history of the mass


#1

Does anyone know if the current structure of the mass was accepted as from the apostolic fathers; or did it evolve over the years. Also, if there are any books on the subject (I’m a new reconciler(?) to the faith). Thanks.


#2

The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy by Dr. Adrian Fortescue
is Highly Recommended!!


#3

[quote=mj330]Does anyone know if the current structure of the mass was accepted as from the apostolic fathers; or did it evolve over the years. Also, if there are any books on the subject (I’m a new reconciler(?) to the faith). Thanks.
[/quote]

TheHoly Sacrifice of the Mass has certainly changed (not necessarily “evolved”) a great deal over the past 2,000 years. And the change has not been linear either.

Today’s Mass is far closer to the Mass celebrated in the early church in a great many respects than the “Tridentine Mass” it replaced.

I’m not sure if you want to read about today’s Mass, or the history of the Mass. Jimmy Akin’s Mass Confusion is difficult to beat as a guide to understanding the Mass.


#4

[quote=Inquisitor]TheHoly Sacrifice of the Mass has certainly changed (not necessarily “evolved”) a great deal over the past 2,000 years. And the change has not been linear either.

Today’s Mass is far closer to the Mass celebrated in the early church in a great many respects than the “Tridentine Mass” it replaced.

I’m not sure if you want to read about today’s Mass, or the history of the Mass. Jimmy Akin’s Mass Confusion is difficult to beat as a guide to understanding the Mass.
[/quote]

Crusader/Inquisitor:
Will your constant and incessant berrating of the Traditional Tridentine Mass never stop?!!


#5

The Mass has grown and developed over the years. The first description we have of a “Mass” (the term “Mass” is anachronistic since it derives from the Latin dismissal at the end of Mass – something that didn’t arrive on the scene until the 5th or 6th century) is found in Paul’s writings where we see it in the context of a meal.

A later format is found in Justin the Martyr’s writings:

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss.(3) There is then brought to the president of the brethren(4) bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to ge’noito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

Development after this takes on different flavors depening on where you are. We see the rise of five basic liturgical traditions: Roman, Byzantine, Syrian and Alexandrian. There was a concurrent development in India (the St. Thomas Christians) but much of the history of this liturgical form has been lost to us. The Armenian Rite would develop in the 4th and 5th centuries.

The book by Fr. Fortescue is excellent as is Fr. Josef Jungmann’s book on the Mass of the Roman Rite.

There was a lot of cross-fertilization in the early days of the Liturgy. For example, the Latin Church retained the *Kyrie *from the days when the Liturgy was all in Greek. Processions developed from the rituals of the Imperial Court (which also influenced the development of vestments).

The history of the Mass is filled with all kinds of fascinating events. For a very brief history of the Mass you can see this site from a now defunct mailing list. There is a 12-part history of the Mass that I wrote several years ago.

Deacon Ed


#6

Thank you, Deacon Ed.


#7

You can read the Liturgies of James, and Mark, and the blessed apostles here.

catholicfirst.com/thefaith/churchfathers/volume07/liturgies01.cfm
catholicfirst.com/thefaith/churchfathers/volume07/liturgies02.cfm
catholicfirst.com/thefaith/churchfathers/volume07/liturgies03.cfm

These are very old.

You can also read books like.
“The Lambs Supper” Scott Hahn

“The Incredible Catholic Mass: An Explanation of the Mass” Martin Von Cochem

“The Mass of the Early Christians” Mike Aquilina


#8

try reading Fr. Joseph Jungmann’s “The Mass of the Roman Rite” or Fr. Pius Parsch’s “the Liturgy of the Mass”.


#9

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