"Once for All" Sacrifice of the Mass


#1

It was mentioned on another thread that a common misunderstanding about the Catholic Mass is that the sacrifice is enacted anew each time. I was wondering if anyone can explain the “once for all” sacrifice.


#2

Of course it is true that Jesus presented before God the Father a complete sacrifice for our sins on the cross. It is done and accomplished. But this does not mean that everytime mass is done Christ is re crucified. No, the one sacrifice of Christ that he already made is simply represented before us, by receiving his flesh and blood during the Eucharist.


#3

Christ’s sacrifice was once for all. It does not need to be repeated, and each Mass is NOT a repetition of the sacrifice. Rather, each Mass is a participation in the once for all sacrifice of Christ.
When Christ said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19), he echoed the command of God concerning the Passover: “This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD, throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual obedience” (Exodus 12:14). The Hebrew word for remembrance, zikaron, means that the events of the past are actually being brought to the present moment, so we who remember the events of the past are able to participate in them in a certain way. That is why one of the questions Jews ask on the Passover is, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” not "Why was that night different from all other nights?"
In Greek, the word for remembrance used in Luke’s Gospel is anamnesis, a word which also did not mean merely remembering something. It had connotations of bringing a transcendent reality into the present moment.
At every Mass, we are able to have the same sacrifice Christ made on Calvary made present to us in our time and place. Even non-Catholic Christians would agree that in order to be saved, we must have Christ’s sacrifice applied to us in our lives, in our time and place. This is an article that explains more about this application.
catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=2&art_id=27698


#4

Each Eucharist simply puts us again in the presence of the once and for all sacrifice offerred by Jesus to the Father. The Mass is not a different sacrifice, nor is it a multiplied sacrifice. It is the same sacrifice. It acts like a time-machine to put us in touch with the once-for-all event of our salvation.


#5

I would say that during the Mass we offer up the once and for all sacrafice over and over. We offer it up each time for the propititation of the sins of the world. There’s also this quote:

Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb which was slain from the beginning of the world.

This could imply that the Sacrifice itself is perpetual which makes offering it up perpetually make even more sense.


#6

[quote=Genesis315]There’s also this quote:

Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb which was slain from the beginning of the world.

This could imply that the Sacrifice itself is perpetual which makes offering it up perpetually make even more sense.
[/quote]

That’s really good. It reminded me of anothr verse implying a perpetual sacrifice:
"For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts."
Malachi 1:11


#7

[quote=JimG]Each Eucharist simply puts us again in the presence of the once and for all sacrifice offerred by Jesus to the Father. The Mass is not a different sacrifice, nor is it a multiplied sacrifice. It is the same sacrifice. It acts like a time-machine to put us in touch with the once-for-all event of our salvation.
[/quote]

Hebrews 9:11-12 talks about Christ entering a tabernacle not made with hands–meaning in heaven–carrying not the blood of some sacrificed animal but rather His own Blood. Thus we see the sacrifice of Calvary has in some way been taken into Heaven and made eternal, and the unbloody sacrifices of the Mass are simply places where the eternal sacrifice enters time and space again. (This is my interpretation. Somebody please correct me if this is wrong.)

  • Liberian

#8

[quote=Liberian]Hebrews 9:11-12 talks about Christ entering a tabernacle not made with hands–meaning in heaven–carrying not the blood of some sacrificed animal but rather His own Blood. Thus we see the sacrifice of Calvary has in some way been taken into Heaven and made eternal, and the unbloody sacrifices of the Mass are simply places where the eternal sacrifice enters time and space again. (This is my interpretation. Somebody please correct me if this is wrong.)

  • Liberian
    [/quote]

That sounds reasonable to me. Jesus’ one sacrifice is eternal (and eternal, by definition, means ‘outside of time’). Each Mass is a time and place where we temporal creatures are able to intersect with that one sacrifice.


#9

Thanks all! This is very helpful. I’ve seen the sacrifice of the Mass misunderstood by non-Catholics so I appreciate your input. I wasn’t sure how to address it when I’ve seen it come up.


