Friday, February 1, 2013

The Holy Mass

The abandonment of Jesus on the Cross--->
<---Important defintions on Purgatory

The Holy Mass more commonly called "Mass"" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church, Western Rite Orthodox churches and many Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.
Apart from "Eucharist" others are the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly (synaxis)", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and Divine Liturgy" and "Holy Communion". In these denominations, the term Mass often colloquially refers to the entire church service in general.

In general, Protestants avoid the term "Mass" and use such terms as Divine Service or service of worship, for doctrinal reasons. For the celebration of the Eucharist in Eastern churches, including those in full communion with the Holy See, other terms such as the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Qurbana and the Badarak are normal.

The term "Mass" is derived 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"). "In antiquity, missa simply meant 'dismissal'. In Christian usage, however, 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).

The Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between the Mass in its understanding and what some Anglicans and Lutherans call the Mass, since it considers that they lack the sacrament of orders and therefore "have not preserved the genuine and total reality of the Eucharistic mystery."
On the other hand, historically, the Lutheran Church has stated that the Lutheran Mass is "the only Mass founded in the Scriptures of God, in accordance with the plain and incontestable institution of the Saviour.


The Catholic Church sees the Mass or Eucharist as "the source and summit of the Christian life", to which the other sacraments are oriented.
The term "Mass" is generally used only in the Latin Church, while the Byzantine-Rite Eastern Catholic Churches use the analogous term "Divine Liturgy" and other Eastern Catholic Churches have terms such as Holy Qurbana.
Within the fixed structure outlined below, which is specific to the Roman Rite, the Scripture readings, the antiphons sung or recited during the entrance procession or communion, and certain other prayers vary each day according to the liturgical calendar.

The Mass or Eucharist is the central act of worship in the Catholic Church, which describes it as "the source and summit of the Christian life". Many of the other sacraments are celebrated in the framework of the Mass. The term "Mass" is generally used only with Latin Rite, while the Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches use the term "Divine Liturgy" and other such Churches use analogous terms in accordance with each one's tradition.

The term "Mass" is derived 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"). "In antiquity, missa simply meant 'dismissal'. In Christian usage, however, 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."


The Mass is the complex of prayers and ceremonies that make up the service of the Eucharist in the Latin rites. As in the case of all liturgical terms the name is less old than the thing. From the time of the first preaching of the Christian Faith in the West, as everywhere, the Holy Eucharist was celebrated as Christ had instituted it at the Last Supper, according to His command, in memory of Him. But it was not till long afterwards that the late Latin name Missa, used at first in a vaguer sense, became the technical and almost exclusive name for this service.
It should be noted that the name Mass (missa) applies to the Eucharistic service in the Latin rites only. Neither in Latin nor in Greek has it ever been applied to any Eastern rite. For them the corresponding word is Liturgy (liturgia). It is a mistake that leads to confusion, and a scientific inexactitude, to speak of any Eastern Liturgy as a Mass.

The Council of Trent reaffirmed traditional Christian teaching that the Mass is the same Sacrifice of Calvary offered in an unbloody manner: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different ... And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner... this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."

The Council declared that Jesus instituted the Mass at his Last Supper: "He offered up to God the Father His own body and blood under the species of bread and wine; and, under the symbols of those same things, He delivered (His own body and blood) to be received by His apostles, whom He then constituted priests of the New Testament; and by those words, Do this in commemoration of me, He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood, to offer (them); even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught."

The Catholic Church sees the Mass as the most perfect way it has to offer latria (adoration) to God. The Church believes that "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it."

It is also Catholic belief that in objective reality, not merely symbolically, the wheaten bread and grape wine are converted into Christ's body and blood, a conversion referred to as transubstantiation, so that the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Eucharist, though the empirical appearances of the bread and wine remain the same.

In its official declarations, the Catholic Church does not use the term "accidents", associated with Aristotelian philosophy, but instead speaks of the "appearances" (in Latin, species) and, as shown for instance in the Latin text of the Nicene Creed, in which the Son is said to have the same substantia as the Father, the word "substance" was in ecclesiastical use for many centuries before Aristotelian philosophy was adopted in the West.


