Posts Tagged ‘mass’

On Gatherings for Worship during the Present Coronavirus Crises – and Thoughts on the Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church

March 16, 2020

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A government order was put out last week, banning all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people here in Ireland. I have been thinking particularly of places of worship in light of the present Coronavirus restrictions but I was especially interested to hear that Roman Catholic bishops have issued a directive prohibiting the gathering for mass anywhere, no matter how small the church. Who would ever have thought that such a thing could happen?
Small churches of other denominations have introduced measures such as no hand-shaking, no passing of “collection plates,” no hymn books and interaction with others reduced to a minimum, while larger churches are not meeting at all, with some having online services.
Reflections on the present surreal situation have led to others about certain denominations, but right now I am thinking of the Roman Catholic Church and its origins, as I have been reading a little leaflet which a friend lent to me recently: “Christianity and Romanism are Different” by Dr M. R. DeHann.
I was interested by the last section of the leaflet… and quote from it below. We would do well to remember that, as the leaflet states, the majority of the things taught by Rome are “NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.”
“29 ADDITIONS TO GOD’S WORD”
The vast majority of the doctrines and beliefs of the Church of Rome have no basis whatsoever in the Bible. They were added at a later date contrary to the clear warning of the Bible in Revelation 22:18. Below is a list of unscriptural doctrines and the dates on which they were made official. All Roman Catholics are demanded to accept them without question.
1. The daily mass, adopted in 394 A.D.
2. The doctrine of purgatory (Pope Gregory), 593 A.D.
3. Prayers to the Virgin Queen of Heaven, 600 A.D.
4. The first Pope (Boniface III) 610 A.D.
5. Kissing the Pope’s foot began in 709 A.D.
6. Temporal power of the Pope declared in 750 A.D.
7. Worship of images, relics and cross 788 A.D.
8. Holy water, blessed by a priest, 850 A.D.
9. Veneration of St. Joseph began in 890 A.D.
10. Canonization of dead saints (Pope John XV) 995 A.D.
11. Lent and Good Friday began in 988 A.D.
12. The mass declared to be a sacrifice of Christ, 1050 A.D.
13. Celibacy of the priesthood and nuns, 1079 A.D.
14. The rosary introduced by Peter the Hermit, 1090 A.D.
15. Selling indulgences began in 1190 A.D.
16. Doctrine of transubstantiation adopted, 1215 A.D.
17. Confession of sins to human priest, 1215 A.D.
18. Adoration of the wafer (Pope Honorius), 1220 A.D.
19. Interpretation of the Bible forbidden to laity, 1229 A.D.
20. Scapular declared a charm against dangers, 1287 A.D.
21. Communion under one kind, 1414 A.D.
22. Seven sacraments declared, 1439 A.D.
23. Superstitions of the Ave Maria (Pope Sixtus V), 1508 A.D.
24. Tradition established as infallible authority, 1545 A.D.
25. Apocryphal books added to the Bible, 1546 A.D.
26. Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, 1854 A.D.
27. Infallibility of the Popes, 1870 A.D.
28. Mary declared to be “Mother of God,” 1931 A.D.
29. Assumption (Translation) of Virgin Mary, 1950 A.D.
The tract continues… This is only a partial list of the things the Roman hierarchy has added to the Bible, and all of it without a shred of divine authority. If time permitted we could show that 75% of these traditions and dogmas accepted by the Roman Church are of pagan origin. This is even admitted by prominent Roman Catholics themselves. Cardinal Newman, one of the most respected authorities in the Roman Church, on page 359 of his book, “The Development of the Christian Religion,” states the following…
“Temples, incense, candles, votive offerings, holy water, holidays, and seasons of devotions, processions, blessing of fields, sacerdotal vestments, priests, monks and nuns, images… etc…. are all of pagan origin.”
At a time when many are alarmed by how swiftly this virus is moving through countries, perhaps it will also be a time of quiet reflection, interruption of old routines and healthy questioning for many. As the old saying goes… “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.” I pray that individuals all over this world will start to think on the value of their souls for whom the Lord Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price; be brought under conviction by the Holy Spirit and take stock of their lives in light of eternity.
Oh that many could see with the hymn writer (Elvina M. Hall 1865), that the Great Price has been paid. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Hebrews 10v11&12)
“Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”
Link to this hymn: https://youtu.be/9bPaXN9j9yQ

The 2012 International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin – and the Mass versus the Book of Hebrews

June 15, 2012

It is eighty years now since the last Eucharistic Congress was held in the city of Dublin and this week I have been reading Roman Catholicism’s statements on the Eucharist, in the light of the book of Hebrews. A Eucharistic Congress I learn… “is an international gathering of people which aims to:

(1) Promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church.

