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Is the Mass a sacrifice?

Discussion in 'Salt of the Earth - Traditionalist Catholics' started by Leevo, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Leevo

    Leevo Well-Known Member

    Posting this here for orthodox Catholic understandings of this...

    This is something that I have always had trouble with in regards to the teachings of the church, so much so that it has helped to facilitate my departure among other issues in the past. However, this is probably one of the main disagreements I have with the church and I am hoping dearly that I am just misunderstanding this doctrine...

    Doesn't the idea of a propitiatory sacrifice go contrary to the book of Hebrews? Isn't the idea of a propitiatory sacrifice contrary to the "once for all" ideal? Where, in scripture, does it say that we need to re-offer Christ's sacrifice in an unbloody manner? This is something my baptist friends have always said to counter Catholic claims, and I have yet to find a good defense of this objection...

    Hebrews 10:10-14

    "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
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  2. mea kulpa

    mea kulpa Benedictine Traditional Catholic

    The mass is not just a sacrafice.... it is THE eternal once and for all sacrafice of christ.... RE-PRESENTED. Let me try to expand

    God is eternal he exists outside time and space. The sacrafice of christ is eternal it trancends time and space that is it trancends jerusalem in 33ad and becomes the eternal sacrafice. The mass since it is the actual once for all eternal sacrafice of christ it is therefore itself eternal in that it transcends time and space i.e Sunday 7th August 2016 at the parish of st "x"

    Now this might be somewhat hard to accept for many people some might say its foolishness indeed we see when Christ talked about the eucharist and giving us his flesh and blood to drink many people walked away.

    But this is what is actually happening at mass. When the priest says "take this all of you and eat it this is my body - this is my blood" we are trancending time and space we are not living in the moment but in the eternal. We are actually simultaniously present in the upper room, at the foot of the cross and witnesses of the ressurection at the tomb. When jesus looked out across the landscape when he hung dying on the cross he saw a great multitude of people on their knees worshiping him paying him homage we are present as are our parents our relatives our ancesters all together truely a communion of the saints begging for forgivness for each other and the world and those words "forgive them father for they know not what they do" was not just jesus asking the father to forgive the jews and the romans but all of those present, all of us. It is not a re offering but a continual offering an eternal offering only in an unbloody manor in so much as that it is under the species of bread and wine that the blood and flesh is hidden from the eye but is still fully and truely present

    The bread and wine become truely really quite litterally the body and blood of jesus christ our God, Lord and saviour and in recieving the king of the universe, he that by the words of his mouth brought into existance every galaxy every star every planet every grain of sand he becomes the source of our eternal life his blood mingles with ours his dna surges and locks into ours and we take on a part of his divine life within us and thus he lives in us and we in him, we become one body one flesh united to the ever living God the creator of all things.

    The mass, the eucharist is a great treasure "hidden" in a feild and those have eyes to percieve and ears to hear are willing to give up everything to have that treasure.... now if people understood this and really believed it there would be ques outside of churches many miles long and many miles deep but these things have been hidden from those who see but do not percieve have ears but do not hear because it has pleased God to chose what is insignificant in the world in this case mere bread and wine something what is viewed as little more than nothing in order to bring to nothing what is viewed as something... i.e our own finite human understanding... for Gods foolishness is infinatly much wiser than mere human widsom.
  3. Leevo

    Leevo Well-Known Member

    Where is this all in scripture though? In the early church fathers even? I understand how the church thinks of the Mass as a sacrifice, what I can't find is the why? Why is this done, if Christ has already made the once-for-all sacrifice on the Cross, what is the point of making it present? Why is it necessary if "it is finished" as Christ put it...
  4. mea kulpa

    mea kulpa Benedictine Traditional Catholic

    Why is it done... it is done for us because we need it. " unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you"

    It is done at the command of jesus himself

    "Do this as a memorial of me"

    The church does not make it present. God makes it present and he does it today as he did it then.... it is the SAME sacrafice not a different or new one... i think your looking at it as if its somehow different or new or that the sacrafice of the cross is somehow unable to trancend time.

