Secret of the Mass
Secret Of The Mass, a prayer in the canon of the mass before the preface, and having much the same tenor as the collect. Since the 10th century it is said in a low voice by the celebrant after the Orate fred. tres. In France it was marked with the mystic letters V.D. St. Gregory calls it the Canon of the Secret. According to some writers, it represents that the working of God in the holy communion passes man's understanding; but, as Cranmer explains it, Christ's secret conversation which he had with his disciples before his passion. The bells in England were forbidden to be rung during this service in 1701. The secrets were formerly called super oblata and may have taken their name from the secretion of gifts and oblations.