Question for Russian speakers: Обедня, Месса

A dictionary I have found gives two Russian words for the Mass: Obednya (Обедня) and Messa (Месса). Is the first word used for the Orthodox Mass and the second word for the Catholic Mass? Or if it’s not that, what is the difference between them?

Thanks for your help.

I thought the Othodox never use the word Mass
The ones on this board always used Holy or Divine Liturgy
Which is also appropriate in the West
Mass would be one of those awful westernizations they so deplore

Thank you for pointing that out. I wasn’t aware of that distinction. I’m just curious to know why the Russian language should have two different words for the Mass ― presuming that the dictionary is stating the facts correctly. For liturgy it gives Liturgiya (Литургия).

Обедня is sometimes used to refer to the Divine Liturgy. Mecca refers to the Roman Catholic service called Mass. Обедня is a bit of a ‘slang’ or colloquial use and is related to the word for lunch/midday dinner - because the Liturgy takes place before the meal time.

The words/phrase from which ‘mass’ is derived do not occur in the Byzantine Liturgy so we do not normally use the word mass (mecca); however, when translating in the opposite direction, ‘mass’ is often used for *Литургия * because the meaning is usually more immediately clear to western ears than ‘divine liturgy’ when meaning specifically the Eucharist or Communion Service (especially when ‘liturgy’ can refer to any formal religious observance or worship rite/ritual - there may even be references to Jewish liturgy, Hindu liturgy etc etc).

Thank you, Rowlands, for taking the trouble to provide such a full and detailed answer. The dictionary in question is the Pocket Oxford Russian Dictionary, which is quite literally pocket size, 5 × 3¾ inches. There simply isn’t room on the page for anything more than the briefest possible translation.

Kind regards

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