Seeking Divine Mercy

 

The Structure of the Catholic Mass

 

Many non-Catholics question the validity of the Catholic Celebration of the Mass believing it to be nothing more than an elaborate tradition. Without realizing it they also follow their own traditions including bible study, routine fellowship gatherings and periods of gospel discussion to name a few. However, if they learned the truth regarding the Catholic Mass they could hardly disagree with its validity as it has been the worship of the Eucharistic celebration throughout history and its structure is that of Biblical content. For anyone to suggest the celebration of the Mass as invalid would be to suggest worship of our Lord and the Inspired word of God invalid, as this is exactly what the Mass is. Further, ancient writing of the Early Church Fathers, the apostolic successors, provide ample validation to the celebration of the Mass.

 

Structurally, the Catholic mass IS scriptural and here we hope to clarify to those who have no knowledge of the contents of the Mass, exactly what the Catholic celebration of the mass consists of with references. For a better understanding of the obligation Christians are held to in attending Mass on Sundays, please read THE OBLIGATION TO ATTEND MASS ON SUNDAYS”.

 

 

 

Liturgy of the Mass

(Note: the structure of the Mass will not change.)

 

 

Initial greeting in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy spirit- Matthew CH28  V19

 

Response: Amen – 1 Book of Chronicles CH16 V36

 

Greeting including “the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you” – 2 Corinthians CH13 V13

 

Response: And with your spirit – 2 Timothy CH4 V22

 

Or the Priest may say; “The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with you”

2 Corinthians CH1 V2

 

 

 

Penitential rite

 

References James CH5 V16, Romans CH12 V16, James CH3: V6, James CH4 V17, I Thessalonians CH5 V 25

 

 

Continued

“May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life” 1 John CH1 V9

 

Kyrie Eleison – Lord have Mercy – Tobit CH8 V4

Christe Eleison – Christ have Mercy – I Timothy CH1 V2

Kyrie Eleison – Lord have Mercy – Tobit CH8 V4

 

 

The Gloria

“Lord God, Heavenly King, Almighty God and Father – Rev CH19 V6

We praise you, We worship You, We glorify you – Rev CH22 V9

We give You thanks for your great Glory – Ephesians CH5 V20 -  Rev CH7 V12

Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son - 2 John Ch3

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us – John CH1 V29

You are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer – Romans CH8 V34

For you alone are the Holy One – Luke CH4 V34

You alone are the Lord – Rev CH15 V4

You are the most High, Jesus Christ – Luke CH1 V32

with the Holy Spirit and the Glory of God the Father, Amen – John CH14 V26

 

Liturgy of the Word of God

 

First Reading – Old Testament Scripture

 

Responsorial Psalms

 

Second Reading – Gospel Acclamation

 

Third reading – Gospel

 

Homily - A sermon on Sacred Scriptures

 

Prayer – The Our Father

 

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presenting of the gifts – Matthew CH5 V23 – 24 and Malachi CH3 V10

 

“Blessed are You, Lord, God of all creation, Through Your Goodness we have this bread to offer…” -  Ecclesiastes CH3 V13  and 1 Chronicles CH29 V10-11

 

The Offertory of the Eucharistic Celebration

Priest recites the instructions of Jesus in reference to the Bread and Wine.

John CH6 V27 – 59, Matthew CH26 V26 – 28, Mark CH14 V22 – 25, Luke CH22 V14 – 20, Luke CH24 V30 – 34, 1 Corinthians CH10 V16 – 22, 1 Corinthians CH11 V22 – 29

 

When Jesus referred to “Do this in remembrance” He was making reference to Old Testament Jewish terminology as in Leviticus CH2 V2.

 

Conclusion of mass performed in prayer.

 

To suggest worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ with intimate references to scripture was invalid would be to suggest scripture invalid in itself.

 

 

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Catholic Sunday Worship

Why does the Catholic Faith worship on the 1st day of the week, Sunday, instead of honoring the Sabbath on the 7th day, and is it of pagan origin as some Christian denominations would claim?

