Mass (liturgy)

Mass is the main Eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church, and in the Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches. The term is used in some Lutheran churches, as well as in some Anglican churches. The term is also used, on rare occasion, by other Protestant churches, such as in Methodism.

Painting of a 15th-century Mass

Painting of a 15th-century Mass

A Gregorian chant Kyrie eleison

A Gregorian chant Kyrie eleison

The introductory words

The introductory words "Kýrie eléison" from the Kyriale Mass XI, Orbis Factor

A priest offering the Mass at St Mary's Basilica, Bangalore

A priest offering the Mass at St Mary's Basilica, Bangalore

Other Christian denominations may employ terms such as Divine Service or worship service (and often just "service"), rather than the word Mass. For the celebration of the Eucharist in Eastern Christianity, including Eastern Catholic Churches, other terms such as Divine Liturgy, Holy Qurbana, Holy Qurobo and Badarak are typically used instead.

The English noun mass is derived from the Middle Latin missa. The Latin word was adopted in Old English as mæsse (via a Vulgar Latin form *messa), and was sometimes glossed as sendnes (i.e. 'a sending, dismission').

The Latin term missa itself was in use by the 6th century. It is most likely derived from the concluding formula Ite, missa est ("Go; the dismissal is made"); missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to classical missio.

Historically, however, there have been other etymological explanations of the noun missa that claim not to derive from the formula ite, missa est. Fortescue (1910) cites older, "fanciful" etymological explanations, notably a latinization of Hebrew matzâh (מַצָּה) "unleavened bread; oblation", a derivation favoured in the 16th century by Reuchlin and Luther, or Greek μύησις "initiation", or even Germanic mese "assembly". The French historian Du Cange in 1678 reported "various opinions on the origin" of the noun missa "Mass", including the derivation from Hebrew matzah (Missah, id est, oblatio), here attributed to Caesar Baronius. The Hebrew derivation is learned speculation from 16th-century philology; medieval authorities did derive the noun missa from the verb mittere, but not in connection with the formula ite, missa est. Thus, De divinis officiis (9th century) explains the word as "a mittendo, quod nos mittat ad Deo" ("from 'sending', that which sends us towards God"), while Rupert of Deutz (early 12th century) derives it from a "dismissal" of the "enmities which had been between God and men" ("inimicitiarum quæ erant inter Deum et homines").

A distinction is made between texts that recur for every Mass celebration (ordinarium, ordinary), and texts that are sung depending on the occasion (proprium, proper). For example, for the Tridentine Mass:

A missa tota ("full Mass") consists of a musical setting of the five sections of the ordinarium as listed below.

In the Tridentine Mass, the Kyrie is the first sung prayer of the Mass ordinary. It is usually (but not always) part of any musical setting of the Mass. Kyrie movements often have a ternary (ABA) musical structure that reflects the symmetrical structure of the text. Musical settings exist in styles ranging from Gregorian chant to Folk.

Of 226 catalogued Gregorian chant melodies, 30 appear in the Liber Usualis.[citation needed] In what are presumed to be the oldest versions, the same melody is repeated for the first eight iterations, and a variation used on the final line (that is, formally, AAA AAA AAA'). These repeats are notated by the Roman numerals "IIJ" (for three times) or "IJ" (for twice). The Kyrie for the Requiem Mass in the Liber Usualis has this form. Later Kyries have more elaborate patterns, such as AAABBBAAA', AAABBBCCC', or ABACDCEFE'. The final line is nearly always modified somewhat; in some cases this may be because it leads into the Gloria better. In forms both with and without literal repeats, most Kyries in the Liber Usualis have a closing phrase used in nearly all of the lines of the text. This in fact parallels the text, as each line ends with the same word "eleison".

Because of the brevity of the text, Kyries were often very melismatic. This encouraged later composers to make tropes out of them, either by adding words to the melisma (as how a sequence is often considered), or extending the melisma. In fact, because of the late date of most Kyries, it is not always clear whether a particular Kyrie melody or the apparently troped text came first; it could just as easily be the case that a syllabic song was converted into a melisma for a Kyrie verse. In some cases, verses interpolate Latin text between each "Kyrie" (or "Christe") and "eleison".

As the Kyrie is the first item in settings of the Mass ordinary and the second in the requiem Mass (the only Mass proper set regularly over the centuries), nearly all of the thousands of composers over the centuries who have set the ordinaries of the Mass to music have included a Kyrie movement.

