Mass (Latin Missa) is the technical term by which the Church of Rome designates the Eucharistic service which in that Church, as well as in the Greek and other Oriental churches, is held to be the sacrifice of the new law-a real though unbloody offering, in which Christ is the victim, in substance the same with the sacrifice of the cross. It is instituted, Romanists further teach, in commemoration of that sacrifice, and as a means of applying its merits through all ages for the sanctification of men.
Origin and Meaning of the Word. — "The first names given to the administration of the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ," says Walcott (s.v.), "were the Breaking of Bread (Ac 20:6,( 7), the Lord's Supper (1Co 2:16), or Communion (1Co 10:18). It was also called, by way of eminence, the mystery, the sacrament, the oblation or prosphora, the sacrifice, Dominicum (the Lord's), agenda (the action), synais and collecta (the assembly), the solemnities, the service, the supplication, the mystical or divine Eucharist or eulogy (the thanksgiving), the office, the spectacle, the consecration, the unbloody sacrifice, the supper, the table, the latria (worship), the universal canon; and, by the Greeks, also the hierurgia (sacred action), and the good by excellence, metalepsis (the communion), in the Apostolical Canons. These terms served either to explain to the faithful the meaning of the service, or, in times of persecution, to conceal its real nature from the profane and persecutors. In Ac 13:2, it is spoken of as the liturgy." The term Mass is ancient, having been used by Clement I, Alexander, Telesphorus, Soter, and Felix (cir. 100-275). In a letter of St. Ambrose to his sister Marcellina (of the 4th century), we have this passage: "Ego mansi in munere, missam facere ccmpi, dum offers, raptum cognovi" (Ep. 33). Its origin and use, however, have given much trouble. There are at present three principal derivations of the word:
(1.) From the AngloSaxon moese, a feast, in which sense the word is of more ancient date than the Eucharist. It seems probable that the ancient word is embodied in such names as Christmas, Michaelmas, Martinmas; but it is very doubtful whether the suffix, as thus used, has any reference at all to the holy Eucharist, and it is much more probable that the coincidence of the Anglo-Saxon word forfeast, with mass and missa, the holy Eucharist, is purely accidental.
(2.) From the Hebrew מַסָּה, missah', which signifies an oblation, as in De 16:10. This derivation would tend to show an association between the original idea of the Eucharist and the oblations of the Jewish ritual; but it is extremely improbable that the Jewish word should have found its way into every language of Europe, and yet be entirely absent from the liturgical vocabulary of the Oriental churches.
(3.) From the "Ite, missa est" of the ancient liturgies of the West, which was equivalent to the Ε᾿ν εἰρήνῃ Χρυστιῦ πορευθῶμεν, "Let us depart in peace," of the Greek liturgies. But the words "Ite, missa est," have two senses given to them by ancient writers; thus, in Micrologus, it is said, "In festivis diebus 'Ite, missa est' dicitur. quia tune generalis conventus celebrari solet, quli per hujusmodi denuntiationem licentiam discendi accipere solet" (Microlog. 46). St. Thomas Aquinas, on the other hand, explains the phrase as meaning that the sacrifice of the Eucharist has been sent up to God by the administration of angels (Thomas Aquinas, 3, qu. 83, art. 4). Both these meanings are combined in a very ancient exposition of the mass, printed by Hittorpius: "Tune demum a diacona dicitur, Ite, missa est, id est, Ite cum pace in domus vestras, quia transmissa est pro vobis oratio ad dominunm; et per angelos, qui nuncii dicunter, allata est in divinme conspectum majestatis" (Expos. Miss. ex vetust. cod. in Hittorp. p. 587).
The proper technical sense of the word undoubtedly is the one in which it is employed by the early Church — that of "offering" or "oblation," which, as we have seen above, are ancient names for the Lord's Supper. In such a sense the English Church used the word, and it thus occurs in the first vernacular liturgy of the Church of England (A.D. 1549): "'The Supper of the Lord, and the holy Communion, commonly called the Mass." Indeed it was only abandoned by the Anglican clergy when it was found that Romanists attached to the word mass a perverted sense. It was first dropped in the revised Prayer-book of 1552. In Germany the Reformers hesitated not to protest against the accusation that they opposed mass. Thus, e.g., the Augsburg Confession "protests against any notion that it abolishes mass" (comp. Schott, Augsburgische Confession, p. 137, 141). The doctrine of the mass, as interpreted by Roman Catholics, presupposes the Eucharist, and involves the notion of a sacrifice. On the latter point hinges the controversy between Romanists and Protestants: the question being whether it is a positive sacrifice, renewed at every celebration, or only a solemn feast on a sacrifice once offered by Jesus Christ; whether Christ in body and blood is absolutely and corporally, or only spiritually and really present in the elements. SEE REAL PRESENCE; SEE TRANSUBSTANTIATION.
