Wednesday, 28 January 2015

How Christ said the first mass, By Rev. James L. Meagher, D.D. Part 19.



ALTAR BREADS IN THE LATIN CHURCH.

The "showbreads" were the twelve loaves of proposition bread, placed each Sabbath in the Holies of the Temple with the wine to foretell the bread and wine of the Mass. ... "In the case of the showbreads, there were priests who were thoroughly competent for their work, but the Passover loaves are prepared by ordinary people."
The Garmo family from remote ages made the show-breads or proposition bread, and were very expert, having a secret way of making very fine thin breads, similar to our altar breads. Because they would not reveal the process they were blamed in the Temple prayers.
"The showbreads were prepared with the utmost skill, and how can they be compared to ordinary loaves? For the former dry wood only was used, while for the latter damp wood may be used. The former were baked in a hot oven, while the latter are often baked in a cooler oven. For the baking of showbreads an iron stove was used, while for the Passover cakes an earthen oven was considered sufficient. If such cakes are made, they should be made as thin as wafers, not as thick as loaves, because in the latter event they might become leaven."
The custom of making the altar breads as thin as possible in the Latin Church follows the ancient Jewish custom. To signify the Holy Ghost dwelling in the humanity of Christ hidden under the species of bread on our altars, the Jews mixed olive oil with the flour of which they made the wafers.
"The quantity of oil mixed with the dough is so insignificant, that it is not counted, for a quarter of a log of oil is used for a great many cakes. A woman should not knead dough for the Passover except with Shelanu water,—"Our" water, 1 that is, not water left over night, but drawn that day especially for the Passover bread." 2
This was the water the man was bringing into the city when the apostles Peter and John met him, as Christ foretold, "Behold as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, follow him into the house which he entereth." 3

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE WAFERS.

"A woman should not knead her dough in the glare of the sun, nor with water that had been heated by the sun. Also not with water that had been left over in a muliar, "kettle," and should not remove her hands in general, until her bread is baked. She also requires two vessels filled with water. One to cool off her hands while kneading, the other to moisten her dough before putting it in the oven."
When she had rolled the wafers as thin as possible, she made the imprint of her five fingers in each, as she supposed, to make them bake better, not knowing they foretold the five wounds in Christ's dead body. The Jewish cakes for the Passover and the Temple, of unleaven bread come down to us in the altar breads with figures of the cross, etc., in crackers of commerce, the "hard tack" of soldiers and sailors with their figures copied from the imprints of the fingers in the Passover cakes. Before baking they anointed each cake with oil in the form of a cross, or Greek X. 4 "The continual daily Temple sacrifice 5 was slaughtered half an hour after the eighth hour and sacrificed half an hour after the ninth hour."
They began to count the hours at six in the morning. This relates to the afternoon service at three o'clock, the morning sacrifice being offered at nine. For Christ was condemned to death by Pilate at nine, nailed to the cross at noon and died at three. The time given here is from half-past two to half-past three p.m. for during that and hour the Temple Liturgy was sung, the lamb slaughtered, the prayers sung.
"But the day before Passover, whether that day happened to be a week day or a Sabbath, it was slaughtered half an hour after the seventh hour, and sacrificed half an hour after the eighth hour. The statement refers to the paschal lamb.
"The daily evening offering precedes the Passover-sacrifice, and the Passover-sacrifice precedes the burning of incense, and the incense precedes the lighting of the candles. 6 There is nothing which may be offered up before the daily morning sacrifice, except incense, which is burned before the daily sacrifice. 7

AVARICE OF TEMPLE PRIESTS.