Kyrie movements often have a structure that reflects the concision and symmetry of the text. Many have a ternary (ABA) form known as a three-fold kyrie, where the two appearances of the phrase "Kýrie eléison" consist of identical or closely related material and frame a contrasting "Christe eleison" section. The AAABBBCCC' form is also commonly used which is known as a nine-fold kyrie. Famously, Mozart sets the "Kýrie" and "Christe" texts in his Requiem Mass as the two subjects of a double fugue.

The Gloria is a celebratory passage praising God the Father and Christ.

In Mass settings (normally in English) composed for the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer liturgy, the Gloria is commonly the last movement, because it occurs in this position in the text of the service. In Order One of the newer Common Worship liturgy, however, it is restored to its earlier place in the service.

The Credo, a setting of the Nicene Creed, is the longest text of a sung Mass.

Organizers of international celebrations, such as World Youth Day, have been encouraged by Rome to familiarize congregants in the Latin chants for the Our Father and the Credo, specifically Credo III (17th century, Fifth Mode) from the Missa de Angelis. The purpose of singing these two texts in Latin is to engender a sense of unity in the faithful, all of whom thus sing the prayer of Jesus and the shared belief of the universal Church in the same language.

The Sanctus is a doxology praising the Trinity. A variant exists in Lutheran settings of the Sanctus. While most hymnal settings keep the second person pronoun, other settings change the second person pronoun to the third person. This is most notable in J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor, where the text reads gloria ejus ("His glory"). Martin Luther's chorale Isaiah, Mighty in Days of Old, and Felix Mendelssohn's setting of the Heilig! (Latin: Sanctus) from his Deutsche Liturgie also use the third person.

The Benedictus is a continuation of the Sanctus. "Hosanna in excelsis" is repeated after the Benedictus section, often with musical material identical to that used after the Sanctus, or very closely related.

In Gregorian chant the Sanctus (with Benedictus) was sung whole at its place in the Mass. However, as composers produced more embellished settings of the Sanctus text, the music often would go on so long that it would run into the consecration of the bread and wine. This was considered the most important part of the Mass, so composers began to stop the Sanctus halfway through to allow this to happen, and then continue it after the consecration is finished. This practice was forbidden for a period in the 20th century.[citation needed]

The Agnus Dei is a setting of the "Lamb of God" litany, containing the responses "miserere nobis" ('have mercy upon us'), repeated twice, and "dona nobis pacem" ('grant us peace') once at the end.

In a Requiem Mass, the words "miserere nobis" are replaced by "dona eis requiem" ('grant them rest'), while "dona nobis pacem" is replaced by "dona eis requiem sempiternam" ('grant them eternal rest').

There is some additional terminology regarding Mass settings indicating whether or not they include all five usual sections of the ordinarium, and whether or not the Mass is intended for exceptionally festive occasions.

Missa brevis (literally "short Mass") may, depending on time and conventions, indicate the setting of a subset of the five ordinary Mass parts (e.g. Masses containing only a setting of the Kyrie and the Gloria), or a Mass containing all these parts, but relatively short in duration, or a Mass in a setting that is less extended in vocal and orchestral forces than that of a Neapolitan Mass.

Missa longa ("long Mass") can indicate the counterpart of missa brevis when the aspect of duration is considered.

Missa solemnis indicates a solemn Mass, usually for special festive occasions and with an extended vocal and orchestral setting. In this sense, missa brevis is sometimes used to indicate the counterpart of a missa solemnis.

The missa brevis et solemnis ("short and solemn Mass") is an exceptional format, for its best known instances tied to the Salzburg of archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo, although earlier examples are extant. Mozart described it thus in a letter he wrote in 1776 ("the Archbishop" in this quotation refers to Colloredo):.mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}

Our church music is very different from that of Italy, since a Mass with the whole Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Epistle sonata, the Offertory or motet, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei must not last longer than three quarters of an hour. This applies even to the most Solemn Mass spoken by the Archbishop himself. Special study is required for this kind of composition, particularly as the Mass must have a full contingent of instruments—trumpets, drums and so forth.

The "brevis et solemnis" description applies to several of the Masses Mozart composed in Salzburg between 1775 and 1780, the Sparrow Mass being considered as its first instance for this composer.

Tongue-in-cheek, and not indebted to Viennese traditions, Gioachino Rossini qualified one of his last compositions, a Mass, as both petite ("small") and solennelle ("solemn") (Petite messe solennelle). In this case, "small" refers to the modest forces needed for its performance, and "solemn" to its duration, although later commentators would describe the composition as "neither small nor solemn".

During Lent (Quadragesima) and Advent (Adventus) the Gloria is not sung. Thus Missa (in) tempore (Adventus et) Quadragesimae, "Mass for the period of (Advent and) Lent" indicates a Mass composition without music for the Gloria. Michael Haydn composed a Mass suitable for Lent and Advent, the Missa tempore Quadragesimae, in D minor for the modest forces of choir and organ.

