Why can’t the Divine Liturgy be referred to as “the Mass”?


I can see this, but I know a good number of older Orthodox (mostly ethnic Greek) who will sometimes use “Mass” as shorthand for Divine Liturgy. I wonder how this came about. Any insight?


Probably the same way.
Looking for the English word that means the Eucharistic liturgical service. It requires a high level of Romophobia to avoid a word because it is used by the Latins. I know a number of Greek Orthodox immigrants who joined the RCC as part of their assimilation in America.


Ahhh… Kind of like the fact that cradle Orthodox immigrants will proudly name their parishes “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, but certain Byzantine Catholics will correct will correct you if you say “Assumption” instead of “Dormition”?:confounded:


:rofl: Yes, exactly.
And typically these BC’s are lack much connection to the people who built these temples, but are more like a certain kind of chef that learns thinks that one leanr’s to cook from a book.

Another example is “preneporocnuju”, for which these are strong feelings against using “immaculate” in translation.



Practically every Orthodox Lebanese person I know calls the DL “Mass” and doesn’t blink doing it. I assume it’s just unintentional inculturation since most of the folks I’m referencing live in one of the most Catholic regions in the U.S. While sticking to proper terms is important, the ability to unconsciously wobble on words while still keeping the faith is probably a sign that someone is going to stick around, while people who get hung up on minutia (in any faith) are more likely to burn out.


It was called the Divine Liturgy long before it was called the Mass. Originally, The Divine Liturgy was in Greek even in Rome.


I didn’t know you couldn’t, I’ve seen both Eastern Catholics and Syriac Orthodox refer to their worship as Mass. Admittedly, I would still prefer that Eastern Christian worship, in most cases be called Divine Liturgy, but really as someone pointed out it is the same reality.


These are different names with different origins applied to different contexts, with the same conotation, but one of them is generic (liturgy) and the others are specific (Mass and Divine Liturgy).

On the other hand, the Antiochian Orthodox Metropolis of Brazil calls their liturgy Santa Missa. However, this is an example of specific inculturation rather than something generally acceptable in Eastern Christianity.




Qurbono (Divine Liturgy) and Mass IS the same thing, however, within their tradition they call it
Qurbono (Divine Liturgy) and some take insult with one putting a Latin term on their service.
I worship in the Maronite rite and although it is listed in the bulletin as Qurbono (Divine Liturgy)
MOST parishioners in my parish will say “Mass” most probably because they have so many
Latin rite Catholics who worship there. They even squeeze in the initials RC into the name of
their church so that Latin rite Catholics know they can fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending
Mass there. Some Maronite’s have even been concerned that in the future it will become a
Roman rite church since so many Roman rite Catholic worship there.


It might not be technically correct, but the use of the word “Mass” for other liturgies is more than understandable, particularly when the people talking are Catholic or from Catholic dominated lands.

I’ve heard of a Baptist funeral referred to as a “Mass”. Gentleman a former coworker died, I visited the funeral home, one of my other coworkers asked me if I was going to his “Mass”. Didn’t correct anyone, I understood what she meant and I answered.

Listening to people in context, you can figure out what they mean, and you don’t have to correct them.


So, I am by no means an expert, and in full disclosure, I am Orthodox, in the Slavic tradition (Rusyn). That being said, it is my understanding, that Sancti Missa (Holy Mass) refers to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Divine Liturgy refers to both, the Liturgy of the Word (Gospel) and Liturgy of the Eucharist. Liturgy translates from Greek lēitos - Public and ergos work. I’ve heard it translated as, Public Work/Worship and Work of the People.

I would not say that referring to either Sancti Missa or Divine Liturgy as one or the other as wrong or incorrect: I will only say that it is “more authentic” to refer to both Eucharistic services as the Divine Liturgy. Personally, I feel that if you are showing up and participating, I don’t care what you call it. But then again, I’m just a layperson. :slight_smile:


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