"Mishna: If the Passover-sacrifice had not been slaughtered for the purpose of sacrificing it as a Passover sacrifice, or its blood had not been received for that purpose, or if the blood had not been brought to the altar, and sprinkled for that purpose, or if one act had been accomplished in order to make it a Passover-sacrifice, and another not for that purpose, or if the reverse had taken place—it is not valid." One of the cakes was sent to the priests of the Temple as a "first-fruit offering." The three remaining were for the Passover. The dough remaining after the cakes now called Kiccar "circle" had been baked, they burned as an offering to the Lord.
"Have we not learned in a Mishna, however, that a trifle over five quarts of flour, equal to five logs in Sepphoris, and to seven logs and a trifle over as used in the desert, which in turn equal an omer, are subject to the first of the dough? Our wives bake in small quantities on the Passover, not over three logs of flour at a time.
"Three women may occupy themselves with their dough, but in the following manner, one should knead the dough, another form it, and the third bake it. The same woman who kneads should also moisten the dough, and the one next to her should then take up the kneading; while the former is baking, the latter should moisten the dough, and the third woman should take up the kneading. Thus the first woman will commence the kneading, while the last is moistening the dough and so on in rotation." 8
This was the unfermented bread the Greeks called azymus mentioned forty one times in the Old Testament. St. Matthew called it "the azymes." 9 The Jews of our day at Passover bake a bread called "rich azymos" made with eggs, milk, sugar etc., which they give to the sick and Gentiles, while some give away the ordinary Passover bread. 10
"Formerly the hides of the sacrificed animals were left in the chamber of Parvah (one of the Temple chambers mentioned in the Tract Midath). At night the priests ministering during that week, would divide those hides among themselves. The more powerful among the priests would appropriate more than their share.

THE GOLD HOUSE.

So it was ordered that the division should be made every eve of Sabbath in the presence of all the men composing the twenty-four "courses" watches of the Temple. Still the more powerful priests would appropriate more than was due them. In consequence, persons bringing sacrifices decided to consecrate the hides for the use of the Temple. It was said that it did not take very long before it was possible to cover the entire Temple with disks of gold, one ell square and of the thickness of a golden Dinar. At the time of the festivals, the disks were placed on the mound of the Temple, in order that the pilgrims coming up to Jerusalem might see them, for they were beautifully worked and were not counterfeited.
"There were sycamore-trees in Jericho, which the priests forcibly appropriated for their own use, in consequence of which the owners consecrated them for the use of the Temple. Concerning such outrages and such priests, Abba Saul ben Batnith in the name of Abba Joseph ben Hanin said:

''Woe is me on account of the house of Baithos.
"Woe is me on account of their rods.
"Woe is me through the house of Hanin and through their calumnies.
"Woe is me through the house of Kathros 11 and through their pens.
"Woe is me on account of the house of Ismael ben Piakhi and of their fists.
"For they were all high priests.
"Their sons were the treasurers.
"Their sons-in-law were the chamberlains,
"And their servants would beat us with rods."

The Temple was famed all over the world because it was covered with these plates of Solid pure gold, each about a yard square and as thick as a twenty-five cent piece. From another part of the Talmud we learn that they first filled every crack between the white marble stones with beeswax, and attached the plates with gold nails. The great building inclosing the Holies and the Holy of Holies was therefore called in Hebrew writings "The Gold House." It was 150 feet square—all its walls and roof within and without covered with gold. 12

SIX DEEDS OF KING HEZEKIAH.

The reader may judge from this statement the avarice of the priests. Another account says that at first the priests were chosen for the weekly ministry as they came into the Temple. But once as they were rushing up the marble steps of the Nicanor Gate, one priest pushed another down and broke his leg Another time while they were running in, one stabbed the other to death and the Beth Din "The Judges of the House of Law," established the custom of choosing them to minister the following week by counting fingers.
In the poem we have given on their degradation, the "house of Hanin" was the family of Annas, father-in law of Joseph Caiphas, who sentenced Christ to death. This Annas had five sons and five daughters and his sons-in-law, one after the other, became high priests. But like himself they were deposed from the office by the Roman procurators for their crimes.
"Mishna: The inhabitants of Jericho were wont to do six things; three of these were done contrary to the wishes of the sages, and three were done with their sanction. They would graft palm-trees the whole day of the 14th, they would read the Shema with the additional versicles, and they would heap up new grain into sheaves, before acquitting the Omer, "first offering" thereof. 13
"Six things were done by King Hezekiah, 14 three of which met with approval, and three with disapproval. He caused the bones of his father (the wicked Achaz) to be transported on a litter of ropes (the Talmud has here in a note, "As a mark of disrespect") and this was approved of; he caused the brazen serpent to be broken to pieces (this was the brazen serpent Moses made in the desert, 15 which the Jews adored as an idol) and it was also approved; he secreted the book of medicine, and this was also approved. He cut off the gold from the gates of the Temple, and sent it to the King of Assyria; he stopped up the upper mouth of the waters of Gihon, and made the month of Nisan intercalary, all of which were not approved. 16
"From the time of Min'hah," etc. The schoolmen asked: Does this refer to the long Min'hah, the time for which commences at the half of the eighth hour (that is at 1.30 p.m.,) or to the short Min'hah, the time for which commences at the half of the tenth hour? (That is at 3.30 in the afternoon.) Is it not lawful to eat from the time of the long Min'hah, because thereby the time in which the paschal offering must be brought will be taken up?