Messa senza credo ("Mass without a Credo") indicates a musical setting of the usual parts of the Mass ordinary with exception of the Credo.

A missa ferialis (weekday Mass) leaves out both the Gloria and the Credo.

The sixth and last part of the Ordinarium (either Ite, missa est, or, in Masses without Gloria, Benedicamus Domino) is usually not set as part of a Mass composition. In a Tridentine Mass that part of the Ordinarium is usually spoken, or sung to the Gregorian melody provided in the Roman Missal, although early polyphonic settings for the "Deo gratias" response (e.g. in Guillaume de Machaut's Messe de Nostre Dame) and for the Benedicamus Domino (e.g. in Magnus Liber Organi) are extant.

The Proper of the Mass is usually not set to music in a Mass itself, except in the case of a Requiem Mass, but may be the subject of motets or other musical compositions. Some Mass compositions, like for instance Rossini's Petite messe solennelle, do however contain parts outside the Ordinarium. Some Mass compositions even consist entirely of such additions: Schubert's Deutsche Messe, a set of eight hymns with epilogue, is an example of such a Mass.

Purely instrumental compositions can also be part of a Mass celebration, e.g. a Sonata da chiesa, sometimes with a liturgical function, like Mozart's Epistle Sonatas.

In a liturgical Mass, there are other sections that may be sung, often in Gregorian chant. These sections, the "Proper" of the Mass, change with the day and season according to the Church calendar, or according to the special circumstances of the Mass. The sections of the Proper of the Mass include the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia or Tract (depending on the time of year), Offertory and Communion.

Ordinarium and proprium sections of a specific liturgical Mass are not typically set to music together in the same composition. The one major exception to this rule is the Mass for the dead, or requiem.

Following the distribution of the Sacrament, it is customary in most Lutheran churches to sing the Nunc dimittis.[citation needed]

The Catholic Church sees the Mass or Eucharist as "the source and summit of the Christian life", to which the other sacraments are oriented. Remembered in the Mass are Jesus' life, Last Supper, and sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary. The ordained celebrant (priest or bishop) is understood to act in persona Christi, as he recalls the words and gestures of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper and leads the congregation (always "we", never "I") in praise of God. The Mass is composed of two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Although similar in outward appearance to the Anglican Mass or Lutheran Mass, the Catholic Church distinguishes between its own Mass and theirs on the basis of what it views as the validity of the orders of their clergy, and as a result, does not ordinarily permit intercommunion between members of these Churches. In a 1993 letter to Bishop Johannes Hanselmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) affirmed that "a theology oriented to the concept of succession [of bishops], such as that which holds in the Catholic and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the salvation-granting presence of the Lord [Heilschaffende Gegenwart des Herrn] in a Lutheran [evangelische] Lord's Supper." The Decree on Ecumenism, produced by Vatican II in 1964, records that the Catholic Church notes its understanding that when other faith groups (such as Lutherans, Anglicans, and Presbyterians) "commemorate His death and resurrection in the Lord's Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and look forward to His coming in glory."

Within the fixed structure outlined below, which is specific to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Scripture readings, the antiphons sung or recited during the entrance procession or at Communion, and certain other prayers vary each day according to the liturgical calendar. For many variations and options not mentioned here, see the complete Order of the Mass.

The priest enters, with a deacon if there is one, and altar servers (who may act as crucifer, candle-bearers and thurifer). The priest makes the sign of the cross with the people and formally greets them. Of the options offered for the Introductory Rites, that preferred by liturgists would bridge the praise of the opening hymn with the Glory to God which follows. The Kyrie eleison here has from early times been an acclamation of God's mercy. The Penitential Act instituted by the Council of Trent is also still permitted here, with the caution that it should not turn the congregation in upon itself during these rites which are aimed at uniting those gathered as one praiseful congregation. The Introductory Rites are brought to a close by the Collect Prayer.

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 psalm, recited or sung responsorially. The second reading is from the New Testament epistles, typically from one of the Pauline epistles. A Gospel acclamation is then sung as the Book of the Gospels is processed, sometimes with incense and candles, to the ambo; if not sung it may be omitted. The final reading and high point of the Liturgy of the Word is the proclamation of the Gospel by the deacon or priest. On all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and preferably at all Masses, a homily or sermon that draws upon some aspect of the readings or the liturgy itself, is then given. The homily is preferably moral and hortatory. Finally, the Nicene Creed or, especially from Easter to Pentecost, the Apostles' Creed is professed on Sundays and solemnities, and the Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful follows. The designation "of the faithful" comes from when catechumens did not remain for this prayer or for what follows.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the preparation of the altar and gifts, while the collection may be taken. This concludes with the priest saying: "Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father." The congregation stands and 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.

