Explanation of the Prayers and Ceremonies of Holy Mass
Dom Prosper Gueranger
The prayers from the Mass have been added before the various explanations The Ordinary of the Mass, (or, as it is called in the Roman Missal, Ordo Missae, ) is the summary of the rubrics and prayers, which are used in the celebration of Mass, and which are observed, without any variation, on all the Feasts celebrated by the Church. We shall never have anything like a full idea of the ceremonies of the Mass, unless we keep referring to what is called a High Mass, (Missa Solemnis), and which is the type of all others. Thus, one would ask, why does the Priest say the Epistle at one side of the Altar, and the Gospel at the other? Why not read both from the middle? This has no connection with the Holy Sacrifice itself; it is merely an imitation of what is done in a High Mass, in which the Deacon has to sing the Gospel on the left, and the Subdeacon the Epistle on the right, as we shall explain further on. The Priest who celebrates a Mass without Deacon and Subdeacon, has to take their functions in this instance; and, accordingly, varies his position.