Second Part: The Symbolism of the Offertory
Let us now look at the ceremonies, some ceremonies of the Offertory more precisely. It is not possible to say much in a few short minutes, as it is so rich. Moreover, the various conferences of this Congress will deal with many facets of this divine diamond. Rather than skim over too many aspects, I would like to go in depth mainly on four points, with the help of the principles we have just seen, and especially with the wisdom of Msgr. de Ségur.
1) First Point: Dominus Vobiscum!
The offertory begins with the 4th Dominus Vobiscum of the Mass.
There are 7 Dominus Vobiscum during the Mass (I let you find out by yourselves where the other 6 are!), not counting the one at the Last Gospel, which is sometimes omitted with the Last Gospel, which symbolizes, like the 8th Beatitude, the fullness of heavenly bliss, the joy of our Master.
The 4th Dominus Vobiscum crowns the Credo and begins the Offertory, explains Msgr. de Ségur. It expresses and spreads the gift of fortitude which Jesus, by His divine Sacrifice and the merits of His immolation, bestows to His Church, to His priests, to all the faithful. It fits very well right after the Credo, since we all need supernatural fortitude to confess our faith and to enter in the spirit of the holy sacrifice, which begins, properly speaking, with the Offertory. (p.232)
Thus the Offertory begins with the priest kissing the altar and wishing to all, in this 4th Dominus Vobiscum, the gift of Fortitude. It already gives us a hint that the grace we will ask for during this part of the Mass is going to be a bonum difficile, something that could be tough, and for which we will surely need the help of the Spirit of Fortitude.
2) Second Point: The Sacrifice of the whole Church
When St Thomas compares the Sacraments with one another in order to find out which one is the greatest, he says:
the common spiritual good of the whole Church is contained substantially in the sacrament itself of the Eucharist. 3a, Q65, a3
How true! As a negative proof, with the liturgical revolution, we now sadly have before our own eyes in all our states and cities, in our beloved Roman Catholic Church, the sad effects of what happens when one touches to that which is the the common spiritual good of the whole Church !
The whole Catholic Faith has been tragically affected, all the other sacraments as well, and now in these very days of the Roman Synod, matrimony in particular is under siege, and with this the 6th and 9th Commandments.
The common spiritual good of the whole Church goes even beyond the Creed, the sacraments and the Commandments. It concerns the whole Church, in its apostolicity, in its catholicity in time.
The Sacrifice of Our Lord is truly at the center of the history of creation and of redemption, it is at the junction of the Two Testaments: “For he is our peace, who hath made both one” (Eph. 2:14). The Justs of the Old Testament were saved by believing in the Redeemer and in His sacrifice to come, and we, in the New Testament, are saved if we believed in the Redeemer that has come, and if we keep His word.