Mass (liturgy)

Mass (liturgy)

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"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 is called in the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

: others are "Eucharist", 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". The term "Mass" is one of the most common in connection with Catholic Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites
Latin liturgical rites used within that area of the Catholic Church where the Latin language once dominated were for many centuries no less numerous than the liturgical rites of the Eastern autonomous particular Churches. Their number is now much reduced...

. It is used also of similar celebrations in Old Catholic Church
Old Catholic Church
The term Old Catholic Church is commonly used to describe a number of Ultrajectine Christian churches that originated with groups that split from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, most importantly that of Papal Infallibility...

es, in the Anglo-Catholic
Anglo-Catholicism
The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism describe people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that affirm the Catholic, rather than Protestant, heritage and identity of the Anglican churches....

 tradition of Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, in Western Rite Orthodox Churches
Western Rite Orthodoxy
Western Rite Orthodoxy or Western Orthodoxy or Orthodox Western Rite are terms used to describe congregations and groups which are in communion with Eastern Orthodox Churches or Oriental Orthodox Churches using traditional Western liturgies rather than adopting Eastern liturgies such as the Divine...

, and in some Lutheran church
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

es. For the celebration of the Eucharist in Eastern churches
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

, including those in full
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 communion
Communion (Christian)
The term communion is derived from Latin communio . The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship". In Christianity, the basic meaning of the term communion is an especially close relationship of Christians, as individuals or as a Church, with God and with...

 with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, other terms such as the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

, the Holy Qurbana
Holy Qurbana
Holy Qurbana or Qurbana Qadisha , the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the East Syrian and West Syrian traditions of Syriac Christianity...

and the Badarak
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

are normal. Most Western denominations not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church also usually prefer terms other than "Mass".

For information on the theology of the Eucharist and on the Eucharistic liturgy of other Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 denominations, see "Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

" and "Eucharistic theology
Eucharistic theology
Eucharistic theology is a branch of Christian theology which treats doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, also commonly known as the Lord's Supper...

".

For information on history see Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 and Origin of the Eucharist
Origin of the Eucharist
Christians find the origin of the Eucharist in the Last Supper, at which Jesus established a New Covenant in his body and blood, fulfilling the Mosaic covenant. In this ancient rite or sacrament Christians eat bread and drink a cup of wine as the body and blood of Christ...

, and with specific regard to the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
The Roman Rite is the liturgical rite used in the Diocese of Rome in the Catholic Church. It is by far the most widespread of the Latin liturgical rites used within the Western or Latin autonomous particular Church, the particular Church that itself is also called the Latin Rite, and that is one of...

 Mass, Pre-Tridentine Mass
Pre-Tridentine Mass
The term Pre-Tridentine Mass here refers to the variants of the liturgical rite of Mass in Rome before 1570, when, with his bull Quo primum, Pope Pius V made the Roman Missal, as revised by him, obligatory throughout the Latin-Rite or Western Church, except for those places and congregations whose...

 and Tridentine Mass
Tridentine Mass
The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969...

.

The term "Mass" is derived from the Late Latin
Late Latin
Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of Late Antiquity. The English dictionary definition of Late Latin dates this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD extending in Spain to the 7th. This somewhat ambiguously defined period fits between Classical Latin and Medieval 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, 51)

Mass in the Roman Catholic Church



The Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 reaffirmed traditional Christian teaching that the Mass is the same Sacrifice of Calvary
Calvary
Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. Calvary and Golgotha are the English names for the site used in Western Christianity...

 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" (Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, c. 2, quoted in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1367). The Council declared that Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 instituted the Mass at his Last Supper
Last Supper
The Last Supper is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "communion" or "the Lord's Supper".The First Epistle to the Corinthians is...

: "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
Latria
Latrīa is a Latin term used in Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic theology to mean adoration, a reverence directed only to the Holy Trinity. Latria carries an emphasis on the internal form of worship, rather than external ceremonies.-Catholic teachings:In Catholic teachings, latria also applies...

 (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
Transubstantiation
In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and Blood, respectively, of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.The Eastern Orthodox...

, so that the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Texts used in the Roman Rite of Mass


The Roman Missal
Roman Missal
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.-Situation before the Council of Trent:...

 contains the prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

s, antiphon
Antiphon
An antiphon in Christian music and ritual, is a "responsory" by a choir or congregation, usually in Gregorian chant, to a psalm or other text in a religious service or musical work....

s and rubric
Rubric
A rubric is a word or section of text which is traditionally written or printed in red ink to highlight it. The word derives from the , meaning red ochre or red chalk, and originates in Medieval illuminated manuscripts from the 13th century or earlier...

s 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
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

 Summorum Pontificum
Summorum Pontificum
Summorum Pontificum is an Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued "motu proprio" . The document specified the rules, for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, for celebrating Mass according to the "Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962" , and for administering most of the sacraments in...

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
Tridentine Mass
The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969...

, may be used as an extraordinary form
Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite
"An extraordinary form of the Roman Rite" is a phrase used in Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum to describe the liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal, widely referred to as the "Tridentine Mass"...

 of celebrating the Roman Rite Mass.