 

 

An allegation sometimes made against the Catholic Church by some protestant based Christian believers is that it’s practice of Sunday worship is derived from paganism. It is best to understand such allegations are made by those who have no knowledge of the Catholic faith to begin with but who are members of denominations which originated out of the reformation period which took place around 1517. Hence, they have been separated from the “Mother Church” for roughly 500 years. For example, denominations such as the Seventh Day Adventists maintain their practice on the 7th day according to the Old Testament writings. It is crucial to their beliefs that they make such allegations against the Catholic faith in order to justify the beliefs they adopted which are separate from and in opposition to the Catholic faith. Their original founder and teacher, William Miller, was an American farmer with no theological education but who became “obsessed” with the second coming of Christ and predicted its occurrence in October 1843. When it didn’t occur, Miller again predicted the event to occur on October 1844. When both His predictions failed, Miller abandoned his own movement and from his followers, a woman named Ellen Gould Harmon White stepped forward and claimed herself a “prophetess,” declaring that she had been taken up to heaven and shown the truth of Sabbath observance.

In  reality, Ellen White had adopted the idea of re-establishing observance of the Jewish Sabbath from yet another person of a different faith, a Miss Preston, who was a member of the Seventh-Day Baptists circulating her ideas throughout Washington in 1844. In 1845, Ellen White re-organized the Adventists and gave them the new name of “Seventh-Day Adventists”.

 

Regardless of what Christian faith makes such allegations of wrongful practice of Sunday worship, in order for any faith claiming itself “Christian” to be fully Christian, it must first acknowledge that the Christ, Jesus, is the “Fulfillment of the Old Testament” and secondly must be accepting of all the Word, all the teachings proclaimed by Jesus Himself. He proclaimed the Sabbath belonged to Him and He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament which every Christian must acknowledge. This is clear in several passages of the New Testament;

 

Colossians CH1; 13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven.

 

Philippians CH2; 9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

John CH17; he raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, 2 just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. 3 Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. 4 I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. 6 "I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.

 

 

Matthew CH28; 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

 

John CH5; 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, 9 so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. 22 Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment 10 to his Son, 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

 

John CH3; 34 For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.

 

John CH12; 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. 27 "I am troubled 17 now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again."

 

Colossians CH2; 16 Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or Sabbath. 17 These are shadows of things to come; the reality belongs to Christ”.

 

As asserted by the Word of Christ, since the times of the apostles and their successors, it is documented and historically authenticated that the early Church differentiated itself from worshiping as practiced by the Jews in the Synagogues who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah. They were empowered by the authority bestowed upon them by Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath and the Son of God. The Church proceeded to worship Jesus as the Lamb of God or the sacrificed Lamb of the Sabbath under the New Testament in fulfillment of the Old Testament through His passion, death and resurrection. This is evident from the words of St. Paul to the Colossians previously quoted.

 

Mark CH2; 23 As he was passing through a field of grain on the Sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. 24 At this the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" 25 He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? 26 How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?" 27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

 

Matthew 12; 1  At that time Jesus was going through a field of grain on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath." 3 He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, 4 how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? 5  Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? 6 I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. 7  If you knew what this meant, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned these innocent men. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

 

Luke CH6; 3 "…Have you not read what David did when he and those (who were) with him were hungry? 4 (How) he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions. 5 Then he said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."

 

John 5; 10 “…so the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat." 11 He answered them, "The man who made me well told me, 'Take up your mat and walk.'" 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?" 13 The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. 14 After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, "Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you." 15 The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. 16 Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is at work until now, so I am at work." 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. 19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. 20 For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. 22 Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son, 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

 

In establishing His Church, Jesus had proclaimed Himself the Son of Man and the Lord of the Sabbath which is undeniable by any true Christian. We cannot ignore His words that "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” and we cannot deny His transfer of authority to Peter in the authority of “the Keys”;

 

Matthew CH16; 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah”.

 

Therefore, soon after the beginning of the ministry of the apostles and continued on through their succession, the history of the one Church founded by our Lord replaced the Sabbath day as practiced by the Jews who refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah with a new day of faithful worship in recognition of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, “the Day the Lord has made”, the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  This day is the 1st day of the week, Sunday.

 

 

Luke 24; “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb”.

 

John CH20; 1 “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb”.

 

The actual birth of the Church through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit took place on Pentecost Sunday, which is confirmed through the ascension of Jesus; Acts CH2; 1 “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together”.

 

The gathering of the faithful from ancient times was performed on Sunday; Acts CH20; 7 “On the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread, Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave on the next day, and he kept on speaking until midnight”. 

