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  #1  
Old Mar 31, '08, 4:26 pm
hamburglar hamburglar is offline
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Default Capitalization of the term "Mass"

Should the term Mass be capitalized? I have always capitalized it, but someone mentioned that it is not proper to capitalize it, people do it out of respect.
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  #2  
Old Mar 31, '08, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by hamburglar View Post
Should the term Mass be capitalized? I have always capitalized it, but someone mentioned that it is not proper to capitalize it, people do it out of respect.
It's how the word is spelled. And it is a proper noun for an event.
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  #3  
Old Mar 31, '08, 4:46 pm
benedictgal benedictgal is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post
It's how the word is spelled. And it is a proper noun for an event.
That is correct. The word in lower case would mean large, such as, "mass quantities of grain spilled over the tanks". However, Mass, using uppercase, is the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
  #4  
Old Mar 31, '08, 6:39 pm
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by hamburglar View Post
Should the term Mass be capitalized? I have always capitalized it, but someone mentioned that it is not proper to capitalize it, people do it out of respect.
I see no reason that mass by itself should be capitalized. Only if it is a formal title, such as Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, should it qualify as a proper noun.

I know there is quite a bit of capitalization in the GIRM, Canon Law, and other Church documents. I'm not sure whether such use is peculiar to the more legal-oriented documents, or if this tendency to capitalize a large percentage of the nouns is ubiquitous, perhaps influenced by the German rule of capitalizing every noun. But it doesn't seem to me correct English usage to write about the Pastor and other Priests of the Parishes in each Deanery.

The distinction that I see between mass and Bible (another religious word that is always accepted as a proper noun) is that Bible is the actual title of the book - more complete titles are also acceptable "Holy Bible," "RSV Bible," etc. Mass, on the other hand, is the general term for any Eucharistic liturgy. You can have a Satanic mass, a clown mass, a red mass, an Anglican mass. In a Bible, the content is presumed to be essentially the same, despite some variations due to translation. If it is significantly different, you will often see quotes around the word, such as the "bible" of stamp collectors. Except on Catholic sites where the quotes add to the feeling of disapproval and rejection, you will rarely see quotes around Satanic mass, even though everyone knows such a ceremony is quite at odds with a Catholic mass - this suggests that most English-speakers consider mass to be a general term, rather than a unique one that should be treated as a proper noun.
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Old Mar 31, '08, 9:48 pm
John Hiner John Hiner is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by Digitonomy View Post
I see no reason that mass by itself should be capitalized. Only if it is a formal title, such as Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, should it qualify as a proper noun.

I know there is quite a bit of capitalization in the GIRM, Canon Law, and other Church documents. I'm not sure whether such use is peculiar to the more legal-oriented documents, or if this tendency to capitalize a large percentage of the nouns is ubiquitous, perhaps influenced by the German rule of capitalizing every noun. But it doesn't seem to me correct English usage to write about the Pastor and other Priests of the Parishes in each Deanery.

The distinction that I see between mass and Bible (another religious word that is always accepted as a proper noun) is that Bible is the actual title of the book - more complete titles are also acceptable "Holy Bible," "RSV Bible," etc. Mass, on the other hand, is the general term for any Eucharistic liturgy. You can have a Satanic mass, a clown mass, a red mass, an Anglican mass. In a Bible, the content is presumed to be essentially the same, despite some variations due to translation. If it is significantly different, you will often see quotes around the word, such as the "bible" of stamp collectors. Except on Catholic sites where the quotes add to the feeling of disapproval and rejection, you will rarely see quotes around Satanic mass, even though everyone knows such a ceremony is quite at odds with a Catholic mass - this suggests that most English-speakers consider mass to be a general term, rather than a unique one that should be treated as a proper noun.
Laudatur Iesus Christus.

The quoted argument alone is sufficient reason always and everywhere to capitalize the word "Mass" when it refers to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The fact that each Mass is a participation in the same Holy Sacrifice would probably qualify the word "Mass" as a proper noun referring to a single and unique reality. However, this argument is hardly necessary when one considers the blasphemous equivalences being attempted in the argument quoted above.

Spiritus Sapientiae nobiscum.