In the United States and Canada, the English translation of the Roman Missal is at present called the Sacramentary
Sacramentary
The Sacramentary is a book of the Middle Ages containing the words spoken by the priest celebrating a Mass and other liturgies of the Church. The books were usually in fact written for bishops or other higher clegy such as abbots, and many lavishly decorated illuminated manuscript sacramentaries...

.
The Lectionary
Lectionary
A Lectionary is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion.-History:...

 presents passages from the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 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
Gospel Book
The Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels is a codex or bound volume containing one or more of the four Gospels of the Christian New Testament...

, also called the Evangeliary, is recommended for the reading from the Gospels
Gospel (liturgy)
The Gospel in Christian liturgy refers to a reading from the Gospels used during various religious services, including Mass or Divine Liturgy . In many Christian churches, all present stand when a passage from one of the Gospels is read publicly, and sit when a passage from a different part of the...

, but, where this book is not available, the Lectionary is used in its place.

Structure of the Roman Rite of Mass


Within the fixed structure outlined below, the Scripture readings, the antiphon
Antiphon
An antiphon in Christian music and ritual, is a "responsory" by a choir or congregation, usually in Gregorian chant, to a psalm or other text in a religious service or musical work....

s sung or recited during the entrance procession or communion, and the texts of the three prayers known as the collect
Collect
In Christian liturgy, a collect is both a liturgical action and a short, general prayer. In the Middle Ages, the prayer was referred to in Latin as collectio, but in the more ancient sources, as oratio. In English, and in this usage, "collect" is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable...

, 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.).

Introductory rites


The priest enters, with a deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

, 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
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

.

Then the priest invites those present to take part in the Act of Penitence
Penitential Rite
In Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism, the Penitential Rite is a form of general confession that takes place at the start of each Mass.-Formulas of General Confession in the 2011 Roman Missal:...

, of which the Missal proposes three forms, the first of which is the Confiteor
Confiteor
The Confiteor is one of the prayers that can be said during the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass of the Roman Rite in the Catholic Church. It is also said in the Lutheran Church at the beginning of their Divine Service...

. 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
Kyrie
Kyrie, a transliteration of Greek κύριε , vocative case of κύριος , meaning "Lord", is the common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, which is also called the Kýrie, eléison ....

 (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 in the vernacular language or in the original Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

.

"The Gloria in excelsis
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
"Gloria in excelsis Deo" is the title and beginning of a hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.It is an example of the psalmi idiotici "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")...

 (Glory to God in the highest) is a most ancient and venerable hymn by which the Church, gathered in the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

, glorifies and entreats God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

 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 funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

s. It is also omitted for ordinary feast-days of saints, weekdays, and Votive Mass
Votive Mass
In the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, a votive Mass is a Mass offered for a votum, a special intention.The Mass does not correspond to the Divine Office for the day on which it is celebrated...

es. 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
Collect
In Christian liturgy, a collect is both a liturgical action and a short, general prayer. In the Middle Ages, the prayer was referred to in Latin as collectio, but in the more ancient sources, as oratio. In English, and in this usage, "collect" is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable...

” and through which the character of the celebration finds expression."

Liturgy of the Word


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
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 (a term wider than Hebrew Scriptures, since it includes the Deuterocanonical Books
Deuterocanonical books
Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books, which are...

), or the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 during Eastertide
Eastertide
Eastertide, or the Easter Season, or Paschal Time, is the period of fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday.It is celebrated as a single joyful feast, indeed as the "great Lord's Day". Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter, and, after the Sunday of the Resurrection,...

. The first reading is followed by a Responsorial Psalm, a complete Psalm or a sizeable portion of one. A cantor
Cantor (church)
A cantor is the chief singer employed in a church with responsibilities for the ecclesiastical choir; also called the precentor....

, choir
Choir
A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...

 or lector leads, and the congregation sings or recites a refrain. The second reading is from the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, typically from one of the Pauline epistles
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

. 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 final reading and high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation of the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

. This is preceded by the singing or recitation of the Gospel Acclamation, typically an Alleluia
Alleluia
The word "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah" , which at its most literal means "Praise Yah", is used in different ways in Christian liturgies....

 with a verse of Scripture, which may be omitted if not sung. Alleluia is replaced during Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

 by a different acclamation of praise. All stand while the Gospel
Gospel (liturgy)
The Gospel in Christian liturgy refers to a reading from the Gospels used during various religious services, including Mass or Divine Liturgy . In many Christian churches, all present stand when a passage from one of the Gospels is read publicly, and sit when a passage from a different part of the...

 is chanted or read by a deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

 or, if none is available, by a priest. To conclude the Gospel reading, the priest or deacon proclaims: "This is the Gospel of the Lord" (in the United States, "The Gospel of the Lord") and the people respond, "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ." The priest or deacon then kisses the book.

At least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, a homily
Homily
A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture. In Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a homily is usually given during Mass at the end of the Liturgy of the Word...

, 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 unable to 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
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

 or, especially from Easter to Pentecost, the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

, which is particularly associated with baptism and often used with Masses for children.

The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the General Intercession
Intercession
Intercession is the act of interceding between two parties. In both Christian and Islamic religious usage, it is a prayer to God on behalf of others....

s or "Prayers of the Faithful." The priest speaks a general introduction, then a deacon or lay person addresses the congregation, presenting some intentions for prayer, to which the congregation responds with a short response such as: "Lord hear our prayer". The priest may conclude with a supplication
Supplication
Supplication is the most common form of prayer, wherein a person asks God to provide something, either for the person or who is doing the praying or for someone else on whose behalf a prayer. This because of a supplication is being made, also known as intercession.The concept of supplication is...

