TLM – Part 3 – Sacred Space

Now, as I’ve said before, I regularly attend the Novus Ordo mass, so I’m not knocking it.  I’m just pointing differences between the NO and the TLM.

In the NO mass, the lector, the priest and the altar servers simply walk up to the altar in procession.  There is an altar server in front carrying a cross.  Later, at least in the church I attend, the Eucharistic ministers walk up to the altar as well.

It’s a little different in the TLM.

First of all, there is an altar rail which serves as a physical barrier between the sanctuary and the nave (where the congregation is).  This is a visual reminder that the sanctuary is a sacred space where only clerics and those assisting them (the servers) go.

Before the mass begins, this happens:

Stand

The priest genuflects at the foot of the Altar and recites the “Júdica Me,” a part of Psalm 42 written by an Israelite priest 800 years before our Lord was born and which speaks of his yearning to worship on the holy hill of Jerusalem. The Júdica Me is omitted from Passion Sunday to Holy Saturday inclusive and in Masses for the Dead.

Then he will say the Confiteor, confessing and begging God’s forgiveness for his sins. The server, speaking for the people — the unordained royal priesthood — then says the Confiteor on our behalf as we mentally accuse ourselves of our sins and ask the Saints to pray for us. The priest then absolves us (this does not obviate private Confession).

Kneel

In nómine Patris, et Fílii, + et Spíritus Sancti. Amen. In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Introíbo ad altáre Dei. S.Ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam. I will go in unto the Altar of God. S.To God, Who giveth joy to my youth.
Júdica me (Psalm 42):

The priest joins hands and says:

Júdica me, Deus, et discérne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab hómine iníquo, et dolóso érue me. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.
S.Quia tu es, Deus, fortitúdo mea: quare me repulísti, et quare tristis incédo, dum afflígit me inimícus? S.For Thou, O God, art my strength: why hast Thou cast me off? and why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflictech me?
P.Emítte lucem tuam, et veritátem tuam: ipsa me deduxérunt, et aduxérunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernácula tua. P.Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they have led me and brought me unto Thy holy hill, and into Thy tabernacles.
S.Et introíbo ad altáre Dei: ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam. S.And I will go in unto the Altar of God: unto God, Who giveth joy to my youth.
P.Confitébor tibi in cíthara, Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es, ánima mea, et quare contúrbas me? P.I will praise Thee upon the harp, O God, my God: why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?
S.Spera in Deo, quóniam adhuc confitébor illi: salutáre vultus mei, et Deus meus. S.Hope thou in God, for I will yet praise Him: Who is the salvation of my countenance, and my God.
P.Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. P.Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
S.Sicut erat in princípio et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen. S.As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
P.Introíbo ad altáre Dei. P.I will go in unto the Altar of God.
S.Ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam. S.Unto God, Who giveth joy to my youth.
Adjutórium nostrum + in nómine Dómini. Our help + is in the Name of the Lord.
S.Qui fecit cælum et terram. S.Who hath made heaven and earth.

Confiteor by the Priest first, and then the People:

The priest enters the Throne Room of God. He humbles himself and makes a public confession, bowing down to say the Confiteor for his own sins:

Confíteor Deo omnipoténti, beátæ Maríæ semper Vírgini, beáto Michaéli Archángelo, beáto Joanni Baptístæ, sanctis Apóstolis Petro et Paulo, ómnibus Sanctis, et vobis, fratres: quia peccávi nimis cogitatióne, verbo et ópere: He strikes his breast three times mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa. Ideo precor beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, beátum Michaélem Archángelum, beátum Joánnem Baptístam, sanctos Apóstolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et vos, fratres, oráre pro me ad Dóminum Deum nostrum. I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you, brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed: He strikes his breast three times through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and you, brethren, to pray to the Lord our God for me.
S.Misereátur tui omnípotens Deus, et dimíssis peccátis tuis, perdúcat te ad vitam ætérnam. S.May Almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to life everlasting. .
P.Amen. P.Amen

We enter the Throne Room of God and, standing before Him, accuse ourselves of our sins. The server says the Confiteor on our behalf:

Confíteor Deo omnipoténti, beátæ Maríæ semper Vírgini, beáto Michaéli Archángelo, beáto Joanni Baptístæ, sanctis Apóstolis Petro et Paulo, ómnibus Sanctis, et tibi, Pater: quia peccávi nimis cogitatióne, verbo et ópere: mea culpa [strike breast] , mea culpa [strike breast] , mea máxima culpa [strike breast]. Ideo precor beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, beátum Michaélem Archángelum, beátum Joánnem Baptístam, sanctos Apóstolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et te, Pater, oráre pro me ad Dóminum Deum nostrum. I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you Father, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed: through my fault [strike breast], through my fault [strike breast], through my most grievous fault [strike breast]. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and Thee Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me.

The priest joins hands and grants us absolution of our venial sins:

P.Misereátur vestri omnípotens Deus, et dimíssis peccátis vestris, perdúcat vos ad vitam ætérnam. P.May Almighty God have mercy upon you, forgive you your sins and bring you to life everlasting.
S. Amen. S. Amen.
P.Indulgéntiam +, [cross yourself] absolutiónem, et remissiónem peccatórum nostrórum tríbuat nobis omnípotens et miséricors Dóminus. P.May the Almighty and merciful God grant us pardon +,[cross yourself] absolution, and remission of our sins.
S.Amen. S.Amen.
Deus, tu convérsus vivificábis nos. Thou wilt turn, O God, and bring us to life.
S.Et plebs tua lætábitur in te. S.And Thy people shall rejoice in Thee.
P.Osténde nobis, Dómine, misericórdiam tuam. P.Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.
S.Et salutáre tuum da nobis. S.And grant us Thy salvation.
P.Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam. P.O Lord, hear my prayer.
S.Et clamor meus ad te véniat. S.And let my cry come unto Thee.
P.Dóminus vobíscum. P.The Lord be with you.
S.Et cum spíritu tuo. S.And with thy spirit.
P.Orémus. S.Amen.

The priest is performing a sacred task in a sacred space, and this makes that obvious.  Is the sacredness of the mass so obvious in the Novus Ordo?

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