ORIGIN OF THE ALTAR CLOTHS.

"We have learned: Even King Agrippa 17 whose wont it was to eat at the ninth hour of the day, (three p.m.) should not eat on the eve of the Passover until it becomes dark. Now if the short Min'hah is meant, after which it is not lawful to eat, then the case of King Agrippa is worthy of note. But if the long Min'hah is meant, what proof does this case exhibit then, that it was only because the meal would interfere with the paschal offering, and why is Agrippa's case specially mentioned? Hence we may infer that the short Min'hah is meant.
"Mishna: On the eve of any Passover, it is not lawful for a person to eat from the time of Min'hah until after dark. Even the meanest in Israel shall not eat until they have arranged themselves in proper order, at ease round the table, nor shall a person have less than four cups of wine, even if they must be given him from funds devoted to the charitable support of the very poor. A person must not eat aught on the eve of the Sabbath, or of a festival, from the time of the Min'hah on, in order that the entry of the Sabbath, or the festival, may find him in a condition to relish a meal.
"A table must not be brought for each guest separately, unless the Kiddush had already been recited by the head of the household, but if a table had been set before him before the Kiddush had been recited, then the guest should cover the table set before him with a cloth, and himself pronounce that benediction."
The Kiddush, "Prayer," was the prayer said before meals. The table was always covered with linen tablecloths at the Passover. In rich houses they used three cloths, one over the other. This was the origin of the three linen altar cloths covering our altars in churches of the Latin Rite. The Greeks use altar cloths of silk.

THE NINE DAYS OF MOURNING.

On the ninth day of Ab, God ordered the Hebrews, because of their sins, to wander forty years in the desert, living on manna, figure of the Eucharist. On the ninth of Ab, five hundred and ninety-eight years before Christ, the Babylonians destroyed Solomon's magnificent Temple. More than six hundred years later, on the ninth of Ab, in the year A. D. 70, the Romans under Titus destroyed the great Temple Herod built, and which Christ had visited so many times. On the ninth of Ab, Bethar fell, and vast numbers of Jews were slaughtered. On the ninth of Ab a year later, Hadrian drew the plow over the ruins of the holy city. Jerusalem became a Roman colony called Aelia Capitolina, and Jews were forbidden, under pain of death, to enter within its walls. Down the centuries since, the Jews fast on the ninth of Ab, in memory of these five great calamities which fell on their nation.
They also observe three other fast days in connection with the fall of Jerusalem,—the tenth day of Tebet, when the siege began, the seventeenth of Tamuz, when the first breach was made in the wall, the third day of Tishri, when Gedaliah, their leader, was assassinated,— the last day being known as the Fast of Gedaliah.
During these days, beginning with the first of Ab, no meat is eaten, no wine drunk, no pleasure permitted. The "Nine days," so-called, are days of mourning in all Israel, and the synagogues are filled with weeping, mourning and fasting Jews. The homes are all darkened, shutters closed, blinds drawn and home lighted only by candles.
Barefooted, ashes on their heads, strict Hebrews of our day clothe themselves in sackcloth, recline on the floor, or on low seats and boxes, and they tell their children the story of the sieges and calamities of Jerusalem. They read the Lamentations of Jeremias to their families, and in the synagogues sermons are delivered on the sorrows of Israel. The Hassan and Rabbi in mournful cadence sing the plaintive songs called Kinoth, with the congregation chanting the woes of Israel, especially the Ode to Sion, by Judah ha Levi. In the synagogue of Jerusalem, the Scrolls of the Law, as well as the holy shrine, the Aaron where it rests, are draped in black.