The Roman Missal contains the prayers, antiphons and rubrics of the Mass. Earlier editions also contained the Scripture readings, which were then fewer in number. The latest edition of the Roman Missal gives the normal ("ordinary") form of Mass in the Roman Rite.
But, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 7 July 2007, the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, the latest of the editions that give what is known as the Tridentine Mass, may be used as an extraordinary form of celebrating the Roman Rite Mass.

The Lectionary presents passages from the Bible arranged in the order for reading at each day's Mass. Compared with the scripture readings in the pre-1970 Missal, the modern Lectionary contains a much wider variety of passages, too many to include in the Missal.
A Book of the Gospels, also called the Evangeliary, is recommended for the reading from the Gospels, but, where this book is not available, the Lectionary is used in its place.


Within the fixed structure outlined below, the Scripture readings, the antiphons sung or recited during the entrance procession or communion, and the texts of the three prayers known as the collect, the prayer over the gifts, and the postcommunion prayer vary each day according to the liturgical season, the feast days of titles or events in the life of Christ, the feast days and commemorations of the saints, or for Masses for particular circumstances (e.g., funeral Masses, Masses for the celebration of Confirmation, Masses for peace, to begin the academic year, etc.).


The priest enters, with a deacon, if there is one, and altar servers. The deacon may carry the Book of the Gospels, which he will place on the altar, and the servers may carry a processional cross and candles and incense. During this procession, ordinarily, the entrance chant is sung. If there is no singing at the entrance, the entrance antiphon is recited either by some or all of the people or by a lector; otherwise it is said by the priest himself.

When the priest arrives at his chair, he leads the assembly in making the sign of the cross, saying:

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit",

to which the people answer: "Amen."

Then the priest "signifies the presence of the Lord to the community gathered there by means of the Greeting. By this Greeting and the people’s response, the mystery of the Church gathered together is made manifest". The greetings are derived from the Pauline epistles.

Then the priest invites those present to take part in the Act of Penitence, of which the Missal proposes three forms, the first of which is the Confiteor. This is concluded with the priest's prayer of absolution, "which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance."
"From time to time on Sundays, especially in Easter Time, instead of the customary Penitential Act, the blessing and sprinkling of water may take place as a reminder of Baptism."

After the Penitential Act, the Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy), is always begun, unless it has already been part of the Penitential Act. Since it is a chant by which the faithful acclaim the Lord and implore his mercy, it is usually executed by everyone, that is to say, with the people and the choir or cantor taking part in it."
The Kyrie may be sung or recited either in the vernacular language or in the original Greek or in English.

The Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) is a most ancient and venerable hymn by which the Church, gathered in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb... It is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, and also on Solemnities and Feasts, and at particular celebrations of a more solemn character."

In accordance with that rule, the Gloria is omitted at funerals. It is also omitted for ordinary feast-days of saints, weekdays, and Votive Masses. It is also optional, in line with the perceived degree of solemnity of the occasion, at Ritual Masses such as those celebrated for Marriage ("Nuptial Mass"), Confirmation or Religious Profession, at Masses on the Anniversary of Marriage or Religious Profession, and at Masses for Various Needs and Occasions.

"Next the Priest calls upon the people to pray and everybody, together with the Priest, observes a brief silence so that they may become aware of being in God’s presence and may call to mind their intentions. Then the Priest pronounces the prayer usually called the “Collect” and through which the character of the celebration finds expression."


On Sundays and solemnities, three Scripture readings are given. On other days there are only two. If there are three readings, the first is from the Old Testament (a term wider than Hebrew Scriptures, since it includes the Deuterocanonical Books), or the Acts of the Apostles during Eastertide.

The first reading is followed by a Responsorial Psalm, a complete Psalm or a sizeable portion of one. A cantor, choir or lector leads, and the congregation sings or recites a refrain.

The second reading is from the New Testament, typically from one of the Pauline epistles. The reader typically concludes each reading by proclaiming that the reading is "the word of the Lord," and congregation responds by saying "Thanks be to God."

The third and final reading and high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation of the Gospel.
This is preceded by the singing or recitation of the Gospel Acclamation, typically an Alleluia with a verse of Scripture, which may be omitted if not sung.

Alleluia is replaced during Lent by a different acclamation of praise. All stand while the Gospel is chanted or read by a deacon or, if none is available, by a priest. To conclude the Gospel reading, the priest or deacon proclaims: "The Gospel of the Lord" and the people respond, "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ." The priest or deacon then kisses the book.