Then in dialogue with the faithful the priest brings to mind the meaning of "eucharist", to give thanks to God. A variable prayer of thanksgiving follows, concluding with the acclamation "Holy, Holy ....Heaven and earth are full of your glory. ...Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest." The anaphora, or more properly "Eucharistic Prayer", follows, The oldest of the anaphoras of the Roman Rite, fixed since the Council of Trent, is called the Roman Canon, with central elements dating to the fourth century. With the liturgical renewal following the Second Vatican Council, numerous other Eucharistic prayers have been composed, including four for children's Masses. Central to the Eucharist is the Institution Narrative, recalling the words and actions of Jesus at his Last Supper, which he told his disciples to do in remembrance of him. Then the congregation acclaims its belief in Christ's conquest over death, and their hope of eternal life. Since the early church an essential part of the Eucharistic prayer has been the epiclesis, the calling down of the Holy Spirit to sanctify our offering. The priest concludes with a doxology in praise of God's work, at which the people give their Amen to the whole Eucharistic prayer.

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 a prayer called the embolism, after which the people respond with another doxology. The sign of peace is exchanged and then the "Lamb of God" ("Agnus Dei" in Latin) litany is sung or recited while the priest breaks the host and places a piece in the main chalice; this is known as the rite of fraction and commingling.

The priest then displays the consecrated elements to the congregation, saying: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb," to which all respond: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." Then Communion is given, often with lay ministers assisting with the consecrated wine. According to Catholic teaching, one should be in the state of grace, without mortal sin, to receive Communion. Singing by all the faithful during the Communion procession is encouraged "to express the communicants' union in spirit" from the bread that makes them one. A silent time for reflection follows, and then the variable concluding prayer of the Mass.

The priest imparts a blessing over those present. The deacon or, in his absence, the priest himself then dismisses the people, choosing a formula by which the people are "sent forth" to spread the good news. The congregation responds: "Thanks be to God." A recessional hymn is sung by all, as the ministers process to the rear of the church.

Since most Eastern Orthodox Christians use the Byzantine Rite, most Eastern Orthodox Churches call their Eucharistic service "the Divine Liturgy." However, there are a number of parishes within the Eastern Orthodox Church which use an edited version of Latin liturgical rites. Most parishes use the "Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon" which is a revision of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, or "the Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory" which is derived from the Tridentine form of the Roman Rite Mass. These rubrics have been revised to reflect the doctrine and dogmas of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Therefore, the filioque clause has been removed, a fuller epiclesis has been added, and the use of leavened bread has been introduced.

In the Anglican tradition, Mass is one of many terms for the Eucharist. 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 used. In the English-speaking Anglican world, the term used often identifies the Eucharistic theology of the person using it. "Mass" is frequently used by Anglo-Catholics.

The various Eucharistic liturgies used by national churches of the Anglican Communion have continuously evolved from the 1549 and 1552 editions of the Book of Common Prayer, both of which owed their form and contents chiefly to the work of Thomas Cranmer, who in about 1547 had rejected the medieval theology of the Mass. Although the 1549 rite retained the traditional sequence of the Mass, its underlying theology was Cranmer's and the four-day debate in the House of Lords during December 1548 makes it clear that this had already moved far beyond traditional Catholicism. In the 1552 revision, this was made clear by the restructuring of the elements of the rite while retaining nearly all the language so that it became, in the words of an Anglo-Catholic liturgical historian (Arthur Couratin) "a series of communion devotions; disembarrassed of the Mass with which they were temporarily associated in 1548 and 1549". Some rites, such as the 1637 Scottish rite and the 1789 rite in the United States, went back to the 1549 model. From the time of the Elizabethan Settlement in 1559 the services allowed for a certain variety of theological interpretation. Today's rites generally follow the same general five-part shape. Some or all of the following elements may be altered, transposed or absent depending on the rite, the liturgical season and use of the province or national church:

The liturgy is divided into two main parts: The Liturgy of the Word (Gathering, Proclaiming and Hearing the Word, Prayers of the People) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (together with the Dismissal), but the entire liturgy itself is also properly referred to as the Holy Eucharist. The sequence of the liturgy is almost identical to the Roman Rite, except the Confession of Sin ends the Liturgy of the Word in the Anglican rites in North America, while in the Roman Rite (when used) and in Anglican rites in many jurisdictions the Confession is near the beginning of the service.

