To Whom Is The Priest Showing The Blessed Host?
I grew up in parishes where Mass was said facing the congregation, or versus populum. For the last three years-- thanks to God, and my pastor-- I've been able to pray Mass ad orientem. This is the traditional way for Holy Mass to be prayed; with priest and people praying eastward, in the same direction. Christians never prayed the Mass any other way until recently. Many priests I know have said that their prayer is much more fruitful when they pray Mass traditionally this way, and it certainly is for me.
It is a bit crazy, but something that I've read about all my life only recently struck me while praying Mass. We all know that the Mass is a prayer said in The Holy Spirit, through The Son, to the Father, right? I'm so obtuse.
To Whom is the priest showing the host when he elevates Him at consecration? I've always known that the Canon of the Mass is specifically addressed to the Father, but this question never occurred to me before. I guess I always just sub-consciously experienced the elevation at consecration as the priest showing us the host, so that we might adore The Real Presence of Jesus. Growing up, I was put in the habit of making a silent prayer of adoration. And being the militant that I am, as a teenager I always felt it an occasion to affirm our Catholic faith contra Luther's revolutions. I've read traditional latin Mass missalettes that said so in the margins.
But a few weeks ago, praying Mass with the priest ad orientem, it struck me that that isn't what's happening. The Host wasn't being shown to me; The Son was being shown to The Father!
I can't believe: reading about the Mass year after year, and it only just now 'clicked'.
And my Father had never felt so present during Mass. This force unseen among the dome, brooding in the shadows of the raredo.
Of course, we should always adore The Blessed Sacrament, and no less when He is elevated at consecration. It was just that for the first time so fully I felt The Someone to Whom the moment was given.
It's later, at the Ecce Agnus Dei, that Jesus is shown specifically to us.
Not in the moment of elevation at consecration, though.
Then it was my pastor, chasuble lifted like a royal train, like an Apostle blown in the wind of Pentecost, showing The Father the white Host. It was witnessing the reunion of a father and his son. The Father was so proud, and there was a comraderie. The Father's recognition of His son, as though spied at a distance, and His pride, was sensible.
It was not that I felt inconsequential, but I knew that I had to let them, The Father and Son, have this moment. It was for us to quietly hold Him up, and let them see each other.
Posted by J.B.Mincher at 8:25 PM