Explaining the Mass


I’m looking for an quick, accurate, and simple explanation of the sacrifice of the Mass. If I was in an elevator with someone, and had 30 seconds to explain the sacrifice of the Mass in laymen terms, how would you describe it?

I’m not looking for an explanation of what a liturgy is, or the liturgy of the catechumen, but the liturgy of the Eucharist.

So far, I have:
“It’s the eternal high Priest (Jesus), re-presenting his body to God the father, in expiation for the sins of mankind. Those present at the Mass, have their offering united with the sacrifice of Christ, and have the effects of the cross applied to them.”

This accurate? How could it be better explained? Thank you.

Lesson 27 from the Baltimore Cathechism

  1. What is the Mass?

The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

For, from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my name a clean oblation. (Malachi 1:11)

Why is the Mass re-presented to God the Father?

It must be tied to the Church in attendance?

The effects of attending this re-presentation are what? The merits of the Cross is being applied to the attendees by the degree of his soul’s disposition?

Are you seeking to explain the Mass or just the Liturgy of the Eucharist?

The Mass contains several parts, most notably the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

JaKael02, the Mass isn’t just applied to those present. What we call the Sacrifice of the Mass (as distinct from the Sacrament) is applied to men throughout the world and even to the dead. This is better than just praying for them, because the Sacrifice of Christ is infinite in value (although the benefits we receive from it are finite, due to our nature and to the order which God set up).

Expiation. Is that the first cousin, once removed of expialadocious?

Most people won’t even understand the words you are saying, and if you want a 30 second (or one minute, for that matter) explanation, none will come that will make a whit of difference.

But what the heck.

Christ is in Heaven, in a continual offering of Himself to the Father. At the last Supper, He instituted the Eucharist as an unbloody sacrifice of Himself, in preparation for his bloody sacrifice on the cross. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we join with Him in that continual offering of Himself to the Father, and participate in the Sacred meal as He set out in John 6, that we “eat His flesh and drink his blood” (about 19 seconds).

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