#10

The way I understand it is that when we eat and drink the Body and Blood we are eating His GLORIFIED body from the ONE sacrafice accomplished two thousand years ago. Even when the last supper was taking place that was too the glorified Body and Blood of Christ. Am I wrong on this understanding?

Also, by saying “the SACRAFICE of the Mass” are we saying the word “sacrafice” in the sense that the Body and Blood we are about to eat is the Glorified Christ who was sacraficed for us to death then to resurection 2000 years ago? It should be because otherwise He would be dying again if we called Him the Sacrafice and believed it wasn’t his GLORIFIED Blood. Because without His death we are still in our sins. Am I correct?


#11

[font=Arial]The “Once for All” sacrafice of Calvary is re-presented, not recreated during the Mass. That is a very import distinction[/font]

During the words of consecration, not only does trans-substatiation occurs, but the same “Once for All” sacrafice is re-presented, trancending through all of time and appears at the hands of the priest.

Two micacles for the price of one…


#12

During the words of consecration, not only does trans-substatiation occurs, but the same “Once for All” sacrafice is re-presented, trancending through all of time and appears at the hands of the priest.

Nice rhetoric, but what does it mean concretely?

Two micacles for the price of one…

Transubstantiation is not a mircale; nor is the reception of any grace received via the Sacraments? A miracle is, by definition, a visible phenomena. Not all supernatural occurences are miraculous.


#13

[quote=Sacramentalist]Nice rhetoric, but what does it mean concretely?
[/quote]

It means that Jesus, was able to hold is own body and blood, in the form of Bread and Wine, in his own two hands the night before his crucifixion. It means that he not only knew what was going to happen the next day, he was willing to use trans-substantiation as a method to impart his grace to us in perpetuity. It means that we are able to humble ourselves before the real, true presence (body, blood, soul and divinity) of our Lord and take him bodily into our body. True food, true drink.

[quote=Sacramentalist]Transubstantiation is not a mircale; nor is the reception of any grace received via the Sacraments? A miracle is, by definition, a visible phenomena. Not all supernatural occurences are miraculous.
[/quote]

PO-TAAA-Toe … PO-TAHHH-Toe
You may be technically correct… how good for you.


#14

The easiest way for me to understand it is:

That during the sacrifice of the Mass, we are stepping out of our current time, and going back to the exact instant where Jesus was on the cross. Every Mass, every where at every time time is joined at that specific moment. During the Eucharist, we are no longer in 2005, we there at the foot of the cross 2000 years ago.


#15

Dear Grace and Glory,

quote: Grace and Glory
When Christ said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19), he echoed the command of God concerning the Passover: “This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD, throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual obedience” (Exodus 12:14). The Hebrew word for remembrance, zikaron, means that the events of the past are actually being brought to the present moment, so we who remember the events of the past are able to participate in them in a certain way. That is why one of the questions Jews ask on the Passover is, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” not "Why was that night different from all other nights?"
In Greek, the word for remembrance used in Luke’s Gospel is anamnesis, a word which also did not mean merely remembering something. It had connotations of bringing a transcendent reality into the present moment.

I’m fascinated.

The Hebrew word for remembrance, zikaron, means that the events of the past are actually being brought to the present moment, so we who remember the events of the past are able to participate in them in a certain way

.

Still more fascinated:

That is why one of the questions Jews ask on the Passover is, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” not “Why was that night different from all other nights?”

What can one say? :

In Greek, the word for remembrance used in Luke’s Gospel is anamnesis, a word which also did not mean merely remembering something. It had connotations of bringing a transcendent reality into the present moment

.

Many thanks for conveying this information.

reen12


#16

[quote=jburgherr]It means that Jesus, was able to hold is own body and blood, in the form of Bread and Wine, in his own two hands the night before his crucifixion. It means that he not only knew what was going to happen the next day, he was willing to use trans-substantiation as a method to impart his grace to us in perpetuity. It means that we are able to humble ourselves before the real, true presence (body, blood, soul and divinity) of our Lord and take him bodily into our body. True food, true drink.
[/quote]

This would be the doctrrine of High Protestantism; it’s got nothing to do with sacrifice. Catholic teaching is that the Mass is an actual sacrifice; not that we merely receive sacrificual flesh.

