Is this a point of puzzlement to you?

Why do you suppose the RCC

[1] Has the Mass?

[2] Makes it’s weekly attendance mandatory?

God Bless you

Patrick

The mass is our communal prayer of worship. We worship as a community.“Whereever two or more are gathered in my name …” Other posters will cite other reasons.

Two - Obedience to God’s Law - The third Commandment - Remember to keep holy the Sabbath.

Shalom

.

The mass has a long and interesting history as well as having many many different meanings at many different levels but I will not dwell on them. The mass basically grew out of the desire of the people wishing to come together to assert their being one with each other (we call this being in communion). The communion bread we share is our way of showing in physical form how we re in communion with one another and the whole church.

The word church in Latin Ecclesia means the gathering/assembly of the people. And the church, and priests and bishops etc etc all grew up from the common worship of the mass. So, it becomes incumbent on us to express our communion in the Sunday gathering. Which is why the Sunday gathering is mandatory. If you (intentionally and avoidably) absent yourself from mass, are you intending to not identify with us anymore.

This is the origins of the gathering at the mass. Today of course many many more meanings have been brought into the Church teachings on to the mass, all of which are equally valid.

THANKS well done:thumbsup:

GBY

To answer your question, no, it doesn’t really puzzle me. Why should it?

Thank you for your input here. The early church practice looks and sounds more “protestant” than Catholic until the development of a common worship (Mass) along with the priesthood being divided between clerical and laity.

If by protestant you mean evangelicals, yes (I have been to ‘protestant’ churches that are more catholic than Catholics).

I have to note though that there has always been a common worship bar adaptations for local customs and practices. The core of the worship has always been the communion and significant variations only started to creep in during the Reformation.

The reason for the commonality is twofold.

First, the way new churches were set up. Normally there is only one church in each city and its surrounding countryside. (Meaning, one bishop in each city. Which is why all our bishops today take on the title of the city.) When a city congregation gets too big the bishop sends one of his assistants to the secondary town under him to form a new church. This assistant normally became a bishop himself when the sponsoring bishop lays his hands on him. Eventually the sponsoring bishop get called an archbishop and all the bishops sponsored from the original city (called suffragan bishops) depend on the archbishop for liturgical and doctrinal leadership. You don’t get floating preachers who independently seek out congregations like among the evangelicals until the Middle Ages. Hence, the uniformity of worship.

The other reason is that the transmission of the faith that we call the Apostolic Succession is very important. Every Catholic bishop we have to day was ordained a bishop by the laying of hands of three Catholic bishops who in turn were ordained a bishop by the laying of hands of three Catholic bishops, who in turn were ordained a bishop by the laying of hands of three Catholic bishops … until you get a bishop who was ordained by the Apostles themselves. This is guarantee that the doctrines taught by the Catholic bishop and his worship is the same as the Apostles. Coupled with the fact that the early Christians did not bother to write down the scriptures or any liturgical instructions until much later because they expected Christ to come again pretty soon. So the faith and worship were handed down orally in the initial years and that they did with great care not to change anything.

The history of the Church is so fascinating, isn’t it?

Be careful what you call “more Protestant” my friend. Do you really believe Martin Luther would consider himself more Protestant, or more Catholic in these modern times? Would he identify with the Catholic faith more than, say your typical “Independent church”?

The “early Church” you reference was very young and undeveloped. Yes, there was purity, but there were also divisions and abuses and bad leaders! Look at Scripture! Paul addresses many issues going on. John sends a warning to a leader not respecting his authority. Revelations criticizes as much, if not more, than commends, of the seven churches.

Notice, in Acts, that the times of greatest peace and harmony in the beginnings of the Church, was while Peter was most closely and actively leading. He “went here and there among them all”. And the Apostles performed many “signs and wonders” so that the “whole Church” had great fear, and no one dared join them. But they came before them to be healed, even so Peter’s shadow might touch them. And they gathered constantly, and devoted themselves to “the prayers” and “Teachings” and “Breaking Bread”.

Does that really sound more “Protestant” to you?

Have you read the very early Father’s description of the Mass?

I would sure welcome you to expand on your first sentence, particularly about the Mass having many different meanings at various levels.

The word Protestant is always a bad choice, that is why I put quotation marks around it.

The early Church, from what information is available in the Bible does not closely resemble in my opinion the present day Roman Catholic Church. :o

Since when was the Bible a Church? The “Church” fellowship didn’t depend on a Bible alone but by the Teaching of the Apostles by their passed down Traditions and their letters plus readings for from Old testament readings. (IOW no full modern Bible yet).

Besides It was only after the Breaking of Bread was our risen Lord Jesus recognized. (Just keeping to this threads subject). Hence there should be no surprise why the Church has the Mass. It is the great Feast of the Lamb. Blessed are we who are called to this Supper. Amen.

MJ

Well you tell me which Protestant Church is healing illnesses, casting out demons, and the “whole Church” is in fear of, and one chief steward goes “here and there among them all” and I’ll join that same day.

My point is that there are aspects of the infant Church, under the Apostles, which is not given to its predecessor generations. What we have is faith, which the great signs were important to establish. Now, they are no longer necessary. Blessed are those who believe without “seeing”. There really isn’t a provable argument for the Primacy of the See of Rome. There isn’t a test that can be done to show the Catholic Eucharist is indeed changed by the Holy Spirit. And none of the churches are healing people of wounds and sicknesses out in the public and streets.

What we believe is the historical account of the Church leadership through Rome, as the significant witness of St Peter’s predecessor by Apostolic succession. Even though these leaders who have been given a portion of this prime ministry, it hasn’t magically kept them from committing sinful deeds, like the rest of us. But we aren’t claiming them to be Christ Himself. We only claim them to be Christ’s stewards. We rejoice when they behave holy, and lament when they act shamefully. Yet, they are who they are because God put them there. And so for His sake, we serve under their jurisdiction.

You can look at the Mass from an emotional/spiritual or an intellectual level.

Intellectual could be religious and secular. Religious could be theology of communion/sacrifice, the liturgical/sacramental theology, ecclesiological, pastoral ( this list is not exhaustive).

Secular could be sociological, political, philosophical.

Emotional/spiritual would normally takes us into the very personal stories of why people go for mass, their sense of identity and fulfilment.

Its a rich thing - the mass. The problem emerge when people chooses to use it to denounce others for having a different view on only a narrow aspect of one of these many many rich levels of understanding of the mass. As with so many aspects of religions, the Mass sometimes become a tool of division among religionists rather than a point of unity of the children of God and the lens through which we see how similar our religions really are.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.