 

Donations from the faithful were to be gathered for the support of the Church on Sunday; 1 Corinthians CH16; 1 “Now in regard to the collection for the holy ones, you also should do as I ordered the churches of Galatia. 2 On the first day of the week each of you should set aside and save whatever one can afford, so that collections will not be going on when I come”.

 

John received his gift of Revelation on Sunday; Rev CH1; 9 “I, John, your brother, who share with you the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus, found myself on the island called Patmos because I proclaimed God's word and gave testimony to Jesus. 10 I was caught up in spirit on the Lord's day…”

 

Those denominations that allege the practice of Sunday worship as being wrongful or paganistic attempt to justify their allegations by referring to scripture verses such as Luke 23:55-56, Acts 13:42-44 and Acts 18:3-5. what they do not recognize is that they attempt to take scripture verses they interpret in their own way to counter other scripture verses supporting the authenticity of Sunday Worship and of the Sabbath belonging to Him alone. In doing so, they cannot credibly explain those verses that they are in opposition with. The fact is and cannot be denied that scripture does not oppose itself. It must teach in unison with itself.

 

If an individual interprets a verse in scripture to mean something that another verse opposes, that person’s interpretation is inaccurate, not the “opposing” scripture verse. To assert to be truly Christian a person cannot selectively accept and believe what suites them from the Gospels while disregarding the rest. When making such accusations, one of the  two common claims made is that the followers of Jesus according to the Gospels must have continued to recognize the original 7th day Sabbath because they did not intend to perform the anointing of the Body of Christ after taking it down from the cross until after the Sabbath; this claim has no credibility at all as “the day of the Lord” is the day of the resurrection, not the day of the death of our Lord. Jesus had not been resurrected yet for this passage of scripture to support their argument so the worshipping of Jesus’ resurrection on Sundays could not have even been conceived to this point. Additionally, for the followers of Jesus to break the Jewish Sabbath by the anointing of the Body of Jesus before the conclusion of the Sabbath, they would have sealed their own deaths at the hands of the Jews.

 The second common claim some suggest to support their allegation is the Sabbath was the day of worship for the early Christians because according to the Gospels, Paul and some of the others went to the synagogues on the Sabbath. However, Such an interpretation is inaccurate when looked into more deeply. It becomes clear, Paul and the others preaching in the ministry of the teachings of Christ went to the Synagogues on the Sabbath because they knew these would be the best opportunities to further the Gospel of Christ. It was the most effective means to spread those teachings of Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Testament and hopefully bring forth the conversion and salvation of their Jewish brethren who had not yet received the Gospels or converted. The gathering at the synagogues occurred only on the Sabbath and were solely for Jews who had not yet accepted Christ.

 

 

Writings of the Early Church Fathers;

 

Contrary to the teachings of those who suggest the Jewish Sabbath remained the day of worship for the early Christians, the early Church gathered for worship on the Lord’s Day (Sunday), not Saturday, in honor of the day our Lord rose from the dead. Most Christians possessing reasonable valid knowledge of the Early Church Fathers realize that to attempt to discredit them would ultimately raise question to the validity of scripture itself, due to the fact they were taught by and the immediate and subsequent successors to the apostles. In the period leading up to the compiling of the first Holy Bible (Latin Vulgate) as assigned by Pope Damasus to St. Jerome of the Catholic Church around 384 CE, The Early Church Fathers and their successors during their respective periods, where instrumental in the accumulation of assorted writings for authentication, validation, compilation, and final selection of those writings determined to be the truly Inspired Word of God that we today refer to as The Holy Bible.  Regardless of what version of interpretation of “The Holy Bible” a particular denomination refers to, the authenticated and compiled biblical texts originated from the Holy Bible of the Catholic Church. That is not to say all the interpretations adopted by non-Catholic Faiths are correct, only the sources the interpretations are generated from. So discrediting the Early Church Fathers would be undermining the validity and authenticity of every version of “The Holy Bible” as the “Inspired Word of God”.  Now let’s read some of the writings of these same Early Church Fathers verifying Sunday Worship of the early Christian Church. Notice most of the following quotes are dated well before the authentication of the Inspired Word of God determined by the Catholic Church and referred to by all Christian Faiths as the Holy Bible.

The Didache

But every Lord's day . . . gather yourselves together and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

 

 

Ignatius of Antioch

[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e., Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).

