Reasonableness of Catholic Ceremonies and Practices







Imprimi Permittitur.


_Minister Provincialis._

Cincinnati, Ohio, die 30, Martii, 1908.

Nihil Obstat.


_Censor Librorum._



Archbishop of New York.

NEW YORK, March 4, 1909.



Reasonableness of Catholic Ceremonies and Practices


I.--Ceremonies Necessary to Divine Worship

II.--Vestments Used by the Priest at Mass

III.--Ceremonies of the Mass


I.--Vespers and Benediction

II.--Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament

III.--Holy Communion


V.--Honoring the Blessed Virgin

VI.--Confession of Sin

VII.--Granting Indulgences

VIII.--The Last Sacraments

IX.--Praying for the Dead

X.--Praying to the Saints

XI.--Crucifixes, Relics, and Images

XII.--Some Sacramentals--The Books Used by the Priest, the Sign of

the Cross, Holy Water, Blessed Candles, Palm and Ashes, Holy Oils,

Scapulars, Medals, Agnus Dei, Prayers, Litanies, Rosary, Angelus,

Stations, Funeral Service, and Various Blessings

XIII.--The Celebration of Feasts

XIV.--Infant Baptism

XV.--The Marriage Tie--One and Indissoluble

XVI.--Respect Shown to Ecclesiastical Superiors



Reasonableness of Catholic Ceremonies and Practices

"Let the children of Israel make the Phase in due time . . . according

to all the ceremonies thereof" (_Num._ ix 2, 3).

Reasonableness of Catholic Ceremonies and Practices

"The priest shall be vested with the tunic" (_Lev._ vi. 10).

"And he made, of violet and purple, scarlet and fine linen, the

vestments for Aaron to wear when he ministered in the holy places, as

the Lord commanded Moses" (_Ex._ xxxix. 1).

"In every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to My name a

clean offering" (_Malach._ i. 11).

"And another Angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden

censer: and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of

the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the

throne of God" (_Apoc._ viii. 3).

The Ceremonies of the Catholic Church

THE Catholic Church in the celebration of Mass and in the administration

of the sacraments employs certain forms and rites. These are called

ceremonies. By these ceremonies the Church wishes to appeal to the heart

as well as to the intellect, and to impress the faithful with sentiments

of faith and piety.

What is more capable of raising the heart and mind of man to God than a

priest celebrating Mass? What more inspiring than some of our sacred


How beneficial and how lasting the impression formed by the ceremonies

of the Church, the following incident will show:

One of our missionaries once went to visit a tribe of Indians who had

been deprived of a priest for nearly half a century. After traveling

through the forest for some days he came near their village.

'Twas Sunday morning. Suddenly the silence was broken by a number of

voices singing in unison. He stopped to listen. To his great

astonishment he distinguished the music of a Mass, and of Catholic hymns

well known to him.

What could be more touching than this simple, savage people endeavoring

to celebrate the Lord's Day as they had been taught by the priest fifty

years before? What more elevating than those sacred songs--the _Stabat

Mater_, the _O Salutaris_, or the _Te Deum_--uttered by pious lips and

resounding through the forest primeval? What better evidence could we

have of the beneficial effects of our ceremonies in raising the heart to


And yet few things connected with our holy religion have been more

frequently subjected to ridicule than her ceremonies. People scoff at

them, laugh at them, call them foolish and unreasonable. Those people do

not stop to consider that by doing so they, themselves, are acting most

unreasonably. For no reasonable person, no judge, will condemn another

without hearing both sides of the question.

These wiseacres, however, flatter themselves that they know all about

the Catholic Church and her ceremonies without hearing her side of the

case. Hence the misunderstandings and misrepresentations regarding her

that exist among well-meaning people.

If people would but learn to speak about that which they knew and

understood; if they would accord to the Catholic Church the same

treatment as to other institutions; if they would examine both sides of

the question before criticising and ridiculing her teachings and her

ceremonies; if they would but treat her with that openness, that

fairness, that candor, that honestycharacteristic of the American

citizen when dealing with other questions--what a vast amount of

ignorance, of prejudice, of sin would be avoided!

We claim that ceremonies used in the worship of God are reasonable,

because they were sanctioned by God in the Old Testament and by Jesus

Christ and His apostles in the New Law.

I. Ceremonies Necessary to Divine Worship

THE angels are pure spirits. They have no body. Consequently the worship

they render God is spiritual, interior.

The heavenly bodies are not spiritual, but entirely material substances.

They render God a sort of externalworship according to the words of the

prophet Daniel, "Sun and moon bless the Lord, . . . stars of heaven

bless the Lord. Praise and exalt Him forever." Man has a soul, a

spiritual substance similar to the heavenly bodies. He should,

therefore, honor God by the twofold form of worship, interior and


"God is a spirit; and they that adore Him must adore Him in spirit and

in truth" (_John_ iv. 24).