If a deacon participates, he reads the Gospel. If a deacon is not present, the celebrating priest or a concelebrant, if there is one, proclaims it. At least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, a homily, a sermon that draws upon some aspect of the readings or the liturgy of the day, is then given.
Ordinarily the priest celebrant himself gives the homily, but he may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or, occasionally, to the deacon, but never to a lay person.

In particular cases and for a just cause, a bishop or priest who is present but cannot concelebrate may give the homily. On days other than Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, the homily, though not obligatory, is recommended.

On Sundays and solemnities, all then profess their Christian faith by reciting or singing the Nicene Creed or, especially from Easter to Pentecost, the Apostles' Creed, which is particularly associated with baptism and is often used in Masses for children.
The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful.
The priest begins it with a brief introduction, then a deacon, a cantor or another lay person announces some intentions for prayer, to which the congregation responds with a short invocation such as "Lord hear our prayer". The priest concludes with a longer prayer.


The linen corporal is spread over the center of the altar, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the ceremonial placing on it of bread and wine. These may be brought to the altar in a procession, especially if Mass is celebrated with a large congregation.
The bread (made only from wheat, recently made, and, in the tradition of the Latin Church, unleavened) is placed on a paten, and the wine (from grapes), mixed with a little water, is put in a chalice.
As the priest places each on the corporal, he says a silent prayer over each individually, which, if this rite is unaccompanied by singing, he is permitted to say aloud, in which case the congregation responds to each prayer with:

"Blessed be God forever." Then the priest washes his hands, "a rite in which the desire for interior purification finds expression."
The congregation, which has been seated during this preparatory rite, rises, and the priest gives an exhortation to pray:

"Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father." The congregation responds:

"May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his holy Church."

The priest then pronounces the variable prayer over the gifts that have been set aside. The Eucharistic Prayer, "the centre and high point of the entire celebration", then begins with a dialogue between priest and people.

This dialogue opens with the normal liturgical greeting, "The Lord be with you", but in view of the special solemnity of the rite now beginning, the priest then exhorts the people:

"Lift up your hearts." The people respond with: "We lift them up to the Lord."
The priest then introduces the great theme of the Eucharist, a word originating in the Greek word for giving thanks:

"Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God," he says. The congregation joins in this sentiment, saying: "It is right and just."

The priest then continues with one of many Eucharistic Prayer prefaces, which lead to the Sanctus acclamation:

"Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest."

In some countries of Europe, including the United States, the people kneel immediately after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus. However, the general rule, where the Episcopal Conference has not decided otherwise, is that they kneel somewhat later, for the Consecration, when, according to Catholic faith, the whole substance (what they are prior to the consecration) of the bread and wine is converted into that of the body and blood of Christ (which are now inseparable from one another and from his soul and divinity), while the empirical appearances of bread and wine remain unaltered; see Transubstantiation).

The Eucharistic Prayer includes the "Epiclesis", through which the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts that have been set aside may become Christ's body and blood and that the Communion may be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.
The central part is the Institution Narrative and Consecration, recalling the words and actions of Jesus at his Last Supper, which he told his disciples to do in remembrance of him.
"Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you."

and "Take this, all of you, and drink from it: for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me."

Immediately after the Consecration and the display to the people of the consecrated elements, the priest says:

"The mystery of faith", and the people pronounce the acclamation, using one of the three prescribed formulae.

The Eucharistic Prayer also includes the Anamnesis, expressions of offering, and intercessions for the living and dead.
It concludes with a doxology, with the priest lifting up the paten with the host and the deacon (if there is one) the chalice, and the singing or recitation of the Amen by the people. The unofficial term "The Great Amen" is sometimes applied to this Amen.


All together recite or sing the "Lord's Prayer" ("Pater Noster" or "Our Father"). The priest introduces it with a short phrase and follows it up with the embolism:

"Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

The people then add the doxology: "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever."

Next comes the rite of peace (pax). After praying:

"Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles:

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will. Who live and reign for ever and ever".