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  #6  
Old Apr 1, '08, 6:45 am
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by John Hiner View Post
The quoted argument alone is sufficient reason always and everywhere to capitalize the word "Mass" when it refers to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Which part of the argument?
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Originally Posted by John Hiner
The fact that each Mass is a participation in the same Holy Sacrifice would probably qualify the word "Mass" as a proper noun referring to a single and unique reality.
This logic would also suggest that we capitalize any noun when it refers to this single and unique reality. Like Reality. Or Celebration, Sacrifice, Gathering, etc. I suppose that's a defensible position, but I wouldn't consider it proper English usage except when done in a specific case for emphasis, say in an apologetic tract explaining the difference between the Sacrifice at the altar, and the sacrifice of missing Desperate Housewives.
  #7  
Old Apr 1, '08, 6:50 am
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by Digitonomy View Post
Which part of the argument?This logic would also suggest that we capitalize any noun when it refers to this single and unique reality.

It is a Proper Noun refering to the title of an event.

Sort of like how we captialize 'Superbowl' or 'World Series'.
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  #8  
Old Apr 1, '08, 6:52 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

I almost always capitalize it. I use a capital when using the definite of titular form, lower case for the indefinite. I do the same with Bible.
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Old Apr 1, '08, 7:00 am
John Hiner John Hiner is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by Digitonomy View Post
Which part of the argument?
Laudatur Iesus Christus.

The argument as a whole, which equates the Mass with lesser things and even with sacrilege: the equivalences that would otherwise result argue for the use of the initial capital to honor the Holy Mass as an act of Christ.

Pax Christi nobiscum.

John Hiner
  #10  
Old Apr 1, '08, 7:02 am
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
It is a Proper Noun refering to the title of an event.
Sort of like how we captialize 'Superbowl' or 'World Series'.
But do we capitalize the shortened form, such as "series" when referring to that event? The mayor may schedule a Town Hall Meeting, but if he asks whether I'll be at that meeting, I'll put that word in lowercase, unless there would be confusion about which meeting.

In some cases capitalization may be required for clarity or emphasis, as I stated above, but in most cases it's best to limit capitalization, to reduce clutter in writing.
  #11  
Old Apr 1, '08, 7:13 am
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by John Hiner View Post
The argument as a whole, which equates the Mass with lesser things and even with sacrilege: the equivalences that would otherwise result argue for the use of the initial capital to honor the Holy Mass as an act of Christ.r
Do you then agree with the statement I rejected in post #6, that every noun referring to the Holy Mass ought to be capitalized? Similarly, do you embrace the practice first introduced by Protestants in the late 19th Century of capitalizing every pronoun which refers to God? And if so, when we refer to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should we capitalize pronouns that refer to It?
  #12  
Old Apr 1, '08, 7:19 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by Digitonomy View Post
But do we capitalize the shortened form, such as "series" when referring to that event? The mayor may schedule a Town Hall Meeting, but if he asks whether I'll be at that meeting, I'll put that word in lowercase, unless there would be confusion about which meeting.

In some cases capitalization may be required for clarity or emphasis, as I stated above, but in most cases it's best to limit capitalization, to reduce clutter in writing.
The Oxford dictionary indicates that it is usually capitalized and then uses it that way in a sentence. That's good enough for me.
  #13  
Old Apr 1, '08, 7:30 am
rstegeman rstegeman is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

The way I understand it, there is only one perpetual Mass and we join in that celebration with the Angels and Saints every time we attend, but it is still the same Mass. I think it's also clear in the way we phrase our attendance. If someone were to ask where we were going, we don't say "I'm going to a mass", instead, we respond, "I'm going to Mass".

I don't have any official documentation on this, I just remember a priest explaining it to me that way once. It is quite possible that I mis-interepreted him.
  #14  
Old Apr 1, '08, 7:33 am
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

Usually capitalized:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

1capitalized : the liturgy of the Eucharist especially in accordance with the traditional Latin rite

2often capitalized : a celebration of the Eucharist <Sunday masses held at three different hours>

3: a musical setting for the ordinary of the Mass
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  #15  
Old Apr 1, '08, 7:36 am
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Capitalization of the term "Mass"

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Originally Posted by rstegeman View Post
If someone were to ask where we were going, we don't say "I'm going to a mass", instead, we respond, "I'm going to Mass".
Of course we do the same thing when we speak of going to school or to church.
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