(2) Help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy

(3) Draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist.”

What is the ‘Holy Eucharist,’ according to Roman Catholic doctrine? The ‘Holy Eucharist,’ I am told, ‘is a sacrament and a sacrifice.’

I further am informed that… ‘In the Holy Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered, and received. The whole Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. The words “really, truly, and substantially” are used to describe Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist in order to distinguish Our Lord’s teaching from that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that He is present only by His power.’

Therefore, clearly we understand from Roman Catholic doctrine that ‘the Holy Eucharist’ is a sacrifice. However, when I turn to God’s Word, in the Book of Hebrews, I read these words… “And every priest standeth ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews  10v11-12)

I love the words of Hebrews 10v17-17-20… “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh…”

If the Eucharist as a sacrifice is a ‘bloodless’ sacrifice, then we learn in Hebrews 9v22, that it is futile as a sacrifice, for… “without shedding of blood is no remission.”

On the other hand, if people believe that it is truly the body and blood of Christ, then they are contravening God’s law, for we read… “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to the bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9v27&28)

My prayer is that eyes would be opened by these words…

“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9v24-26)

I feel at this point that I should conclude with the words of Jesus Himself, at the last supper… “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22v17-20)

Jesus by His words and actions was instructing His disciples and ultimately, all those who would come to Him in repentance down through the ages, to “do this in remembrance of me.” The bread and wine were figurative of the greater sacrifice of Himself.

Here is a thought… how could His disciples actually eat Jesus’ body and drink His blood, when He was there in Person, with them?

Jesus often spoke figuratively… “I am the door,” (John 10v9) “I am the true vine.” (John 15v1) “I am the vine, ye are the branches…” (John 15v5) “I am that bread of life.” (John 6v35) “Ye are the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5v13) “Ye are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5v14); “My sheep hear my voice…” (John 10v27)

Prior to last Sunday when I was viewing the special site set up for the purpose of the Eucharistic Congress, I noticed a ‘countdown’ to its commencement. Surely the countdown is getting lower and lower every day, with regard to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ? His last words in the Book of Revelation are: “Surely I come quickly.” (verse 20) I would urge all who read this to seek out the truth in His Word and not to rely on the traditions of men…. “seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you…” (Matthew 7v7) May the Lord bless His Word to all who read with seeking hearts.

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the Sin of the World.” (John1v29)

April 16, 2011

Herein lies the core of the Christian message! Surely no creature is more innocent and harmless than a little lamb, which is why Jesus, the perfect Son of God, is compared to one. I wrote the following lines many years ago when I went for a walk, and then fell asleep under a tree on an April afternoon…

 

The Final Sacrifice

(Hebrews 10)

 I saw a lamb so loveable upon a warm spring day…

How beautiful the innocent when they are at their play!

It jumped and skipped and ran with merry youthful glee,

Then refuge took in mother’s milk, sucking eagerly.

 

I strolled within the meadow green and sat beneath an oak,

Its budding arms drooped over me, my memories awoke.

I thought of all the lambs I’d known, and how with joy they leap,

And then my eyes grew heavy, my memories in sleep.

 

I dreamed I saw ten thousand lambs beneath an eastern sky,

They cried for mother mercy, but they knew that they must die.

Men in flowing robes of old killed them one by one,

Blood upon the doorposts; little ones consumed before the risen sun.

 

Those who sheltered ’neath the blood, escaped God’s wrath that night,

But for those that worshipped Egypt’s gods, how sorry was their plight.

From first-born child and beast, was taken life and breath,

At midnight’s hour so long ago, all Egypt tasted death.