From these words of the beloveddisciple we are not to conclude that

interior worship is prescribed as the only essential, and exterior

worship condemned. True piety must manifest itself externally. Man

naturally manifests his feelings by outward signs and ceremonies.

The Catholic Church recognizes that man has a heart to be moved as well

as an intellect to be enlightened. She enlightens the intellect by her

good books, sermons, etc.; and she moves the heart by the grandeur of

her ceremonies.

If any one doubts that God considers ceremonies necessary to divine

worship, let him read the books of Leviticus and Exodus. Almost the

whole of these books treats of the rites and ceremonies used by the then

chosen people of God in their public worship.

The 26th, 27th, and 28th chapters of Exodus prescribe the form of the

tabernacle and its appurtenances, the size of the altar and the oil for

the lamps, and the holy vestments which Aaron and his sons were to wear

during the performance of the public ceremonies.

The book of Leviticus treats more particularly of the sacrifices, rites,

and ceremonies of the priests and Levites.

"And the Lord called Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of the

testimony, saying: Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say

to them: The man among you that shall offer to the Lord a sacrifice of

the cattle, that is, offering victims of oxen and sheep, if his offering

be a holocaust and of the herd, he shall offer a male, without blemish,

at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony, to make the Lord

favorable to him. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the victim,

and it shall be acceptable and help to his expiation" (_Lev._ i. 1_ et


After enumerating all the sacrifices and ceremonies, the sacred writer

closes the book of Leviticus with the words, "These are the precepts

which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount

Sinai," thus showing that He considers ceremonies necessary to divine


The religion instituted by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is more

spiritual than that of the Old Law. Nevertheless He did not discard

ceremonies. In the Garden of Gethsemani He fell upon His knees in humble

supplication. He went in procession to Jerusalem preceded by a great

multitude strewing palm-branches on the road and singing, "Hosanna to

the Son of David." Before He cured the deaf and dumb man, He put His

fingers into his ears and touched his tongue with spittle, and looking

up to heaven He groaned and said, "Ephpheta," which is, "Be thou


At the Last Supper He invoked a blessing on the bread and wine, and

after the supper He chanted a hymn with His disciples--ceremonies

similar to those used in the Mass. When He imparted the Holy Ghost to

His apostles, He breathed upon them. In a similar way they and their

successors communicated the Holy Ghost upon others by breathing upon

them, laying their hands upon them and praying over them, when

conferring the sacrament of Holy Orders.

St. James directs that if any man is sick he shall call in a priest of

the Church, who shall anoint him with oil, as is done in the sacrament

of Extreme Unction.

We must, therefore, admit that ceremonies used in the worship of God are

reasonable, since they are sanctioned by God in the Old Law and by Jesus

Christ and His apostles in the New Testament.

All these acts of Our Saviour--the prostration in the Garden, the

procession to Jerusalem, the touching of the deaf man's ears, the

chanting of the hymn, the laying on of hands, the anointing of the

sick--are but so many ceremonies serving as models of the ceremonies

used by the Catholic Church in her public worship and in the

administration of her sacraments.

II. Vestments Used by the Priest at Mass

BEFORE entering upon an explanation of the ceremonies of the Mass, which

is our principal act of public worship, let us examine the meaning of

the vestments worn by the priest during the celebration of that august

sacrifice. First, it is well to remember that these vestments come down

to us from the time of the apostles, and have the weight of antiquity

hanging upon them. Hence, if they did not demand our respect as

memorials of Christ, they are at least deserving of attention on account

of their antiquity.

The 28th chapter of Exodus tells us the sacred vestments God wished the

priests of the Old Law to wear during the public worship. "And these

shall be the vestments which they shall make: a rational and an ephod, a

tunic and a straight linen garment, a mitre and a girdle. They shall

make the holy vestments for thy brother Aaron and his sons, that they

may do the office of priesthood unto Me." As God in the Old Law

prescribed vestments for the priests, so the Church, guided by God,

prescribes sacred vestments to be worn by the priest of the New Law

while engaged in the sacred mysteries.

The long black garment which the priest wears around the church in all

the sacred functions is called a _cassock_. Kings and officers of the

army wear a special uniform when performing their public duties; priests

wear _cassocks_ and other special garments when performing their public

duties. These vestments are used to excite the minds of the faithful to

the contemplation of heavenly things.

Who, for example, can behold the cross on the chasuble the priest wears

without thinking of all Christ suffered for us on the cross? As the

priest in celebrating Mass represents the person of Christ, and the Mass

represents His passion, the vestments he wears represent those with

which Christ was clothed at the time of the passion.

