Mass in the Catholic Church

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A 15th-century Mass

The Mass or Eucharistic Celebration is the central liturgical ritual in the Catholic Church where the Eucharist (Communion) is consecrated.[1] The church describes the Mass as "the sources is and sucsummit of the Christian life".[2] The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Catholic Church practises closed communion, with only baptised members in a state of grace ordinarily permitted to receive the Eucharist.[3]

Many of the Catholic Church's other sacraments are celebrated in the framework of the Eucharist. The term "Mass" is generally used within the Latin Church's celebrations of the Eucharist, while the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and the various Eastern Catholic Churches use terms such as "Divine Liturgy", "Holy Qurbana", and "Badarak",[4] in accordance with each one's tradition.

The term "Mass" is derived from the concluding words of the Roman Rite Mass in Latin: "Ite, missa est" ("Go; it is the dismissal"). The Late Latin word missa substantively corresponds to the classical Latin word missio.[5] 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.[6]

The Roman Rite Mass is the predominant form used in the Catholic Church and the focus of this article. For information on the theology of the Eucharist and on the Eucharistic liturgy of other Christian denominations, see "Mass (liturgy)", "Eucharist" and "Eucharistic theology". For information on the history and of development of the Mass see Eucharist and Origin of the Eucharist.

Roman Rite Mass

Depiction of the first Mass in Chile, by Pedro Subercaseaux

The following description of the celebration of Mass is limited to the current Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, conducted using the local vernacular language and customs. This version was introduced in 1969 following calls for liturgical reforms by the bishops participating in the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) based on new historical perspectives and biblical studies, and has been the most common form used. This version was introduced to succeed the Tridentine Mass, celebrated in Latin and dating to the liturgical reforms of the Council of Trent (1545–46). The Tridentine Mass, as revised in 1962, is still permitted for use as an Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Other historical and minor contemporary Latin Rite masses have been used in different regions of the world, as well the Eastern Christian forms known as the Divine Liturgy.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC or Catechism) produced in 1994 discusses the importance of the Mass in the Catholic tradition based on the whole history of the Mass and the understanding of it to that time. The United States Catholic Conference edition of the Catechism prefers to call the Mass the “Eucharistic Celebration.” Under this topic in the Subject Index it lists as principal subtopics: commanded by Christ; center of the Church’s life; memorial celebration; in the Church from the beginning; participation as Church precept; structure and movement.[7]

Liturgical Texts

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 contains the normal ("ordinary") form of Mass in the Roman Rite[8] and the 1962 edition the Tridentine Mass which, according to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, may be celebrated as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

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,[9] is recommended for the reading from the Gospels, but where this book is not available the Lectionary is used in its place.

Structure of Mass

The Eucharistic celebration is "one single act of worship", but consists of different elements, which always include "the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine, which signifies also our own transformation into the body of Christ;[10] and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood".[11]

Within the fixed structure of the Roman-Rite Mass outlined below, the "proper" or daily-varying parts are the Scripture readings, the antiphons at the entrance and communion processions, and the texts of the three prayers known as the collect, the prayer over the gifts, and the post-communion prayer. These convey themes from 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 easiest way to determine the type of form the Mass will take will be the positioning of the priest and altar, and the language. Celebrations of the Extraordinary Form (a.k.a. Tridentine Mass) are almost universally facing Ad orientem to the altar and conducted in Latin, while celebrations of the Ordinary Form (Mass of Paul VI--a.k.a. Pauline Mass) are commonly conducted Versus populum and conducted in the local vernacular (modern) language of the country (or in the language of ex-patriated foreign residents).

Introductory rites

The priest enters with altar servers, and with a deacon if there is one. The deacon may carry the Book of the Gospels, which he will place on the altar, and the servers may carry a processional cross, candles, and incense. During this procession, ordinarily, the entrance chant or hymn is sung.[12] 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.[13] 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,"[14][15] 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." [16] The greetings are derived from the Pauline epistles.

High altar of the Capuchin church in Ostend, Belgium.

