Participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the pinnacle of Christian prayer. It makes present Christ's Sacrifice of the Cross in an unbloody and sacramental way, in order to offer it to the Eternal Father in atonement for the sins of the world, and apply the merits of that same sacrifice to those present and to the whole world. The Church describes it as follows:
"At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us" (Sacrosanctum Concilium 47).
Traditionally, monasteries have been places where the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated with special solemnity and beauty. At Saint Louis Abbey, we humbly seek to carry on this noble practice. We sing the Latin Gregorian chant for the Ordinary of our festal Masses, as well as the Latin Gregorian chant Introit and Offertory Propers on Sundays and feast days. We use the English plainchant Introits and Responsorial Pslams which have grown organically from the chant tradition of the Church, and which were composed at Ampleforth, our motherhouse in England. We have a team of well-trained and disciplined servers from our school for our Sunday and festal liturgies, as well as fine vestments commissioned especially for our use. We attempt to follow the mind of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, in his call for a renewal of the sacred and solemnity of the Church's Liturgy in our time.