By primitive use, the communion of the faithful appears always, unless in exceptional cases, to have formed part of the Eucharistic service; but afterwards it came to pass that the officiating priest only communicated, whence arose, especially in the Western Church. the practice of "private masses," which has been in later times a ground of complaint with dissentients from Rome — even those who in other respects approach closely to the Roman doctrine. In the ancient writers a distinction is made between the "mass of the catechumens" and the "mass of the faithful;" the former including all the preparatory prayers, the latter all that directly regards the consecration of the elements and the communion, at which the "discipline of the secret" forbade the presence of the catechumens. With the cessation of this discipline the distinction of names has ceased, but the distinction of parts is still preserved, the mass of the catechumens comprising all the first part of the mass as far as the "preface." The mass is now in general denominated according to the solemnity of the accompanying ceremonial — a "low mass," a "chanted mass," or a "high mass." In the first, a single priest simply reads the service, attended by one or more acolytes or clerks. The second form differs only in this, that the service is chanted instead of being read by the priest. In the high mass the service is chanted in part by the priest, in part by the deacon and subdeacon, by whom, as well as by several ministers of inferior rank, the priest is assisted. In all these, however, the service, as regards the form of prayer, is the same. It consists of
(1) an introductory prayer composed of the 41st Psalm, together with the "general confession;"
(2) the introit, which is followed by the thrice-repeated petition, "Lord, have mercy," "Christ, have mercy," and the hymn "Glory to God on high;"
(3) the collect, or public and joint prayers of priest and people, followed by a lesson either from the Epistles or some book of the Old Testament, and by the Gradual (q.v.);
(4) the Gospel, which is commonly followed by the Nicene Creed;
(5) the Offertory (q.v.), after the reading of which comes the preparatory offering of the bread and wine, and the washing of the priest's hands in token of purity of heart, and the "secret," a prayer read in a low voice by the priest;
(6) the preface, concluding with the trisagion, or "thrice holy," at which point, by the primitive use, the catechumens and penitents retired from the church;
(7) the "canon," which is always the same, and which contains all the prayers connected with the consecration, the elevation, the breaking, and the communion of the host and of the chalice, as also the commemorations both of the living and of the dead;
(8) the "communion," which is a short scriptural prayer, usually appropriate to the particular festival;
(9) the "post-communion," which, like them collect, was a joint prayer of priest and people, and is read or sung aloud;
(10) the dismissal with the benediction; and, finally, the first chapter of John's Gospel.
A great part of the above prayers are fixed, and form what is called the "ordo" or "ordinary" of the mass. The rest, which is called the "proper of the mass," differs for different occasions, many masses having nothing peculiar but the name: such are the masses of the saints — that of St. Mary of the Snow, celebrated on the 5th of August; that of St. Margaret, patroness of lying-in women; that at the feast of St. John the Baptist, at which are said three masses; that of the Innocents, at which the Gloria in Excelsis and Hallelujah are omitted, and, it being a day of mourning, the altar is of a violet color. As to ordinary masses, some are for the dead, and, as is supposed, contribute to release the soul from purgatory. At these masses the altar is put in mourning, and the only decorations are a cross in the middle of six yellow wax lights; the dress of the celebrant, and the very Massbook, are black; many parts of the office are omitted, and the people are dismissed without the benediction. If the mass be said for a person distinguished by his rank or virtues, it is followed with a funeral oration: they erect a chapelle ardente, that is, a representation of the deceased, with branches and tapers of yellow wax, either in the middle of the church or near the deceased's tomb, where the priest pronounces a solemn absolution of the deceased. There are likewise private masses said for stolen or strayed goods or cattle, for health, for travelers, etc., which go under the name of votive masses. There is still a further distinction of masses, denominated from the countries in which they were used: thus the Gothic mass, or missa Mosarabum, is that used among the Goths when they were masters of Spain, and is still kept up at Toledo and Salamanca; the Ambrosian mass is that composed by St. Ambrose, and used only at Milan, of which city he was bishop; the Gallic mass, used by the ancient Gauls; and the Roman mass, used by almost all the churches in the Romish communion. The mass of the presanctified (missa praesancticatorum) is a mass peculiar not only to the Roman. but also to the Greek Church. In the latter there is no consecration of the elements; but, after singing some hymns, the bread and wine, which were consecrated on the preceding day, are partaken of. This mass is performed in the Greek Church not only on Good Friday, but on every day during all Lent, except on Saturdays, Sundays, and the Annunciation. The priest counts upon his fingers the days of the ensuing week on which it is to be celebrated, and cuts off as many pieces of bread at the altar as he is to say masses, and, after having consecrated them, steeps them in wine and puts them in a box, out of which, upon every occasion, he takes some of it with a spoon, and, putting it on a dish, sets it on the altar.