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. One form includes tropes acclaiming God's deeds on our behalf, and the priest has some freedom in formulating these. This is concluded with the priest's prayer of absolution, "which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance." [17] "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." [17]

"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." [18] The Kyrie may be sung or recited in the vernacular language or in the original Greek.[19]

"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."[20] 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." [21]

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 (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. "That the people may be able to sing the Psalm response more readily, texts of some responses and Psalms have been chosen for the various seasons of the year or for the various categories of Saints. These may be used in place of the text corresponding to the reading whenever the Psalm is sung."[22] The second reading is from the New Testament, typically from one of the Pauline epistles. The reader typically begins each reading with the introductory statement "a reading from the Book of..." or "a reading from the Letter to...," and concludes each reading by proclaiming that the reading is "the word of the Lord,"; the congregation responds by saying "Thanks be to God." The lector will usually be a scheduled volunteer from among the congregation; when two non-Gospel readings are given, they may be given by two different lectors or by one, according to local preference.

Deacon Friel.jpg

The final reading and high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation of the Gospel. This is preceded by the singing 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. The reading is traditionally introduced with the phrase "a reading from the Holy Gospel according to" followed by the evangelist's name. 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.[23] 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.[24]

At least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, a homily, a sermon that draws upon some aspect of the readings or of the liturgy, 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.[25]

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.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Mass in the Grotto of the Annunciation, Nazareth.

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.[26] The unleavened, wheat bread (in the tradition of the Latin Church)[27] is placed on a paten, and the wine (from grapes) is put in a chalice and mixed with a little water, 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."[28]

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.

The Eucharistic Prayer, "the centre and high point of the entire celebration",[29] 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 "Eucharist", a word originating in the Greek word for giving thanks: "Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God." The congregation joins in this sentiment, saying: "It is right and just."

The priest continues with one of many, thematic Eucharistic Prayer prefaces, which lead to the Sanctus acclamation[30]: "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, including the United States, the people kneel immediately after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus. Where the people do not kneel they make a profound bow after the Consecration[31] – the Institution Narrative that recalls Jesus' words and actions at his Last Supper: "Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you.... 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."[32] Raising the bread and wine high after the Consecrationit began when the priest celebrated with his back to the people. The priest says: "The mystery of faith" and the people respond with an acclamation, using one of three prescribed formulae.[33]

Mass at the Grotto at Lourdes. The chalice is displayed to the people immediately after the consecration of the wine.

The Eucharistic Prayer includes the Epiclesis (which since early Christian times the Eastern churches have seen as the climax of the Consecration), praying that the Holy Spirit might transform the gifts, and thereby the people into one body in Christ.[34] The whole remembrance part of the Eucharistic Prayer, recalling Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection, is called the Anamnesis.

Intercessions for the living and dead follow. When there are priests concelebrating the Mass they join the main celebrant in the central prayers, up to the intercessions which they may divide among themselves.

The Eucharistic Prayer ends with an emphatic doxology for which the priest lifts high the paten with the host and the deacon (if there is one) the chalice, and the priest(s) proclaim of Christ that "through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever," to which the people add their great Amen. The priest has spoken in the name of the entire congregation ("we" not "I") throughout the Eucharistic Prayer, and this Amen is the people's assent to all that has been said in their name.

Both the doxology and Amen are preferably sung. This is in line with the Instruction on Music in the Liturgy which says: "One cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song. Therefore the active participation of the whole people, which is shown in singing, is to be carefully promoted.... It should first of all include acclamations, responses to the greetings of the priest and ministers and to the prayers of litany form, and also antiphons and psalms, refrains or repeated responses, hymns and canticles."[35]

Communion rite

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;[36] 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).

The priest breaks the host and places a piece in the main chalice; this is known as the rite of fraction and commingling. Covering this action the "Lamb of God" ("Agnus Dei" in Latin) is sung or recited,[37]

If extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are required, they may come forward at this time, and approach the altar itself after the priest has received Communion.[38] The priest then presents the Eucharistic Bread to the congregation, saying: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb."[39] 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,"[40] which is a reference in the Gospel of Matthew to where a Roman centurion manifests exemplary faith in Jesus to heal his servant, saying he was not worthy to have Jesus, and that Jesus's word alone was enough to do what was needed. 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.[41]

"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."[41] (In the United States, Communion is to be received standing, though no one can be denied the Eucharist for failing to observe a liturgical norm. The sign of reverence specified is a bow of the head before approaching the minister.)

