Dom Gréa’s “The Church and Her Divine Constitution” (1)

Dom Adrien Gréa (1828-1917) stands alongside Lacordaire and Guéranger as one of the great re-founders of Catholic religious life in post-Revolution France. His life’s mission was to restore regular canonical life, or the common life of priests living under a rule. Toward that end, he founded the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception.

Several sections of his master-work on ecclesiology (The Church and Her Divine Constitution) are dedicated to justifying the existence of communities of canons within the diocesan structure, a point that, from the vigor with which he argues it, seems to have been ill-received by his contemporaries.

We will post several short excerpts from the work in which Dom Gréa makes a forceful argument that canonical life is the ideal state of life for the clergy, as seen in the Fathers and in the history of the Middle Ages.

L’ÉGLISE ET

SA DIVINE CONSTITUTION

PRÉFACE DE LOUIS BOUYER, De L’oratoire

1965
CASTERMAN

domgrea
Dom Adrien Gréa

(excerpt from the Preface)

The book of Dom Gréa concerning the Church and her divine constitution is one of those books that transcends their time and are susceptible to being much better understood at the remove of several generations. Their handicap is that they can never avoid showing visible traces of the moment when they were written. It is thus that the reader of Dom Gréa today must pass over the sometimes too facile and incantational rhetoric masking statements not always very precise. But these weaknesses, which have been ameliorated by the notes of the present edition, should not disguise the profound merits of the synthesis proposed by this exceptional book.

One might say that it was addressed to that moment in time, after years of meditation on the doctrine of the mystical body that were consecrated by the encyclical Mystici Corporis and that the schema De Ecclesia of the Council bears to their maturity. The whole idea of the organic and quasi-personal character of the Church, which was developed through two or three generations, finds here, in a theory of the Church marked by its magnificent fullness, its most perfect fulfillment. But at the same time, perhaps the most striking peculiarity of Dom Gréa is that he in no way presents these aspects in opposition with the institutional, or more precisely, hierarchical aspects. Quite to the contrary, it is the idea of hierarchy, of holy order, that governs his synthesis. His merit is to give it such a profound and living conception that it even appears that the hierarchy, properly understood, far from oppressing the living elements of the Church, is that which gives them, along with their exterior coherence, their interior and supernatural continuity.

A second noteworthy trait of his construction is the liturgical conception that he tends to give of the Church. That She is first of all a society of worship, founded on the truth of Christ which She extends to the universe in such a way as to bring it share in the grand act of religion of the Mediator. That is what Dom Gréa helps us to recapture. Too many fallacious extensions of the concept of Church, and especially of the mystical body, have led us to a certain vagueness on this point that the ample and luminous treatments of this book should help to dissipate.

—–

Le livre de Dom GRÉA sur L’Église et sa divine constitution est de ces livres qui échappent à leur époque et qui sont susceptibles d’être bien mieux compris à quelques générations de distance. Leur handicap est toujours qu’ils portent malgré tout des traces visibles du moment où ils furent écrits. C’est ainsi que le lecteur de Dom GRÉA, aujourd’hui, doit passer par dessus l’éloquence parfois un peu trop facilement incantatoire où s’enveloppaient des références pas toujours assez précises. Mais ces faiblesses qu’on a palliées par les notes de la présente édition, ne doivent pas dissimuler les mérites profonds de la synthèse proposée par ce livre exceptionnel.

On peut dire qu’il reparaît à son heure, après des années de méditation sur la doctrine du corps mystique, consacrée déjà par l’encyclique Mystici Corporis, et que le schéma De Ecclesia du concile porte à leur maturité. Tout ce sens du caractère organique et quasi personnel de l’Église, qui s’est développé depuis deux ou trois générations, y trouve, dans une théorie de l’Église d’une magnifique plénitude, le plus parfait exaucement. Mais en même temps, la particularité peut-être la plus frappante de Dom GRÉA est qu’il ne développe nullement ces aspects en opposition avec les aspects institutionnels, et plus précisément hiérarchiques. Bien au contraire, c’est l’idée de hiérarchie, d’ordre sacré qui domine sa synthèse. Son mérite est d’en donner une notion si pro- fonde et vivante qu’il apparaît aussitôt que la hiérarchie, bien comprise, loin de rien comprimer des éléments vivants de l’Église est ce qui leur donne, avec leur cohérence extérieure, leur continuité intime et surnaturelle. Comment la hiérarchie est ce qui permet à l’Église, Corps du Christ, d’être une permanente épi- phanie du Christ, on ne peut mieux le saisir qu’en suivant Dom GRÉA.