The priest wishes the people the peace of Christ:

"The peace of the Lord be with you always." The deacon or, in his absence, the priest may then invite those present to offer each other the sign of peace. The form of the sign of peace varies according to local custom for a respectful greeting (for instance, a handshake or a bow between strangers, or a kiss/hug between family members).

While the "Lamb of God" ("Agnus Dei" in Latin) litany is sung or recited, the priest breaks the host and places a piece in the main chalice; this is known as the rite of fraction and commingling.
If extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are required, they may come forward at this time, but they are not allowed to go to the altar itself until after the priest has received Communion.

The priest then presents the transubstantiated elements to the congregation, saying:

"Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb."

Then all repeat: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

The priest then receives Communion and, with the help of the deacon and concelebrants and, if necessary, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, distributes Communion to the people.

"The faithful communicate either kneeling or standing, as has been determined by the norms of the Conference of Bishops. However, when they communicate standing, it is recommended that before receiving the Sacrament they make an appropriate sign of reverence, to be determined by in the same norms."

(In the United States, Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive while kneeling; and the sign of reverence specified is a bow of the head.)

Then the distributing minister says: "The body of Christ" or "The blood of Christ", according as the element distributed is the consecrated bread or the consecrated wine, or:

"The body and blood of Christ", if both are distributed together (by intinction). The communicant responds: "Amen."
In most countries the communicant may receive the consecrated host either on the tongue or in the hand, at the communicant's own discretion.
In others it may be received only on the tongue. Many faithful then make the sign of the Cross, though this is not prescribed or even recommended in any of the official liturgical texts.

While Communion is distributed, singing of an appropriate approved chant or hymn is recommended. If there is no singing, a short antiphon may be recited either by the faithful, by some of them or by a lector. Otherwise, the priest himself recites it after he himself receives communion and before he distributes it to others.

"The sacred vessels are purified by the Priest, the Deacon, or an instituted acolyte after Communion or after Mass, insofar as possible at the credence table."
Then the priest concludes the Liturgy of the Eucharist with the Prayer after Communion, for which the people are invited to stand.


After the Prayer after Communion, announcements may be made. The Missal says these should be brief. The priest then gives the usual liturgical greeting and imparts his blessing.
The liturgy concludes with a dialogue between the priest and congregation.
The deacon, or in his absence, the priest himself then dismisses the people, choosing one of four formulas, of which the first is "Ite, missa est" in Latin or its equivalent in other languages. The congregation responds:
"Thanks be to God." The priest and other ministers then leave, often to the accompaniment of a recessional hymn.
The people then depart. In some countries the priest customarily stands outside the church door to greet them individually.


Hear the full Mass give us a complete picture of all the parts that make it up and make us understand and appreciate more the liturgical rite of the Holy Mass.


The Greatest Prayer The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


The Tremendous Blessings and Benefits of the Mass as Told by Popes and Saints.

Pope Paul VI: "The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!"

Pope Benedict XV: "The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church: "The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross."

St. Gregory, Doctor of the Church: "The heavens open and multitudes of angels come to assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass."
"It is most true that he who attends holy Mass shall be freed from many evils and from many dangers, both seen and unseen."

St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church: "The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass."
"He who devoutly hears holy Mass will receive a great vigor to enable him to resist mortal sin, and there shall be pardoned to him all venial sins which he may have committed up to that hour."
"He [who attends Mass with all possible devotion] shall be freed from sudden death, which is the most terrible stroke launched by the Divine Justice against sinners. Behold a wonderful preservative against sudden death."

St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church: "Without doubt, the Lord grants all favors which are asked of Him in Mass, provided they be fitting for us; and, which is a matter of great wonder, ofttimes He also grants that also which is not demanded of Him, if we, on our part, put no obstacle in the way." St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church "When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the divine victim immolated on the altar."

St. Anselm,Doctor of the Church: "A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death."

St. Teresa, Doctor of the Church: "Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord "How can I thank you?" Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS."

St. Leonard of Port Maurice: "The principal excellence of the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the Cross of Calvary: with this sole difference that the sacrifice on the Cross was bloody, and made once for all, and did on that one occasion satisfy fully for all the sins of the world; while the sacrifice of the altar is an unbloody sacrifice, which can be repeated an infinite number of times, and was instituted in order to apply in detail that universal ransom which Jesus paid for us on Calvary."