The first vestment the priest puts on over the _cassock_ is called an

_amice_. It is made of linen, and reminds us of the veil that covered

the face of Jesus when His persecutors struck Him. (_Luke_ xxii. 64.)

When the priest puts on the _amice_ he first places it on his head, thus

recalling to mind the crown of thorns that pierced the head of Jesus.

The _alb_ (from _albus_, white) represents the white garment with which

Christ was vested by Herod when sent back to Pilate dressed as a fool.

(_Luke_ xxii. 11.)

White is emblematic of purity. Hence the wearer is reminded of that

purity of mind and body which he should have who serves the altar of the

Most High.

The _cincture_, or girdle, as well as the _maniple_ and _stole_,

represent the cords and bands with which Christ was bound in the

different stages of His passion. St. Matthew says in the 22d verse of

the 27th chapter, "They brought Him _bound_ and delivered Him to Pontius

Pilate, the governor."

The _chasuble_, or outer vestment the priest wears, represents the

purple garment with which Christ was clothed as a mock king. "And they

clothed Him with purple" (_Mark_ xv. 17). Upon the back of the

_chasuble_ you see a cross. This represents the cross Christ bore on His

sacred shoulders to Calvary, and upon which He was crucified.

In these vestments, that is, in the _chasuble_, _stole_, and _maniple_,

the Church uses five colors--white, red, purple, green, and black.

White, which is symbolic of purity and innocence, is used on the feasts

of Our Lord, of the Blessed Virgin, of the angels, and of the saints

that were not martyrs.

Red, the symbol of fortitude, is used on the feast of Pentecost, of the

Exaltation of the Cross, of the apostles and martyrs.

Purple, or violet (the color of penance), is used in Advent and Lent.

Green (the color of hope) is used on all Sundays when no special feast

is celebrated, except the Sundays of Lent and Advent.

Black (the color of mourning) is used on Good Friday and during the

celebration of Mass for the dead.

Thus we see that each vestment and color used has a special


All are calculated to attract our attention, elevate our minds to God,

and fill us with a desire to do something for Him Who has done so much

for us--to at least keep His commandments.