The Anglican tradition includes separate rites for nuptial, funeral, and votive Masses. The Eucharist is an integral part of many other sacramental services, including ordination and Confirmation.

Some Anglo-Catholic parishes use Anglican versions of the Tridentine Missal, such as the English Missal, The Anglican Missal, or the American Missal, for the celebration of Mass, all of which are intended primarily for the celebration of the Eucharist, or use the order for the Eucharist in Common Worship arranged according to the traditional structure, and often with interpolations from the Roman Rite. In the Episcopal Church (United States), a traditional-language, Anglo-Catholic adaptation of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer 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, propers for special feast days, and instructions for proper ceremonial order. These books are used as a more expansively Catholic context in which to celebrate the liturgical use found in the Book of Common Prayer and related liturgical books. In England supplementary liturgical texts for the proper celebration of Festivals, Feast days and the seasons is provided in Common Worship; Times and Seasons (2013), Festivals (Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England) (2008) and Common Worship: Holy Week and Easter (2011).

These are often supplemented in Anglo-Catholic parishes by books specifying ceremonial actions, such as A Priest's Handbook by Dennis G. Michno, Ceremonies of the Eucharist by Howard E. Galley, Low Mass Ceremonial by C. P. A. Burnett, and Ritual Notes by E.C.R. Lamburn. Other guides to ceremonial include the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite (Peter Elliott), Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described (Adrian Fortescue), and The Parson's Handbook (Percy Dearmer). In Evangelical Anglican parishes, the rubrics detailed in the Book of Common Prayer are sometimes considered normative.

In the Book of Concord, Article XXIV ("Of the Mass") of the Augsburg Confession (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 rejected parts of the Roman Rite Catholic Mass, specifically the Canon of the Mass, which, as he argued, did not conform with Hebrews 7:27. That verse contrasts the Old Testament priests, who needed to make a sacrifice for sins on a regular basis, with the single priest Christ, who offers his body only once as a sacrifice. The theme is carried out also in Hebrews 9:26, 9:28, and 10:10. Luther composed as a replacement a revised Latin-language rite, Formula missae, in 1523, and the vernacular Deutsche Messe in 1526.

As such, historically, the Lutheran Church has stated that the Lutheran Mass is "the only Mass founded in the Scriptures of God, in accordance with the plain and incontestable institution of the Saviour."

Scandinavian, Finnish, and some English speaking Lutherans, use the term "Mass" for their Eucharistic service, but in most German and English-speaking churches, the terms "Divine Service", "Holy Communion, or "the Holy Eucharist" are used.

The celebration of the Mass in Lutheran churches follows a similar pattern to other traditions, starting with public confession (Confiteor) by all and a Declaration of Grace said by the priest or pastor. There follow the Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, collect, the readings with an alleluia (alleluia is not said during Lent), homily (or sermon) and recitation of the Nicene Creed. The Service of the Eucharist includes the General intercessions, Preface, Sanctus and Eucharistic Prayer, elevation 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 prayers and the final blessing by the priest ends the Mass. A 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 aligns 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. The bishops and pastors of the larger Lutheran bodies have strongly encouraged this restoration of the weekly Mass.

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

The celebration of the "Mass" in Methodist churches, commonly known as the Service of the Table, is based on The Sunday Service of 1784, a revision of the liturgy of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer authorized by John Wesley. The use of the term "Mass" is very rare in Methodism. The terms "Holy Communion", "Lord's Supper", and to a lesser extent "Eucharist" are far more typical.

The celebrant of a Methodist Eucharist must be an ordained or licensed minister. In the Free Methodist Church, the liturgy of the Eucharist, as provided in its Book of Discipline, is outlined as follows:

Methodist services of worship, post-1992, reflect the ecumenical movement and Liturgical Movement, particularly the Methodist Mass, largely the work of theologian Donald C. Lacy.

The English suffix -mas (equivalent to modern English "Mass") can label certain prominent (originally religious) feasts or seasons based on a traditional liturgical year. For example:

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)

Anglican Doctrine and practice

Lutheran doctrine


Feature Images

The elevation of the host began in the 14th century to show people the consecrated host.

The elevation of the host began in the 14th century to show people the consecrated host.

A priest administers Communion during Mass in a Dutch field on the front line in October 1944.

A priest administers Communion during Mass in a Dutch field on the front line in October 1944.

Out of Mass (1893), oil on canvas by Joan Ferrer Miró

Out of Mass (1893), oil on canvas by Joan Ferrer Miró

Bishop William White celebrating Holy Communion in choir dress (19th century A.D.)

Bishop William White celebrating Holy Communion in choir dress (19th century A.D.)

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