THE WALL OF WAILING.

Clothed in black, they go to the western wall of Solomon's Temple, the great foundations still standing in the Tyropoeon valley, within the city, and, turning their faces to the ancient walls called the "Wall of Wailing," they chant the prayers for the restoration of Zion. From this mourning service, with its black garments, the Church copied the black vestments and the dark mourning decorations of our funeral services.
It is sad to see them there in Jerusalem, with faces turned to the wall, swaying back and forth, and from side to side, wailing, weeping, lamenting the destruction of their city, the scattering of Israel, the ruin of the Temple. But it seems God hears them not, for they pray, not for spiritual, but for temporal things,—the coming of their Messiah to make them rulers over all the earth. Christians, with Mohammedans, look on, and many mocked them.
"The sages, however, said it was customary in Judea to work until noon on the day preceding Passover, but in Galilee no work was performed on that day. The night preceding that day the school of Shamai prohibits work to be done, while the school of Hillel permits it till sunrise. Said R. Meir: 'Every occupation which had been commenced prior to the fourteenth of Nisan, may be finished on that day, but no new work may be commenced, even if it can be finished on that day.' The sages, however, are of the opinion that the three following crafts, tailors, barbers, and clothes-washers, may pursue their calling until noon that day.
"Tailors may pursue their occupation, because any man may of necessity mend his garments on the days intervening between the first and last days of the festival. Barbers and clothes-washers may pursue their calling, because those that arrive from a sea-voyage, or those that are released from imprisonment, may trim their hair, and wash their clothes on the days intervening between the first and last days of the festival. R. Jose ben Jehudah says that shoemakers may pursue their calling, because pilgrims, who journey to Jerusalem for the festival, mend their shoes in the intervening days."
When the Passover fell on the eve of, or on a Sabbath, lest they might break the Sabbath by any kind of labor,
they stuck the sacrificial knife in the sheep's wool, or tied it between the goat's horns, as they led the animal to the altar.

OFFERINGS OF THE LAITY FORETOLD.

"Mishna: Under what circumstances is it allowed to bring a festal offering in addition to the paschal sacrifice? When the paschal sacrifice is sacrificed on weekdays, when those offering it are legally clean, and if it is insufficient for those appointed to partake thereof, the festal offering may be brought as a flock of cattle, lambs, or goats, and may be either male or female. The festal offering, brought on the fourteenth with the paschal sacrifice, only fulfils the duty of enjoying the festival, but the injunction, not to come empty into the Temple, is not satisfied thereby. It should be consumed in the course of one day and night, and must not be eaten except it be roasted, and not by any one except those appointed to eat the paschal sacrifice." 18
Thus were foretold the offerings the laity must make for the support of religion. The collections in our churches go back to apostolic times, and beyond to the days of Hebrew kings. The following relates to the joy with which we celebrate Sundays and feasts.
"Peace-offerings brought on the eve of Passover fulfils the duty of rejoicing on the festival, as it need not be brought at the time when rejoicing is already a duty, but may be brought previously; but it does not fulfil the duty of bringing the festal offering, because it is consecrated, and the festal offering must be brought."
Under priests' directions the laity slaughtered the lambs, foretelling that the Swiss Guards of Pilate's palace crucified Christ, and the Roman procurator urged on by the priests who cried "Crucify him," etc., condemned the Lord to death.
"The priests removed the blood, the priest nearest the altar squirted the blood on the altar, etc., as it is written: 'Their blood only thou shalt pour on the altar, and their fat thou shalt burn for a most sweet odor to the Lord.' " 19 "It does not say its blood or its fat, but in the plural, their blood and their fat, which signifies that the blood of the firstlings, and of the first tithes, and of the Passover-sacrifice, must be sprinkled, and the pieces which must be offered should be offered on the altar.

PASCHAL SACRIFICE.