Ceremony. — The following office of the mass is extracted from the Garden of the Soul, prepared by the late bishop Challoner, and may be accepted, therefore, as the authorized rite of the English Roman Catholics: "At the beginning of the mass, the priest at the foot of the altar makes the sign of the cross, 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; amen,' and then recites with the clerk the 42d Psalm — 'Judica me, Deus,' etc. Then the priest, bowing down, says the Confiteor, by way of a general confession to God, to the whole court of heaven, and to all the faithful there present, of his sins and unworthiness, and to beg their prayers to God for him. And the clerk, in the name of the people, prays for the priest, that God would have mercy on him, and forgive him his sins, and bring him to everlasting life. Then, in the name of all there present, the clerk makes the like general confession to God, to the whole court of heaven, and to the priest, and begs his prayers. And the priest prays to God to show mercy to all his people, and to grant them pardon, absolution, and remission of all their sins. Which is done to the end that both priest and people may put themselves in a penitential spirit, in order to assist worthily at this divine sacrifice. After the Confiteor the priest goes up to the altar, saying, 'Take away from us, we beseech thee, O Lord, our iniquities, that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the holy of holies, through Christ our Lord; amen,' and kisses the altar as a figure of Christ, and the seat of the sacred mysteries. When the priest is come up to the altar, he goes to the book, and there reads what is called the introit or entrance of the mass, which is different every day, and is generally an anthem taken out of the Scripture, with the first verse of one of the Psalms. and the Glory be to the Father, etc., to glorify the blessed Trinity. The priest returns to the middle of the altar, and says alternately with the clerk the Kyrie eleison, or Lord have mercy on us. which is said three times to God the Father; three times Christe eleison, or Christ have mercy on us, to God the Son; and three times again Kyrie eleison, to God the Holy Ghost. After the Kyrie eleison, the priest recites the 'Gloria in Excelsis,' or Glory be to God on high, etc., being an excellent hymn and prayer to God, the beginning of which was sung by the angels at the birth of Christ. But this, being a hymn of joy, is omitted in the masses of requiem for the dead, and in the masses of the Sundays and ferias of the penitential times of Advent and Lent, etc. At the end of the Gloria in Excelsis the priest kisses the altar, and, turning about to the people, says, 'Dominus vobiscum' (The Lord be with you). Answer: 'Et cum spiritu tuo' (And with thy spirit). The priest returns to the book, and says, 'Oremus' (Let us pray), and then reads the collect or collects of the day, concluding them with the usual termination, 'Per Dominum nostrum,' etc. (Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.), with which the Church commonly concludes all her prayers. The collects being ended, the priest lays his hands upon the book and reads the epistle or lesson of the day, at the end of which the clerk answers, 'Deo gratias' (Thanks be to God) — viz., for the heavenly doctrine there delivered. Then follow some verses or sentences of Scripture, called the gradual, which are every day different. After this the book is removed to the other side of the altar, in order to the reading of the Gospel for the day; which removal of the book represents the passing from the preaching of the old law, figured by the lesson or epistle, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ published by the preachers of the new law. The priest, before he reads the Gospel, stands awhile bowing down before the middle of the altar, begging of God in secret to cleanse his heart and his lips, that he may be worthy to declare those heavenly words. At the beginning of the Gospel the priest greets the people with the usual salutation 'Dominus vobiscum' (The Lord be with you), and then tells out of which of the evangelists the Gospel is taken, saying, 'Sequentia S. Evangelii secundum,' etc. (What follows is of the holy Gospel, etc.). At these words both priest and people make the sign of the cross: 1st, upon their foreheads, to signify that they are not ashamed of the cross of Christ and his doctrine; 2d, upon their mouths, to signify they will ever profess it in words; 3d, upon their breasts, to signify that they will always keep it in their hearts. The clerk answers, 'Gloria tibi, Domine' (Glory be to thee, O Lord). At the Gospel the people stand up, to declare by that posture their readiness to go and do whatsoever they shall be commanded by the Savior in his Gospel. At the end of the Gospel the clerk answers, 'Laus tibi, Christe' (Praise be to thee, O Christ); and the priest kisses the book in reverence to those sacred words he has been reading out of it. Then upon aln bunaays, and many other festival days, standing in the middle of the altar, he recites the Nicene Creed, kneeling down at the words The was made man,' in reverence to the great mystery of our Lord's incarnation. Then the priest turns about to the people and says, 'Dominus vobiscum' (The Lord be with you). Having read in the book a verse or sentence of the Scripture, which is called the offertory, and is every day different, he uncovers the chalice, and, taking in his hand the paten, or little plate, offers up the bread to God; then, going to the corner of the altar, he takes the wine and pours it into the chalice, and mingles with it a small quantity of water, in remembrance of the blood and water that issued out of our Savior's side; after which he returns to the middle of the altar and offers up the chalice. Then, bowing down, he begs that this sacrifice, which he desires to offer with a contrite and humble heart, may