What is high mass & High Priest?
Does any of you know what is high Mass or what or who is the high Priest in the Catholic Church? You’ve opened the right site to find out all about these matters.
Before we can get to know what is High Mass, we must assume there is Low Mass. In the middle ages, there were a lot of differences on how mass was said in different places in the western Church. So the Church made a plan in 1500 at the Council of Trent. There they’ve made a new Missal – The book that contained all the prayers and instructions on how Mass was said. It was invented so there would be no question of the orthodoxy of the Mass no matter where it is said, and there would be unity in the Roman rite, rather than a mix of different practices. This is the Missal that was used until the 1960s, with a few changes and updates that the Popes introduced now and then over the centuries. In the Missal, there were two ways of saying Mass, Low, and High Mass. Low Mass was a very basic mass, with the bare necessities that include one priest with one server and the Altar has two lighted candles.
The High Mass was a more solemn Mass; it had singing, one priest, and deacons assisting the priest while he is saying the Mass. High Mass is a more celebrated Mass, with more people and more ceremonious way of saying the Mass. High Mass and Low Mass both do the same thing, but High Mass has much more people involved and is much more solemn.
These two Masses were practiced until the 1960s. Then the Church decided to put together a new Missal. The intention of this new Missal was to help those in our modern culture to experience Mass. This Missal is called the Pauline Missal, or you may see it called as Novus Ordo, which means “new order”, this missal is used since. The older form that we talked about was not technically disallowed, but many bishops believed that it was, or they disallowed it themselves. As a result of this in 2007, Pope Benedict issued a document that declared that both the old Mass and the new Pauline Mass could be said at any time. He said that the new one, the Pauline Mass is to be called the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and the old one will be called the Extraordinary form. The ordinary for, or the Pauline Mass does not have a distinction between the Low Mass and High Mass. As you’ve found out with the Extraordinary Form, there are very specific rules about what makes a Low Mass, and what makes a High Mass. As I’ve said in the Low Mass, you could not have a deacon assisting, there was no music, no incense, and so on. But in High Mass, you have music, deacons incense and so on. When the Pauline Mass was created, they did away with these strict requirements. They permitted the priest to celebrate the Mass to choose whether to have music or not, or incense or whenever to need a deacon assisting, basically he could mix and match. In other words, one could have no music but have a deacon, or have no incense but have music and so on. This isn’t possible with the Extraordinary form because it has very specific rules and instructions about these various things.
You have the High Mass and Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and in the Ordinary Form you can have any number of combinations of the different ceremonial aspects of it.
High Priest is one of the many names assigned to our Lord Jesus Christ; other names include Messiah, Savior, Son of God, Son of Man, Friend of Sinners, and so on. Each of these names focuses on who he is and what that means to us, believers. Our Lord Jesus is called a High Priest in (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14) The word “priest” has a couple of meanings. First, it means the one who meditates in a religious service. Second it means the one who is holy or set to perform those services. The first time we find this word is in the Bible in Genesis.14. Abraham, the friend of God, who entered into a battle to rescue his nephew Lot, who had been captured by the army of Elam. On his return, Abraham was met by Melchizedek, King of Salem, and priest of the Most High God. This man, whose name means “king of righteousness” blessed Abraham and the Most High God, who gave victory to Abraham. In return for this blessing, Abraham gave a tenth of all the spoils of war to Melchizedek. By this act, Abraham acknowledged Melchizedek’s high position as priest of God.
In later years, Abraham’s great-grandson Levi was singled out by God to be the father of the priestly tribe. Then the law was given on Mount Sinai, them the Levites were known as the servants of the Tabernacle, with the family of Aaron Becoming the priests. Then the priests were the ones responsible for making intercession to God for the people by offering the many sacrifices that the law required. Among the priests, one was selected as the High Priest, and he was allowed to enter into the Most Holy Place once a year on the day of Atonement to place the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark of the Covenant (Hebrews.9:7) By these daily and yearly sacrifices, the sins of the people were temporarily covered until the Messiah came to make away with their sins.
When Jesus is called High Priest, it is in reference with both of the above. Just like Melchizedek, He is ordained as a priest apart from the Law given on Mount Sinai (Hebrews 5:6). Like the Levitical priests, Jesus offered a sacrifice to satisfy the Law of God and when he offered Himself for our sins (Hebrews 7:26-27). Unlike the Levitical priests, who had to continually offer sacrifices, our Lord Jesus only had to offer Jesus only had to offer His sacrifice once, gaining eternal redemption for all who come to God through Him (Hebrews 9:12).
One other important point about Jesus’ priesthood—every priest is appointed from among men. Jesus, though God from eternity, became a man in order to suffer death and serve as our High Priest (Hebrews 2:9). As a man, He was subject to all the weaknesses and temptations that we are, so that He could personally relate to us in our struggles (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus is greater than any other priest, so He is called our “Great High Priest” in Hebrews 4:14, and that gives us the boldness to come “unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV).
We can conclude that Jesus Christ is the one identified with the title of High Priest. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have enrichened your knowledge for our religion. Have a Merry Christmas and God Bless us all.