From the Offertory through the Sanctus
The final prayer of the Offertory, Suscipe Sancta Trinitas (“Receive, O Holy Trinity”) is one I urge to be prayed out loud, not only as a signal to the faithful, but as a reminder of some essential doctrinal elements. As a reminder, that prayer is:
Receive O holy Trinity, this oblation which we offer unto thee, in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honour of blessed Mary ever-Virgin, of blessed John Baptist, of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, of these and all the saints, that it may be to their honour and our salvation, and that like as we remember them on earth, so in heaven they may plead for us. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Immediately following this is the most appropriate place for the intentions to be read out, along the lines of something like this:
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to the glory of God and in honor of blessed Mary Ever-Virgin and all the saints, and with special intention for this parish, for N., N., … and thanksgiving from N., N., … and for the peaceful repose of the souls of N., N., and all the faithful departed.
Then the Orate Fratres, and the people’s response, and finally the Secrets, the Prayers over the Oblations, as the modern books list it. After following these directions, the Intercessions (Prayer for the Whole State) are redundant and not wanted. The General Confession, it could be argued, is also redundant, if the proper preparation has been followed at the beginning, and it could also be omitted. In any event, even if the General Confession is done here, the so-called “Comfortable Words” are unnecessary and best omitted, as Anglo-Catholics and High Church Evangelicals did for nearly a century before the unpleasantness of the 1970s..
We’ll pick up next time with a discussion of the Canon – and some perhaps surprising recommendations for which Canon to be prayed, as well as some necessary corrections.