The exhortation ("Pray
brethren that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father
almighty") addressed by the celebrant to the people before the Secrets
in the Roman Mass. It is answered: "May the Lord receive the sacrifice
from thy hands to the praise and glory of his name, and for our benefit
also and for that of all his holy Church." The celebrant adds: "Amen".
The form is merely an expansion of the usual Oremus before any prayer.
It is a medieval amplification. The Jacobite rite has an almost
identical form before the Anaphora (Brightman, "Eastern Liturgies",
Oxford, 1896, 83); the Nestorian celebrant says: "My brethren, pray for
me" (ib., 274). Such invitations, often made by the deacon, are common
in the Eastern rites. The Gallican rite had a similar one (Duchesne,
"Christian Worship", London, 1904, 109). The Mozarabic invitation at
this place is: "Help me brethren by your prayers and pray to God for
me" (P.L. LXXXV, 537). The medieval derived rites had similar formulæ
(e.g. "Missale Sarum", Burntisland, 1861-3, 596). Many of the old Roman
Secrets (really Offertory prayers) contain the same ideas. Durandus
knows the Orate Fratres in a slightly different form ("Rationale", IV,
32). A proof that it is not an integral part of the old Roman Mass is
that it is always said, not sung, aloud (as also are the prayers at the
foot of the altar, the last Gospel etc.). The celebrant after the
"Suscipe Sancta Trinitas" kisses the altar, turns to the people and
says: Orate fratres, extending and joining his hands. Turning back he
finishes the sentence inaudibly. At high Mass the deacon or subdeacon,
at low Mass the server, answers. The rubric of the Missal is: "The
server or people around answer, if not the priest himself." In this
last case he naturally changes the word tuis to meis.
Written by Adrian Fortescue. Transcribed by Tony de Melo.
The Catholic Encyclopedia,
Volume XI. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil
Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur.
+John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
GIHR, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (3rd ed., St. Louis, 1908), 547-50.