 

 

The Didascalia

The apostles further appointed; On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the holy scriptures, and the oblation [sacrifice of the Mass], because on the first day of the week [Sunday] our Lord rose from the place of the dead, and on the first day of the week he arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week he ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week he will appear at last with the angels of heaven (Didascalia 2 [A.D. 225]).

 

 

Victorinus

The sixth day [Friday] is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. . . . On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God or a fast. On the seventh day he rested from all his works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's Day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. Let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews . . . which Sabbath he [Christ] in his body abolished (The Creation of the World [A.D. 300]).

 

 

Eusebius

They [the early saints of the Old Testament] did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we [Christians]. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things (Church History 1:4:8 [A.D. 325]).

[T]he day of his [Christ's] light . . . was the day of his resurrection from the dead, which they say, as being the one and only truly holy day and the Lord's day, is better than any number of days as we ordinarily understand them, and better than the days set apart by the Mosaic Law for feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, which the Apostle [Paul] teaches are the shadow of days and not days in reality (Proof of the Gospel 4:16:186 [A.D. 319]).

 

 

Athanasius

The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord's day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord's day as being the memorial of the new creation (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).

 

 

Cyril of Jerusalem

Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has ransomed you. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths and from calling indifferent meats common or unclean (Catechetical Lectures 4:37 [A.D. 350]).

 

 

Council of Laodicea

Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord's Day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians (canon 29 [A.D. 360]).

 

 

John Chrysostom

When he said, "You shall not kill" . . . he did not add "because murder is a wicked thing." The reason was that conscience had taught this beforehand, and he speaks thus, as to those who know and understand the point. Wherefore when he speaks to us of another commandment, not known to us by the dictate of conscience, he not only prohibits, but adds the reason. When, for instance, he gave commandment concerning the Sabbath — "On the seventh day you shall do no work"— he subjoined also the reason for this cessation. What was this? "Because on the seventh day God rested from all his works which he had begun to make" [Ex. 20:10]. And again: "Because you were a servant in the land of Egypt" [Deut. 21:18]. For what purpose then, I ask, did he add a reason respecting the Sabbath, but did no such thing in regard to murder? Because this commandment was not one of the leading ones. It was not one of those which were accurately defined of our conscience, but a kind of partial and temporary one, and for this reason it was abolished afterward. But those which are necessary and uphold our life are the following: '"You shall not kill... You shall not commit adultery... You shall not steal." On this account he adds no reason in this case, nor enters into any instruction on the matter, but is content with the bare prohibition (Homilies on the Statues 12:9 [A.D. 387]).

You have put on Christ, you have become a member of the Lord and been enrolled in the heavenly city, and you still grovel in the Law [of Moses]? How is it possible for you to obtain the kingdom? Listen to Paul's words, that the observance of the Law overthrows the gospel, and learn, if you will, how this comes to pass, and tremble, and shun this pitfall. Why do you keep the Sabbath and fast with the Jews? (Homilies on Galatians 2:17 [A.D. 395]).

 

 

Apostolic Constitutions

And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's Day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent him to us, and condescended to let him suffer, and raised him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day . . . in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food (Apostolic Constitutions 2:7:60 [A.D. 400]).

 

 

In conclusion, without the fullness of the teachings of Christ and the acceptance of the total Word He proclaimed, many have been deceived or have on their own misinterpreted what our Lord proclaimed. Scripture clearly defines the steps that occurred in the establishment of the Church Jesus founded and the covenant He made with His Church. That covenant can be reviewed elsewhere on this web site. Jesus clearly warned us of the corruption of man and those who would be deceived into straying from the Church He established and asked for our perseverance and not despair or abandon His Church. With these warnings of false faiths and prophets in mind, what scripture does not do in any way shape or form is support any organized movement established by any man or women, nor does it support or authenticate the establishment of any “Christian Faith” independent of the One Church He established 2000 years ago. But with the hope and faith in Scripture as revelations attests, one day all of His Faithful will reunite into that one Church, His Bride.

The Life and teachings of Jesus, are the final chapters of the Old Testament and entirety of the Word of God. They are the completion of scripture. To stop short with the Old Testament or deny any part of the New Testament including the revision of the worship through the Sabbath in the sacrifice of the new Lamb of God who proclaimed the Sabbath the Day that belongs to Him is to deny oneself the fullness of their own intimate relationship with Jesus… the salvation He suffered, died, and resurrected from the Dead to attain so that all men may be saved.

 

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