.

Liturgy of the Eucharist



The linen corporal
Corporal (liturgy)
The Corporal is a square white linen cloth, now usually somewhat smaller than the breadth of an altar, upon which the chalice and paten, and also the ciborium containing the smaller hosts for the Communion of the laity, are placed during the celebration of the Eucharist .-History:It may fairly be...

 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
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

 in a procession, especially if Mass is celebrated with a large congregation. The bread (wheaten and unleavened) is placed on a paten
Paten
A paten, or diskos, is a small plate, usually made of silver or gold, used to hold Eucharistic bread which is to be consecrated. It is generally used during the service itself, while the reserved hosts are stored in the Tabernacle in a ciborium....

, and the wine (from grapes), mixed with a little water, is put in a chalice
Chalice (cup)
A chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink. In general religious terms, it is intended for drinking during a ceremony.-Christian:...

. 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 our sacrifice 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 Church." The priest then pronounces the variable prayer over the gifts that have been set aside.

The Eucharistic Prayer
Anaphora (liturgy)
The Anaphora is the most solemn part of the Divine liturgy, Mass, or other Christian Communion rite where the offerings of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. This is the usual name for this part of the Liturgy in Eastern Christianity, but it is more often called the...

, "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, 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 to give him thanks and praise."

The priest then continues with one of many Eucharistic Prayer prefaces, which lead to the Sanctus
Sanctus
The Sanctus is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming part of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine...

 acclamation: "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of power and might, 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, including the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the people kneel immediately after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus. However, the general rule is that they kneel somewhat later, for the Consecration
Consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

, 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 accidents (or appearances) of bread and wine remain unaltered (see Transubstantiation
Transubstantiation
In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and Blood, respectively, of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.The Eastern Orthodox...

).


The Eucharistic Prayer includes the Epiclesis
Epiclesis
The epiclesis is that part of the Anaphora by which the priest invokes the Holy Spirit upon the Eucharistic bread and wine in some Christian churches.In most Eastern Christian traditions, the Epiclesis comes after the Anamnesis The epiclesis (also spelled epiklesis; from "invocation" or...

, 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
Words of Institution
The Words of Institution are words echoing those of Jesus himself at his Last Supper that, when consecrating bread and wine, Christian Eucharistic liturgies include in a narrative of that event...

, recalling the words and actions of Jesus at his Last Supper
Last Supper
The Last Supper is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "communion" or "the Lord's Supper".The First Epistle to the Corinthians is...

, which he told his disciples to do in remembrance of him.

Immediately after the Consecration
Consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

 and the display to the people of the consecrated elements, the priest invites the people to proclaim "the mystery of faith", and the congregation joins in reciting the Memorial Acclamation
Memorial Acclamation
In Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and some Anglican and Methodist churches, the Memorial Acclamation is a part of the Eucharistic Prayer. It is sung or recited by the congregation.It is most commonly used after the Words of Institution.- Form of the acclamation :...

. The Roman Missal gives three forms of this acclamation. Of the first of these three, the 1973 English translation provided a very loose translation and added a second not based on any of the Latin acclamations. In Ireland yet another form ("My Lord and my God") was permitted. The revised translation, which will be put into use in most English-speaking countries on the first Sunday in Advent in 2011 (it is already in use in South Africa) has instead faithful translations of the three Latin acclamations.

The Eucharistic Prayer also includes the Anamnesis
Anamnesis (Christianity)
Anamnesis , in Christianity is a liturgical statement in which the Church refers to the memorial character of the Eucharist and/or to the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ...

, expressions of offering, and intercessions for the living and dead.

It concludes with a doxology
Doxology
A doxology is a short hymn of praises to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns...

, 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
Amen
The word amen is a declaration of affirmation found in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Its use in Judaism dates back to its earliest texts. It has been generally adopted in Christian worship as a concluding word for prayers and hymns. In Islam, it is the standard ending to Dua and the...

 by the people. The unofficial term "The Great Amen" is sometimes applied to this Amen.

Communion rite


All together recite or sing the "Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

" ("Pater Noster" or "Our Father"). The priest introduces it with a short phrase and follows it up with the embolism
Embolism (liturgy)
The embolism in Christian Liturgy is a short prayer said or sung after the Lord's Prayer. It functions "like a marginal gloss" upon the final petition of the Lord's Prayer , amplifying and elaborating on "the many implications" of that prayer...

: "Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." The people then add the doxology
Doxology
A doxology is a short hymn of praises to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns...

: "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever."

Next comes the rite of peace
Holy kiss
The kiss of peace is a traditional Christian greeting dating to early Christianity.The practice still remains a part of the worship in traditional churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox churches and some liturgical...

 (pax). After praying: "Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: 'I leave you peace, my peace I give you.' Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live 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
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

" ("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 sin 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, if necessary, of extraordinary ministers, distributes Communion to the people, who usually approach in procession.

