Can you explain the sacrifice of the Mass?

I’d like to have a conversation about the sacrifice of the Mass. From what I’ve read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it seems the Catholic teaching is Christ died for sins once, but that at the Mass, Christ’s original sacrifice (on Calvary) is offered again. It’s the same sacrifice, but it’s offered again with every Mass. Is this correct?

If it is, how can it be reconciled with passages such as this one, from Hebrews Chapter 9?:

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Thanks for your time!

Good evening,

Type something similar to “sacrifice of the mass” into the search bar of the main site and a whole host of literature is available. :slight_smile:


It is not a repeat, but one and the same Mass offered in our presence under our understanding of time. The mystery we may not fully grasp is that what happens on the Altar is Calvary, not a representation or recreation; the Mass transcends the confines of time.

By the way, this is consistent with how the Jewish people of Jesus’s day viewed Passover.

I look at it this way.

(Heb 8:3 DRB) For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that he also should have some thing to offer.

Since Christ is our High priest and entered the Holy of Holies once and has never left, He must still be offering sacrifice His blood to the Father for our sins.

(Heb 9:12 DRB) Neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.

John saw a Lamb, as it was slain, with bloody garment.

(Rev 5:6 DRB) And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing, as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.

(Rev 7:10 DRB) And they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb.

(Rev 19:13 DRB) And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD.

Our priest offer the same sacrifice that Christ did at the Last Supper. Without the Last Supper, Christ death would not have been a sacrifice.

His death was outside of the Holy city, no Priest, and was killed by Romans, and no alter or table.

Just my thoughts.


As for the sacrificial nature of the Mass, Paul explains this in 1 Cortinthians 10:14-21.

14 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation[e] in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation[f] in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the practice of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.[g] 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

Can any one explain why Paul tells us that we have an altar, and John in his final book, talks about altars in Heaven. What would be the purpose of having an altar? if there is nothing to offer?

(Heb 13:10 DRB) We have an altar whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle.

This is interesting. So Calvary becomes present at the Mass? Interesting. So, I suppose then the theology of offering the sacrifice is that the participants are in some way participating in the offering at Calvary. Does that mean Calvary is going on constantly?

I also found this to be an interesting reference. So, by “participating in the body of Christ” you mean a literal participation in his actual sacrifice on Calvary through some sort of a time warp or something? That’s what it seems like you’re suggesting. Not judging it, just wondering. I think it’s a very interesting concept.

From God’s perspective, yes. God is equally present in all places at all times at once. So from His perespectice Christ is always being crucified (and is always being Resurrected).

In Heaven Jesus is a priest. But His Sacrifice is consummated.

“No word shall be impossible with God.”

It’s not through “some sort of a time warp.” It is how God wills it.

That makes perfect sense to me,

Like when a husband and wife consummate their marriage, the two become one. over and over, tell each other how much they love each other over and over.

Just like our Lord is a husband to us.

(Jer 3:14 DRB) Return, O ye revolting children, saith the Lord: for I am your I husband: and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a kindred, and will bring you into Sion.

When we eat and drink His flesh and blood, we become one, every day with can consummate our relationship with our Lord.

(Joh 6:56 ASV) He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him.

While the expression “some sort of a time warp” may not be literally accurate, it IS TRUE! :smiley:

The English rendition in the Bible of “Do this in memory of me” is a poor translation of what Jesus really commanded the Apostles. It would be more accurate to say that he commanded the Apostles to re-present this sacrifice, in the way it was commanded the Israelites to commemorate the Passover.

Since the Eternal Son of God was both the Priest and the Victim in His offering, it was an eternal offering which transcended time. Jesus, by commanding the Apostles to DO THIS, was instituting a New and Perfect Sacrifice, as was foretold in the prophets (especially Malachai)

The proper worship of God has always entailed a sacrifice beginning in Genesis. The Sacrificial nature of the Mass is crucial to understanding both the Mass AND the Eucharist.

That is WHY we as participants are a part of the ROYAL PRIESTHOOD. We are united with Jesus (who is the High Priest at Mass, with the ministerial priest acting in His name) that makes OUR sacrifices which we bring and include with the One Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus to be perfect as well! This is the centrality of Catholicism since the Acts of the Apostles. :wink:

Meanwhile, Jesus is in the Celestial Holy of Holies, interceding for us as our King and High Priest AND our Victim!

To add to Ambrose’s comment, the words “Do this in memory of Me” in the original Greek are “Touto poieite eis tan eman anamnesin.” The words “Touto poieite” in the OT often are used in the context of sacrifice. The word “amanesin” is also used in a sacrificial context in the OT. So really, Jesus is saying “Offer this in my memorial.”

If you want any more info check this out.

20 minutes well spent



*] **Mass as Sacrifice **


The sacrifice of the Mass, the wedding supper of the Lamb our todah=Hebrew, thank offering, Eucharist in Latin, makes present to us the once for all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

It is finished does not mean the sacrifice is complete. [1Cor15:17 And **if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.] For the victim, it is finished. The victim is dead and the blood of the victim has been shed. But the atonement has not been made. The atoning blood had to be taken by the OT High Priest into the Holy of Holies, sprinkled on the mercy seat, and the pascal lamb eaten. Christ the sacrificial victim, was resurrected and ascended into heaven as our High Priest. He is both victim and priest. Entering into the Holy of Holies made without hands with the blood of sprinkling. Appearing as a lamb slain bringing to rememberance his sacrifice of the cross before the Father making that once for all sacrifice present to us at mass where we eat the pascal lamb.

[Hb9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; **but into heaven itself, now **to appear in the presence of God For Us:] As our one mediator, interceding and making propitiation for our sins.

[Ex 25:30 and thou hast put on the table bread of the presence Before Me continually..]

In the Old Testament the bread of the Presence was placed on a table before the Presence of God in the Holy of Holies. The Temple bread of the Presence is a type and foreshadowing of Christ and his real Presence, as the bread of life, the Lamb of God, who will stand in the midst of the throne as a lamb slain,our mediator, bringing to remembrance the sacrifice of the cross, before the Father.

[Rv 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, **in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.]

Our slain sacrificed Passover Lamb the Bread of Life with his atoning blood ever living and present in the true Holy of Holies in the midst of the throne before God the Father mediating, [1Jn2:1 **my little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.].

Christ is our propitiation for sin, before and after baptism, bringing to remembrance and making present his once for all sacrifice of great mercy. Our pure offering, Jesus Christ, our living High Priest making intercession for us through that same once for all sacrifice of the cross. There is no re-sacrifice it is the same once done made present, to us, a living memorial sacrifice.

[Malachi 1:11 For **from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.]

That pure offering=sacrifice, this IS my body, this IS my blood, our Thank Offering, Eucharist in Latin. Animal sacrifces had to be clean, only Christ our sacrifice is that pure offering from the rising to the setting of the sun in every place.]

[Rv6 And **I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.]

[Hb 7: 17 For he testifieth, **Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.]

[Hb 7:24 But **this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.]

[Hb8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: **We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of Necessity that this Man have somewhat also To Offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also **he is the mediator of a better covenant **, which was established upon better promises.]

[Hb9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; **but into heaven itself, now To Appear in the presence of God For Us:] COMTINUED

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