What is Mass?


First good day to you all, and God bless. Most of us pray, we pray at home and our Churches. But do you know what’s it all about praying at Churches, what’s it called, where it originated? Well, you have come to the right place to find the answers. Mass is the central act of worship in our lives as a Catholic. It’s performed at our holy Catholic Churches. Going to a Mass is about spending time with God and receiving his grace. The word “mass” comes from “Ite, Missa Est”. which it literally means, “Go, it is dismissed” in Mark 16:15: ‘go into all the world and proclaim the good news.’ When going to Mass at a Church you will participate in the prayers with the priests, sometimes saying Amen, while other times you can do other responses that you can learn at the Church. Mass is an ancient practice dating back as far as Apostle Paul’s epistles. Through history, we find people gathering in catacombs of Rome, in Churches even the tombs of martyrs were used to perform this secret ritual then and now to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ.

You should know that mass is “the unbloody sacrifice,” very early in history the Church saw the Mass as a place to remember and cherish what our Lord Christ has done for us, sacrificing himself for our sins, we Catholic must understand that. Mass is our remembrance our way, the Churches way of remembering the last command of Christ, in which he orders us to remember him, as he commands, he broke [the bread] and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This does, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” ( Corinthia’s 11:24-25). This New Testament pass is the most widely celebrated observance of our Christian faith.

The Mass has four parts of “rites”. The starting “rite” is called the “Introductory rite” in which the priests accompanied by altering servants (boys or girls who help the priests by giving him thing’s he needs to perform the “rite”). The priests then sing a hymn. After that he starts the Mass by saying the sign of the cross; ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.’ This is a short prayer in which the priests remind us that we are baptized into the One God in three persons and that we are put under his protection. Then we are given a few moments to reflect upon the things we have done or not done which hurt other people, and we are invited to repent of saying sorry to God because not being sorry can deny us the grace that God want’s to give to us.

Mass has a second part called ‘Liturgy of the Word.’ Liturgy is an ancient word, which comes from the Greek language meaning “official work” so mass is a part of the official prayers of the Church. In this part priests speak and we listen to the bible. First we listen to the Old Testament, which is completed by what Jesus did for us. The second reading is a letter from St Paul, and then everyone stands to listen to a reading from the Gospel, the story of Jesus. After this everyone sits down and listens to the sermons preached by the priests. After which everyone recites the Creed, which is the statement of faith in God, after all of us can pray.

The third part of Mass is called liturgy of the Eucharist. “Eucharist” is also a Greek word which means to give thanks. So this part starts as we begin to offer ourselves to God. This is symbolised as I said before, by us taking the bread and wine symbolising the body and blood of Jesus Christ. During this prayer, everyone kneels as to worship Jesus, who becomes present under the appearance of bread and wine. Those who can receive ‘Holy Communion’ then process up to receive, either in one kind (just the host, the Body) or in two kinds (from the cup as well, while those who were unable to receive Holy Communion, either because they are not Catholics, or because as Catholics but they have disobeyed the way of our Lord and the law of the Church and have not been reconciled to the Church, they are invited to come forward and receive a blessing, which is called a spiritual communion.

We have arrived at the final part of the Mass. The final part of the mass is short. In which we stand up, and the priests say a final prayer in which they as God to help us and guide us in our daily lives. Then the priests bless everyone in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, after which we all leave knowing we worshiped the Triune God. The final words of the priests are ‘The Mass is ended. Go in the peace of Christ, to love and serve the Lord’ in which we reply “Thanks be to God”.

This, my brothers and sisters, is our holy Mass. I hope you’ve all learned something about Mass. Hope you have a great Christmas, and God bless us all.

Aurora is a born and raised Catholic. She lived in the Philippines for 18 years then moved to the US. She writes about the differences of the Catholic faith expressed from her past experiences to today.

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The Modern Catholic

The Modern Catholic

I was born and raised Catholic. I created this blog to explain the Christian Faith through modern terms, along with telling my experiences.