"Holy Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling. When standing before the minister to receive Holy Communion, the faithful should make a simple 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
Intinction
Intinction is the Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread, or host, into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant.-Western Christianity:...

). 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.

While Communion is distributed, singing of an appropriate approved chant or hymn is recommended. If there is no singing, a short antiphon
Antiphon
An antiphon in Christian music and ritual, is a "responsory" by a choir or congregation, usually in Gregorian chant, to a psalm or other text in a religious service or musical work....

 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.

Concluding rite


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. The Latin formula is simply "Ite, missa est", but the 1973 English Missal gives a choice of dismissal formulas. The congregation responds: "Thanks be to God." The priest and other ministers then leave, often to the accompaniment of a recessional hymn, and the people then depart. In some countries the priest customarily stands outside the church door to greet them individually.

Time of celebration of Mass



Since the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

, the time for fulfilling the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation
Holy Day of Obligation
In the Catholic Church, Holy Days of Obligation or Holidays of Obligation, less commonly called Feasts of Precept, are the days on which, as of the Code of Canon Law states,-Eastern Catholic Churches:...

 now begins on the evening of the day before, and most parish churches do celebrate the Sunday Mass also on Saturday evening. By long tradition and liturgical law, Mass is not celebrated at any time on Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 (but Holy Communion is distributed, with hosts consecrated at the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, to those participating in the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord) or on Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday , sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter...

 before the Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into...

 (the beginning of the celebration of Easter Sunday), in other words, between the annual celebrations of the Lord's Supper and the Resurrection of Jesus (see Easter Triduum
Easter Triduum
Easter Triduum, Holy Triduum, or Paschal Triduum is the period of three days that begins with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends with evening prayer on Easter Sunday...

).

Deacons, priests and bishops are required to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

 daily, but are not obligated to celebrate Mass daily. "Apart from those cases in which the law allows him to celebrate or concelebrate the Eucharist a number of times on the same day, a priest may not celebrate more than once a day" (canon 905 of the Code of Canon Law), and "a priest may not celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least one of the faithful, unless there is a good and reasonable cause for doing so" (canon 906).

Priests may be required by their posts to celebrate Mass daily, or at least on Sundays, for the faithful in their pastoral care. The bishop of a diocese and the pastor of a parish are required to celebrate or arrange for another priest to celebrate, on every Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation
Holy Day of Obligation
In the Catholic Church, Holy Days of Obligation or Holidays of Obligation, less commonly called Feasts of Precept, are the days on which, as of the Code of Canon Law states,-Eastern Catholic Churches:...

, a Mass "pro populo" - that is, for the faithful entrusted to his care.

For Latin-Rite priests, there are a few general exceptions to the limitation to celebrate only one Mass a day. By very ancient tradition, they may celebrate Mass three times at Christmas (the Midnight Mass or "Mass of the Angels", the Dawn Mass or "Shepherd's Mass", and the Day Mass or "Mass of the Divine Word", each of which has its own readings and chants).

On All Souls' Day they may also, on the basis of a privilege to all priests by Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV , born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, reigned as Pope from 3 September 1914 to 22 January 1922...

 in August 1915, celebrate Mass three times; only one of the three Masses may be for the personal intentions of the priest, while the other two Masses must be applied, one for all the faithful departed, the other for the intentions of the Pope. A priest who has concelebrated the Chrism Mass, which may be held on the morning of Holy Thursday, may also celebrate or concelebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper that evening. A priest may celebrate or concelebrate both the Mass of the Easter Vigil and Mass during Easter day (the Easter Vigil "should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on Sunday"; and may therefore take place at midnight or in the early hours of Easter morning). Finally, a priest who has concelebrated Mass at a meeting of priests or during a pastoral visitation by a bishop or a bishop's delegate, may celebrate a second Mass for the benefit of the laity.

In addition to these general permissions, the Local Ordinary may, for a good reason, permit priests to celebrate twice (they are then said to "binate," and the act is "bination
Bination
Bination, with reference to the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, is the offering up of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass twice on the same day by the same celebrant.-History:...

") on weekdays, and three times ("trinate," and "trination") on Sundays and Holy Days (canon 905 §2). Examples would be: if a parish priest were to need to celebrate the usual, scheduled daily Mass of a parish, and a funeral later in the morning, or three Masses to accommodate all of the parishioners in a very populous parish on Sundays. In particularly difficult circumstances, the Pope can grant the diocesan bishop permission to give his priests faculties to trinate on weekdays and quadrinate on Sundays.

In many countries, the bishop's power to permit priests to celebrate two Masses on one day and three Masses on one day is widely availed of, so that it is common for priests assigned to parish ministry to celebrate at least two Masses on any given Sunday, and two Masses on several other days of the week. Permission for four Masses on one day has been obtained in order to cope with large numbers of Catholics either in mission lands or where the ranks of priests are diminishing.

