SUNDAY MASS FOR THE SICK
After a long life of unflinching fidelity to Sunday Mass, demonstrated by attendance week after week rain, hail or snow, in sickness or in health there are people in every parish in the country who suddenly find themselves housebound because of sickness, old age or accident. Most of them enjoy the privilege of receiving Holy Communion in their own homes but they lament having lost forever the joy of congregational participation in the Sacrifice of the Altar.
Starting in June this year, Whalley Cassettes are producing a recorded Mass for each Sunday. The recordingts will be on a pair of cassettes covering the four or five Sundays of the month. There will be a different Priest and Congregation for each of the Masses.
The main picture on this page shows the children of Oakhill College, Whalley just after they had acted as a congregation for a Mass recording. The other Priests whose pictures are shown will be recording Masses in their own churches using their own congregations and choirs.
The Mass-programmes do not, of course, take the place of actual participation in the Mass for those who are able to attend, but for those who are deprived of the opportunity through no fault of their own the cassette-Masses unite them intentionally with the congregation. There are Masses on the Radio and T.V. and these are sometimes very well done but frequently the performance aspect bedims the sacrificial element.
One of the holiest and most sacred things we can do is to receive Holy Communion the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord. Nothing must ever be said or written that would in any way denigrate the sanctity of that awe-inspiring action. But holy and sacred as it is Holy Communion comes only second to the Mass itself. We are obliged to attend Mass each Sunday but the obligation of Holy Communion is once a year, and until the time of St. Pope Pius X, many who attended Mass daily received Holy Communion only monthly.
The Sacrifice of the Mass started on the First Maundy Thursday evening when Our Lord changed the substance of the bread and wine into the substance of His Own Body and Blood. The sacrifice was thus sacramentally offered. He then went to the Garden of Olives and offered His Sacrifice spiritually. Without any break he continued His sacrifice physically in his arrest & trial, and continued it in an even more bloody manner through the stages of the Way of the Cross until it consummated in his dying on the Cross. Each part of the Passion story is part of the Mass which is offered by the Risen.Christ from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof on the Altars of the Catholic Church.
Christ's Sacrifice alone can give due honour and glory to God. In Holy Communion the wounds of sin in our own souls are healed but in the Mass the sin of the world is taken away. Holy Communion is for the benefit principally of the one who receives but the Mass is for the benefit of all mankind.
Is it any wonder then that faithful Catholics sorely miss the privilege of attending Mass when they become disabled? Up to that time the Mass had been the centrepiece in their lives.
Our cassette-Masses aim at making it possible for the sick person to participate as fully as he can in the great Eternal action of the worship of God every Sunday,. or every day if he so wishes.
God gives his graces principally through the Sacraments which were instituted by His Son. He can, however, give his graces in other ways too. As a young girl Mary was declared 'full of Grace' even though she didn't make her first Communion until she was nearly fifty years of age. To those who cannot attend Mass but would dearly love to be able to do so God can send his Graces in other ways. It is our sincere wish that the cassette-Apostolate will be a channel of Grace that God can use.
Those who assist in making it possible for the sick person to participate in the Mass in this way, e.g. family, friends, Legion of Mary, S.V.P. are also channels of Grace.
To each sick person registered we will send monthly a pair of cassettes containing the four or five Masses for the respective Sundays of the month and the corresponding missalettes. The cassettes (not the missalettes) are returned at the end of the month. The hire-fee for the month is £2.
There will undoubtedly be many who would love to have the recorded Masses but who genuinely cannot afford the hire-fee. To them the cassettes will be sent free of charge. Each one who received the cassettes and can pay the hire-fee is making it possible for someone else less well blessed financially to participate.
The Tridentine Mass will also be available. This will not be one of the Sunday Masses; it will be on a separate cassette which can be purchased in the ordinary way at £3. There will be a votive Mass of Our Lady, one of the Sacred Heart and a Missa Cantata.
A wide variety of cassettes can be purchased at £3 each (including postage). There are cassettes on Doctrinal, Historical and Devotional subjects. A full catalogue is available on applications Annual subscriptions per Sunday Masses £24.00 and your can receive a free copy of the Sunday Missal when the annual subscription has been paid.