Then the distributing minister says: "The body of Christ" or "The blood of Christ",[42] 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).[43] 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. If in the hand they should step aside then "eat" the bread as Jesus says.[44]

While Communion is distributed, singing by all of an appropriate approved chant or hymn is recommended, to emphasize the essentially "communitarian" nature of the body of Christ.[45] 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.[46]

"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."[47] 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 latest edition of the Missal adds new versions of the dismissal, particularly written to remind us that we are sent forth to live out the mission of Christ.[48] The congregation responds: "Thanks be to God." The priest and other ministers then leave, preferably to the recessional hymn sung by all.

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, the time for fulfilling the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation now begins on the evening of the day before,[49][50] 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 (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 before the Easter Vigil (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).

Priests are required to celebrate Mass frequently and are earnestly recommended to do so daily.[51] However, "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,"[51] 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."[51] (Note that "good and reasonable cause" is a rather mild requirement in comparative canonical parlance; one "good and reasonable cause" could be that he wants to celebrate Mass, for devotion's sake, and does not find attenders; one other could be that for one specific day in, say, a weekly schedule he cannot guarantee to keep a Mass time and so prefers to celebrate privately so as not to raise expectations.)

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[52] and the pastor of a parish[53] are required to celebrate or arrange for another priest to celebrate on every Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation, 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.[54] By tradition, they may celebrate Mass three times on Christmas Day (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 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 for all the faithful departed and 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") on weekdays, and three times ("trinate" or "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 or three Masses on one day is widely used, and 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. This sometimes also happens in the case of historic churches which are unusually small compared to their number of parishioners, but which have not been replaced due to their historic character.

Summary table regarding priests with pastoral responsibilities

Situation Masses permitted Masses required*
Normal weekday 1 0
Normal Sunday 1 1
Sunday, for just reasons** 2 1
All Souls' Day 3 1
Christmas Day*** 3 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

* By any priest of a parish for the people; that is to say, individual priests are not required to say Masses on these days per se, but a Mass in each parish or oratory must be available for the people.
** According to the pastor's own judgment.
*** By longstanding custom, this includes the First Mass of Christmas "during the night", even if it begins somewhat earlier than midnight.

Note that the canonical day is counted from midnight to midnight, so a Saturday evening Mass is counted as a Saturday Mass, even if by special provision people can fulfill their Sunday obligation with it (can. 1248 § 1) and it is liturgically a Mass of the Sunday.

Duration of the celebration

The length of time that it takes to celebrate Mass varies considerably. While the Roman Rite liturgy is shorter than other liturgical rites, it may on solemn occasions – even apart from exceptional circumstances such as the Easter Vigil or an event such as ordinations – take over an hour and a half. The length of the homily 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'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,[55] and most often only the priest himself received Communion.[56] 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 who said that any priest who finished Mass in less than that time could scarcely be excused from mortal sin.[57] It is to be noted that St. Alphonsus treats as a matter of course that one of the requirements of the celebrant is brevity, which was (in his time) in danger of being overly stressed against other requirements, such as to say it with devotion; he gives the impression that the Church had a long time more trouble to admonish too quick priests for more devotion than to admonish too slow priests for so-to-say "less"; but overlengths are also to be avoided, except perhaps in a private Mass.

To sum it up, St. Alphonsus (whose opinion in moral matters can always safely be followed as the Church has said) teaches that "Mass itself" should ideally take at least a half-hour, but also not much longer; at that time, this Mass included the Prayers at the foot of the altar, which are abolished in the reformed liturgy. That is to be understood for a read Mass without chant, songs, homily, distribution of Holy Communion to the people, special liturgical functions proper to the specific feast or season, or Second Reading for the Sunday, all of which can (considerably) add to the length.

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 (Extreme Unction), Holy 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[58] is a Ritual Mass within which the sacrament of Holy Matrimony 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 (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).