Un second trait marquant de sa construction est la notion en quelque sorte liturgique qu’elle tend à donner de l’Église. Qu’elle soit avant tout société de culte, fondée sur la vérité du Christ qu’elle répand dans l’univers de manière à amener celui-ci à s’associer au grand acte de religion du Médiateur, voilà encore ce que Dom GRÉA nous aidera à ressaisir. Trop de fallacieuses extensions de la notion d’Église, et surtout de corps mystique, nous ont amenés à un certain vague sur ce point que les amples et lumineux exposés de ce livre devraient contribuer à dissiper.

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Dom Karl Wallner: The Profanation of the Sacred and the Sacralisation of the Profane

grand-messe

The author of this essay is Dom Karl Wallner, O. Cis., Rector of the Pontifical University of Heiligenkreuz (AU) and national director of Missio for Austria. The following passages are extracts from his address at the session of the International Academy held 31st August 2016 at Aigen and translated into English by Canticum Salomonis.

(See the German original and French translation.)



The last few decades have brought a stark alteration of Catholic cult, liturgy, art, and architecture that many perceive as a break and a rupture, or even as an outright destruction of the former dignity and sacrality. In the long theological debates of the 1970s, “desacralisation” was treated as an imperative for the modernisation of the Church.

Along with desacralisation inside the Church there was another phenomenon, which I was able to experience personally in my encounters with the profane world of show business: a form of sacralisation of the profane, a ritualisation of the banal, the promotion of non-religious objects to the level of cult objects. From the backstage of the show to which I had been invited, I could observe how the show was designed down the last detail as a sort of dramaturgy, so that the viewer in front of the television participated in a kind of “Pontifical Mass of Entertainment.”

Several years ago, after celebrating a vigil service with a youth group, I had an experience that struck me profoundly and became the key to understanding.

For the past 20 years at Heiligenkreuz, we have organised prayer retreats for young people between the ages of 15 and 28. Since the majority of young people that age suffer a severe lack of enculturation in everything related to Catholicism, and must still learn how to pray and adore, these vigils represent a real challenge. That is why we could not even imagine celebrating a Mass with them: we must first render these young capable of receiving the Eucharistic mystery. First and foremost they need to have a personal relation to Jesus Christ. In that regard, the Catholic liturgy offers a range of possibilities, a whole sacred repertoire that is able to create an ambiance that permits the young people to open their hearts so that they may be touched by the presence of God.

Concretely, this is what happens at our monastery: the light is turned down in the nave of the church; we do lots of singing, especially hymns of praise; the entrance procession begins from the medieval shadow of the cloister, to the light of candles, reciting a decade of the rosary; the Holy Sacrament in the monstrance is brightly illuminated so as to constitute a central point, majestic and brilliant, drawing the gaze of about 300 youth praying and adoring on their knees. The bells ring at full force as the priest blesses the crowd. The celebrant wears a solemn veil. The acolytes arrange themselves in perfect order. In a word, we use all the resources the Catholic liturgy offers us from the point of view of dramaturgy.

And of course, we use lots of incense…

Sight, hearing, the chant, the smell of incense, the gestures and postures…etc. become concrete instruments that encourage the soul to open up. We notice that the incense does more than please the sense of smell. It also gives visibility to space: as it rises it produces a sensation of height, elevation, well-being, and solemnity.

It is in this context that I had the experience I mentioned. At the end of the Vigil, one of the youth who completely unformed came to see me. He was profoundly moved, radiant and excited. He told me: “Father Karl, your vigils are super cool, so modern! You even use the fog machines like they do in the disco!”

I think that today we are witnessing the beginnings of a return to a previous situation, and this is most evident in the youth: from a desacralisation of the Catholic world toward a certain re-sacralisation, in the sense of a renewed understanding of terms like “cult” or “celebration” among the younger generations. Among young people, there is no greater praise for an event, concert, or music group as when it can be said to have reached “cult status.” [French: In the same way, a particularly successful concert is called a “great-mass” (grand-messe).] The same holds true for the word “celebration.” Often decried before and still always avoided in ecclesiastical circles, this term has been rediscovered in a quasi-euphoric way in the profane world. It’s because we love moments of solemnity. The business world thrives on flashy “celebrations” full of glamour.