    Christ offered himself as a sacrafice for attonement for our sins the priest acting in persona christi that is in the person of christ offers that very same sacrafice for the attonment of the sins of the congragation and the world.... its not a representation but the actual once and for all sacrafice.... it is the offering pleasing to God that apeases his wrath so that is what is offered to God by the priest because that is what is pleasing to him
  5. Leevo

    Leevo Well-Known Member


    I never even considered the "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood" verse for this. However, I still get hung up on why it needs to be this way. Maybe its my Protestant background speaking, but I always thought that since it was a once for all sacrifice, that it accomplished what it needed then, and doesn't need to be made present to today, does that make sense?

    I could be looking at it wrong, but I don't think I am. :help:

    Didn't the sacrifice appease God's wrath for all time back then?
  6. mea kulpa

    mea kulpa Benedictine Traditional Catholic

    The Didache

    "Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until he has been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]" (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

    Pope Clement I

    "Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its sacrifices. Blessed are those presbyters who have already finished their course, and who have obtained a fruitful and perfect release" (Letter to the Corinthians 44:4–5 [A.D. 80]).

    Ignatius of Antioch

    "Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with his Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice—even as there is also but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow servitors, the deacons. This will ensure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God" (Letter to the Philadelphians 4 [A.D. 110]).

    Justin Martyr

    "God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles . . . [Mal. 1:10–11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 41 [A.D. 155]).


    "He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, ‘This is my body.’ The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, he confessed to be his blood. He taught the new sacrifice of the new covenant, of which Malachi, one of the twelve [minor] prophets, had signified beforehand: ‘You do not do my will, says the Lord Almighty, and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice; for great is my name among the Gentiles, says the Lord Almighty’ [Mal. 1:10–11]. By these words he makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; but that in every place sacrifice will be offered to him, and indeed, a pure one, for his name is glorified among the Gentiles" (Against Heresies 4:17:5 [A.D. 189]).

    Cyprian of Carthage

    "If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is himself the high priest of God the Father; and if he offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father; and if he commanded that this be done in commemoration of himself, then certainly the priest, who imitates that which Christ did, truly functions in place of Christ" (Letters 63:14 [A.D. 253]).


    "Accept therewith our hallowing too, as we say, ‘Holy, holy, holy Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth is full of your glory.’ Heaven is full, and full is the earth, with your magnificent glory, Lord of virtues. Full also is this sacrifice, with your strength and your communion; for to you we offer this living sacrifice, this unbloody oblation" (Prayer of the Eucharistic Sacrifice 13:12–16 [A.D. 350]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem

    "Then, having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth his Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before him, that he may make the bread the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ, for whatsoever the Holy Spirit has touched is surely sanctified and changed. Then, upon the completion of the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that propitiatory victim we call upon God for the common peace of the churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we all pray and offer this sacrifice for all who are in need" (Catechetical Lectures 23:7–8 [A.D. 350]).

    Gregory Nazianzen

    "Cease not to pray and plead for me when you draw down the Word by your word, when in an unbloody cutting you cut the Body and Blood of the Lord, using your voice for a sword" (Letter to Amphilochius 171 [A.D. 383]).

    Ambrose of Milan

    "We saw the prince of priests coming to us, we saw and heard him offering his blood for us. We follow, inasmuch as we are able, being priests, and we offer the sacrifice on behalf of the people. Even if we are of but little merit, still, in the sacrifice, we are honorable. Even if Christ is not now seen as the one who offers the sacrifice, nevertheless it is he himself that is offered in sacrifice here on Earth when the body of Christ is offered. Indeed, to offer himself he is made visible in us, he whose word makes holy the sacrifice that is offered" (Commentaries on Twelve Psalms of David 38:25 [A.D. 389]).

    John Chrysostom

    "When you see the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious blood, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven?" (The Priesthood 3:4:177 [A.D. 387]).

    "Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we are all communicants! Christ, slain for us, the sacrificial victim who is placed thereon!" (Homilies on Romans 8:8 [A.D. 391]).

