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evening, endeavoured to exhibit; reserving, for to-morrow, a brief description of its august ceremonies.

In the mean time, may the blessing of Jesus in the eucharist, light on their minds to dispel their errors; and, on our hearts, to inflame them with his love!

In the name, &c.




Within the octave of Corpus Christi


"Thou art a Priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedec." Psalm cix, v. 4.

THE adorable sacrifice of the altar, my brethren, being, as you have already seen, the most solemn act of the Christian worship, the Church, from the earliest ages, accompanied its performance with a variety of prayers and ceremonies, which form, as it were, an abridgement, a summary of the whole system of that divine religion, which the Redeemer of mankind came to establish. This variety, therefore, obliging me to direct your attention, successively, to many subjects, puts me under the

necessity, of being, in this discourse, very brief upon each. Without further preamble, then, I shall commence at once, as well to improve that information, which Catholics, from their infancy, attain, as to remove that ignorance, in which their education leaves our Protestant brethren, with regard to the sacrifice of the Mass.

And first, as to its name, how came it to be called the Mass? In the early ages, this holy sacrifice was designated by various names. The Greek Christians called it the Mystagogia, or, the initiation in the mysteries; synaxis, or the assembly of the faithful; anaphora, or the raising up; prosphora, or the oblation; but their most common appellation of it, was Liturgia, or the public ministry; and this name of liturgy is now, and has been, for several centuries, the ordinary term, by which the Oriental Christians denote the sacrifice of the altar; because there is no ministry so solemn, in the Church, as the action of the Priest sacrificing the body and blood of Christ. The Latins, or Western Christians, called it collecta, which is the same, as synaxis with the Greeks, namely, the assembly of the faithful; they also used the words, Dominicum, or the Lord's sacrifice; agenda, or the sacred action; the terms, oblation and communion, which they likewise employed, require no explanation. But, like Liturgy in the East, Missa, or Mass, has, for upwards of a thousand years, been the ordinary title, by which the sacrifice is known in the West. This word, Missa, is the same

es Missio, or the dismissal; and it is thus used, sometimes, in the Latin classics. The catechumens, or persons under catechistical instruction, and who were not yet baptized; the penitents, or those Christians, who were undergoing public penance, during which they were not admitted to communion; the energumens, or persons possessed of evil spirits, who by their cries, or conduct, might interrupt the solemnity of the holy misteries; finally, the infidels themselves, whom curiosity might lead to the church; all these descriptions of persons were allowed to be present, while the lessons from the scripture were reading. But, as soon as the Gospel was over, the Deacon, in a loud voice, directed them to depart; this was called the missa, or dismissal. And as this was the sign, that the most solemn part of the sacrifice was about to commence, the whole sacrifice began to be called the Missa, or Mass, which is now become its ordinary name. At the close of the sacrifice also, the Deacon gave formal notice to the faithful to depart, which is still done, in the words: "Ite, Missa est,-Go; it is the dismissal; or, the moment of departure is arrived." This second dismissal contributed to confirm the name, which the sacrifice had obtained from the first dismissal.

Such, my brethren, is the origin and etymo logy of the word, Mass; upon which our op ponents, in their ignorance, pass so many unmeaning and cold witticisms. But I wish you here to observe, that, by whatever names

of Mass, Liturgy, &c. the ancients, according to their respective languages, designated this holy action, all of them, whether Orientals or Occidentals, in describing what the action is, tell us, as I have already shown, that it is the sacrifice of the real body and blood of Jesus Christ, under the outward appearance of bread and wine,

I shall now proceed to touch upon the prayers, which are recited in the Mass. The Priest, at the foot of the altar, signs himself with the sign of the cross, saying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," thus professing his own, and the people's faith, in the adorable Trinity, and in the death of Christ, which is the source of our salvation. A most expressive, most solemn, and most Christian commencement, which our enemies, though they talk so much of their faith in Christ, are not ashamed to scoff at. We, however, will still glory in this sign of the Son of Man, which was practised in the apostolical ages, as appears from Tertullian, and all Christian antiquity. The Priest then recites, alternately, with the people, the 42d psalm: "Judge me, O Lord, &c. which David composed, when, flying from Saul, he consoled himself with the hope of again seeing the altar of his God. This ardent effusion of his inspired pen is admirably calculated, as may be seen by its perusal, to excite our desire, and express our joy, at approaching the sacred altar of Jesus. At its conclusion, we again profess our adoration of Three Persons

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