find acceptance with God; and, blessing the bread and wine with the sign of the cross, lie invokes the author of all sanctity to sanctify this offering. At the end of the offertory, the priest goes to the corner of the altar and washes the tips of his fingers, to denote the cleanness and purity of soul with which we ought to approach to these divine mysteries, saying, 'Lavabo,' etc. (I will wash my hands among the innocent, and I will encompass thy altar, O Lord, etc.), as in the latter part of the 26th Psalm. Then returning to the middle of the altar, and there bowing down, he begs of the blessed Trinity to receive this oblation in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for an honorable commemoration of the blessed Virgin and of all the saints, that they may intercede for us in heaven, whose memory we celebrate upon earth. Then the priest, kissing the altar, turns to the people and says, 'Orate, fratres,' etc. (Brethren, pray that my sacrifice and yours may be made acceptable to God the Father Almighty). Then the priest says in a low voice the prayers called secreta, which correspond to the collects of the day, and are different every day. The priest concludes the secreta by saying aloud, 'Per omnia saecula saeculorum' (World without end). Answer: Amen. Priest: 'Dominus vobiscum' (The Lord be with you). Answer: 'Et cum spiritu tuo' (And with thy spirit). Priest: 'Sursum corda' (Lift up your hearts). Answer: 'Habemus ad Dominum'
(We have them lifted up to the Lord). Priest: 'Gratias agamtus Domino Deo nostro' (Let us give thanks to the Lord our God). Answer: 'Dignum etjustum est' (It is meet and just). Then the priest recites the preface (so called because it serves as an introduction to the canon of the mass). After the preface follows the canon of the mass, or the most sacred and solemn part of this divine service, which is read with a low voice, as well to express the silence of Christ in his passion, and his hiding at that time his glory and his divinity, as to signify the vast importance of that common cause of all mankind which the priest is then representing, as it were, in secret to the ear of God, and the reverence and awe with which both priest and people ought to assist at these tremendous mysteries. The canon begins by invoking the Father of mercies, through Jesus Christ his Son, to accept this sacrifice for the holy Catholic Church, for the pope, for the bishop, for the king, and for all the professors of the orthodox and apostolic faith throughout tie whole world. Then follows the memento, or commemoration of the living, for whom in particular the priest intends to offer up that mass, or who have been particularly recommended to his prayers, etc. To which is subjoined a remembrance of all there present, followed by a solemn commemoration of the blessed Virgin, of the apostles, martyrs, and all the saints — to honor their memory by naming them in the sacred mysteries, to communicate with them, and to beg of God the help of their intercession, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then the priest spreads his hands, according to the ancient ceremony of sacrifices, over the bread and wine which are to be consecrated into the body and blood of Christ, and begs that God would accept of this oblation which he makes in the name of the whole Church, and that he would grant us peace in this life and eternal salvation in the next. After which he solemnly blesses the bread and wine with the sign of the cross, and invokes the Almighty that they may be made to us the body and blood of his most beloved Son. our Lord Jesus Christ. And so he proceeds to the consecration, first of the bread into the body of our Lord, and then of the wine into his blood; which consecration is made by Christ's own words, pronounced in his name and person by the priest, and is the most essential part of this sacrifice, because thereby the body and blood of Christ are really exhibited and presented to God, and Christ is mystically immolated. Immediately after the consecration follows the elevation, first of the host, then of the chalice, in remembrance of Christ's elevation upon the cross. At the elevation of the chalice the priest recites those words of Christ, 'As often as you do these things, you shall do them for a commemoration of me.' Then he goes on, making a solemn commemoration of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, and begging of God to accept this sacrifice, as he was pleased to accept the oblation of Abel, Abraham, and Melchisedek; and to command that it may, by his holy angel, be presented upon the altar above, in presence of his divine Majesty, for the benefit of all those that shall partake of these mysteries here below. Then the priest proceeds to the memento, or commemoration of the dead, saying, 'Remember also, O Lord, thy servants N. and N., who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and repose in the sleep of peace;' praying for all the faithful departed in general, and in particular for those for whom he desires to offer this sacrifice. After this memento or commemoration of the dead, the priest, raising his voice a little, and striking his breast, says, 'Nobis quoque peccatoribus,' etc. (And to us sinners, etc.), humbly craving mercy and pardon for his sins, and to be admitted to some part and society with the apostles and martyrs through Jesus Christ. Then kneeling down, and taking the sacred host in his hands, he makes the sign of the cross with it over the chalice, saying, 'Through him, and with him, and in him, is to thee, O God, the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory;' which last words he pronounces, elevating a little the host and chalice from the altar, and then kneels down, saying, with a loud voice, 'Per omnia secula sculorum" (Forever and ever). Answer, Amen. After which he recites aloud the Pater Noster, or Lord's Prayer, the clerk answering at the end, 'Sed libera nos a male' (But