By our baptism we have been placed inside the trinity and in the liturgy we are present and participating in an action that encompasses the whole of our faith, from the incarnation to the Ascension. We have come to a place where this paschal mystery enters our time and we are present with the angels at the birth of Christ as we sing the Gloria in Excelsis. We are present at his arrest; and when the chalice is uncovered we are present when he is stripped of his garments. In the Extraordinary Form after the bread is offered the paten is hidden under the corporal as his glory is hidden as he is scourged and disfigured by the brutal treatment of the guards. The Consecration of the Bread and wine brings to our moment the death of the Savior at the separation of the body and blood. This is the one sacrifice at which the Divine Father shows his splendid countenance and which is offered for the sins of the world. It takes great faith to gaze at the host and see the broken body of the Lord, AND to refer to it as Divine Majesty.
Everything around me tells me I am in Santa Rosa at an early morning Mass with beautiful sisters, but my faith tells me I am completely outside the wonders of time and space and present at the Resurrection when the body and blood of Christ is mingled and Peace is offered.
In the extraordinary form this comes ever clearer in the many opportunities to bow before this wondrous mystery, bent down by the weight of greatness of what is in front of me and upon me.
In the modern parish, the many details of ministers and processes take over, not the least of which is the parking lot. “Get ‘em in and get ‘em out.” Liturgy by the clock is a great abuse. A recent Sunday, the Extraordinary Form Mass took two hours, including exposition, adoration, Consecration to the Sacred Heart and Benediction. Unfortunately that great beauty and devotion is impossible at the Ordinary Form Masses because the parking lot is what determines if even incense may be used.
Do you know where you are? Do you have any idea what time it is? Ask yourself these questions next time you are at Mass, and close your eyes and enter the mystery.