9 February 2010

Censing the Altar at High Mass

Let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice: words said by the Priest as he censes the Altar at the Offertory at High Mass.

The evening sacrifice:
That is, the Minchah, or 'meat-offering', of fine flour, mixed with oil and frankincense, and salted, which was added to the daily burnt-offering of a lamb, both morning and evening; but, for a typical reason, a greater stress was laid on the evening rite. The Minchah was, first of all, made of corn, the chief food of man, but not until it had been made, by bruising and grinding, into flour; thus typifying the sufferings of CHRIST, the Bread of Life, which fitted Him to be the offering for the sins of the world. Wheaten flour so ground is pure white, marking CHRIST'S perfect holiness. It had to be fine flour for the Minchah, boulted more than once, to make it free from husks and other foreign matter; as in CHRIST there was no unevenness nor inequality, no changefulness nor uncertainty. Oil was poured upon it, to denote His anointing by the Holy Ghost; frankincense because of His acceptance, sweetness, and Ascension; salt because of His incorruptibility and preserving power. His prayer for man's salvation ascended with Himself into Heaven in perpetual mediation as the incense at the golden altar. His lifting up His hands upon the Cross where they were nailed was the evening sacrifice, at the close of the Mosaic day of legal ceremonies, for the sins of the whole world; wherefore too it was on the night before His Passion, He constituted that new Minchah of the Gospel which Malachi foretold, offered now in all places amongst the Gentiles, and made the food of his royal priesthood.

And therefore, O Lord, as my trust is in that all-sufficing oblation upon the Cross, let the lifting up of my hands in final penitence, in the evening of my days, when the shadows of the night are coming fast around me, be like that evening sacrifice, and in union with it, be acceptable unto Thee, that as I have abided by Thy Cross in the sorrows of the Passion, so I may offer Thee the morning sacrifice too, in the bright dawn of the Resurrection!

A typical piece of Patrimony; exegeting Liturgy and Scripture with an erudition that extends with moving devotion to the Old Testament, as well as to the New and to the great Tradition of the Worship of the Universal Church. I feel that if our beloved Jewish brethren
understood how it is their Temple Faith which still lives and is practised among us, they would desert the Synod of Jamnia and ascend the Temple Mount with us to offer daily the Tamid lamb.

Pusey, who was Regius Professor of Hebrew, could have written this. But he didn't. Who did?

9 comments:

Fr Neil said...

Is the clue in the labels?

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

I wondered ...

Nebuly said...

Indeed the labels do point us to Sackville College.

AndrewWS said...

Sackville College ... whose founder (JMN) was a Cambridge man.

AndrewWS said...

Ooops, not founder, but Warden. My bad.

Walter said...

I cast my guess to John Mason Neale; would it be from his commentary on the Psalms?

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

Bingo. Trebles all round, as they say in Greek Street.

Sir Watkin said...

"(JMN) was a Cambridge man."

Indeed. The Cambridge contribution to our Movement is oft overlooked.

Nebuly said...

"(JMN) was a Cambridge man."

Even Homer nods