"I believe that were it not for the Holy Mass, as this moment the world would be in the abyss, unable to bear up under the mighty load of its iniquities Mass is the potent prop that hold the world on its base."

"Be now confounded for very wonder, reflecting that the proposition just laid down is indeed most true; a soul assisting with adequate devotion at holy Mass renders more honor to God than that which all the Angels and all the Saints put together render with all their adorations."
"And, yet, with the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, viewed according to its intrinsic preciousness and value, satisfaction may be made completely for committed sin ... Not that the Sacrifice of the Mass by any means cancels our sins immediately, and of itself, as does the Sacrament of Penance: but it cancels them mediately, calling down various aids of interior impulse, of holy aspiration, and of actual grace, all tending toward a worthy repentance of our sins, either at the time of the Mass itself or at some other fitting time."

"O blessed Mass, by which we come to have the Son of God placed not within our arms but within our hearts, Nor is there a doubt but that with Him, and Him alone, we shall be able to satisfy the debt of gratitude which we have contracted with God."

"It is in our power by means of it to pay the fourth debt due to God, which is to supplicate Him, and to entreat new graces of Him. ... Yes, yes: in holy Mass our dear beloved Jesus, as the chief and supreme Priest, recommends our case to the Father, prays for us and makes Himself our advocate. ... How can you doubt but that He wishes to give you all the virtues and all the perfections which are required to make you a saint, and a great saint, in Heaven?"

"What graces, gifts and virtues the Holy Mass calls down ... repentance for sin ... victory over temptation ... holy inspirations which dispositions to shake off tepidity ... the grace of final perseverance, upon which depends our salvation ... temporal blessings, such as peace, abundance and health ..."

In having Masses said for the suffering souls in Purgatory: "the holy Mass not only shortens their pains but also extends great immediate relief to those poor souls ... the charity you exercise toward poor souls under purification will all redound to your own good."

In having Masses said for your own soul: "... get celebrated all the Masses possible in your circumstances not only for the souls departed but for your own. Do this for two motives: first to obtain a good and holy death - it being the invariable opinion of theologians that there is no more efficacious means for attaining so holy a purpose. Another motive is that you may yourself issue quickly from Purgatory and fly away into eternal glory, there being no means more adapted for obtaining from God a grace so precious as that of going direct to Heaven, or at least a short detention on the way, than Indulgences duly gained, and the holy Sacrifice."

St. John Vianney Patron Saint of Parish Priests:

"When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary - a joy, a fragrance, a well being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt."
"If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy."

"There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us."

"When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee."

Blessed Padre Pio, stigmatic priest: "It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass."

Revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the Great: "For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death".

Revelation of Christ to St. Mechtilde: "He who is in the habit of devoutly hearing holy Mass shall in death be consoled by the presence of the angels and saints, his advocates, who shall bravely defend him from all the snares of infernal spirits".

Catechism of St. Pius X.

1. Should the Holy Eucharist be considered only as a sacrament?

The Holy Eucharist, besides being a sacrament, is also the permanent Sacrifice of the New Law, which Jesus Christ left to His Church to be offered to God by the hands of His priests.

2. What is the Holy Mass?

The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ offered on our altars under the appearances of bread and wine, in commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross.

3. Is the Sacrifice of the Mass the same as that of the Cross?

The Sacrifice of the Mass is substantially the same as that of the Cross, for the same Jesus Christ, Who offered Himself on the Cross, it is Who offers Himself by the hands of the priests, His ministers, on our altars; but as regards the way in which He is offered, the Sacrifice of the Mass differs from the Sacrifice of the Cross, though retaining the most intimate and essential relation to it.

4. What difference and relation is there between the Sacrifice of the Mass and that of the Cross?

Between the Sacrifice of the Mass and that of the Cross there is this difference and relation, that on the Cross Jesus Christ offered Himself by shedding His Blood and meriting for us; whereas on our altars He sacrifices Himself without the shedding of His Blood, and applies to us the fruits of His passion and death.

5. What other relation has the Sacrifice of the Mass to that of the Cross?

Another relation of the Sacrifice of the Mass to that of the Cross is, that the Sacrifice of the Mass represents in a sensible way the shedding of the Blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross, because, in virtue of the words of consecration, only the Body of our Saviour is made present under the species of the bread and only His Blood under the species of the wine; although by natural concomitance and by the hypostatic union, the living and real Jesus Christ is present under each of the species.

