animals more especially would suffer in a dry season.
      Immediately, the rainy season comes, the signs of hope begin to shoot and in turn, they bring growth. The green vegetation that rises up, becomes the sign of Hope and Growth because life at this point is at its peak. Some theologians would refer to this as the SpringTime.
      For the Church, Advent becomes the SpringTime of Faith, Why? Because we know whom we are waiting for in those four weeks.

      The Candle:
      Usually, the (week 1) first candle is a sign of Hope
      The (week 2) second Candle, Church teaches that is the sign of Peace (Prophets)
      (week 3) Third Candle, a sign of Love
      (week 4)Fourth Candle, a sign of Joy
      (25th of December) fifth Candle, the Chrismas Candle for Christ as the Light of the world.

      The Season prepares the reception of Christ in Hope, Peace, Love and Joy; and that is the Second Coming of Christ (Judgment) and the First Coming of Christ (Chrismas).

      I hope this answers your question, and thank you very much.

      1. Goodwork,I thought the wreath was just a decoration instead there is a meaning to its presence.Thank you for that information.

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