What is the origin of the word "Mass"?

Hi, this is a simple question, (I think!). I’ve always been curious about the word “Mass”. What is the origin and definition of the word?


The term Mass comes from the Latin word missa meaning dismissal. The catechism now defines Mass as, “The Eucharist or principal sacramental celebration of the Church, established by Jesus at the Last Supper, in which the mystery of our salvation through participation in the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of Christ is renewed and accomplished. The Mass renews the paschal sacrifice of Christ as the sacrifice offered by the Church. It is called “Mass” (from the Latin missa) because of the “mission” or “sending” with which the liturgical celebration concludes.”

For a more detailed history of the term see the Catholic Encyclopedia article:
*]Liturgy of the Mass[/LIST]

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.