|EUCHARIST - THE CATHOLIC MASS IN THE
BIBLE - NOVUS ORDO
All Scripture verses are from The New American Bible
[NAB], unless otherwise noted.
Let me start by saying that I consider myself... I state this next
part with 'tongue in cheek', I consider myself an "Ultra
Conservative Catholic". Maybe a better term would be "Ultra
Although I am very serious, I am also aware that many people
who consider themselves "conservative" Catholics think that if
they still celebrate the Mass in Latin they are the
Please, do not take me wrong here, I like the Mass in Latin, on occasion. I love Gregorian
Chant, often. If we had a High Mass in Latin with the "smells and bells" every Sunday as a
Mass option, I would find that a good addition to our worship. But if a Christian is going to
be "conservative", I mean really conservative, they would have to go back to the Liturgy of
The Early Church... wouldn't they? The Liturgy of The Early Catholic Church was clearly
Charismatic in nature and was celebrated in the vernacular, the language of the people. I
will show this through the use of St. Paul's First Letter to The Corinthians.
Of course, I will always accept whatever The Magisterium decides on the formal custom of
celebrating the Mass. Although, if we went back to complete Latin I would miss the
vernacular. Like many Catholics, I miss the sacredness that seemed to influence the Latin
Mass. But, I truly like being a vibrant part of the Mass, not just a spectator. One reason
that I share the following information is to back up The Catholic Church's teaching on the
changes in The Mass. The Liturgy will always change to reflect the times and people
celebrating the Mass.
St. Paul is writing this Letter as a "Pastoral Response" to the newly formed Catholic
Community at Corinth, because he was informed of problems there. He leads up to his
main point in writing this Letter which is; "How one should behave at The Liturgy". St. Paul
is clearly talking about the Liturgy in chapters 11-14. 1 Cor. 11:20 "When you meet in
one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord's supper". It is like Paul is saying; "When you
meet for The Lord's Supper, you act so selfishly and so un-Christ like that it is unfair to
call what you do when you gather, "The Lord's Supper"."
Let's start near the beginning, in chapter 2.
1 Cor. 2:12 "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we speak about
them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms. 14 Now the natural person does not accept
what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually."
St. Paul is talking about being open to God's Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 3:1 "Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as
infants in Christ. 2 I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now, 3 for you are still of the flesh. While there is
jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving in an ordinary
human way? 4 Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to
Apollos," are you not merely human?"
St. Paul goes on to a "call to unity" among the believers. How do we become "mature in
Christ"? By "unity" [1 Cor. 3:1-4; Eph. 4:13], which is brought about by following the
teachings of The Church He established on the rock of St Peter [Mt. 16:18-19], which then
brings about unity. And more importantly by receiving the Sacraments which imbues the
believer with "the Divine Nature" [2 Peter 1:3-4], helping us, as we cooperate with Grace,
to become 'perfected in Love'. Because we know that "God is Love" [1 Jn 4:8] and "God is
Perfect". So, in order to be "God-like", we need to be "perfected in Love" [Mat. 5:48]. 1
Cor. 13:11 "When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a
child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things."
St. Paul is teaching that to mature as a Christian we must grow in love!"
1 Cor. 13:12 "At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At
present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. 13 So faith, hope, love
remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Chapter 5 of St. Paul's First Letter to The Corinthians is a short chapter, only 13 verses,
but speaks of the beginning of the Liturgy, "Reconciliation". 1 Cor. 5:4 "in the name of
(our) Lord Jesus: when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit with the
power of the Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of his
flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord."
Here we have St. Paul referring to the Early Church Liturgy in his use of the term "when
you have gathered together" [Prof Scott Hahn]. St. Paul goes on to admonish the Church
at Corinth to expel a sinner from The Liturgy that he might repent and then his soul would
"be saved on the day of the Lord". Didache on confessing your faults.
When St. Paul speaks of "clearing out the old yeast" he is comparing it to confessing our
faults before celebrating the "Paschal Feast"... The Eucharistic Celebration.
1 Cor. 5:7 "Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 8
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and
wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
Here, again, is a clear reference to the Liturgy; "For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been
sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, ". [He is making reference to the
Passover Liturgy, "pasch" [Prof. Scott Hahn], which in the New Covenant has become
"The Liturgy of The Eucharist" or what we now call The Mass.]