Summary table

Situation Masses permitted Masses required
Normal weekday 1 0
Normal Sunday 2 1
All Souls' Day 3 1
Christmas Day 3 1
Easter 2 1
Holy Thursday 2 1
Weekday with permission of Local Ordinary 2 0
Sunday or Holy Day with permission of Local Ordinary 3 1
Weekday with permission of the Pope through Local Ordinary 3 0
Sunday or Holy Day with permission of the Pope through Local Ordinary 4 1

Duration of the celebration


The length of time that it takes to celebrate Mass varies considerably. While the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
The Roman Rite is the liturgical rite used in the Diocese of Rome in the Catholic Church. It is by far the most widespread of the Latin liturgical rites used within the Western or Latin autonomous particular Church, the particular Church that itself is also called the Latin Rite, and that is one of...

 liturgy is shorter than other liturgical rites, it may on solemn occasions - even apart from exceptional circumstances such as the Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into...

 or an event such as ordinations - take over an hour and a half. The length of the homily
Homily
A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture. In Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a homily is usually given during Mass at the end of the Liturgy of the Word...

 is an obvious factor that contributes to the overall length. Other factors are the number of people receiving Communion and the number and length of the chants and other singing.

For most of the second millennium, before the twentieth century brought changes beginning with Pope Pius X
Pope Pius X
Pope Saint Pius X , born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was the 257th Pope of the Catholic Church, serving from 1903 to 1914. He was the first pope since Pope Pius V to be canonized. Pius X rejected modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox...

's encouragement of frequent Communion, the usual Mass was said exactly the same way whether people other than a server were present or not. No homily was given, and most often only the priest himself received Communion. Moral theologians gave their opinions on how much time the priest should dedicate to celebrating a Mass, a matter on which canon law and the Roman Missal were silent. One said that an hour should not be considered too long. Several others that, in order to avoid tedium, Mass should last no more than half an hour; and in order to be said with due reverence, it should last no less than twenty minutes. Another theologian, who gave half an hour as the minimum time, considered that Mass could not be said in less than a quarter of an hour, an opinion supported by others, including Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Alphonsus Liguori
Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori was an Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, scholastic philosopher and theologian, and founder of the Redemptorists, an influential religious congregation...

, who said that any priest who finished Mass in less than that time could scarcely be excused from mortal sin.

Ritual Masses


A Mass celebrated in connection with a particular rite, such as an ordination, a wedding or a profession of religious vows, may use texts provided in the "Ritual Masses" section of the Roman Missal. The rite in question is, most often, a sacrament, but the section has special texts not only for Masses within which Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Orders, and Holy Matrimony are celebrated, but also for Masses with religious profession, the dedication of a church, and several other rites. Confession (Penance or Reconciliation) is the only sacrament not celebrated within a Eucharistic framework and for which therefore no Ritual Mass is provided.

The Ritual Mass texts may not be used, except perhaps partially, when the rite is celebrated during especially important liturgical seasons or on high ranking feasts.

A Nuptial Mass is a Ritual Mass within which the sacrament of Holy Matrimony
Holy Matrimony
Holy matrimony is a phrase used by Christians to describe marriage. See also Christian views of marriage. It may also refer to:*Holy Matrimony , a 1943 comedy starring Monty Woolley and Gracie Fields...

 is celebrated. If one of a couple being married in a Catholic church is not a Catholic, the rite of Holy Matrimony outside Mass is to be followed. However, if the non-Catholic has been baptized in the name of all three Persons of the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 (and not only in the name of, say, Jesus, as is the baptismal practice in some branches of Christianity), then, in exceptional cases and provided the bishop of the diocese gives permission, it may be considered suitable to celebrate the marriage within Mass, except that, according to the general law, Communion is not given to the non-Catholic (Rite of Marriage, 8).

Mass in Anglicanism


"Mass" is one of many terms used to describe the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 in the Anglican tradition. More frequently, the term used is either "Holy Communion," "Holy Eucharist," or "the Lord's Supper." Occasionally the term used in Eastern churches, "the Divine Liturgy", is also employed. In the English-speaking Anglican world, the term used frequently connotes the Eucharistic theology
Eucharistic theology
Eucharistic theology is a branch of Christian theology which treats doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, also commonly known as the Lord's Supper...

 of the one using it. "Mass" is considered an Anglo-Catholic term.

Structure of the rite


The various Eucharistic liturgies used by national churches of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 have continuously evolved from the early editions of the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

, which was loosely based upon the Pre-Tridentine Mass
Pre-Tridentine Mass
The term Pre-Tridentine Mass here refers to the variants of the liturgical rite of Mass in Rome before 1570, when, with his bull Quo primum, Pope Pius V made the Roman Missal, as revised by him, obligatory throughout the Latin-Rite or Western Church, except for those places and congregations whose...

. The structure of the liturgies, crafted in the tradition of the Elizabethan Settlement, allows for a variety of theological interpretations, and generally follows the same rough shape. Some or all of the following elements may be altered or absent depending on the rite, the liturgical season and use of the province or national church:
  • The Gathering of the Community: Beginning with a Trinitarian
    Trinitarian formula
    The trinitarian formula is the phrase "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" , or words to that form and effect referring to the three persons of the Christian Trinity.- Biblical origin :...

    -based greeting or seasonal
    Liturgical year
    The liturgical year, also known as the church year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in...

     acclamation; followed by the Collect for Purity
    Collect for Purity
    The Collect for Purity is the name traditionally given to the collect prayed near the beginning of the Eucharist in most Anglican rites. It was originally drafted in Latin for the Sarum missal and was part of the preparation prayers of priests before Mass...