deliver us from evil). After this the priest breaks the host over the chalice, in remembrance of Christ's body being brcken for us upon the cross; and he puts a small particle of the host into the chalice, praying that the peace of the Lord may be always with us. Then kneeling down, and rising up again, he says, 'Agnus Dei,' etc. (Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us). He repeats this' thrice; but at the third time, instead of 'Have mercy on us,' he says, 'Grant us peace.' After the Agnus Dei, the priest says three short prayers, by way of preparation for receiving the blessed sacrament; then kneeling down, and rising again, he takes up the host, and, striking his breast, he says thrice, 'Domine, non sum dignus,' etc. (Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof; speak only the word, and my soul shall be healed). After which he makes the sign of the cross upon himself with the host, saying, 'The body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. Amen.' He so receives it. Then, after a short pause in mental prayer, he proceeds to the receiving of the chalice, using the like words, 'The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting.
Amen.' Then follows the communion of the people, if any are to receive. After the communion, the priest takes the lotions, or ablutions, of wine and water in the chalice, in order to consummate whatever may remain of the consecrated species. Then covering the chalice, he goes to the book and reads a versicle of holy Scripture, called the communion; after which he turns about to the people with the usual salutation, Dominus vobiscum, and, returning to the book, reads the collects or prayers called the post- communion. After which he again greets the people with Dominus vobiscum, and gives them leave to depart with Ite, missa est; the clerk answering, 'Deo gratias' (Thanks be to God). Then the priest, bowing down before the altar, makes a short prayer to the blessed Trinity; and then, turning about to the people, gives his blessing to them all, in the name of the blessed Trinity; and so concludes the mass, by reading the beginning of the Gospel according to St. John, which the people hear standing, till these words, 'Et verbum caro factum est' (And the Word was made flesh); when both priest and people kneel down, in reverence to the mystery of Christ's incarnation. At the end the clerk answers, 'Deo gratias' (Thanks be to God). And so the priest returns from the altar to the sacristy, and unvests himself, reciting in the meantime the Benedicite, or the canticle of the three children, inviting all creatures in heaven and earth to praise and bless the Lord. As the mass represents the passion of Christ, and the priest there officiates in his person, so the vestments in which he officiates represent those with which Christ was ignominiously clothed at the time of his passion. Thus the amice represents the rag or clout with which the Jews muffled our Savior's face, when at every blow they bid him prophesy who it was that struck him (Lu 22:64). The alb represents the white garment with which he was vested by Herod; the girdle, maniple, and stole represent the cords and bands with which he was bound in the different stages of his passion. The chasuble, or outward vestment, represents the purple garment with which he was clothed as a mock king; upon the back of which there is a cross, to represent that which Christ bore on his sacred shoulders; lastly, the priest's tonsure or crown, is to represent the crown of thorns which our Savior wore. Moreover, as in the old law, the priests, that were wont to officiate in sacred functions, had, by the appointment of God, vestments assigned for that purpose, as well for the greater decency and solemnity of the divine worship, as to signify and represent the virtues which God required of his ministers, so it was proper that in the Church of the New Testament Christ's ministers should in their sacred functions be distinguished in like manner from the laity by their sacred vestments, which might also represent the virtues which God requires in them: thus the amice, which is first put upon the head, represents divine hope, which the apostle calls the helmet of salvation; the alb. innocence of life; the girdle, with which the loins are begirt, purity and chastity; the maniple, which is put on the left arm. patient suffering of the labors of this mortal life; the stole, the sweet yoke of Christ, to be borne in this life, in order to a happy immortality; in fine, the chasuble, which is uppermost, and covers all the rest, represents the virtue of charity. In these vestments the Church makes use of five colors, viz. the white on the feasts of our Lord, of the blessed Virgin, of the angels, and of the saints that were not martyrs; the red on the feasts of Pentecost, of the invention and exaltation of the cross, and of the apostles and martyrs; the violet, which is the penitential color, in the penitential times of Advent and Lent, and upon vigils and ember days; the green on most of the other Sundays and ferias throughout the year; and the black on Good Friday, and in the masses for the dead. We make a reverence to the altar upon which mass is said, because it is the seat of these divine mysteries, and a figure of Christ, who is not only our priest and sacrifice, but our altar too, inasmuch as we offer our prayers and sacrifices through him. Upon the altar we always have a crucifix, that, as the mass is said in remembrance of Christ's passion and death, both priest and people may have before their eyes, during this sacrifice, the image that puts them in mind of his passion and death. And there are always lighted candles upon the altar during mass, as well to honor the victory and triumph of our Great King (which is there celebrated) by these lights, which are tokens of our joy and of his glory, as to denote the light of faith, with which we are to approach to him.
