Mass is a very ancient tradition that goes all the way back to Jesus’ Last Supper with his apostles–the meal he ate with his most trusted friends before his sacrificial death. At that solemn time, Jesus spoke with his apostles and shared with them his own body and blood in the form of bread and wine. These twin themes have been essential to the Catholic Mass–and the entire Catholic experience–ever since: the development of community and sharing of God’s word coupled with the sacrifice of Christ, giving his body and blood (in the form of bread and wine) for us to consume and so be one with his body.
Mass as our High Point
The Mass is a big deal for Catholics. According to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, which is sort of the official user’s guide to the Mass, it is central both to the communal life of the Catholic Church and also to the individual experience of each Catholic. It’s the “high point” of our ability to worship God and God’s ability to “sanctify,” or make holy the world in which we live. In fact, all the other “sacred actions and all the activities of the Christian life are bound up with it, flow from it, and are ordered to it” (16). Of course, we think it’s a good time too. For more information on the Mass, just click any of the links below.