    ; the Gloria in Excelsis Deo
    Gloria in Excelsis Deo
    "Gloria in excelsis Deo" is the title and beginning of a hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.It is an example of the psalmi idiotici "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")...

     or some other song of praise, Kyrie eleison, and/or Trisagion
    Trisagion
    The Trisagion , sometimes called by its opening line Agios O Theos or by the Latin Tersanctus, is a standard hymn of the Divine Liturgy in most of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches and Catholic Churches.In those Churches which use the Byzantine Rite, the Trisagion is chanted...

    ; and then the collect
    Collect
    In Christian liturgy, a collect is both a liturgical action and a short, general prayer. In the Middle Ages, the prayer was referred to in Latin as collectio, but in the more ancient sources, as oratio. In English, and in this usage, "collect" is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable...

     of the day. During Lent
    Lent
    In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

     and/or Advent
    Advent
    Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi...

     especially, this part of the service may begin or end with a penitential rite.
  • The Proclamation of the Word: Usually two to three readings of Scripture, one of which is always from the Gospel
    Gospel
    A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

    s, plus a psalm (or portion thereof) or canticle
    Canticle
    A canticle is a hymn taken from the Bible. The term is often expanded to include ancient non-biblical hymns such as the Te Deum and certain psalms used liturgically.-Roman Catholic Church:From the Old Testament, the Roman Breviary takes seven canticles for use at Lauds, as follows:*...

     between the lessons. This is followed by a sermon
    Sermon
    A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

     or homily
    Homily
    A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture. In Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a homily is usually given during Mass at the end of the Liturgy of the Word...

    ; the recitation of the Apostles'
    Apostles' Creed
    The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

    , Nicene
    Nicene Creed
    The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

     or Athanasian
    Athanasian Creed
    The Athanasian Creed is a Christian statement of belief, focusing on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. The Latin name of the creed, Quicumque vult, is taken from the opening words, "Whosoever wishes." The Athanasian Creed has been used by Christian churches since the sixth century...

     Creeds; the prayers of the congregation or a general intercession, a general confession and absolution, and the passing of the peace.
  • The Celebration of the Eucharist: The gifts of bread and wine are brought up, along with other gifts (such as money and/or food for a food bank, etc.), and an offertory
    Offertory
    The Offertory is the portion of a Eucharistic service when bread and wine are brought to the altar. The offertory exists in many liturgical Christian denominations, though the Eucharistic theology varies among celebrations conducted by these denominations....

     prayer is recited. Following this, a Eucharistic Prayer (called "The Great Thanksgiving") is offered. This prayer consists of a dialogue (the Sursum Corda
    Sursum corda
    The Sursum Corda is the opening dialogue to the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer or Anaphora in the liturgies of the Christian Church, dating back to at least the third century and the Anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition. The dialogue is recorded in the earliest liturgies of the Christian...

    ), a preface, the sanctus
    Sanctus
    The Sanctus is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming part of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine...

     and benedictus, the Words of Institution, the Anamnesis, an Epiclesis
    Epiclesis
    The epiclesis is that part of the Anaphora by which the priest invokes the Holy Spirit upon the Eucharistic bread and wine in some Christian churches.In most Eastern Christian traditions, the Epiclesis comes after the Anamnesis The epiclesis (also spelled epiklesis; from "invocation" or...

     a petition for salvation and a Doxology. The Lord's Prayer precedes the fraction
    Fraction (religion)
    The Fraction is the ceremonial act of breaking the consecrated bread during the Eucharistic rite in some Christian denominations.-Roman Catholic:In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, it is accompanied by the singing or recitation of the Agnus Dei....

     (the breaking of the bread), followed by the Prayer of Humble Access
    Prayer of Humble Access
    The Prayer of Humble Access is the name traditionally given to a prayer contained in many Anglican and Protestant eucharistic liturgies.The prayer was an integral part of the early Books of Common Prayer of the Church of England and has continued to be used throughout much of the Anglican Communion...

     and/or the Agnus Dei, and the distribution of the sacred elements (the bread and wine). After all who have desired to have received, there is a post-Communion prayer, which is a general prayer of thanksgiving. The service concludes with a Trinitarian blessing and the dismissal.


The liturgy is divided into two parts: The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but the entire liturgy itself is also properly referred to as the Holy Eucharist. The parts and sequence of the liturgy are almost identical to the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
The Roman Rite is the liturgical rite used in the Diocese of Rome in the Catholic Church. It is by far the most widespread of the Latin liturgical rites used within the Western or Latin autonomous particular Church, the particular Church that itself is also called the Latin Rite, and that is one of...

, except the Confession of Sin ends the Liturgy of the Word in the Anglican rites in North America, while in the Roman Rite and in Anglican rites in the rest of the world the Confession is near the beginning of the service.

Special masses


The Anglican tradition includes separate rites for nuptial masses, funeral masses, and votive masses. The Eucharist is an integral part of many other sacramental services, including ordination
Ordination
In general religious use, ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination itself varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is...

 and Confirmation.

Ceremonial


Some Anglo-Catholic
Anglo-Catholicism
The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism describe people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that affirm the Catholic, rather than Protestant, heritage and identity of the Anglican churches....

 parishes use Anglican versions of the Tridentine Missal, such as the English Missal
English Missal
The English Missal is a translation of the Roman Missal used by some liturgically advanced Anglo-Catholic parish churches. After its publication by W. Knott & Son Limited in 1912, the English Missal was rapidly endorsed by the growing Ritualist movement of Anglo-Catholic clergy, who viewed the...

