A meditation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Produced and edited by Michael Sestak

A Meditation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Updated Version) from IAMSESTAK on Vimeo.

“A Meditation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” represents a difficult journey over the course of one week.

Some days back, a viewer on YouTube forwarded a kind request, asking me to produce a film showcasing the beauty and richness of the Latin Mass. I started the project, but never imagined where it would lead.

I worked on the video each day after work from 7pm – 3am for five consecutive nights. It was a draining experience. But I am satisfied with the end result.

PURPOSE

“A Meditation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” is not meant to be a mere inspirational drama, but a heartfelt prayer, a Catholic meditation.

It should be viewed as such: Focused. Silent. Penitent.

My sincere hope is that you will grow in your love for God, and your Faith will be strengthened.

SYMBOLISM

THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS

  1. Introibo ad altare Dei
    The priest going to the foot of the altar represents Christ going to Mount Olivet.
  2. Judica me, Deus…
    The priest commencing the Holy Mass represents Christ beginning to pray in the Garden.
  1. Confiteor Deo…
    The priest saying the Confiteor represents Christ falling down and sweating blood at Mt. Olivet.
  1. Oramus Te, Domine, per merita Sanctorum Tuorum
    The priest going up and kissing the altar, after praying Aufer a nobis…, represents Christ being betrayed by Judas with a kiss.
  1. Oremus
    The priest going to the Epistle side represents Christ being captured, bound and taken to Annas.
  1. The INTROIT
    The priest reading the Introit represents Christ being falsely accused by Annas and blasphemed.
  1. Kyrie Eleison
    The priest going to the middle of the altar and saying the Kyrie eleison represents Christ being brought to Caiphas and these three times denied by Peter.
  1. Dominus vobiscum
    The priest saying the Dominus vobiscum represents Christ looking at Peter and converting him.
  1. The EPISTLE
    The priest reading the Epistle represents Christ being brought to Pilate.
  1. Munda cor meum
    The priest saying the Munda cor meum represents Christ being taken to Herod and mocked.
  1. The GOSPEL
    The priest reading the Gospel represents Christ being taken to Pilate and again mocked.

After previewing the movie for my family, they expressed concern about some of the symbolism, particularly the scene of the Kiss of Judas and the priest kissing the altar. Please know that I based everything on ancient Catholic teaching. For example:

“When the priest kisses the altar, he is kissing Christ, faithfully, in contradiction to the kiss of betrayal by Judas.” In a sense, the priest is making atonement for the betrayal of Judas.

“The priest reading the Introit represents Christ being falsely accused by Annas and blasphemed.”

“The priest going to the middle of the altar and saying the Kyrie Eleison represents Christ being brought to Caiphas and these three times denied by Peter.”

“The priest saying the ‘Dominus vobiscum’ represents Christ looking at Peter and converting him.”

“The priest saying the ‘Orate Fratres’ represents Christ being shown by Pilate to the people with the words ‘Ecce Homo.'”

“The priest praying in a low voice represents Christ being mocked and spit upon.”

“The priest blessing the bread and wine represents Christ being nailed to the cross.”

“The priest elevating the host represents Christ being raised on the cross.”

“The priest goes to the Epistle side and prays signifying how Jesus was led before Pilate and falsely accused.”

“The priest goes to the Gospel-side, where he reads the Gospel, signifying how Christ was sent from Pilate to Herod, and was mocked and derided by the latter.”

“The priest goes from the Gospel side again to the middle of the altar – this signifies how Jesus was sent back from Herod to Pilate.”

“The priest uncovers the chalice, recalling how Christ was stripped for the scourging.”

“The priest offers bread and wine, signifying how Jesus was bound to the pillar and scourged.”

“The priest washes his hands, signifying how Pilate declared Jesus innocent by washing his hands.”

“The priest covers the chalice after the Offertory recalling how Jesus was crowned with thorns.”

“The priest breaking and separating the host represents Christ giving up His spirit.”

Taken from “The Catholic Church Alone: The One True Church of Christ” by the Catholic Education Company, New York, page 551. The book has been out of print for many decades; used copies sell for about $200.00 or more, but can be read freely on Google Books.

FINAL THOUGHTS by Fulton J. Sheen

Too many of us end our lives, but few of us see them finished. A sinful life may end, but a sinful life is never a finished life.

Our Lord finished His work, but we have not finished ours. He pointed the way we must follow. He laid down the Cross at the finish, but we must take it up. He finished Redemption in His physical Body, but we have not finished it in His Mystical Body.

He has finished the Sacrifice of Calvary;
we must finish the Mass.

Audio Credit (in order)
Mary Goes to Jesus — The Passion Soundtrack
Testamentum Eternum — Cistercians
Kyrie Eleison — Monks of Fontgombault
Introit — Monks of Fontgombault
Miserere — Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652)
O Magnum Mysterium — Morten Lauridsen (1943-present)
Crucifixion — The Passion Soundtrack
Mary Goes to Jesus — The Passion Soundtrack

Text Credit
Introductory text — Padre Pio
Spoken Bible Verses — Max McLean
Closing text — Fulton J. Sheen, Calvary and the Mass
Spanish translation — adelantelafe.com

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