Father Justin Rose
Re: The Holy Ghost acting in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass
Dear Father Rose,
For the past 4 years, ever since I discovered your mission-church in
where the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom enshrined in the Melkite Rite of the Catholic faith is celebrated, I have had the pleasure of worshipping at your church 4-5 times so far, from time to time. I have taken many of my friends along with me, as I have also taken them to the Tridentine Mass of the Roman Rite, now called the “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite”. I was asked to film your seminar that you gave to a group of about 25-30 people about 6 months ago. It was on the history and ceremony of the Eastern Rites or Churches. I enjoyed my time with you, your community as well as the visitors and organizers. However, there was a point that you made which I had disagreed with at the time, but I did not have adequate resources along with me, or the 1962 Roman Missal handy to justify my objection. The point you made was that the Second Vatican Council was the first to have representatives from the Eastern Churches since the split of 1054. So, because of their influence, and the ceremony of the Eastern liturgies, the role of the Holy Ghost in the Holy Mass was rediscovered and introduced into the post-Vatican II liturgy. Your point was that the priest does nothing of his own, that it is the Holy Ghost who works the change from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord. So, then we have the prayers in the Novus Ordo Missae, “Let your Spirit come upon these gifts and make them holy, so that they may become the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.” The difficulty I had with this is that, the Tridentine Mass already had a prayer which showed the action of the Holy Ghost in effecting the Transubstantiation. The prayer is as follows: Veni, sanctificator omnipotens aeterne Deus: et benedic hoc sacrificium, tuo sancto nomini praeparatum (Come, O Sanctifier, almighty, eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared for Thy holy Name). San Bernardino
In commenting about this prayer to the Holy Ghost, the great Benedictine reformer Dom Prosper Gueranger comments on the prayer I mentioned that was introduced into the Novus Ordo Missae from the Eastern liturgies as follows:
The Eastern Church has not this prayer in her liturgy, but wishing, as she does, to make known to the people the action of the Holy Ghost in this great mystery, after pronouncing the words of Consecration over the bread, the celebrant says: “O Lord, God, deign to send Thy Spirit that He may change this bread into the Body of Thy Son”; and all the people answer: Amen… But this looks like an anomaly; for when the priest utters each of these invocations, Transubstantiation has already been effected. Why then call on the Holy Spirit? This is a remark that has more than once been made; their custom has been maintained, and this is the reason alleged. In order not to mix the acclamation of the people with the words of the sacred mysteries, the Eastern Church placed, after these, the invocations relative to the operation of the Holy Ghost, that is to say, they occur at the very moment chosen in the Latin Church for the Elevation, when she presents the Body and Blood of our Lord to the adoration of the faithful. Then it is that the Eastern Church pays homage to the power and work of the Holy Ghost. (Explanation of the Holy Mass, 139-140)
Just thought you might find this information interesting.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.