When one loves the liturgy of the Church and considers it the very substance of his life, like here at Heiligenkreuz where I have had the honor to hold the duty of MC for 21 years, one is often astonished to realize that “the sons of the world are often more wise than the sons of light.” The dignity, majesty, solemnity, the sense of ritual, all those things that were normal in the Church during past centuries, but have been gravely neglected since the 1960s in a movement of secularisation that was complete unprecedented, have now been “discovered” in the profane world, and integrated into this context as a great novelty.

I’ve already mentioned those big televised shows in which I participated, sometimes willingly and sometimes by compulsion, and that I experienced them as pseudo-liturgical productions. These “entertainment liturgies” have as their goal to create feelings of tension, emotion, well-being and amusement: i.e. an earthly happiness composed of dramatised emotions. And they spare no expense! The majesty of the place, reinforced by the movement of the camera, the presence of a “great pontiff” well known by all, the promise of substantial profit and media recognition… The presenter-star is given a form of veneration that we once reserved for the priest at the altar, for in the priest we honored the great majesty of Christ. In the sacralised profane, this veneration has devolved into a drab personality cult and the worship of “stars” [Starrummel; starisation].

The sacred is an experience of a separation, a contrast. It involves a subjective notion, a sentiment, a fundamental constant of human psychology.  Who has not felt a surge of respect and emotion during a grand and solemn moment of music, in a place where the architecture has the qualities of height and symmetry? Who has not felt awe and emotion when participating in an unaccustomed scripted ritual, a feeling of unity and cooperation in the midst of a large crowd? The feeling gives you goosebumps!

Lars Olaf Nathan Soderblom, a Swedish historian of religion, defined the sacred in 1913 as “the notion determining all religion; it is more important even than the notion of divinity.”

The experience of the sacred is more fundamental than the notion of the divine. This means that religiosity is based in the first place on letting oneself be touched by the existence of something that transcends the every-day,  through a sort of purity and majesty, something that compels respect, something unexpected. It is only based on this experience that a man seeks the origin of this sentiment in God.

Historically speaking,  the first acts of man of a religious connotation were not addressed to a personal god. They were rather the reflection of a sentiment; a feeling of being affected, touched, by a kind of majesty, by something other, by what is beyond the frontiers, by a “sacrum.” This fundamental constant of religious sentiment had to await Christianity to be purified and magnified. Indeed, amidst this fascination, suddenly a personal God is revealed, a person who, in Jesus Christ, would even have a concrete, historical existence among men, and who through the Holy Spirit would inhabit the hearts of men.

We repeat: the necessity of being affected by what one feels is “sacred,” even to the point that it makes our hair stand on end, is fundamental for man: for man is predestined for the sacred.

This is confirmed in a negative way: since the 1980s we have witnessed a dramatic decline in the Christian faith, and more generally of the ability to establish a relationship with a personal God. A study dating from 2015 (“Shell-Jugendstudie”: a study of 2500 youths in Germany between 12 and 25, from all backgrounds)—conducted not by theologians using hued glasses, but by serious sociologists—characterises young German Christians as “baptised pagans.” This study, which shows a very realistic picture of the situation, is not encouraging: only 35% of Christians interviewed said they believed in a personal God; only 39% thought that faith in God has an influence on their life choices.

Even if, according to the terms of the study, there has been found an “almost complete rupture with the Christian faith,” this does not signal the rise of atheism pure and simple. What has changed is the object of the faith, which is no longer God, but all sorts of other things: vacations, liberty, autonomy, the traditions of feasts around Christmas, the horoscope, a car, a football club, etc. People have not stopped to act in religious ways, but they no longer believe in Jesus Christ, and have no idea what a sacrament of the Church is. In place of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, such as might appear in Eucharistic Adoration or meditation on the history of salvation through the mysteries of the rosary, one now finds other exercises of religious piety taken from eastern meditative techniques, occult practices, and post-modern ideas. This practices are already widespread in the present culture and enjoy a very popular image.

