Feria II of Dominica in Albis: Missa “Quasi modo”
In certain parishes Low Sunday is First Holy Communion Day. There is, however, no foundation for this custom in the liturgy. In the ancient Church the catechumens received three sacraments during the Easter vigil service, viz, Baptism, Confirmation and Communion. For this celebration they wore the white robes that were placed upon them immediately after baptism. These white robes of honour they continued to wear for a week, until the following Saturday. Then on Sunday they came to Mass in their ordinary clothing. This meant that they were now full-fledged members of the Church.
Officially the day may be called Dominica in albis, but this title gives no liturgical background for the custom of First Holy Communion. What was proper to this Sunday was the ceremony in which the neophytes publicly pronounced their baptismal vows. This involved two areas of emphasis in their spiritual lives.
a) They bound themselves to keep the faith inviolate and to profess it heroically, even at the cost of their life’s blood. Recall the words from the Epistle, “This is the victory that overcomes the world – our faith.” Only a Christian can make this proud boast. Our faith makes us invincible. But that same boast imposes grave obligations – a life and death struggle with the world, the flesh and the devil.
b) They promised to fashion their mode of life upon the three paschal sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist.
The water of Baptism would constantly remind them of having been reborn to a new life.
The blood of the Eucharist would be a source of never failing strength and would united them tot he Cross of Christ.
The spirit of Confirmation would make them adult spiritually, would transform them into men who conquered and ruled over the flesh and lower nature.
Water, blood, Spirit, then, would shape their future lives and give testimony to the fact that they were genuine Christians.
INTROIT 1 Peter 2: 2
As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat As newborn…
Grant us, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, in our hearts and in our manner of life, at all times to keep to Thee an Easter festival such as we have celebrated. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, unto all thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness both of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of thine eternal gladness.
EPISTLE 1 John 5: 4-10
A reading from the Epistle of the blessed Apostle John. Dearly beloved: Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and This is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth in the Son of God hath the testimony of God in himself.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. On the day of My resurrection, saith the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee. Alleluia. V. After eight days, the doors being shut, Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, and said. Peace be with you. Alleluia.
GOSPEL John 20: 19-31
At that time, when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst and said to them: “Peace be to you.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: “Peace be to you: as the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them, and He said to them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: “Peace be to you.” Then He saith to Thomas: “Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: “Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.” Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of His disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in His name.
OFFERTORY Matthew 28: 2, 5-6
An angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and said to the women: He whom you seek is risen as He said, alleluia.
Graciously receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered in this season of gladness, by Holy Church to Thee: and even as Thou makest her so greatly to rejoice on earth, so do Thou call all her children to share in the endless delights of Heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Through thy mercy, O Lord, and the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may this oblation obtain for us prosperity and peace both now and forever.
PREFACE of Easter
It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION John 20: 27
Put in thy hand, and know the place of the nails, alleluia: and be not incredulous, but believing, alleluia, alleluia.
We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, to make profitable to us, both in this world and in that to come, the sacred mysteries by Thee established for the ensuring of our salvation. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Grant, O Lord, that we, who had partaken of the aids of salvation, may be everywhere protected by the patronage of blessed Mary ever Virgin, in whose honor we have offered these gifts of thy majesty.