Pope Francis granted the Jubilee Indulgence to the faithful celebrating the Holy Eucharist.[59][60]

Other Masses

In the United States, the liturgical custom of holding a Red Mass has more recently led to annual Masses for at least two other occupational groups; "Blue" Masses for police officers and others engaged in public safety, as well as "White" or "Rose" Masses for doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals.[61]

Blue Mass

A Blue Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for those employed in the "public safety field" (i.e. police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, 911 operators and EMS personnel).[62] The color blue relates to the blue-colored uniforms predominantly used by these services.[63] Similar to the Red Mass, the service honors those who have died in the line of duty and those currently serving as first responders.[64] The Mass is an opportunity for the community to show gratitude to first responders and their families.[65]

Gold Mass

The first "Gold Mass" — for scientists — was scheduled to be held on November 15, 2016, in the chapel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[66] The sponsor is the Society of Catholic Scientists,[67] which was incorporated in the summer of 2016 in the territory of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.[66] The color gold was chosen because (1) it represents the alchemy of science and (2) it is the color that is worn — at graduation ceremonies — on the hood of those who are being awarded bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees in the academic discipline of science.[68][66] The date of November 15 was chosen because it is the feast day of St. Albert the Great, a Dominican doctor of the Church who is the patron of scientists.[68]

Red Mass

A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for judges, lawyers, law school professors, law students, and government officials. The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.

Rose Mass

Since 1992 the John Carroll Society has sponsored a Rose Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington, to acknowledge medical, dental, nursing and allied workers and volunteers and the many health care institutions in the Archdiocese of Washington. It takes place annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (“Laetare Sunday”), a Sunday when the vestments worn by the celebrant are rose-colored. The color rose was chosen as the rose has come to symbolize “life,”[69] The Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association hosts a Rose Mass in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

White Mass

The tradition of the White Mass in the United States finds its origins in the development of the national Catholic Medical Association in the early 1930s. The White Mass, so named by the color worn by those in the healing profession of medicine, is held in recognition of the dedicated work of healthcare professionals and to ask God’s blessing upon patient, doctor, nurse, and caregiver.[70] The Archdiocese of St. Louis celebrates a 'White Mass' every year for those involved in healthcare. The Mass is associated with St. Luke, the patron of physicians and surgeons, whose feast day is October 18.[71] The Archdiocese of Atlanta also celebrates a White Mass honoring health care professionals,[72] as does Creighton University.[73] St. Patrick's Cathedral in Norwich, Connecticut held its twenty-fifth White Mass in 2015. The speaker at the brunch following the Mass was Lt. Commander Seth Flagg M.D. of the U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment.[74]

In Lewiston, Maine, the White Mass is held in February to coincide with the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1992 as "a special time of prayer and sharing, ...and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ". It is celebrated on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.[75]

