Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/34

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MASS


12


MASS


smoothly alone in a wcll-oniered channel, without rhei'k or (listurbancc, tliroiigh tho Middle Agos to our own time. F.ven the powerful attempt made to stem it through the Ueforination had no elTeet.

A briefer demonstration of tlie existeiiee of the Mass is the so-called proof from prescription, which is thus formulated: A sacrificial rite in the Church which is older than the oldest attack made on it by heretics cannot lie decried as " idolatry ", but must be referred back to the Founder of Christianity as a rightful heritage of whicli lie was the originator. Now the Cliurch's legitimate possession as regards the Mass can be traced back to the beginnings of Christianity; it follows that the Mass was Divinely instituted by Christ. Regarding the minor proposition, the proof of which aloni- concerns us here, we may begin at once with the Reformation, the only movement that utterly did awav with the Mass. Psychologically, it is quite intelligible that men like Zwingli, Karlstadt and (Eco- lampadius should feardown the altars, for they denied Christ's real presence in the Sacrament. Calvinism also in reviling the "papistical mass" which the Heidelberg catechism characterized as "cursed idola- try" was merely self-consistent since it admitted oiily a "dynamic" presence. It is rather strange on the" other hand that, in spite of his belief in the literal meaning of the words of consecration, Luther, after a violent "nocturnal disputation with the devil", in 1521. should have repudiated the Mass. But it is exactly these measures of violence that best show to what a depth the institution of the Mass had taken root by that time in Church and people. How long liad itbeen taking root? The answer, to begin with, is: all through the Middle Ages back to Photius, the originator of the Eastern Schism (869). Though Wyeliffe protested against the teaching of the Council of Constance (1414-18), which maintained that the Mass could be proved from Scripture; and though the Albigenses and Waldenses claimed for the laity also the power to offer sacrifice (cf. Denzinger, "Enchir.", 58.5 and 430), it is none the less true that even the schismatic Greeks held fast to the Eucharistic sacrifice as a precious heritage from their Catholic past. In the negotiations for reunion at Lyons (1274) and Florence (1439) they showed moreover that they had kept it intact; ancl they have faithfully safeguarded it to this day. From all which it is clear that the Mas3 existed in both Churches long before Photius, a con- clusion borne out by the monuments of Christian antif|uitj'.

Taking a long step backwards from the ninth to the fourth century, we come upon the Nestorians and Monophysites who were driven out of the Church during the fifth century at Ephesus (431) and Chalce- don (4.">1). From that day to this they have cele- lirated in their solemn liturgj- the sacrifice of the New Law, and since they could only have taken it with them from the old Cliristian Church, it follows that the Ma.ss goes back in the Church beyond the time of Nestorianism and Monophysitism. Indeed, the first Nicene Council (325) in its celebrated eighteenth canon forbade priests to receive the Eucharist from the liands of deacons for the very obvious reason that "neither the canon nor custom have handed down to us, that those, who have not the power to offer sacri- fice (irpoiT<p<ptti>) may give Christ's body to those who offer (irpoaipfpovai) ". Hence it is plain that for the celebration of the Mass there was re<)uired the dignity of a special priesthood, from which the deacons as such were excluded. Since, however, the Nicene Council speaks of a "custom", that takes us at once into the third century, we are already in the age of the Catacombs (q. V.) with their Eucharistic pictures, which accord- ing to the best founded opinions represent th(^ litur- gical celebration of the Mass. According to Wilpert., the oldest representation of the Holy Sacrifice is in the "Greek Chapel" in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla (c.


150). The most convincing evidence, however, from those early days is furnished by the liturgies of the West and the Ivist, the basic principles of wiiicli reach back to Apostolic times and in which the sacrilicial idea of the Kucharislic eelel>ration found unadul- terated and decisive expression (.see Lrriii((!iKs). We have therefore traced the Mass from the present to the earliest times, thus establishing its .Xpostolic origin, which in turn goes back again lo the Last Supper.

