Mass is the term used to describe celebration of the Eucharist in the Western liturgical rites of the Roman Catholic Church, Old Catholic Churches, in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism, and in some largely High Church Lutheran regions: in Scandinavian and Baltic countries the Lutheran Eucharistic service is also known as "the Mass".
Origin[change | change source]
The term comes from the late-Latin word missa (dismissal), a word used in the concluding formula of Mass in Latin: "Ite, missa est" ("Go, it is the dismissal"). Dismissal means that someone is allowed to leave. In this case, people are being allowed to leave because Mass is finished. In another sense, it also means that people are allowed to leave to go on a mission to tell other people about Jesus and Christianity.
Catholic Church[change | change source]
Mass is the most important ceremony and form of worship in the Catholic Church. The Eucharist is thought to be the most important part of Christian life because that is when the blood and body of Christ is received in the form of bread and wine as a sacrifice.
A Sunday Mass is about an hour long. On other days, it is about half an hour. A Mass can be longer or shorter depending on how many people there are taking Communion.
A good Catholic is supposed to go to Mass every Sunday and on some other holy days. Even though Mass can be on other days, a Catholic is still supposed to go to one on Sunday.
There are four parts in a Catholic Mass. They are all the same all around the world but in different languages. The four parts are the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites.
Introductory Rites[change | change source]
The priest comes in and everyone does the sign of the cross. He greets everyone in the congregation. Then people confess their sins together and ask the Lord for mercy. After that, they sing the hymn Gloria and the priest says a prayer called the collect.
Liturgy of the Word[change | change source]
In this part of Mass, some parts of the Bible are read. They are a first reading (which can be from either the Old or New Testament), a psalm, a second reading from the New Testament, and a reading from the Gospel. Then the priest will have a short sermon (homily). After that, the Apostles' Creed is said. Finally, some intercessory prayers can be made on behalf on another person.
Liturgy of the Eucharist[change | change source]
During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the bread and wine is offered at the altar. The priest consecrates them, which is when he says that they are the body (bread) and blood (wine) of Jesus. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, this turns them into the actual blood and body of Christ (transubstantiation) even though they still look, smell, and taste like bread and wine.
After this, the Lord's Prayer is said. Next, people in the congregation do a sign of peace (usually a nod or handshake while saying "peace" or "peace be with you") with one another to show that they are now one family in Christ. The bread and wine are then eaten in a process called Communion. Only baptized Catholics who are sorry for their sins are allowed to take part in Communion.
After Communion, there is a prayer to give thanks to God.
Concluding Rites[change | change source]
There may be announcements about important things going on in the parish during this time.
The priest blesses everyone and dismisses them.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to the word missio in classical Latin (The Liturgy of the Mass in Catholic Encyclopedia). "In antiquity, missa simply meant 'dismissal'. However in Christian usage it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word 'dismissal' has come to imply a 'mission'. These few words succinctly express the missionary nature of the Church" (Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum caritatis, 51).
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church - The sacrament of the Eucharist". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
Other websites[change | change source]
Roman Catholic doctrine
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1322-1419
- History of the Roman rite of the Mass
- Why Fast Before Communion? by Fr. William Saunders
- Catholic Apologetics of America
- Links to documents on the Mass
- Mass times in the world
- The Annotated Mass
Present form of the Roman rite of the Mass
- The Order of Mass
- Fr. Larry Fama's Instructional Mass Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
- Today's Mass readings Archived 2007-03-20 at the Wayback Machine (New American Bible version)
- The Readings of the Mass (Jerusalem Bible version)
- Mass Readings Archived 2007-12-17 at the Wayback Machine (text in official Lectionary for Ireland, Australia, Britain, New Zealand etc.)
Tridentine form of the Roman rite of the Mass
Anglican Doctrine and practice