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
  2. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324
  3. ^ "CCC, 'The Paschal Mystery'". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Hovhanessian, Vahan (2011). "Badarak (Patarag)". The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. doi:10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0112. 
  5. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Liturgy of the Mass". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  6. ^ Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum caritatis, 51
  7. ^ Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994, ISBN 1-55586-513-5.
  8. ^ "The Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy" Letter of Pope Benedict to the Bishops, 7 July 2007, paragraph 5
  9. ^ General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), paragraph 44
  10. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:17
  11. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church - IntraText". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  12. ^ "The antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum or the Graduale Simplex, or another chant ... whose text has been approved by the Conference of Bishops". GIRM, paragraph 48
  13. ^ GIRM, paragraph 256
  14. ^ "THE ORDER OF MASS" (PDF). International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Holy Mass". Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ GIRM, paragraph 50
  17. ^ a b GIRM, paragraph 51
  18. ^ GIRM, paragraph 52
  19. ^ Roman Missal, "The Order of Mass", 7
  20. ^ GIRM, paragraph 53
  21. ^ GIRM, paragraph 54
  22. ^ GIRM, paragraph 61
  23. ^ Roman Missal, "The Order of Mass", 16
  24. ^ Roman Missal, "The Order of Mass", 14
  25. ^ GIRM, paragraph 66
  26. ^ "It is a praiseworthy practice for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful." GIRM, paragraph 73
  27. ^ GIRM, paragraph 320
  28. ^ GIRM, paragraph 76
  29. ^ GIRM, paragraph 78
  30. ^ Sanctus from Missa de Angelis [12th century] (vimeo) (in Lat). València. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  31. ^ "The faithful [...] should kneel [...] at the Consecration, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration." GIRM, paragraph 43
  32. ^ Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25
  33. ^ GIRM, paragraph 151
  34. ^ GIRM, paragraph 79c,f
  35. ^ "Musicam sacram". www.vatican.va. 16. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  36. ^ John 14:27
  37. ^ GIRM, paragraph 83
  38. ^ GIRM, paragraph 162
  39. ^ [Rev 19:9]
  40. ^ Mat 8:8
  41. ^ a b GIRM, paragraph 160
  42. ^ Mat 26:26-28
  43. ^ GIRM, paragraph 287
  44. ^ Jn 6:50-56
  45. ^ GIRM, paragraph 86
  46. ^ GIRM, paragraph 87
  47. ^ GIRM, paragraph 279
  48. ^ "The Mass | The Concluding Rites - Liturgy | Our Lady of Mount Carmel Wentworthville". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  49. ^ "THE LITURGICAL CALENDAR AND THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS". Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. Archived from the original on October 28, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  50. ^ Letter De Missa vespere sabbati of the Congregation of Rites dated Sept 25 1965, in Enchiridion Documentorum Instaurationis Liturgicae, vol I, n. 35
  51. ^ a b c "Code of Canon Law - IntraText". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  52. ^ "Code of Canon Law - IntraText". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  53. ^ "Code of Canon Law - IntraText". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  54. ^ GIRM, paragraph 204
  55. ^ Preaching was generally done outside Mass. The Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae of the Tridentine Missal mentions preaching at Mass only in connection with Solemn Mass (in section VI, 60) and only as a possibility.
  56. ^ Ellard, Gerald. "Chapter XI: Sacrificial-Mindedness Largely Lost - and Found". CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  57. ^ Liguori, Alphonsus (1846). Jones, James, ed. Sacerdos Sanctificatus; or, Discourses on the Mass and Office. pp. 30–33. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  58. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Nuptial Mass". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  59. ^ Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis According to which an Indulgence Is Granted to the Faithful on the Occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
  60. ^ http://mass-online.org/holy-mass-live-in-english/
  61. ^ St. Anthony Messenger, monthly Catholic magazine, January 2008, p. 46.
  62. ^ "Oakland police, firefighters honored at Blue Mass". Oakland North. 2014-10-14. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  63. ^ Charnley Eveland, Annie (30 September 2014). "St. Pat's hosts Blue Mass for law enforcers". Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. The Seattle Times Company. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  64. ^ Wuerl, Donald (2014-05-14). "With Prayers and Gratitude: The Blue Mass". Cardinal's Blog. Archdiocese of Washington. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  65. ^ Long, Carolyn K. (2011-08-05). "What is a Blue Mass?". Angels Over America. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  66. ^ a b c Williams, Christine M. (November 10, 2016). "'Gold Mass' for scientists to be celebrated for the first time: Organisers of the Mass at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hope the tradition will spread". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  67. ^ See: Society of Catholic Scientists website.
  68. ^ a b Stagnaro, Angelo (November 25, 2016). "The Catholic Mass in the Color of Your Choice: The Church has the Blue Mass for law enforcement professionals, the Red Mass for those involved in the legal profession — and now the Gold Mass, for Catholic scientists". National Catholic Register. EWTN News, Inc. Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  69. ^ "The Rose Mass", The John Carroll Society
  70. ^ "History of White Mass", Catholic Medical Association
  71. ^ "White Mass for Catholic Health Care Professionals", Archdiocese of St. Louis
  72. ^ "White Mass Honoring Catholic Health Care Professionals", Achdioecese of Atlanta
  73. ^ "Catholic Health Care Providers to Celebrate White Mass on Oct. 18", Creighton University
  74. ^ Diaz, Jaclyn. "Health care professionals honored at White Mass", The Bulletin, April 19, 2015
  75. ^ "White Mass 2014", Prince of Peace Parish, Lewiston, Maine

Further reading

  • A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do in the Liturgy by Edward Sri (2011; Ascension Press) ISBN 9781935940005
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