"The priest who is to celebrate mass must previously confess all his mortal sins, in order that he may feel morally sure that he is in a state of grace, since for the recovery of that state by such as have once fallen from it, confession, or contrition, if confession cannot be obtained, is absolutely necessary. Confession is unattainable when there is no confessor, or when there is none but an excommunicated person, or one whose powers have expired, or whose powers do not extend to absolution from the particular sins of which the penitent is guilty, or one who is justly suspected of having betrayed the secrets of confession, or who requires an interpreter, or when it is impossible to go to confession without manifest inconvenience from distance, badness of the roads, inclemency of the season, or the murmurs of the congregation impatient for mass. Even if any of these reasons can be pleaded, no unconfessed priest ought to celebrate mass unless he be compelled by menaces of death, or through fear that a sick person may die without receiving the viaticum, or to avoid scandal when a congregation is waiting, or to finish a mass in which another priest has been accidentally interrupted. If a priest, during the celebration of mass, should recollect that he is in a state of mortal sin, excommunicated or suspended, or that the place in which he is celebrating it is interdicted, he must quit the altar, unless he has already consecrated the host; and even if he has done so, or any fear of scandal induces him to proceed (as it is morally impossible but that some such fear must arise), he must perform an act of contrition, and make a firm resolution to confess, if in his power, on the very same day. No priest, without committing venial or perhaps mortal sin, can celebrate mass before he has recited matins and lauds, unless from the necessity of administering the viaticum to the dying, or of exhorting such a one during the night, from pressure of confessions on a holiday, or to quiet murmurs among the congregation. It is a mortal sin for a priest intending to say mass to taste food, drink, or medicine after the preceding midnight. Even an involuntary transgression of such rules is a mortal sin; so that a priest offends in that degree if he celebrates mass after having been forced to eat or drink the smallest morsel or drop while the hour of midnight is striking, or a single moment afterwards. The exceptions are —
1. To save the profanation of the host; thus, if a heretic is about to profane the host, and there be no one else by who can otherwise prevent it, a priest, although not fasting, may swallow it without sin.
2. When a priest has so far proceeded in mass that he cannot stop, as when water has been accidentally put into the chalice instead of wine, and he does not perceive it till he has swallowed it, or when he recollects after consecration that he is not fasting.
3. When, after having performed the lavabo, he perceives any scattered fragments of hosts. provided he be still at the altar, these lie may eat.