Here I would like to call upon an example of profane canonisation in the person of Lady Diana. After the death of the Princess of Wales in Paris on the 31st of August, at age 36, her passing triggered a phenomenon the world over that might be called “euphoric grief.” The fact that the personality involved was very famous, very engaged in helping marginalised and socially excluded groups, led to a wave of compassion and solidarity to a degree that had never been witnessed before. The extent of mourning evoked had the effect of “raising Diana to the skies.” At that moment who would have dared to mention, even in a whisper, that the princess might have been responsible for the failure of her marriage? Diana became a myth, an idol of goodness and pure human compassion. This “canonisation” reached its acme a few days later when we learned about the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, this time a true saint of the Church. The crowds received this event as a confirmation and consolation. They recalled the suggestive photos showing the two side by side: two saints in full agreement. As if the radiance of Lady Diana’s face transfigured the wrinkled countenance of Mother Teresa. As if the Christian faith of Mother Teresa transfigured the black marks in the life of the unfortunate princess. As for Lady Diana, we might further remark that the palace where her tomb is located has become almost a place of pilgrimage, where one can find many features similar to places of Christian pilgrimage, though especially the less appealing ones.

It seems that any profane action is susceptible to being sacralised, and history abounds with examples of such abusive cults rendered to persons. Consider the dictators or those responsible for genocide. One certainly thinks of the adulation that was offered to Hitler, or the long files standing at attention before the mausoleum of Lenin, or more recently, to the grotesque behavior of the masses toward the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Thus we must be very prudent. If we do not cultivate the sacred and the dignified in our churches, if we forget the “tremendum” and “fascinosum,” then we can expect that human psychology will go looking elsewhere to fill the need to tremble before something majestic. If we degrade our liturgical ceremonies to the level of simple mundane ceremonies, if we banalise them, we should not be surprised to see people going elsewhere to satisfy their innate desire for sacred places, sacred symbols, sacred texts, and persons to venerate.

I’d like to share a personal memory. Some weeks ago, I happened to find myself by chance in possession of a ticket for the inauguration of the new stadium of Vienna-Hütteldorf, the Rapid-Stadion. During my whole life I have never attended a football game. I was alone, and I was seized by an anxiety about how I should enjoy the event. I was tempted not to go at all. But I intentionally made myself have these feelings, comparing myself to someone confronted by the idea of entering a church for the first time to see a Mass. I wanted to feel the genuine fear that people often feel before doing something they are not used to, of encountering customs and attitudes they’ve never experienced, and the fear of being noticed.

For me watching the match was also a sort of expiation. My father, now deceased, was a passionate fan of the Rapid team, and in some way I owed it to him to go there in his memory.

It was incredible. What I experienced there was a fascinating profane liturgy. The match was a friendly encounter against Chelsea, but the match itself it was nothing but a pretext. A genuine liturgy took place, with chants, ritual applause, coordinated movements of the crowd, and waving the club’s green emblem. But what left the strongest impression on me was an action that might have been inspired by the liturgical epiclesis. In the middle of the 75th minute, they began to call on the “15-minute Rapid.” Thanks to Wikipedia I knew that this tradition had existed since 1910. What was it? Everyone stood up, held their hands in front of them palms down, like the priest when he calls down the Holy Spirit on the bread and wine at the moment of consecration. At that moment a humming, a rhythmic droning  arose in the seats where the 28,000 spectators were packed. It got louder until the hands began a trembling motion. I thought right then: “Come, holy spirit of football!” After the tension was brusquely relieved, loud cheering swept through the stadium.

During the match the idea came to me, that it is a shame the Church of Austria doesn’t organise at least once a year a great public festival in a profane place. A sort of testimony to the presence of Christians outside the churches and sacristies. The Evangelical churches and the Jehovah’s Witnesses do this type of thing regularly. Closer to home, the origin of the Corpus Christi processions is the desire to manifest our veneration for the Holy Sacrament by carrying it through the city streets, across fields, and into all the places of our daily life.

Though I have no pretensions in this address of offering an exhaustive argument, I think I can affirm that there exists a correlation between “a profanation of the sacred” and “a sacralisation of the profane.” Opened to transcendence, man needs a “tremendum” and “fascinosum.” If religion no longer gives him thrills, he will begin to sacralise his profane environment, to idolise anything and everything.

Some strong words of the Cure d’Ars come to mind: “Leave a parish without a priest for twenty years, and they will start worshipping the animals.” And I’ll venture to follow up: “Deprive man of respect for sacred things, such as the liturgy is meant to express, strip down the sacred service offered to the unfathomable divinity till it is a simple worship rendered to man, and you shall see the faithful flee their priests and turn to the druids and shamans, and worship the stars and animals as their deities.”