On the idea of Sacrifice cf. Bkcancs. De tripliri sacrificio naturw, legis, gratice (Lyons, 16:il): Stockl, Dan Opjvr nach seinem Wescn uvd seiner Geschichle (Mainz, 1861); KOppler, Prifster und Opfergabe (Mainz, 1886) ; for scripture proof, cf. the exegetical commentaries of Knabenbatikti, Sen anz. Sph-vfer. etc.; al.'io Th.\lhopbK, Z)te Opfer des Ht-hnnrhmf' .-: (Dillini^en, 1855); BiCKELL, Messe und Pascte (Mainz, |S7|); Vviuy,/.,- caractire religieux de la Sainte CtTie in R'iu<- ihn li> imr, L\'I (1909), 518; Riggenbach, Der Begriff d.r 6ia«.,«.| ,m H,:lir,ii:i- 6rir/ (Leipzig. 1908); Gardener, The Oryjin of the Lord' s Supper (I>on(lon, 1893); Mozley, The Meaning o/toOto iroiere in The Expoidlor, XXIX (1903), 370 .sq.; Mackintosh. The Objective Asperl of Ihr Lord's Supper in The Expositor, XXIX. 180 sq.; l'",\i; \n, ,S7, Luke's Account of the Last Supper in The Expositor, XXXI\' (I'.iosi, 252sq.; 343 sq.; DEfiNEy.Thc Cupofthr Lord ami Ih,' Cup of the Demons in The Expositor, XXXIII (1908), 290 s(l.; B.\llp:s, Die modeme protesfontisrhr Altendinahlsforschung (Trier. 1010). For proof from tra.litii.ii si-i. Wiki-and, Mcnsa und Confessio J: Der Altar drr r.irl.iui.-^Unilinischen Kirche (Munich. 1906); Idem, Der vorirmaischf (Ipfrrbegriff (Munich, 1909). For a contrary view see Doksch. Der Opfercharakter der Eucharistic einst und jetzt (Innsbruclt, 1909) ; Garrett Pierse, The Mass in the Infant Church (Dublin, 1909) ; Renz, Der Opfer- charakter der Eucharistic nach der Lehre der Voter und Kirchen- schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte (Paderbom, 1892); Batiffoi,, Liutl'-s ,rhistoire et de theologie positive (Paris, 1902); Rauschkw l-'.u:}iaristi,- und Bitssakrament in den ersten 6 Jahrhund, rt.it iL'u.l (il., Fribourg, 1910); Bridgett, A His- tory of the Hul.t, Eucharist in Great Brttoii, (I.o.mIou. 1908); Franklani), 7he Holy Eucharist (LoimIimi, imm;, I)\uwell Stone, A History of the Doctrine of the //. / ' (J vols,,

London, 1909); ii\Y.ai,E. Die Eucharist i, i • 'liri/sosto-

mws (Fribourg, 1900); Wilden, Die L./' ' \ u.iuslinus

iiber das Opfer der Eucharistic (SchafffjaiHi n. IMi h; Ui.ank, Die Lf'hre des hi. Augustin vom Sakrament <b i !■: u< Imr/stie ( I'a- derbom, 1907); Adaim, Die Eucharistiil, h: . ./. s /;/. An,inxtin (Paderbom. 1908); Feakz, Die Messe iiti il, ut^eli.n MittAatter (Freiburg, 1902); R.uble, Der Tabernakd einat und jetzl. Eine historische und liturgische Darstcllung der Andacht zur auf- bewahrten Eucharistic (Freiburg, 1908); Prob.st, Die Liturgie der ersten drei christlichen Jahrhunderte (Tubingen, 1870) ; Idem, Die Liturgie des 4- Jahrhunderts und deren Reform (Munster, 1892); Idem, Die Abendldndische Messe vom 5. bis zum 8. Jahr- hundert (Miinster, 1896); Mone, Lateinische und Griechische Messen aus dem 2. bis 6. Jahrhundert (Frankfurt, 1850) ; Swain- son, The Greek Liturgies (London, 1884); Mercati, Antiche Reliquie liturgiche (Rome, 1902); Semeria, La Messa nella sua storia e nei suoi Simboli (2nd ed., Rome, 1907); Ermoni, L'Eucharistie dans I'Eglise primitive (5th ed., Paris, 1908); Cabrol, Origines lilurgiques (Paris, 1906); Baumstark, Litur- gia Romana e Liturgia dell' Esarcato (Rome, 1904); Idem, Die Messe im Morgenland (Kempteu, 1906); Drews. Untersuch- ungen iiber die sogen. Clementinischc Liturgie (Leipzig, 1906); Wilpert, " F radio panis" oder die alteste Darstcllung des euchar, Opfers in der Cappella Grcca (Freiburg, 1895); Idem, Die Rbmischen Katakomben (Freiburg, 1903).

(2) The Nature of the Mass. — In its denial of the true Divinity of Christ and of every supernatural insti- tution, modern unbelief endeavours, by means of the so-called historico-religious method, to explain the character of the Eucharist and the Eucharistic sacri- fice as the natural result of a spontaneous process of development in the Christian religion. In this con- nexion it is interesting to observe how these different and conflicting hypotheses refute one another, with the rather startling result at the end of it all that a new, great, and insoluble problem looms up for investi- gation. While some discover the roots of the Mass in the Jewish funeral feasts (O. Holtzmann) or in Jewish Essenism (Bousset, Heitmidler, Wernle), others delve in the underground strata of pagan religions. Here, however, a rich variety of hypotheses is placed at their disposal. In this age of Pan-Babylonism it is not at all surprising that the germinal ideas of the Christian communion should be located in Babylon, where in the Adapa myth (on the tablet of Tell Amarna) men- tion has been found of "water of life" and "food of life" (Zimmern). Others (e. g. Brandt) fancy they have found a still more striking analogy in the " bread and water" (Patha and Mambilha) of the Manda>an religion. The view most widely held to-day among