Is The Significance and Word Sacrifice Missing In The Mass Today?

When was the last time you heard the word Sacrifice or Sacrifice of the Mass from the Ambo nowadays?

I don’t know if its that I live in a relatively medium to small Catholic community in my city and Archdiocese with a French and English deanery.

Or is it that political correctness has infiltrated many aspects in choosing words in the Mass.

For instance the phrase or term Sacrifice of the Mass is rarely heard today amongst Catholics.

The Altar of the Lord has been replaced for the term “Table of the Lord”

The Body and Blood of Christ has been replaced for the term “Communal Meal”

Am I being overly nit-picky over this? Political Correctness has never been my forte.

I know I shouldn’t get irked over this, but occasionally it creeps under my skin.

Maybe I should be silent about it and just offer it up to the Lord.

Perhaps we Catholics are called more and more to be humbly passive or is it that I’m too old school?


I am guessing that you meant to say (for instance)
‘The altar of the Lord has been replaced BY (not FOR) the Table of the Lord’, and so on.

I have to say, I have never heard the term ‘Communal Meal’ in relation to Mass, and certainly not replacing ‘Body and Blood of Christ’.

As regards hearing the word ‘Sacrifice’ it is said every OF Mass ‘May the Lord receive this sacrifice at your hands…’ as the response to what used to be called the Orate Fratres, as well as at several points in the priest’s prayers.

You are right but it can be confusing being that this prayer occurs right after the Presentation of the gifts which some construe as “sacrifice.” (“human hands have made,” “work of human hands,” etc.) After the consecration, there should be no such confusion. Just saying.

Yes, I can see where those words can be misunderstood.

But I did say that the word was included in the priest’s prayers. How about these, after the consecration, and which are also said in the OF according to which Eucharistic Prayer has been chosen:

Euch. Prayer 1 : ‘from the many gifts you have given us, we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice, the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation’.
Later ‘We pray that you angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven…’

Euch. Prayer 2. ‘In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup’

Euch. Prayer 3 ; ‘we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favour on your church’s offering, and see the victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself… Lord, may this sacrifice which has made our peace with you…’

Euch. Prayer 4 : 'we offer you his body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world. '‘look upon this sacrifice which you have given to your church… Lord, remember those for whom we offer this sacrifice’

Admittedly, some of the EPs are more explicit than others, and there is no reference to ‘standing at Calvary’. I suppose the main thing I get from reading the EPs one after the other is the emphasis on the totality of the Offering - life, death and resurrection. That is to say, Mass is Upper Room, and Calvary and the days after the Resurrection leading up to and including the Ascension, not just the death on the cross.

I have never been to an EF Mass, and don’t have an EF missal to compare. Do the prayers in the EF not mention the Resurrection and Ascension at all? Are they all focused solely on Calvary?

I don’t see how that is any different from the EF? The EF prayer similarly occurs prior to the consecration and calls the gifts a “holy unspotted sacrifice.”

P: Therefore, we humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ Thy Son, Our Lord, to receive and to bless these (+) gifts, these (+) presents, these (+) holy unspotted sacrifices, which we offer up to Thee, in the first place, for Thy holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to guard, unite, and guide her, throughout the world: as also for Thy servant N., our Pope, and N., our Bishop, and for all who are orthodox in belief and who profess the Catholic and apostolic faith.

There isn’t but close scrutiny in the EP1 shows more explictness of the sacrifice and beauty, especially when compared to Abel, Abraham and Melchisedech:

Supra quæ propitio ac sereno vultu
Upon which gracious and serene face

respicere digneris:
to look may You grant:

et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es
and accept to have, just as accepted to have you granted

munera pueri tui justi Abel,
gifts of servant Your just Abel,

et sacrificium Patriarchæ nostri Abrahæ:
and sacrifice of Patriarch our Abraham:

et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melchisedech,
and which to You were offered by most high priest Your Melchisedech,

sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam.
holy sacrifice, immaculate victim.

Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus:
Humbly You we beseech, almighty God:

jube hæc perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui
command these to be brought by hands of holy Angel Your

in sublime altare tuum,
to sublime altar Your,

in conspectu divinæ majestatis tuæ;
in presence of divine majesty Your;

ut quotquot, ex hac altaris participatione
that however many, from this altar participation

sacrosanctum Filii tui Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus,
most sacred of Son Your Body and Blood receive,

omni benedictione cælesti et gratia repleamur.
every blessing heavenly and grace may be filled.

Sorry about the word order but this came as a linear translation. I think you get the gist of it.

From the 1962 Missal:
After the consecration the priest continues:
" … Wherefore, O Lord, we Thy servants, as also Thy holy people, calling in mind the blessed Passion of the same Christ, Thy son, our Lord, and also His **Resurrection **from the dead and His glorious **Ascension **into heaven: do offer unto Thy most excellent Majesty of Thine own gifts, bestowed upon us, a pure Host, a holy Host, an unspotted Host, the holy Bread of eternal life, and the Chalice of everlasting salvation. …"

Some Latin-English handmissals use the word “Victim” not “Host.”

Its odd in my parish but its extremely rare I get to hear EP1 (“The Roman Canon”)
My Favorite.

Only Christmas and Easter and that depends on the priest and his preferential Eucharistic Prayer. EP2 and EP3 seem more traditional and most frequent.

Right… It was just that from the threads concerning dress at Mass, for example, there is frequent reference to ‘standing at Calvary’ or similar words, so I had gained the idea that Mass in the EF form was focused on that (sorrowful beyond compare) event, and not at all on the glory and triumph of the Resurrection and Ascension.

I here it often, but I’m admittedly blessed to live in a wonderful diocese.

See here…

Sacrificial Nature of the Mass
by Most Rev. Michael Sheridan


Assuming you attend them periodically, does this also occur in French masses?

My apologies for getting back to you late with your question in this thread.

I attend both French and English Masses frequently being bilingual and my mother tongue being French. Most French Masses I attend are said at the Cathedral.

faire offerande ou sacrifier is most often used far more in French Masses than is the case of Masses said in English.


I rarely attend Masses in my territorial Church but any time I am there the priest says several times (interrupting the official prayers either from the ambo or from the altar) “We believe in the real presence of Jesus” and also “The Mass is the sacrifice of Jesus”. These are just words. The full setup is a folk feast.

In my regular Church I do not remember that I heard either sentences, except when about once a year the sermon is about the Mass. Still the full setup is that the center is Christ, and we worship Him.

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