But aren’t we something responsible for what is happening?

Profanation begins when we ourselves no longer respect holy things. Everyone knows that you take your shoes off when entering a mosque and that silence must be respected there, or even that you must wear a kippa in a synagogue. But a Catholic church is no longer respected more than some museum! It all begins when we no longer think it necessary to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament, which is not an abstract notion as in other religions, but a very concrete sacramental reality. When we prattle on in church like so many pagans. One has the experienced visiting the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna and then the city’s history museum: there, you find the sacred profaned, here the profane sacralised.  

Someone will probably say to me, “Yes, grave errors have been committed in our Church. The spirit of the times has pushed us toward a certain desacralisation and so favored the birth of new pagan religious movements.” But once more I repeat a truism I have already cited: when the faith we have received from God is shown the door, superstition enters through the window.

I fear that the demythologised theology, the desacralised art and liturgy we have endured for some decades, are often self-defeating, as it were. If we are no longer capable, by means of sacred art and liturgy, of transmitting the reality of the advent of God into the life of man, then he will make a substitute for himself. If we no longer transmit to man that sacred gift that permits him to encounter God who in Jesus Christ has been made so close and so majestic, then man will find something else to satisfy him. And it seems that nothing profane is able to escape from his desire for sacrality: ideologies and nations, Führers and stars, T.V. shows and rituals … everything that happens seems charged with sacrality.

And now? What shall happen? Something different, in any case! There is no future in the Church for desacralised rites: they are already passé.

The young generation of seminarians surprises us by their taste for solemnity. They appreciate the idea of “celebration,” they are fascinated by the aesthetics of ritual. They want to know the liturgical norms precisely and follow them. And this is definitely not a step backward, toward pre-conciliar ritualism, as some have prophesied, thus showing that they do not know how to recognise the signs of the times.

The faithful young, born long after the end of the pre-conciliar era—doubtlessly guided by the Holy Spirit—is set to vindicate every liberty for sacrality, which has proven to be constitutive of the very essence of Christianity.

These youth are exempt from every ideology, opposite to those who lived through ’68. They set great value in sacrality because they have instinctively realised that it is thanks to it that they have the concrete ability to approach the Holy God-made-man: thanks to a majestic liturgy, to sacred music, to hymns of praise, to trustworthy rites, an architecture open to heaven and an art that speaks a language of transcendence.

—Deo gratias!—

drollery

*Marginalia Aelredi*

(in sup. sinistra, eleganti stylo)

Frater nostri ordinis, vir probatus, dicendi peritus.

(notae)

Hoc “show-biz” ex “turris Babylonis” derivatum?

Canones ludis publicis monachos omnimodo prohibere; reverendus frater monendus.

Testes Jehovae = apud Paulum ἰουδαϊζόντες? Pertinaces!

Vivitur ut filii Israel inter paganos. Templa paganorum cur non destructa?

Gemma Animae (4): De processione episcopi

Ch. 4

On the Bishop’s Procession

Bishop Perry Process

After the bells have sounded, the vested pontiff proceeds, seven acolytes with lights preceding him and seven sub-deacons coming after with lectionaries [cum plenariis] [1]. And after these seven deacons advance, followed by twelve priors. After these three acolytes come with thuribles bearing incense. After these the Gospel book is borne before the bishop, who follows it walking between two others, accompanied by the princes and the people. As they enter the choir, they are met with the verse Gloria Patri sung by the cantors, to whom the bishop extends the peace. Then he goes to the altar and when the chant is finished he says the prayer [oratio] and then goes to his seat. Some of the ministers sit with him, and others wait on him: [all of] this is to demonstrate the presence of Christ for us.

De processione episcopi.

Postquam campanae sonaverint, pontifex ornatus procedit, quem septem acolythi cum luminibus praeeunt, post quos septem subdiaconi cum plenariis incedunt. Item post hos septem diaconi gradiuntur, quos duodecim priores sequuntur. Post hos tres acolyti cum thuribulis vadunt, qui incensum gerunt. Post quos Evangelium ante episcopum fertur, quod ipse inter duos ambulans sequitur, eumque principes cum populo comitantur. Qui, dum chorum ingreditur, a cantoribus cum versu, Gloria Patri, excipitur, Quibus ipse pacem porrigit, deinde ad altare vadit, finito cantu orationem dicit, et tunc sedere pergit. Quidam de ministris cum eo sedent, quidam ei assistunt: hoc quasi praesentiam Christi nobis exhibet.