 

And then I heard another Lamb: “It is finished” was His cry,

Because of this, my love for all, no other lambs should die.

I dreamed of this, His sacrifice, the nail prints in His palms,

And how He suffered, died, and rose for we His precious lambs.

 

The whispering wind in the ancient oak stirred me from my sleep,

And I heard again the cry of a lamb, wandering from shepherd’s keep.

Oh come to Him my wounded lamb, now caught in the grove of sin,

Oh come to the fold of the Shepherd of Love and by faith now enter in.

 

You may hear His voice in the city streets – or in a desert place,

He whispers o’er the ocean waves, how wonderful His grace!

He knows your name, He loves your face, the sheep that has gone astray,

And He longs to make your heart His home, before God’s Judgement Day.

 © Elizabeth Burke

 Isaac Watt’s hymn, “Not all the Blood of Beasts” written in 1709, describes it so well. Here are the first two verses…

Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain.

But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.

My prayer is that the Jewish people would see that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10v4) and that those who trust in the sacrifice of the mass would see that “every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God;” (Hebrews 10v11&12). And may those who know Him as Saviour reach out as never before to their fellowmen who have yet to find that “new and living way” which is described in Hebrews 10v20.

Link to this hymn:  http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/n/a/nalblood.htm

The Cremation…A True Story from my Life

July 11, 2010

I wrote this account shortly after the cremation ceremony of a loved one. For my part, I do not like, or agree with cremation, as it has traditionally been viewed as a heathen practice. However, regardless of all of this, the scriptures assure us that one day all bodies will rise again, whether they have been buried, drowned at sea or burned to ashes and scattered in the mountains. I found it to be a distressing day, but I thank God for His sustaining Presence, for the comfort found in the precious Name of His Son, Jesus and that the His Spirit assisted me to express my feelings about the experience…

Life rushed on around the cemetery, traffic piled up on the grey streets; all roads seemed to converge on the inevitable. Wrought iron railings surrounded the grey façade; no kindness was forthcoming in the dark interior; no presence of God, or warmth, or hope… The coffin was carried to the front of the church; the ceremony begun. Looking around, I saw a tear-stained face, pale and full of sorrow. The priest cleared his throat and began to speak. His words droned on; they were words without meaning; hollow emptiness dropping in the shadows of silent grief.

Outside the grey rain pelted against the windows, while the wind whined and blew a flurry of pink petals to the sodden earth. Beauty denied life in its prime, a victim of the winds of life… The priest continued to drone, his disinterested face a mask of sanctimonious solemnity. Duties were performed as a matter of course; payment for praying for the dead, whose eternity had already been sealed – like that gleaming coffin which sat on a marble altar.

The priest turned towards the coffin, in his hand a golden sceptre filled with holy water. He shook it frantically at the shining wood with its gleaming handles, his voice quivering with set prayers. A million tears coursed down the stained glass windows and I bowed my head in prayer. I prayed for those around me and for those who were not here – but never for the dead, for they have lived their lives and God is their Judge. There is but One Mediator, the man Christ Jesus.

When I opened my eyes, there was eerie music playing and great curtains were slowly closing on the gleaming coffin with its beautiful handles. Soon it disappeared from our view – forever. The curtains were closed without a chink and the coffin left to be burned on another day. The polished beauty of the wood and possibly the metal handles would not survive the furnace. Nothing would survive that furnace…

I looked up again to see that the priest had been replaced with someone who had offered to speak about the life of the deceased. A faint gleam of sunlight now beckoned from the rainbow window and I felt a shaft of warmth. His gentle words of love and prayer had not been learned. They came spontaneously from someone who had found the Greatest Love. He spoke of the positive aspects of the life of a loved one; then with tears he told of how he had spoken to him in his final hours… “I said to him: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. If there is nothing else you do on this earth, do this… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!”

A silence reigned as tears trickled down my face and the priest looked on in bewilderment, not understanding this marvellous simplicity. The speaker left the platform, the murmuring congregation arose and the wide doors opened swiftly for us to leave. Just outside the door I looked with compassion at another group of mourners waiting for another rushed ceremony, for another body whose soul had already gone into eternity…