Hebrew-Catholic Liturgy

Todd Levraux- I need to do a preamble here. Please understand these are all personal perceptions. I have no theological backup.

In the Hebrew scriptures, in the story of Cain and Abel, we learn really early that God is more easily placated by blood sacrifices. A little later, the story of Abraham, the element of going up a mountain and building an altar is added. God asks the sacrifice of Abraham’s first son, but then allows a substitution of an animal, instead. Culture historians see that as a turning away from human sacrifice. Another -understanding- “Christians” understand the story as a kind of “not yet” prophecy”, about Christ and his sacrifice up on a cross up on a hill called Calvery.

I cannot say exactly when I began making the connections, but I was still in Catholic grade school when I realized that what we called the Sacrifice of the Mass was a re-playing of both stories as one story, with the exception that the blood sacrifice of the first-born son, the “not-yet prophecy” was considered completed by the Jesus part of the story.

The pre-Vatican 2 altar was a distance away from the people, and elevated. It was reached by three steps up, symbolizing both climbing a mountain and the Trinity. The central part of the Mass (the consecration and the offertory) was said with the priest at the altar, facing away from the congregents. The bread and wine, now consubstansially the Body and Blood (The sacrifice) were elevated up. The focus was on the sacrifice for the people. The priest was there to offer the sacrifice for the people. These were all very Hebraic concepts ( I might argue that the concept, for one, of blood sacrifice pre-dates Judiasm) which the Church kept and adapted for its own use.

Vatican 2 changed all this by bringing the altar down among the people, making the altar more of a community table, with the priest now offering the sacrifice with the people. The Sacrifice is no longer offered up, but out towards the congregation. The liturgical role of Priest, in the Hebraic Temple and pre-Vatican Church has become the Protestant role of Minister after Vatican 2.

Is this enough?


About elrondsilvermaul

I never know what to say about myself. I let what I write try to speak as to who I am. I can only add, here, that I am 72, live in a nursing home, am twenty years a cancer survivor, and identify as a gay male. I intend to use this blog as storage for poems? written over the long years (and still being written). This does not preclude other uses.
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