Where did the Canon of the Mass come from?


#1

Was it solely from the Last Supper or did Jesus spend some of his time on earth before the Ascension teaching the Apostles the exact formula?

Was the Liturgy of the Word made by the Apostles? Inspired by the Jewish customs? A teaching tool for Catechumens? Is this part of the Liturgy more flexible as it seems it is just a time to listen to readings from scripture? It doesn’t seem as it has the same rigidity as the Liturgy of the Eucharist in which certain words have to be pronounced for the Consecration to be valid.

Also, if Aramaic/Hebrew would’ve been the language used for the original Mass, why wasn’t that continued? I know the Maronite Rite has some portion of it in Aramaic.

Some people call the Tridentine Mass the “Mass of the Ages” but it’s only been around for 500 years. They only made the language Latin when the Roman Empire adapted Christianity as the official religion.

Part of the reason there was a new Mass translation was to be more faithful to the original Latin, but I am wondering why not look into the earliest original Mass celebrated by the Apostles?


#2

The Roman Canon (or EP1) as we know it came from the early centuries. Obviously it did not go all the way back to Christ because of all the saints and martyrs mentioned. It should also be obvious that the earliest Masses didn’t have gospel readings as we know them since the Bible wasn’t completed until the 2nd century. It should be of interest that the Canon was probably WRITTEN in Latin and the oldest printed copy also probably would be recognizable today to those familiar with the Latin. The new Campion Missal & Hymnal has 15 pages of illustrations of the pre-Tridentine Missals (a couple as early as 850 AD) which are quite a delight to see.


#3

Very complicated questions; if you permit me, I would refer you to read “The Mass of the Roman Rite” by Josef Jungmann S.J., who can explain the historical development between the Last Supper and the Mass we know today.

Also, if Aramaic/Hebrew would’ve been the language used for the original Mass, why wasn’t that continued? I know the Maronite Rite has some portion of it in Aramaic.

Only people in Israel and Syria could speak Aramaic. The linga franca for most of the world at that time was Greek.

Some people call the Tridentine Mass the “Mass of the Ages” but it’s only been around for 500 years. They only made the language Latin when the Roman Empire adapted Christianity as the official religion.

Ah, this is a misconception, and that’s why those people call it the Mass of the Ages: because it’s actually MUCH older than the Council of Trent. Trent changed basically nothing about the Holy Mass (except making mandatory the prayers at the foot of the altar, before the first Sign of the Cross, which were before then optional). What Trent did, rather, was suppress all of the local customs and usages, in favor of how Mass was celebrated in Rome. In reality, the last major change in the Roman rite was the insertion of the Nicene Creed in the 11th century, and the last major change before that was the insertion of the Agnus Dei in the 7th century and a few notable changes done by Pope St. Gregory I at the end of the 6th. If you went back in time to the year AD 600, it would look almost identical to a modern Solemn High Mass, sans the Creed and Agnus Dei.

Part of the reason there was a new Mass translation was to be more faithful to the original Latin, but I am wondering why not look into the earliest original Mass celebrated by the Apostles?

Pretty much any liturgy derived from the Catholics or Orthodox will extensively quote and reference the Last Supper.

Anyway, Pope Pius XII talked extensively about “antiquarianism”, which is the belief that everything in the liturgy should be as it was in the time of the Apostles. There’s a few problems with that. One, most of the developments since then have happened for a reason: to increase reverence for Our Lord and the sanctity of the celebrants. Two, we don’t really know that much about how the Apostles celebrated Mass, other than that they broke bread and said the words of Christ.


#4

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