4. To prevent scandal, such as a suspicion that he had committed a crime the night before.
5. To administer the viaticum.
6. To finish a mass commenced by another priest, and accidentally interrupted.
7. When he is dispensed. It is very probably a mortal sin, by authorities, to celebrate mass before dawn. So also mass must not be celebrated after noon, and never, unless for the dying, on Good Friday. It is a mortal sin to celebrate mass without the necessary vestments and ornaments, or with unconsecrated vestments, etc., unless in cases of the uttermost necessity. These vestments lose their consecration if any portion has been torn off and sewed on again, not if they are repaired before absolute disjunction, even if it be by a downright patch. No worn-out consecrated vestment should be applied to any other purpose; but it should be burned, and the ashes thrown in some place in which they will not be trampled on. But, on the other hand, with a very wise distinction, the precious metals which have served profane uses may be applied to sacred purposes, after having been passed through the fire, which changes their very nature by fusion. No dispensation has ever yet been granted by any pope to qualify the rigid precept enjoining the necessity of an altar for mass; and this must have been consecrated by a bishop, not by a simple priest, unless through dispensation from the holy father himself. Three napkins are strictly necessary; two may suffice if such be the common usage of the country — one in very urgent cases; and even that, provided it be whole and clean, may be unconsecrated; but a lighted taper must not on any account be dispensed with, even to secure the receipt of the viaticum by a dying man. Mass must stop if the taper be extinguished and another cannot be obtained. On that account a lamp should be kept burning day and night before every altar on which the host is deposited; and those to whom the care of this lamp appertains commit a mortal sin if they neglect it for one whole day. In no case must a woman be allowed to assist a priest at the altar. Certain prevalent superstitions during the celebration of mass are forbidden — such as picking up from the ground, during the sanctus of the mass on Palm Sunday, the boxwood consecrated on that day, infusing it for three quarters of an hour, neither more nor less, in spring water, and drinking the water as a cure for the colic; keeping the mouth open during the sanctus in the mass for the dead, as a charm against mad dogs; writing the sanctus on a piece of virgin parchment, and wearing it as an amulet; saying mass for twenty Fridays running as a security against dying without confession, contrition, full satisfaction, and communion, and in order to obtain admission into heaven thirty days after decease; ordering a mass of the Holy Ghost to be said in certain churches by way of divination. If a fly or a spider fall into the cup before consecration, a fresh cup should be provided; if after consecration, it should be swallowed, if that can be done without repugnance or danger, otherwise it should be removed, washed with wine, burned after mass, and its ashes thrown into the sacristy. There are some nice precautions to be observed in case of the accidental fall of a host among the clothes of a female communicant; if the wafer fall on a napkin, it suffices that the napkin be washed by a subdeacon; but if it be stained by no more than a single drop of wine, the office must be performed by a priest.
In the celebration of mass the priest wears peculiar vestments, five in number — two of linen, called "amice" and "alb;" and three of silk or precious stuffs, called "maniple." "stole," and "chasuble," the alb being girt with a cincture of flaxen or silken cord. The color of these vestments varies with the occasion, five colors being employed on different occasions-white, red, green, purple or violet, and black; and they are often richly embroidered with silk or thread of the precious metals, and occasionally with precious stones. The priest is required to celebrate the mass fasting, and, unless by special dispensation, is only permitted to offer it once in the day, except on Christmas day, when three masses may be celebrated.
In the Greek and Oriental churches, the Eucharistic service, called in Greek Theia Leitourgia (The Divine Liturgy), differs in the order of its parts, in the wording of most of its prayers, and in its accompanying ceremonial, from the mass of the Latin Church, SEE LITURGY; but the only differences which have any importance as bearing upon doctrine, are their use of leavened bread instead of unleavened; their more frequent celebration of the "Mass of the Pre-sanctified," to which reference has already been made; the Latin use of private masses, in which the priest alone communicates; and. in general, the much more frequent celebration of the mass in the Latin Church. The sacred vestments, too, of the Greek and Eastern rites differ notably from those of the Latin; and in some of the former — as, for example, the Armenian — a veil is drawn before the altar during that part of the service in which the consecration takes place, which is only withdrawn at the time of the communion. The service sometimes used on shipboard, and improperly called Missa Sicca (Dry Mass), consists simply of the reading of the prayers of the mass, but without any consecration of the elements. It was resorted to with a view to avoiding the danger of spilling the sacred elements, owing to the unsteady motion of the ship. It is sometimes also called Missa Nautica (Ship Mass). (For detailed information on the practices of the Russo-Greek Church, see John Glen King, Rites and Ceremonies of the Greek Church in Russia [London, 1772, 4to]. For the Eastern Church generally, see Neale, Eastern Church: Introduction.)
