Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why Does Fr. Hardesty Do That?! Part III: Whispers

Question: What is Fr. Hardesty whispering at various times of the Mass?

Answer: Most of the prayers of the Mass are said in a loud voice and in dialogue with the congregation. Some though are said privately, between the priest and God. The rubric in the missal used to indicate that these prayers are said “silently,” so most priests pray them interiorly. But if prayers that makeup the content of the Mass are simply said interiorly, how could we verify that they were said at all? When the translation of the Missal was recently revised, this rubric was corrected to indicate that the private prayers are said “quietly” (not “silently”) or in a “low voice". This better conveys that they should at least be whispered.

For your edification, here are the private prayers of the Ordinary Form of the Mass:
Before the Deacon proclaims the Gospel, the priest blesses him saying:
“May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may proclaim his Gospel worthily and well, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”
If the priest proclaims the Gospel himself, he bows before the altar and says:
“Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel”
After proclaiming the Gospel, the priest or the deacon says the following:
“Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away”
After offering the paten the priest or deacon pours a little water into the chalice and says:
“By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”
After offering the chalice the priest bows profoundly and says:
“With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and my our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God”
Then while washing his hands the priest says:
“Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin”
The priest beaks off a small piece from the Host and drops it into the chalice saying:
“May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it”
The priest prepares himself for Communion saying one of two options:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.” OR
“May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.”
Before consuming the Host the priest says:
“May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life”
And before consuming the Precious Blood he says:
“May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life”
Finally, during the purification of the chalice and paten, the priest or deacon says:
“What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.”

In Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Hardesty


Sean M. said...

One addition: the ablution prayer should also be said by an instituted acolyte (usually a seminarian) when purifying vessels ^_-

Nicholas Hardesty said...

Can you explain why these parts are said silently, instead of in a manner that everyone could hear?

Fr. Matthew Hardesty said...

The old commentaries said, "those parts which are intended for the instruction and edification of the congregation are recited aloud; while the prayers that are essentially sacerdotal and destined for sacramental acts, for the offering and blessing of the matter of the Sacrifice and the like, are said secretly, for greater solemnity and reverence. These latter are the prayers of the priest acting alone, though in the name of all." (O,Connell, p 178)