6. Is not the Sacrifice of the Cross the one only Sacrifice of the New Law?

The Sacrifice of the Cross is the one only Sacrifice of the New Law, inasmuch as through it Our Lord satisfied Divine Justice, acquired all the merits necessary to save us, and thus, on His part, fully accomplished our redemption. These merits, however, He applies to us through the means instituted by Him in His Church, among which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

7. For what ends is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered?

The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God for four ends:

(1) To honour Him properly, and hence it is called Latreutical;

(2) To thank Him for His favours, and hence it is called Eucharistical;

(3) To appease Him, make Him due satisfaction for our sins, and to help the souls in Purgatory, and hence it is called Propitiatory;

(4) To obtain all the graces necessary for us, and hence it is called Impetratory.

8. Who is it that offers to God the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass?

The first and principal Offeror of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is Jesus Christ, while the priest is the minister who in the Name of Jesus Christ offers the same Sacrifice to the Eternal Father.

9. Who instituted the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass?

Jesus Christ Himself instituted the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass when He instituted the Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist and said that this should be done in memory of His passion.
10. To whom is the Holy Mass offered?

The Holy Mass is offered to God alone.

11. If the Holy Mass is offered to God alone why are so many Masses celebrated in honour of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints?

Mass celebrated in honour of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints is always a sacrifice offered to God alone; it is said to be celebrated in honour of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints to thank God for the gifts He has given them, and through their intercession to obtain from Him more abundantly the graces of which we have need.

12. Who shares in the fruits of the Mass?

The entire Church shares in the fruits of the Mass, but more particularly:

(1) The priest and those who assist at Mass, the latter being united with the priest;

(2) Those for whom the Mass is applied, both living and dead.


13. What is required in order to assist at Holy Mass well and profitably?
To assist at Holy Mass well and profitably two things are necessary:

(1) Modesty of person and,

(2) Devotion of heart.

14. In what does modesty of person consist?

Modesty of person consists especially in being modestly dressed and in observing and keeping silence and inner recollection.

15. In hearing Holy Mass which is the best way to practise true devotion?

In hearing Holy Mass the best way to practise true devotion is the following:

(1) From the very beginning to unite our intention with that of the priest, offering the Holy Sacrifice to God for the ends for which it was instituted.

(2) To accompany the priest in each prayer and action of the Sacrifice.

(3) To meditate on the passion and death of Jesus Christ and to heartily detest our sins, which have been the cause of them.

(4) To go to Communion.


Ite, missa est:

Ite, missa est are the concluding Latin words addressed to the people in the Mass of the Roman Rite, as well as the Lutheran Divine Service. The English word "Mass" (in Latin, missa) derives from this phrase.
Until the reforms of 1962, at Masses without the Gloria, Benedicamus Domino was said instead. The response of the people (or, in the Tridentine Mass, of the servers at Low Mass, the choir at Solemn Mass) is "Deo gratias" (Thanks be to God).


The word missa, as used in this phrase is understood to be a late-Latin noun, meaning "dismissal": It is a substantive of a late form for missio. There are many parallels in medieval Latin, collecta, ingressa, confessa, accessa, ascensa—all for forms in -io.
It does not mean an offering (mittere, in the sense of handing over to God), but the dismissal of the people, as in the versicle: "Ite missa est" (Go, the dismissal is made).
In recent decades, attempts were made to understand missa in this phrase as meaning "mission" rather than "dismissal", so that the phrase would mean: "Go, you are sent on a mission."

This interpretation is a good wish of farewell and corresponds rather to the alternative phrases in the latest edition of the Roman Missal, Ite ad Evangelium Domini nuntiandum (Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord) and Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum (Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life).

Since in classical Latin, missa is the feminine form of the perfect passive participle of mittere (to send), missa est could be taken to mean: "It has been sent", the "it" being something grammatically feminine in Latin, such as communio (communion), hostia (sacrificial victim), oblatio (offering), Eucharistia (Eucharist).
This explanation lacks scholarly supporters. The official English translation is: "Go forth, the Mass is ended."

"Deo gratias" (Thanks be to God).

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