Frequency of the Mass. — "At first," says Walcott (p. 366), "celebration occurred only on Sundays (1Co 16:1); and in the time of Justin Martyr, after the 2d century, the Western Christians communicated on Sundays, and Wednesdays, and Fridays. In the 4th century the Greek Church added Saturday; now it maintains daily celebration. St. Augustine says that the practice differed in various countries; in some celebration was daily, in others on Saturdays and Sundays, but in some on Sunday only; the daily celebration was practiced in Africa, Spain, and at Constantinople; in the 6th century it was general. St. Ambrose mentions three celebrations in the week, St. Francis one daily mass at Rome. After the 5th century priests were allowed on certain days, called Polyliturgic, to celebrate twice. Pope Deusdedit first enjoined a second mass in a day; Alexander I permitted a priest to celebrate only once a day; Leo IV forbade private masses, but still there were several festivals besides Christmas when the priest said mass three times in a day; Leo III sometimes celebrated seven or eight times in twelve hours. and it was not until the close of the 11th century that Alexander III directed that the same priest should say no more than one mass on the same day, Christmas excepted. The Council of Seligenstadt forbade a priest to exceed saying more than three masses in a day. From the 6th century these repeated masses said by some priest may be dated, when private masses were not in common use, and were permitted (as St. Leo says) in order to satisfy the need of crowds of communicants, and he calls it a form of tradition from the fathers. At length, when the pressure no longer existed in the 8th century, there were four masses at Christmas, two on the Circumcision, and three on SS. Peter and Paul's day, and on Maundy Thursday. In France every priest was allowed to say two masses a day in Holy Week. Three masses were said on St. John Baptist's day: one in the eve, in commemoration of his being the Lord's messenger; a second on his feast, in memorial of the baptism in the Jordan; and the third because he was a Nazarite from his birth. In 1222, in England, mass might be said by a priest twice on the same day, at Christmas, Easter, and in the offices of the dead. The three Christmas masses were in honor of Christ, as the only-begotten of the Father, his spiritual birth in Christians, and his nativity of a woman. A restriction by the Council of Autlun (613) was in force until the 10th century, against celebration by a priest at the same altar twice in one day, or where pontifical mass had been said. Priests who celebrated more than once collected all the ablutions of their fingers in one chalice, and the contents being emptied into a cup, were drank at the last mass by a deacon, clerk, or layman in a state of grace or innocent. The day when no mass was offered, except that of the Mass of the Presanctified, was called a liturgic. The Holy Communion was celebrated at first at night, or, as Pliny says, before daybreak, and Tertullian calls the meeting the Night Convocation, or that before light. But in time the Church prescribed the mass to be said in tierce of festivals, but always after tierce in England in 1322; on common days at sexts; in Lent and on fasts at nones, or 3 P.M. In the Middle Ages the nightly celebrations were permitted on Christmas eve, on Easter eve, on St. John Baptist's, principally in France, and Saturdays in Ember weeks, when ordinations were held; and Easter and Pentecost on the hallowing of the candle. In 1483 archbishop Bourchier, from regard to his infirmity, received permission to celebrate in the afternoon. Belith says each day had its mass, commencing on Sunday; those of Holy Trinity, Charity, Wisdom, the Holy Ghost. Angels, Holy Cross, and St. Mary, and that at Rome. In the province of Ravenna the mass of Easter eve was not said until after midnight. He adds that the Greek Church excommunicated all who failed to partake of the Eucharist for three Sundays. SEE INVITATORY.
Literature. — The most noted writers on this subject are Bona, Gerbert, Gavanti, Binterim, Augusti. Besides these, see Bochart, Traite de sacrifice de la Messe; Derodon, Le Tombeau de la hesse; Du Moulin, Pratique des ceremonies de la Messe; Fechtius, De orig. et superstitione Missarumn; Jaeger, Suppositio missae sacrificio; Killian, Tract. de sacrificio nissatico (Roman Cath.); Kosling, Lithurg. Vorles. 2nd. heil. Messe (2d ed.); Michaelis, Frohnleichnahm u. Messopfer; Griser. Die rom. — Kathol. Lit. (Halle, 1829); Hirscher, Missae genuina notio (Tüb. 1821); Mornay, De doctrine de l'Eucharistie quannd etpars quels degres la messe s'est introduite a sa place; Bauer, Prüfung der Griinde; Baur, Gegensatz des Katholicissus u. Protestantismus (Tub. 1836, 2d edit.); Baler, Symbolik der röm. — Kathol. Kirche (Leipsic, 1854); Anderson, The Mass (Lond. 1851, 12mo); Maguire, One Hundred Defects of the Mass; Meager, Popish Mass celeberated by Heathen Priests; Whitby, Absurdity and Idolatry of the Mass; Bible and Missal, ch. 4; Bossuet's Variations, vol. i; Siegel, Christliche Alterthümer (see Index in vol. 4, s.v. Messe); Riddle, Christian Antiquities; Walcott, Sac. Archaeol. s.v.; Coleman, Christ. A ntiq.; Willet, Synop. Pap. (ed. Cumming, Loud. 1852); Forbes,
Considerations, 2:562; English Rev. 10:344; Retrospective Rev. 12:70; Westm. Rev. 1866 (July), p. 95; Christian Ch. Rev. 1866 (April), p. 15 sq.; Evangel. Qu. Rev. 1869 (Jan.), p. 86; Christian Remembrancer, 1866 (Jan.), p. 63; New Ensglander, 1869, p. 525; Haag, Les Dogmnes Chritiennes (see Index); Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines (see Index, vol. 2); Cramp, Text-Book of Popery; Blunt, Dict. of ist. and Doctr. Theol. s.v.; Eadie, Ecclesiast. Diet. s.v.; Aschbach, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v. Messe.