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
CCC 1402 In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: "O
sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed,
the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us." If the Eucharist
is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are
filled "with every heavenly blessing and grace," then the Eucharist is also an anticipation
of the heavenly glory.
1 Cor. 10:13 "No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let
you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that
you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, avoid idolatry. 15 I am speaking
as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. 16 The cup of blessing that
we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a
participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though
many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf."
Here we have St. Paul exhorting the believers to live in holiness, knowing that as we
encounter trials Christ will give us strength through the Liturgy. When St. Paul says; 15 "I
am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying." He is saying
that, you know that what I am speaking is clearly the truth. Then he says; 16 "The cup of
blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we
break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" St. Paul is speaking of what we in
The Catholic Church refer to as "The Real Presence". He is saying, "You know that what I
say is true and what I say is that we are truly receiving the actually Body, Blood, Soul and
Divinity of Jesus Christ our Paschal Sacrifice! And that, this is how, we receive Grace from
He then speaks of the "Table of The Lord" [Altar]. 1 Cor. 10:21 "You cannot drink the
cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord
and of the table of demons."
The last 2 verses of this chapter exhort The Church to be open and kind to everyone so
that they may be saved. This is something all the Popes of this century have lived and yet
many in our own Church attack them for. 1 Cor. 10:32 "Avoid giving offense, whether to
Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in every way, not
seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved."
The "problem", as I see it, is that all the people that I observe attacking The Church
especially from within, but also from outside, do not know the Bible. As St. Jerome stated;
"Ignorance of Scripture, is ignorance of Christ." To be fair, some know 'parts' of the Bible,
but we, in The Catholic Church, as The People of God, are a "Full Bible Church".
Back to the subject at hand, that is, being an "Ultra Conservative Catholic", means being a
"Charismatic Catholic". I know that is a BOLD statement but is backed up by the Bible and
over 2,000 years of Church teachings.
St. Paul starts off the next chapter with; 1 Cor. 11:1 "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
2 I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions,
just as I handed them on to you."
He tells us to imitate him. I wish to digress for a moment. I apologize, but Scripture is
packed with so much "Catholic" information it is very hard to stick to 1 topic as we peruse
through the Bible. "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." When, we as Catholics, say we
should "Imitate Mary", many detractors of Christ's Church get "bent out of shape"! Why?
St. Paul tells us to imitate him. No one says that he is wrong. And well they should not! St.
Paul is stating a fact that The Catholic Church has always taught, that is, Catholics should
imitate the Saints we have known as they have, in turn, imitated Christ. We do this
because we might give into despair if we try to imitate The Son of God, but not if we seek
to imitate another human being.
St. Paul "commends" the believers then goes on to tell them to; "hold fast to the
traditions"! Here he is talking specifically about the Early Church Liturgy, but also about
the "teachings" of The Church, in general. Also linking the reader to his earlier statement
in 1 Cor. 3:1-4; the call to unity. That is, the call to follow the teachings of The Catholic
Church, what we call today The Magisterium or Teaching Office.
Now to the "nitty-gritty"!
The Catholic Charismatic Mass as presented in the Bible.
St. Paul tells the believers how they should dress and act at the "New Liturgical Rite",
which is a "fulfillment" of the Old Covenant Liturgy of The Passover Celebration! When
the Jews were delivered out of bondage! The New Israel - that is The Catholic Church - is
delivered out of bondage by celebrating The Mass! He writes of whether a man or a
woman should or should not have their head covered during the Liturgy. (A custom which
Then he speaks of the real reason he is writing. That being, the Eucharistic Celebration in
their community seems to be accomplishing "more harm than good". 1Cor. 11:17 "In
giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm
He points out that division may have a good point. Without division it would be hard to tell
the true from the false. 1 Cor. 11:18 "First of all, I hear that when you meet as a church
there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; 19 there have to be factions
among you in order that (also) those who are approved among you may become known."
The expression "meet as a church", is another reference to the Liturgy. St. Paul also
mentions those that are following the "traditions" laid out by him and the Apostles when he
says; "those who are approved".
