Monday, April 12, 2010

Sacrificial language in the documents of Vatican II

It might surprise you how much Vatican II speaks of Jesus as the "Divine Victim" and how often it referred to the Eucharist as the "(Holy) Sacrifice of the Mass".

"Taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the fount and apex of the whole Christian life, [the faithful] offer the Divine Victim to God, and offer themselves along with It." (Lumen Gentium 11)

"[Bishops] are the original ministers of confirmation, dispensers of sacred Orders and the moderators of penitential discipline, and they earnestly exhort and instruct their people to carry out with faith and reverence their part in the liturgy and especially in the holy sacrifice of the Mass." (Lumen Gentium 26)

"[Priests] exercise their sacred function especially in the Eucharistic worship or the celebration of the Mass by which acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming His Mystery they unite the prayers of the faithful with the sacrifice of their Head and renew and apply in the sacrifice of the Mass until the coming of the Lord the only sacrifice of the New Testament namely that of Christ offering Himself once for all a spotless Victim  to the Father." (Lumen Gentium 28)

"After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth." (Lumen Gentium 58)

"[Members of religious communities] should celebrate the sacred liturgy, especially the holy sacrifice of the Mass, with both lips and heart as the Church desires and so nourish their spiritual life from this richest of sources." (Perfectae Caritatis 6)

"So priests must instruct their people to offer to God the Father the Divine Victim in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and to join to it the offering of their own lives." (Presbyterorum Ordinis 5)

"Priests act especially in the person of Christ as ministers of holy things, particularly in the Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrifice of Christ who gave himself for the sanctification of men." (Presbyterorum Ordinis 13)

"To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, 'the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross', but especially under the eucharistic species." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 7)

"This is why we ask the Lord in the sacrifice of the Mass that, 'receiving the offering of the spiritual victim,' he may fashion us for himself 'as an eternal gift'." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 12)

"[The faithful] should be instructed by God's word and be nourished at the table of the Lord's body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 48)

"For this reason the sacred Council, having in mind those Masses which are celebrated with the assistance of the faithful, especially on Sundays and feasts of obligation, has made the following decrees in order that the sacrifice of the Mass, even in the ritual forms of its celebration, may become pastorally efficacious to the fullest degree." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 49)

"Before offering Himself up as a spotless victim  upon the altar, Christ prayed to His Father for all who believe in Him." (Unitatis Redintegratio 2)

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