ABOUT THE MASS SERIES
THE MASS: ABOUT THE MASS SERIES.
LORD GOD, WE ASK YOU …’.
One of the private prayers that entered the preparation rite during the Middle Ages is the ‘In Spiritu humilitatis’. Its text is:
‘We now have no leader, no prophet, no prince, no burnt offering, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense, no place where we can make offerings to you and win your favour. But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit, be as acceptable to you as burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fat lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today, and may it please you that we follow you wholeheartedly, since those who trust in you will not be shamed’. (Daniel 3:38-40)
It was prayed by Azariah who, missing the sacrifices of the temple, realised that it was the spiritual sacrifice which best pleases God.
The prayer used in the Mass today is:
‘Lord God, we ask you to receive us
and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you
with humble and contrite hearts’.
The prayer was made obligatory with the Missal of Pius V (1570). Being a private prayer of the priest, it is usually recited inaudibly or sotto voce (in a soft voice). The priest bows and says this prayer:
In other words, the priest requests that the future offering made in the Eucharistic prayer, animated by the spiritual sacrifices of the heart, be favourably received by God.
We can join the priest as he offers this prayer by making it our own. We can offer our own pain and difficulties of life to God. The prayer stance of the Publican ‘Lord be merciful to me a sinner’ (Lk 18:13) could also provide us with further reflective thoughts when linked with this prayer