    "‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not communion of the blood of Christ?’ Very trustworthy and awesomely does he [Paul] say it. For what he is saying is this: What is in the cup is that which flowed from his side, and we partake of it. He called it a cup of blessing because when we hold it in our hands that is how we praise him in song, wondering and astonished at his indescribable gift, blessing him because of his having poured out this very gift so that we might not remain in error; and not only for his having poured it out, but also for his sharing it with all of us. ‘If therefore you desire blood,’ he [the Lord] says, ‘do not redden the platform of idols with the slaughter of dumb beasts, but my altar of sacrifice with my blood.’ What is more awesome than this? What, pray tell, more tenderly loving?" (Homilies on First Corinthians 24:1(3) [A.D. 392]).

    "In ancient times, because men were very imperfect, God did not scorn to receive the blood which they were offering . . . to draw them away from those idols; and this very thing again was because of his indescribable, tender affection. But now he has transferred the priestly action to what is most awesome and magnificent. He has changed the sacrifice itself, and instead of the butchering of dumb beasts, he commands the offering up of himself" (ibid., 24:2).

    "What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of his death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one sacrifice. By this reasoning, since the sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one body. And just as he is one body and not many though offered everywhere, so too is there one sacrifice" (Homilies on Hebrews 17:3(6) [A.D. 403]).


    "In the sacrament he is immolated for the people not only on every Easter Solemnity but on every day; and a man would not be lying if, when asked, he were to reply that Christ is being immolated. For if sacraments had not a likeness to those things of which they are sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all; and they generally take the names of those same things by reason of this likeness" (Letters 98:9 [A.D. 412]).

    "For when he says in another book, which is called Ecclesiastes, ‘There is no good for a man except that he should eat and drink’ [Eccles. 2:24], what can he be more credibly understood to say [prophetically] than what belongs to the participation of this table which the Mediator of the New Testament himself, the priest after the order of Melchizedek, furnishes with his own body and blood? For that sacrifice has succeeded all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were slain as a shadow of what was to come. . . . Because, instead of all these sacrifices and oblations, his body is offered and is served up to the partakers of it" (The City of God 17:20 [A.D. 419]).

    Sechnall of Ireland

    "[St. Patrick] proclaims boldly to the [Irish] tribes the name of the Lord, to whom he gives the eternal grace of the laver of salvation; for their offenses he prays daily unto God; for them also he offers up to God worthy sacrifices" (Hymn in Praise of St. Patrick 13 [A.D. 444]).

    Fulgentius of Ruspe

    "Hold most firmly and never doubt in the least that the only-begotten God the Word himself became flesh [and] offered himself in an odor of sweetness as a sacrifice and victim to God on our behalf; to whom . . . in the time of the Old Testament animals were sacrificed by the patriarchs and prophets and priests; and to whom now, I mean in the time of the New Testament . . . the holy Catholic Church does not cease in faith and love to offer throughout all the lands of the world a sacrifice of bread and wine. In those former sacrifices what would be given us in the future was signified figuratively, but in this sacrifice which has now been given us is shown plainly. In those former sacrifices it was fore-announced that the Son of God would be killed for the impious, but in the present sacrifice it is announced that he has been killed for the impious" (The Rule of Faith 62 [A.D. 524]).

  7. Leevo

    Leevo Well-Known Member

    The Didache, Justin Martyr, and Ireneaus quotes have me almost convinced haha!
  8. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic Supporter

    United States
    i think the difference here is that while it was a once-for-all-time sacrifice on Jesus' part,
    that just like any other covenant-which it definitely is- it has two sides; God's side and our side.
    That it is a covenant is what you have been missing;
    thus only seeing the sacrifice that compleates the covenant itself.

    God's side of the covenant is timeless, so the sacrifice happens in all time and for all time.

    on our side it is a very personal thing.
    We accept it from day to day, and as the expiation of each and every sin.
    Jesus reminds us that by eating of His body and drinking of His blood that He is within us,
    helping us to resist sin and temptation.
    and yet we do sin.
    so once again we need to confront our guilt, accept Jesus' sacrifice for that guilt, and reaffirm our intent
    once again not to sin.

    it is for our benefit that Jesus reaffirms His covenant by grace with us; reminding us that even if we have forgotten the covenant that He has not.
    so yes, He tells us, that sin is covered in His blood and is attoned for, and is remitted, to be remembered no more.
    and so we go forth, forgiven and free. and then we can take the cup and receive the body in thanksgiving and remembrance of what Jesus did for us until we sin again. and need to be reminded.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016