[1] Plenarium refers to a liturgical book containing the entirety of something, such the gospels or epistles (cf. Du Cange).

Gemma Animae (3): De Primo Officio

Ch. 3
On the First Office of the Mass

Corpus_Christi_Procession_with_Pope_Gregory_XVI_in_the_Vatican
Ferdinando Cavalleri (1794-1865)
Corpus Christi Procession with Pope Gregory XVI in the Vatican

Now, the Mass is divided into seven offices. In the first, Christ’s legation is performed, which we know was prefigured by Moses, who is chosen the God of the gentiles, pope of priests, and king of peoples. For by God he is appointed the God of Pharaoh, the prophet of Aaron the priest, and the leader of the people. He performs the legation of God in Egypt, is received by the elders and the people, gathers the dispersed people, subdues Egypt through signs, and freeing the oppressed from tyranny and harsh servitude he leads them from Egypt and brings them into the land of the promise.

Just so Christ, the God of gods, priest of priests, and king of kings performs the legation of the Father in the world: the shepherd is received by the angels and shepherds who are the type of the Church. He who gathers into one faith the sons of God who had been dispersed subdues the world with various signs. Freeing from Hell those oppressed by the devil, he leads them into the homeland of paradise.

All of this is represented to us by the procession of the bishop, who bears the figure of Christ.

De primo officio.

Missa autem in septem officia distinguitur. In primo quorum Christi legatio agitur, quam Moyses praefigurasse cognoscitur, qui Deus gentilium, papa sacerdotum, rex populorum legitur. A Deo namque Deus Pharaonis, propheta Aaron sacerdotis, dux populi constituitur. Hic legatione Dei in Aegyptum fungitur, a senioribus et populo suscipitur, populum dispersum congregat, Aegyptum signis perdomat, oppressos a tyranno de dura servitute liberans, de Aegypto educit, in terram promissionis inducit, Sic Christus Deus deorum, sacerdos sacerdotum, rex regum, legatione Patris in mundum fungitur, ab angelis et pastoribus pastor, Ecclesiae typum excipitur gerentibus. Qui filios Dei, qui erant dispersi, in unam fidem congregat, mundum variis signis subiugat. Oppressos a diabolo liberans de inferno educit, in patriam paradisi inducit. Hoc totum repraesentat nobis processio episcopi, qui gerit figuram Christi.

Gemma Animae (2): De Missa

BOOK THE FIRST.
ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH

 

Ch. 2
On The Mass

Moses_Syriac Bible
Moses before the Pharaoh, a 6th-century miniature from the Syriac Bible of Paris

 

“Mass” is said for four reasons: two from legation [legatio], and two from mission [missio]. For the Mass is a legation:

  1. Because its office [officium] represents Christ’s legation on our behalf, by which he performed a legation to the Father on behalf of the human race.
  2. Again Mass is a legation because in it the priest makes a legation to the Father on behalf of the Church.
moses-and-pharaoh_ten-commandments
Moses and Pharaoh from the film The Ten Commandments

“Mass” is said from “mission”:

  1. Because the people who come together as if before a judge are sent away after the case has been delivered.
  2. Again it is said from “mission” because the gathering of the people, who are obliged by law to be at Vespers and Matins, is dismissed when the sacrifice [1] has been celebrated.
Schopin, Frederic, 1804-1880; The Children of Israel Crossing the Red Sea
The Children Of Israel Crossing The Red Sea by Henri-Frederic Schopin

 

[1] Note that the Divine Office is called a sacrifice, while the Mass has been called an “office” above.

LIBER PRIMUS.
DE MISSAE SACRIFICIO ET DE MINISTRIS ECCLESIAE.

De missa.

Missa quatuor causis nomen accepit: duabus a legatione, et duabus a missione. Missa quippe dicitur legatio: 1o Quia in eius officio nobis legatio Christi repraesentatur, qua pro humano genere patris legatione fungebatur. 2o Item missa legatio dicitur, quia in ea sacerdos pro Ecclesia ad Dominum legatione fungitur. A missione, missa dicitur: 1o Quia populus, qui quasi ad iudicium convenit, peracta causa a iudice dimittitur. 2o Item a missione dicitur, quia populi conventus, qui ad Vesperam, et ad Matutinas quasi iure tenetur, celebrato sacrificio dimittitur.