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Catholic Dictionary




Religious commemorations, especially the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Unlike other memorials, however, the Mass is no ordinary commemoration. It does recall the mysteries of Christ's life and particularly his Crucifixion. The Mass, however, "is no more empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the eternal Father, as He died upon the cross" (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 68). (Etym. Latin memorialis, belonging to memory, from memoria, memory.)