Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,417 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Mass (Sacred Liturgy)

The Mass is an inexhaustible source of meaning and grace. Through the sacred liturgy of the Church, the action of the Mass carries on Christ's sacrifice for our salvation, incorporates us into Christ through communion, and instructs us through God's Word.

The critical elements of the holy sacrifice of the Mass are highlighted briefly in Fr. Hardon's Catholic Dictionary.

The Mass can be celebrated in various ways according to different rites. Here we are concerned with the Roman Rite which is used not only by a substantial majority of Catholics but by the overwhelming majority of our audience.

For a survey of the nature and purpose of the Mass, its various components or parts, and the roles of its ministers and participants, the 2000 instruction by Archbishop Thomas Collins of Edmonton, Alberta is a very handy, well-organized reference.

Finally, the bodily signs and postures used at Mass are important to our reverent involvement in this great mystery, and are external indicators of the "active participation" to which all Catholics are called.

If you only have time to look at three things, LOOK AT THESE.

  1. A Basic Definition of the Mass
  2. Archbishop Collins' Guide to the Mass
  3. Sacred Signs and Active Participation at Mass

And if you've got more time...

Many people are interested in learning more about liturgical norms, liturgical translations, Scriptural translations, and liturgical abuses (which have been widespread in the liturgical upheaval which followed the Second Vatican Council).

A good way to step into these waters is to examine the 2004 document issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments entitled Redemptionis Sacramentum (Sacrament of Redemption) (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist).

A number of groups throughout the world promote their own vision of what the liturgy should be, but extreme caution is in order. For an organization devoted to the authentic renewal of the liturgy in obedience to the authority of the Holy See, we recommend Adoremus.

For a treatment of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist made present at the Mass, see the item in this series on Eucharist (Real Presence).

Finally, for a deeper treatment of the entire Eucharistic mystery as a whole, see the item in this series on the Eucharistic Mystery.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 18 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6