" 'And he shall immolate it at the side of the altar that looketh to the north before the Lord, but the sons of Aaron shall pour the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 20 And he shall put of the same blood on the horns of the altar, that is before the Lord, in the tabernacle of the testimony, and the rest of the blood he shall pour at the foot of the altar of holocaust.' 21
"The Passover-sacrifice was slaughtered for three successive divisions of men, because it was written. 22 'The whole assembly, of the congregation, of Israel shall slaughter it.' These three divisions were necessary according to the expressions "assembly," "congregation," and "Israel." The first division entered until the court of the Temple was filled, when the doors of the court were closed, and the cornet horn sounded Tekiah, one blast, Teruah a succession of quick blasts, and Tekiah another blast. The priests then placed themselves in double rows each priest holding a chalice of silver or a chalice of gold in his hands, but one row of priests had to hold all silver chalices and the other all gold—they were not allow to be mixed. These goblets had no stands underneath, so that the priests might not put them down and allow the blood to coagulate.
"The Israelite slaughtered, and the priest received the blood, and gave it to another priest, who in turn passed it to another, each receiving a full chalice, at the same time returning an empty one. The priest nearest the altar squirted it out in one stream at the base of the altar. The first division went out, and the second entered; when that went out, the third entered in the same way as the first, so did also the second and third division proceed.
"The Hallel prayer of praise was read by each division. If they had finished before completing their duties, they began it over again, and might even say it for a third time, although it never happened that there was occasion to say it thrice. 23
"The same things that were done on week-days were also done on the Sabbath, except that the priests would that day wash the court, contrary to the wishes of the sages.' R. Jehudah says: 'A cup was filled with the mixed blood of all the sacrifices and was squirted in one stream on the altar.' "

DIVISION OF THE SACRIFICE.

This chalice of mixed blood from all the sacrifices pointed to the one sacrifice of Calvary. The skin of the lamb was taken off while the victim was tied up to the pillar, to foretell how Christ was scourged when he was tied to iron hooks in the granite pillar in Pilate's Forum.
"In what manner was the paschal sacrifice suspended and its skin removed? Iron hooks were fixed to the walls and pillars on which the sacrifice was suspended and its skin removed. Those who could not find a place to do it in that manner, used thin smooth sticks of wood provided there for that purpose, on which they suspended the paschal sacrifice, resting the sticks between the shoulders of two persons to remove the skin. If the 14th of Nisan occurred on a Sabbath, one person would place his left hand on the right shoulder of another, and the latter would place his right hand on the left shoulder of the former, and thus suspending the sacrifice on the arms they would remove the skin with their right hands." When the sacrifice had been opened, the pieces which were to be sacrificed on the altar were removed, placed on a large dish and offered up with incense on the altar. When the first division had gone out, they would remain on the Temple mound, the second would remain in the open space between the walls of the Temple, and the third division would remain in its place. As soon as it became dark, they all went out to roast their sacrifices.

Passover, p. 66, 67.

2 See Zanolini, De Festis Judæorum, c. 4, note.

3 Luke xxii. 10-11.

4 Edersheim, Temple, p. 155. etc.

5 Numb, xxviii. 3.

6 Exod. xii. 6, Deut. xvi. 6.

7 Exod. XXX. 7.

8 Passover Cap. 111-77.

Mat. xxvi. 17.

10 See Zanolini, De Festis, c. 4.

11 Kathros means the quarrelsome.

12 See Passover, p. 103.

13 Passover, p. 99,102, etc.

14 Ezechias I., was the 16th king of Juda, born in the year 3.309, nine years after the founding of Rome, 743 before Christ. His history will be found in IV. Kings, chapters xv., xvi., and II. Par. xxvii. 88.

15 Numb. xxi. 9.

16 Passover p. 99-102.

17 This Herod Agrippa, Acts ii., was the grandson of Herod the Great, through Mariamne descendant of the Machabees, his father being Alexander, whom the first Herod strangulated to death. Claudius, the Roman emperor, made him king over Judea, He was the last king of the Herod family. See Acts xxv. 26.

18 Deut. xvi. 2.

19 Numb, xxviii. 17.

20 Levit. i. 11.

21 Levit iv. 18.

22 Exod. xii. 6.

23 The Hallel prayer consists of the recital of the Psalms from cxiii. to cxviii. inclusive.