1 Cor. 11:20 "When you meet in one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord's supper",
another clear reference to the Mass. Reproving the church at Corinth for their behavior
during the "fellowship meal" part of the developing Liturgy he states that he is
disappointed with them; 1 Cor. 11:21 "for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own
supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. 22 Do you not have houses in
which you can eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and make
those who have nothing feel ashamed? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this
matter I do not praise you."
The original "Mass" was based on the Passover Liturgy of the Old Testament. The Mass
started there and developed into what we have today. Over the years some parts of the
Mass have changed and some will never change. Some parts are on the order of
"customs", which can change. While other parts of the Mass, have the authority and the
significance of unalterable theology, such as the words of Consecration. Here in St. Paul's
First Letter to the Church at Corinth is where the "agape, or fellowship meal" part of the
original Passover Liturgy was taken out of the celebration. 1Cor. 11:34 "If anyone is
hungry, he should eat at home".
Then St. Paul goes back to the "teaching", the "tradition", 1 Cor. 11:23 "For I received
from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was
handed over, took bread, 24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is
my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also the cup,
after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you
drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread
or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the
Lord. 28 A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. 29
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on
himself. 30 That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number
So far all the Bible verses have come from the New American
Version [NAB]. I would like to use the Revised Standard Version
[RSV] for verse 27. It will help me to make my next point. 1 Cor.
11:27 "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of
the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the
body and blood of the Lord." Whoever eats the Flesh of Christ
and drinks His Blood without "discerning" or in an "unworthy
manner" - that is - without the right disposition, without being in a
state of grace, is guilty of "blasphemy"!
If St. Paul is talking about a "symbol" as "some" would have us believe, then it is impossible
to "desecrate" a symbol. Unless something is "sacred" or "holy" in the first place we can not
desecrate it! St. Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth about receiving Holy Communion in
a state of grace. 1 Cor. 11:28 "A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread
and drink the cup."
Now we are initiated into the "Charismatic" nature of the Liturgy! 1 Cor. 12:1 "Now in
regard to spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware." St. Paul, goes on to
describe in great detail about some of the Gifts of The Holy Spirit and when and how they
should be used in the Liturgical Rite of the "Brave New Church" [Novus Ordo Watch], as
"some" [James 2:18 DRB], would call it.
Then he says that the greatest Gift is Love. 1 Cor. 13:1 "If I speak with the tongues of men
and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
1 Cor. 13:13 "And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest
of these is charity."
St. Paul writes of other ideas but brings the Letter to a close with the Sunday collection, a
timeless an honored tradition... 1 Cor. 16:1 "Now in regard to the collection for the holy
ones, you also should do as I ordered the churches of Galatia. 2 On the first day of the
week each of you should set aside and save whatever one can afford, so that collections
will not be going on when I come." We see that the new Liturgical Rite is celebrated, "On
the first day of the week".
There is more than one point in writing this. For some time now I have been aware of how
so many well intentioned, but misguided people are upset with the changes since Vatican
II. They are upset with many changes, but the one I hear of most often is the change in the
Mass. They feel that we should go back to what is referred to as the "old way" or the way
Jesus meant the Mass to be. So, for years, now I thought to write this up. I have shared the
teaching with many over the years as a "explanation" [1 Peter 3:15],for the Catholic Mass
as outlined in the Bible. Many of our separated brothers and sisters in Christ are not aware
that St. Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth about the Mass. They are not aware of how
the Liturgy or the Word [teaching], and the Liturgy of the Eucharist [Body & Blood], is
clearly spelled out in the Letter.
But this, writing, was prompted by a group called the "Novus Ordo Watch". To give them
the benefit of the doubt, they seem to be well intentioned but misguided. I would say to
them that they are either for Christ and His Church or against it. He stated that the "gates
of hell would not prevail against it [His Church]" [Matthew 16:18]. Either you believe Him or
not. If The Church that He established on the Apostle St. Peter can teach in error then the
"gates of hell" did prevail against the Church He established! This would prove that Jesus
is not God.
I would like to end with a quote, I do not recall the author.
For further study:
USCCB-Introduction to 1 Corinthians
"The difference between dissident Catholics and Protestants is that the
Protestants have integrity".