Solemn High Mass question

I have been attending mass at a TLM chapel for the last few months. The 9:00 mass is normally a sung mass or what I would call a high mass. The last few weeks Father has been host to a couple of Deacons from the seminary. With the addition of the deacons we now have a Solemn High Mass at 9:00 mass. At the start of the Offertory one of the deacons wraps his shoulders and hands in what I would call a stole. He approaches the altar and the priest hands him something which he covers in the stole and holds whatever it is in front of himself and slightly elevated. He then stands behind the priest holding whatever until the Lord’s Prayer. He then places the object back on the altar and hands the stole to a altar boy for removal.

As you can guess, I am wondering what it is that the deacon is holding. I have tried to watch during Mass, but I usually find myself lost in prayer following along in my missal and I miss what is happening.

Good point, we recently had the joy of several seminarians at our chapel, one who was obviously a deacon did just that. It was such a crowd in the sanctuary it was a little hard to see but I THINK the deacon held the prayer card, but it may have been something else, like the Word Of God because of the reverence of holding such…

I will find out from a Mass mate,:slight_smile:

[quote=SnorterLuster]I have been attending mass at a TLM chapel for the last few months. The 9:00 mass is normally a sung mass or what I would call a high mass. The last few weeks Father has been host to a couple of Deacons from the seminary. With the addition of the deacons we now have a Solemn High Mass at 9:00 mass. At the start of the Offertory one of the deacons wraps his shoulders and hands in what I would call a stole. He approaches the altar and the priest hands him something which he covers in the stole and holds whatever it is in front of himself and slightly elevated. He then stands behind the priest holding whatever until the Lord’s Prayer. He then places the object back on the altar and hands the stole to a altar boy for removal.

As you can guess, I am wondering what it is that the deacon is holding. I have tried to watch during Mass, but I usually find myself lost in prayer following along in my missal and I miss what is happening.
[/quote]

It sounds like the Monstrance. The Monstrance is usually a sunburst figure in which the Precious Body of Christ is placed for exposition.benediction and adoration. At least that would be my guess. The Monstrance is covered except during times of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.It is not to be handled with bare hands. What is called a humeral veil, is used to cover the hands on those occasions. It is a long piece of elaborate cloth usually, which drapes around the neck.

He is holding the paten. wrapped with the Humeral veil

[quote=QUICUMQUE VULT]He is holding the paten. wrapped with the Humeral veil
[/quote]

At one point, I thought that is what he was holding, but I couldn’t figure out why. Do you know?

[quote=SnorterLuster]At one point, I thought that is what he was holding, but I couldn’t figure out why. Do you know?
[/quote]

As I remember (we haven’t had a Solemn High Mass since Christmas), the subdeacon goes over to the credence table at the Offertory, puts on the humeral veil, and brings the chalice and paten to the altar. Wine and water are added to the chalice, the subdeacon is given back the paten, and he goes to the front of the altar, not lowering it from his eyes except at the Consecration. Then he brings the paten up at the end of the Pater Noster, since it will be needed after the Fractioning of the Host.

I asked Monsignor about it in December, and he said that it is meant to symbolize our unworthiness to even look upon the Sacred Mysteries, much less receive the Eucharist.

Thanks, that makes sense. As much as I think I know, it seems I still find myself learning something every day.

[quote=TLM Altar Boy]As I remember (we haven’t had a Solemn High Mass since Christmas), the subdeacon goes over to the credence table at the Offertory, puts on the humeral veil, and brings the chalice and paten to the altar. Wine and water are added to the chalice, the subdeacon is given back the paten, and he goes to the front of the altar, not lowering it from his eyes except at the Consecration. Then he brings the paten up at the end of the Pater Noster, since it will be needed after the Fractioning of the Host.

I asked Monsignor about it in December, and he said that it is meant to symbolize our unworthiness to even look upon the Sacred Mysteries, much less receive the Eucharist.
[/quote]

I believe I’ve read in The Mass of the Roman Rite, by Jungmann, that this action is symbolic of the ancient Church practice of bringing a small piece of the Host used by the Pope in his Mass, to the surrounding Roman churches as a sign of union/communion with the Holy See.

In Manibus Dei,

  • Mike M.

[quote=muledog]I believe I’ve read in The Mass of the Roman Rite, by Jungmann, that this action is symbolic of the ancient Church practice of bringing a small piece of the Host used by the Pope in his Mass, to the surrounding Roman churches as a sign of union/communion with the Holy See.

In Manibus Dei,

  • Mike M.
    [/quote]

I’ve been wrong before, and I’m sure it’ll happen again. :wink:

So often in the Traditional Mass, though, the practices came into being before symbolisms were attached to them. Depending on where you live and who you talk to, you’ll hear different symbolisms for many actions of the Mass.

Yes, it is the paten being held in the humeral veil, by the subdeacon. We have a Solemn High Mass nearly every Sunday, Deo gratias.

…but shoudnt the priest be holding the paten and host, as he is concecrating it?

The priest offers the host on the paten at the first offertory prayer (Suscipe, sancte Pater), then he places the host on the corporal and the paten is given to the subdeacon. The Host and paten are reunited at the end of the Pater Noster. At Low Mass the paten is placed partially under the corporal during the same interval.

Last Sunday our visiting deacon had a lecture on the symbolism of the TLM. He covered the part of the Sub Deacon covering the paten.

The Sub Deacon is representing the Jews. Since they don’t believe that Jesus is the messiah, they are blinded to the mystery of the faith. The paten is covered as a symbol of their blindness. The paten is uncovered at the words in the Pater Noster “forgive us our tresspasses…” as this refers to the end of time and the Jews will believe in Jesus and the mystery of faith at the end of the world.

So we have one more explanation to ponder.

TLM Altar boy had it right in the first place. It is one of the rules of the subdeacon in a high mass.

[quote=SnorterLuster]Last Sunday our visiting deacon had a lecture on the symbolism of the TLM. He covered the part of the Sub Deacon covering the paten.

The Sub Deacon is representing the Jews. Since they don’t believe that Jesus is the messiah, they are blinded to the mystery of the faith. The paten is covered as a symbol of their blindness. The paten is uncovered at the words in the Pater Noster “forgive us our tresspasses…” as this refers to the end of time and the Jews will believe in Jesus and the mystery of faith at the end of the world.

So we have one more explanation to ponder.
[/quote]

The above is one of the allegories that was invented in the late Middle Ages, AFTER the ceremony was in place. As stated previously in this thread, it was not the original intention. Moreover, many would consider it offensive.

There are a few theories as to why the subdeacon holds the paten with the humeral veil. These seem to relate to the fragment of the host that the priest drops in the chalice at the Comingling after the fraction and hence the apparent pose of adoration but I believe that Joseph Jungman says that the subdeacon holds the paten thusly simply out respect for it as one of the sacred vessels.

[quote=Legatus]There are a few theories as to why the subdeacon holds the paten with the humeral veil. These seem to relate to the fragment of the host that the priest drops in the chalice at the Comingling after the fraction and hence the apparent pose of adoration but I believe that Joseph Jungman says that the subdeacon holds the paten thusly simply out respect for it as one of the sacred vessels.
[/quote]

He holds it thus as handling the vessels is reserved to the Priest and Deacon. Altar Servers do the same thing when holding the Bishop’s staff or Miter.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.