One word about the use of Latin in the celebration of Mass will perhaps

be appropriate here. History tells us that when Christianity was

established the Roman Empire had control of nearly all of Europe, Asia,

  • catholic [´kæθəlik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.天主教 n.天主教徒   (初中英语单词)
  • divine [di´vain] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神圣的 v.预言   (初中英语单词)
  • priest [pri:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教士;牧师;神父   (初中英语单词)
  • funeral [´fju:nərəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.葬礼,丧葬;困难   (初中英语单词)
  • violet [´vaiələt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.紫罗兰(的);紫色   (初中英语单词)
  • purple [´pə:pl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.紫色 a.紫(红)的   (初中英语单词)
  • scarlet [´skɑ:lit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猩红色 a.猩红的   (初中英语单词)
  • impress [im´pres, ´impres] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.铭刻 n.印记;特征   (初中英语单词)
  • faithful [´feiθfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.忠实的;可靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • capable [´keipəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有能力;能干的   (初中英语单词)
  • impression [im´preʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.印刷;印象;效果   (初中英语单词)
  • incident [´insidənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小事件;事变   (初中英语单词)
  • savage [´sævidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.野蛮的 n.蛮人   (初中英语单词)
  • celebrate [´selibreit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.庆祝;表扬;赞美   (初中英语单词)
  • sacred [´seikrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神圣的;庄严的   (初中英语单词)
  • acting [´æktiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.代理的 n.演戏   (初中英语单词)
  • reasonable [´rizənəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.合理的;有理智的   (初中英语单词)
  • condemn [kən´dem] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.谴责;定罪,判处   (初中英语单词)
  • flatter [´flætə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.阿谀,奉承;胜过   (初中英语单词)
  • accord [ə´kɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.符合 vt.给与   (初中英语单词)
  • amount [ə´maunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总数;数量 v.合计   (初中英语单词)
  • worship [´wə:ʃip] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.崇拜;敬仰   (初中英语单词)
  • spiritual [´spiritʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神(上)的;神圣的   (初中英语单词)
  • interior [in´tiəriə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.内部地(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • beloved [bi´lʌvd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.为….所爱的 n.爱人   (初中英语单词)
  • essential [i´senʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.必需的 n.要素,要点   (初中英语单词)
  • performance [pə´fɔ:məns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.履行;行为;工作   (初中英语单词)
  • christ [kraist] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.基督 int.天啊!   (初中英语单词)
  • nevertheless [,nevəðə´les] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.&ad.然而;不过   (初中英语单词)
  • procession [prə´seʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.队伍 v.列队行进   (初中英语单词)
  • blessing [´blesiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.祝福   (初中英语单词)
  • extreme [ik´stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尽头的 n.极端   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • explanation [,eksplə´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.解释;说明;辩解   (初中英语单词)
  • principal [´prinsəpəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.主要的 n.负责人   (初中英语单词)
  • garment [´gɑ:mənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.衣服,外衣   (初中英语单词)
  • excite [ik´sait] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.激动;引起,招惹   (初中英语单词)
  • passion [´pæʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.激情;激怒;恋爱   (初中英语单词)
  • purity [´pjuəriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.纯净;贞洁   (初中英语单词)
  • celebrated [´selibreitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.著名的   (初中英语单词)
  • cincinnati [,sisin´næti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.辛辛那提   (高中英语单词)
  • celebration [,seli´breiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.庆祝(会);庆典   (高中英语单词)
  • israel [´izreiəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.以色列   (高中英语单词)
  • incense [´insens, in´sens] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.香(气) vt.激怒   (高中英语单词)
  • appeal [ə´pi:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.请求;呼吁;上诉   (高中英语单词)
  • lasting [´lɑ:stiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.持久的;永远的   (高中英语单词)
  • distinguished [di´stiŋgwiʃt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.卓越的,著名的   (高中英语单词)
  • hearing [´hiəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听力;听证会;审讯   (高中英语单词)
  • regarding [ri´gɑ:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • honesty [´ɔnisti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.诚实,老实   (高中英语单词)
  • characteristic [,kæriktə´ristik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.特有的 n.特性   (高中英语单词)
  • dealing [´di:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.交易;来往   (高中英语单词)
  • prejudice [´predʒədis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.偏见;不利 vt.损害   (高中英语单词)
  • consequently [´kɔnsikwəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此,所以   (高中英语单词)
  • heavenly [´hevənli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.天的,天空的   (高中英语单词)
  • external [ik´stə:nəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.外部的;外面的   (高中英语单词)
  • manifest [´mænifest] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的 v.表明   (高中英语单词)
  • outward [´autwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.外面的 ad.向外   (高中英语单词)
  • prescribe [pri´skraib] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.指示;处(方);嘱咐   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • offering [´ɔfəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.提供;礼物;捐献   (高中英语单词)
  • testimony [´testiməni] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.证明;证据;表明   (高中英语单词)
  • jerusalem [dʒe´ru:sələm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.耶路撒冷   (高中英语单词)
  • girdle [´gə:dl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.腰带 vt.用带束(缠)   (高中英语单词)
  • innocence [´inəsəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无罪;天真   (高中英语单词)
  • virgin [´və:dʒin] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.处女(般)的 n.处女   (高中英语单词)
  • symbol [´simbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.符号;象征   (高中英语单词)
  • appropriate [ə´prəupri-it, ə´prəuprieit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.适宜的 vt.私占;拨给   (高中英语单词)
  • christianity [,kristi´æniti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.基督教;基督精神   (高中英语单词)
  • blessed [´blesid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.享福的;神圣的   (英语四级单词)
  • intellect [´intilekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.智力;有才智的人   (英语四级单词)
  • beneficial [,beni´fiʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有利的,有益的   (英语四级单词)
  • touching [´tʌtʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.动人的 prep.提到   (英语四级单词)
  • ridicule [´ridikju:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.嘲笑;奚落   (英语四级单词)
  • unreasonable [ʌn´ri:zənəbl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不合理的;荒唐的   (英语四级单词)
  • testament [´testəment] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.契约,誓约;遗嘱   (英语四级单词)
  • disciple [di´saipəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.门徒,弟子   (英语四级单词)
  • grandeur [´grændʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伟大;富丽;壮观   (英语四级单词)
  • acceptable [ək´septəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可接受的;合意的   (英语四级单词)
  • saviour [´seiviə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.救星;救助者   (英语四级单词)
  • anoint [ə´nɔint] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.涂油于,用油擦   (英语四级单词)
  • rational [´ræʃənəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.(有)理性的;合理的   (英语四级单词)
  • contemplation [,kɔntem´pleiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.注视;冥想;打算   (英语四级单词)
  • advent [´ædvent] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.来临;降临   (英语四级单词)
  • ecclesiastical [i,kli:zi´æstikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.基督教会的;教士的   (英语六级单词)
  • unison [´ju:nisən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.协调,一致;齐唱   (英语六级单词)
  • tabernacle [´tæbənækəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.临时住房,帐篷   (英语六级单词)
  • fortitude [´fɔ:titju:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.坚忍;刚毅   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:46:48
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