Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | June 19, 2008

NO vs. TLM…not exactly a competition.

The question has come to my attention: How are the NO and the TLM the SAME Sacrifice?

I’m going to try to answer the question like this: Theology is the Study of God strictly translated from the Greek. Strictly speaking it’s a finite way of attempting to understand the infinite God. So to say something is “Theologically weaker” is to say that the finite attempt to understand God is not as well expressed here as it is there. The point that I’m trying to make is Theology is finite and more importantly human. So any Theological concept will never approach the infinite that is God.

We as Catholics believe that the Mass is a re-presentation of Calvary in an un-bloody manner. Truly the Mass is a Sacrifice, there’s a victim (Jesus), a priest (Jesus), and an altar.

There are 4 elements that must exist for any Sacrifice to happen.

  1. a gift: physical and real. In the OT there were different things offered for different sins. Lev 16; Ex 13; Ex 16 go through some examples of what kinds of gifts were offered. In the NT we see that Christ offers himself on the Cross. (Jn 19-20). He offers bread and wine which of course make the mysteries of Calvary present (anamnesis) (Matt 26, 26-28, Mk 14, 14-16; Lk 22, 19-22; Jn 6, 1 Cor 11, 27-30). This is not limited to bread and wine. In the Mass we actually participate by offering Sacrifices as well…our time (being there)…our praise (singing)…and ourselves of course…this is what is meant by the common priesthood 1 Pet 2, 5-9 that we each participate in a unique way.
  2. a priest: n the OT they were the Aaron and the Levites who were priests offering Sacrifices on behalf of the people (Liturogia: public work). In the NT Christ is the one High Priest which the ministerial priesthood participates in (Bishops and priests) acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi). When the words of consecration are being said it is Him alone. we the faithful participate by our intention. The priest acts as a leader to God for the people (Heb 5, 1-4)
  3. a sacrificial action: In the case of the OT it was the spilling of the blood of the Lamb. In the NT it’s Christ’s own blood that is shed.
  4. an end: For God’s honor and glory.

God would never allow His Sacraments to be invalid. (as that would make him a liar (Matt 16, 18-19) and God does not confuse (1 Cor 14, 33). These 4 elements are present in both the NO and the TLM, which is why they are exactly the same Sacrifice. The Same person (Jesus) is being offered to God the Father. The infinite offering (Jesus) is being offered to God the Father, so He is pleased.

Of course we must partake of the Sacrifice in order for it to be complete. We would have no life i us if we didn’t. (Jn 6, 59). This would be the “meal” aspect of the Mass. But this doesn’t exist without the Sacrifice. This meaning is lost when priests abuse the Mass by adding their own words and increasing the horizontality within the Mass. We have an ends for the participation of the Sacrifice which are as follows:

  1. to honor and glorify God
  2. to thank Him
  3. for the reparation of sins
  4. due satisfaction for the souls in purgatory
  5. to obtain all graces

It is only after sharing in the meal of Sacrifice (not of celebration of us) that we enter Communion with God. Partaking of the Eucharist allows us to participate in His Life. We do not become God, but share in the Trinidadian Communion.

The problem is not with the NO in of itself, it’s how it’s celebrated. The quicker the NO is celebrated in line with Tradition the better. Hopefully you understood all that I said here.

Oremus: Gloria Patri et Fillio et Spiritui Sancto sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum Amen!


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