I’m not denying the Church’s dogma, by the way; just trying to understand it.


#17

That is why one of the questions Jews ask on the Passover is, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” not “Why was that night different from all other nights?”

I find this utterly unconvincing.

The question could just as easily be taken to mean “Why is this night different from the other 364 out of the year?” And in fact, if I’m not mistaken, the response by the leader is something along the lines of “Because God did such-and-such to out people years ago.”

Still don’t get why or how the Mass is sacrificial.


#18

Hi, Sacramentalist,

Until the time of Jesus, God called His people to
offer animal sacrifice in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Sacrifice was the sine qua non of Judaism, until
the Temple was completely destroyed by the
Roman Empire in 70 A.D.

Jesus came into the world and said, basicallly:
I AM the Lamb of God…the perfect sacrifice.
[sacrifice =Latin= “to make sacred.”]

In the Mass, the bread and wine become the
actual body and blood of Jesus, not a “symbol”,
and that body and blood is offered to God,
in the same way that sacrifices were offered
in the Temple, only here is the *perfect *Lamb,
being “offered” to the Father.

If I recall correctly, the following words are said
during the Mass:
“Accept this sacrifice which we offer…”

Unless the context of the Old Covenant is kept
in mind, i.e., animal sacrifice conducted in
the Temple, the “sacrifice” of the Mass would
be difficult to comprehend.

The whole reality of the Mass is based on the
bread and wine actually becoming the body
and blood of Christ. If not ‘real’, then the 'sacrifice"
has no meaning.

The Mass is the glory of Catholicism, both in the
fact that communicants receive Christ in the
sacrament, the priest having offered a perfect sacrifice
to the Father, under the New Covenant.

If an individual holds that the body and blood are
symbols, then of course the sacrifical nature of
the Mass would be "meaning"less.
Just my thought,
reen12*


#19

I suppose another way of looking at the

sacrifice, would be that Christ died once, for all,
but “enables” us to be at Calvary with Him, in
a perpetual offering of the “once, for all” sacrifice.
Christ doesn’t “die” again, in the Mass, but His
body and blood are offered to the Father with
the same eternal value of that “once, for all” sacrifice.

Perhaps it’s because God knows how we are
"put together" as human beings. It’s my own
belief that human beings *need *to offer sacrifice
to God…a religious “instinct”? - and God makes
provision for this need, by allowing us to offer
Him the sacrifice of His Son, in perpetuity, in this
world.

It’s as if the limitations of the human ‘horizon’ are
such that this sacrifice, rather than being "contained"
20 centuries ago, can be made ‘available’ to us,
in perpetuity, in this world.

[It would also be in keeping with the Temple
sacrifices, in Judaism. Why not one lamb
sacrificed? Why sacrifices, day after day?
Generation after generation?]

reen12


#20

[quote=reen12]I suppose another way of looking at the

sacrifice, would be that Christ died once, for all,
but “enables” us to be at Calvary with Him, in
a perpetual offering of the “once, for all” sacrifice.
Christ doesn’t “die” again, in the Mass, but His
body and blood are offered to the Father with
the same eternal value of that “once, for all” sacrifice.

Perhaps it’s because God knows how we are
"put together" as human beings. It’s my own
belief that human beings *need *to offer sacrifice
to God…a religious “instinct”? - and God makes
provision for this need, by allowing us to offer
Him the sacrifice of His Son, in perpetuity, in this
world.

It’s as if the limitations of the human ‘horizon’ are
such that this sacrifice, rather than being "contained"
20 centuries ago, can be made ‘available’ to us,
in perpetuity, in this world.

[It would also be in keeping with the Temple
sacrifices, in Judaism. Why not one lamb
sacrificed? Why sacrifices, day after day?
Generation after generation?]

reen12
[/quote]

Reen - In fact, that’s exactly the way Mother Angelica defined the “once for all sacrifice” for a caller several weeks on one of her “classics” re-runs on EWTN.


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