, The Anglican Missal, or American Missal, for the celebration of mass, all of which are intended primarily for the celebration of the Eucharist. Many Anglo-Catholic parishes in the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 use A Manual of Anglo-Catholic Devotion (successor to the earlier A Manual of Catholic Devotion). In the Episcopal Church USA, a traditional-language, Anglo-Catholic adaptation of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 has been published (An Anglican Service Book).

All of these books contain such features as meditations for the presiding celebrant(s) during the liturgy, and other material such as the rite for the blessing of palms on Palm Sunday, proper
Proper (liturgy)
The Proper is a part of the Christian liturgy that varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the Liturgical Year, or of a particular saint or significant event...

s for special feast days, and instructions for proper ceremonial order. These books are used as a more expansively Catholic
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 context in which to celebrate the liturgical use found in the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 and related liturgical books.

These are often supplemented in Anglo-Catholic parishes by books specifying ceremonial actions, such as A Priest's Handbook by David Michno, Ceremonies of the Eucharist, by Howard E. Galley, and Ritual Notes by E.C.R. Lamburn. Other guides to ceremonial include the General Instruction of the Roman Missal
General Instruction of the Roman Missal
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal —in the Latin original, Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani —is the detailed document governing the celebration of Mass of the ordinary form of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church since 1969...

, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite (Peter Elliott), Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described (Adrian Fortescue), and The Parson's Handbook
The Parson's Handbook
The Parson's Handbook is a book by Percy Dearmer, first published in 1899, that was fundamental to the development of liturgy in the Church of England and throughout the Anglican Communion....

(Percy Dearmer
Percy Dearmer
Percy Dearmer, was an English priest and liturgist best known as the author of The Parson's Handbook, a liturgical manual for Anglican clergy. A lifelong socialist, he was an early advocate of the public ministry of women and concerned with social justice...

). In Evangelical Anglican (i.e. Protestant) parishes, the rubrics detailed in the Book of Common Prayer are considered normative.

Mass in Lutheranism


In the Book of Concord
Book of Concord
The Book of Concord or Concordia is the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, consisting of ten credal documents recognized as authoritative in Lutheranism since the 16th century...

, Article XXIV ("Of the Mass") of the Augsburg Confession
Augsburg Confession
The Augsburg Confession, also known as the "Augustana" from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation...

 (1530) begins thus: "Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among us, and celebrated with the highest reverence. We do not abolish the Mass but religiously keep and defend it... we keep the traditional liturgical form... In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other holy days, when the sacrament is offered to those who wish for it after they have been examined and absolved (Article XXIV)".

Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 rejected parts of the Roman Rite Catholic Mass, specifically the Canon of the Mass
Canon of the Mass
Canon of the Mass is the name given in the Roman Missal, from the first typical edition of Pope Pius V in 1570 to that of Pope John XXIII in 1962, to the part of the Mass of the Roman Rite that begins after the Sanctus with the words Te igitur...

), which, as he argued, did not conform with . In that verse, the Old Testament priests, who needed to make a sacrifice for sins on a regular basis, are contrasted with the single priest Christ, who offers his body only once as a sacrifice. The theme is carried out also in , , and . He composed as a replacement a revised Latin-language rite, Formula missae
Formula missae
Formula missae et communionis pro ecclesia Vuittembergensi was a 16th century Latin liturgy composed by Martin Luther for Lutheran churches in Wittenberg....

in 1523 and the vernacular Deutsche Messe
Deutsche Messe
Deutsche Messe, or The German Mass, was published by Martin Luther in 1526. It followed his Latin mass, Formula missae . Both of these masses were meant only as a suggestion made on request and were not expected to be used exactly as they were, but could be altered...

 in 1526.

In German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, the Scandinavian languages
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...

, Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

, and some English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, use the word "Mass" for their corresponding service, but in most English-speaking churches, they call it the "Divine Service", "Holy Communion, or "the Holy Eucharist".

The celebration of the Mass in Lutheran churches follows a similar pattern to other traditions, starting with public confession (Confiteor
Confiteor
The Confiteor is one of the prayers that can be said during the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass of the Roman Rite in the Catholic Church. It is also said in the Lutheran Church at the beginning of their Divine Service...

) by all and a Declaration of Grace
Declaration of Grace
In Lutheranism, the Declaration of Grace is the words that are said in the Divine Service by the priest, following the congregation reciting the Confiteor. It it not regarded as absolution, rather it is regarded as an "assurance of forgiveness".-Text:...

 said by the priest or pastor. Followed by the Introit
Introit
The Introit is part of the opening of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations. In its most complete version, it consists of an antiphon, psalm verse and Gloria Patri that is spoken or sung at the beginning of the celebration...

, Kyrie
Kyrie
Kyrie, a transliteration of Greek κύριε , vocative case of κύριος , meaning "Lord", is the common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, which is also called the Kýrie, eléison ....

, Gloria
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
"Gloria in excelsis Deo" is the title and beginning of a hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.It is an example of the psalmi idiotici "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")...

