|SUSCIPE, SANCTA TRINITAS (cont.)
(Taken from Notes Made at the Conferences of Dom Prosper Guéranger).
Et in honorem beatae Mariae semper Virginis. [And unto the honor of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin] Not a single Mass is offered, but it brings glory to our Blessed Lady, who is, in Herself, a whole World apart. Therefore is it that we first of all recall the Memory of Our Lord, then of the Blessed Virgin, and finally of the Angels and Saints. The Angels are greater than we, that is to say, they are superior to us, by reason of their spiritual nature; but Our Blessed Lady, although a mere human creature, is raised far above them all, because, as before said, she forms a world apart, she is the very Master Piece of God Himself; hence Holy Church fails not to honour her as such in the Holy Sacrifice, wherein she never forgets this sublime Queen and the place apart due to her alone. Et beati Joannis Baptistae. Holy Church holds St. John the Baptist in great veneration in the Confiteor, we have seen, she always mentions him, and here again she is delighted to give fresh honour to the Precursor of Our Lord. Et sanctorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli; it is right to pay our tribute of glory also to these two great Apostles who laboured together in founding the Holy Roman Church. Et istorum [and these]. This expression has more than once raised a difficulty: it has been asked, many a time, who are hereby intended? Some would have it, that the saint of the day was here referred to; but in such a case, we ought to use the word istius, and not istorum; and then, again, Masses of the Dead would present another difficulty in the way of such a solution; so it is evident that the Church’s meaning must be other than such a supposition. It is plain that she here intends to allude to those saints who are There, that is to say, whose relics are incorporated in the Altar itself. For this very reason, when an Altar is being consecrated, Relics of several saints must be placed therein; those of one saint only would not suffice and would not justify the Church’s expression here: et istorum. Yea, says she, in honour of these Saints who here serve as the resting place of the mystery which is established upon them, of these Saints on whose bodies the Great Sacrifice is to be accomplished: - what could be more fitting than to make special mention apart of these Saints.
Et omnium sanctorum ... Finally, Holy Church mentions all the saints, in general, because all have part in the Holy Mass. Ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad Salutem [To them may it bring honour, and to us salvation] ... Observe here two things coupled in the Holy Sacrifice: on the one hand, it gives glory to God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to the Saints; on the other, it is profitable to us; the Church, therefore, makes us here beg of God to deign to accept it so, that it may attain this double end
proposed. As to the words which terminate this Prayer, they give us a form of invoking the saints whom holy Church specially commemorates on that particular day: Et illi pro nobis intercedere digneris in coelis quibus memoriam agimus in terris. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum [and may they, whose memory we keep on earth, be pleased to intercede for us in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord.]; note how the name of Christ is always added.
This Prayer, like the first, has only been fixed for universal use, since the the of Saint Pius V. Its Latin is less fine than that of the Canon, which originates from the earliest Christian ages, as does also the Prayer for the Benediction of the Water, which we have given above.