Mass - a sacrifice?

I’ve been attending mass at a local parish for the past few months now and I am confused about this.

In what way is the Eucharistic process considered a sacrifice to God? Wasn’t it God’s own sacrifice?


It was Christ’s own sacrifice of Himself - but by His words ‘do this in memory of Me’ He commands us to keep offering the same sacrifice of Himself to the Father. And this is what we do in the Eucharist.

Just as God, through Moses, commanded the Israelites to celebrate Passover again each and every year.

Interestingly, if you know anything of biblical languages, an unusual word is used in biblical accounts of the OT celebration of Passover. The actual Greek word escapes me, (I think it’s ‘amenesis’?) but it signifies that these yearly Passovers were not merely remembrances of a one-off long-ago event, but that in some mystical way the Jews were present again at the same original Passover each year in their yearly celebrations.

That is also how we view the new Passover, the Eucharist. It is one and the same sacrifice - the sacrifice of Calvary - at which we are present again and again.

Lily - I think your thinking of anamnesis - it was used by Plato and I think Aristotle which is why it became incorporated into early Theology.

The Mass is absolutely a sacrifice. It is the re-presentation of Christ’s One Sacrifice (Heb 10) in a unbloody way, being applied to the needs of the faithful living and dead. It is in fact, one in the same as that of Calvary.

I reccomend reading The Hidden Treasure - Holy Mass by St. Leonard.

The Greek word “anamnesis” is not just a mental remembrance, but is the actual making present of that which is commemorated.

St. Nicholas Cabasilas said that the Sacrifice of the Eucharist consists of the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Sacrificed Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.

A friend of mine put it this way, “In the Eucharistic Liturgy, we offer and enter into IN TIME under veils of bread and wine the very same Sacrifice that is ETERNALLY (that is, outside of time) pleaded TOTALLY UNVEILED before the Father.”

Does this help?

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