, collect
Collect
In Christian liturgy, a collect is both a liturgical action and a short, general prayer. In the Middle Ages, the prayer was referred to in Latin as collectio, but in the more ancient sources, as oratio. In English, and in this usage, "collect" is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable...

, the readings with an alleluia
Alleluia
The word "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah" , which at its most literal means "Praise Yah", is used in different ways in Christian liturgies....

 (alleluia is not said during Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

), homily
Homily
A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture. In Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a homily is usually given during Mass at the end of the Liturgy of the Word...

 (or sermon) and recitation of the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

. The Service of the Eucharist includes the General intercessions
General Intercessions
The General Intercessions or Universal Prayer or Prayers of the Faithful are a series of prayers which form part of the liturgy in the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and other Western liturgical Churches.-Roman Rite:...

, Preface
Preface
A preface is an introduction to a book or other literary work written by the work's author. An introductory essay written by a different person is a foreword and precedes an author's preface...

, Sanctus
Sanctus
The Sanctus is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming part of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine...

 and Eucharistic Prayer, elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

 of the host and chalice and invitation to the Eucharist. The Agnus Dei is chanted while the clergy and assistants first commune followed by lay communicants. Postcommunion
Postcommunion
Postcommunion is the text said or sung on a reciting tone following the Communion of the Mass.-Form:Every Postcommunion corresponds to a collect. These are the three fundamental prayers of any given Proper Mass. The Postcommunion is said or chanted exactly like the Collect...

 prayers and the final blessing by the priest ends the Mass. A Roman Catholic or Anglican of the Anglo-Catholic party would find its elements familiar, in particular the use of the sign of the cross, kneeling for prayer and the Eucharistic Prayer, bowing to the processional crucifix, kissing the altar, incense (among some), chanting, and vestments.

Lutheran churches often celebrate the Eucharist each Sunday, if not at every worship service. This is in keeping with Luther's preference and the Lutheran confessions. Also, eucharistic ministers take the sacramental elements to the sick in hospitals and nursing homes. The practice of weekly communion is increasingly the norm again in most Lutheran parishes throughout the world. This restoration of the weekly Mass has been strongly encouraged by the bishops and pastors of the larger Lutheran bodies.

The celebration of the Eucharist may be included in weddings, funerals, retreats, the dedication of a church building and at annual synod conventions. The Mass is also an important aspect of ordinations and confirmations in Lutheran churches.

See also

  • Mass (music)
    Mass (music)
    The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy to music...

  • Mass of Paul VI
    Mass of Paul VI
    The Mass of Pope Paul VI is the liturgy of the Catholic Mass of the Roman Rite promulgated by Paul VI in 1969, after the Second Vatican Council...

  • Eucharistic theologies contrasted
    Eucharistic theologies contrasted
    This article contrasts the views of a number of churches regarding Eucharistic theology:-Roman Catholic Church:* Transubstantiation as a statement of what is changed when the bread and wine are consecrated, not an explanation of the means or mode by which the Real Presence is effected, since "[t]he...

  • Pontifical High Mass
    Pontifical High Mass
    In the context of the Tridentine Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, a Pontifical High Mass, also called Solemn Pontifical Mass, is a Solemn or High Mass celebrated by a bishop using certain prescribed ceremonies. The term is also used among Anglo-Catholic Anglicans.-Origins:In the early Church,...

  • Gnostic Mass
    Gnostic Mass
    A Gnostic Mass is a religious Mass administered by a Gnostic church. Several such churches exist, each with its own Gnostic version of the Mass. Some of these are:* Ecclesia Gnostica celebrates a Gnostic traditional Mass called The Gnostic Holy Eucharist...

  • Chantry
    Chantry
    Chantry is the English term for a fund established to pay for a priest to celebrate sung Masses for a specified purpose, generally for the soul of the deceased donor. Chantries were endowed with lands given by donors, the income from which maintained the chantry priest...

  • Red Mass
    Red Mass
    A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for judges, attorneys, law school professors, students, and government officials...

  • Requiem
    Requiem
    A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...


Further reading

  • Baldovin,SJ, John F., (2008). Reforming the Liturgy: A Response to the Critics. The Liturgical Press.
  • Bugnini, Annibale (Archbishop), (1990). The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975. The Liturgical Press.
  • Donghi, Antonio, (2009). Words and Gestures in the Liturgy. The Liturgical Press.
  • Foley, Edward,. From Age to Age: How Christians Have Celebrated the Eucharist, Revised and Expanded Edition. The Liturgical Press.
  • Johnson, Lawrence J., (2009). Worship in the Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources. The Liturgical Press.
  • Marini, Piero (Archbishop), (2007). A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal. The Liturgical Press.
  • Martimort, A.G. (editor). The Church At Prayer. The Liturgical Press.

External links


Roman Catholic doctrine
Present form of the Roman rite of the Mass

Tridentine form of the Roman rite of the Mass

(For links on Post-Tridentine vs. "Tridentine" controversy, see Mass of Paul VI
Mass of Paul VI
The Mass of Pope Paul VI is the liturgy of the Catholic Mass of the Roman Rite promulgated by Paul VI in 1969, after the Second Vatican Council...

)


Anglican Doctrine and practice

Lutheran doctrine