The Sacrifice of the Mass

What saith the Scripture?

© 1999, by Diane Dew   Order the book

Historical Background:
394 A.D.  The Mass became a daily ritual.
600 A.D.  Pope Gregory I declared Latin the official language of the Mass.
11th century  Attendance was made obligatory.



An unbloody sacrifice:

"In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner." Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 344, para 1367

Scripture says there is no such thing as an "unbloody sacrifice."

Hebrew 9:22 "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." Cp. Leviticus 17:11

A continual sacrifice:

"Every time this mystery is celebrated, 'the work of our redemption is carried on' ..." Catechism of the Catholic Church, p 354, para 1405

"When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it is made present. As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out." Catechism of the Catholic Church, p 343, para 1364

"The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice." Catechism of the Catholic Church, p 344, para 1367

"In the Sacrament Christ is offered every day for the people." St. Augustine, in Catholic Faith, Based on The Catholic Catechism, by His Eminence Peter Cardinal Gasparri (P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1938), p. 215 Nihil Obstat, M. McCabe. O.M.Cap., S.T.D., Imprimi Potest, Ignatius Weisbruch, O.M.Cap; Nihil Obstat, Arthur J. Scanlan, S.T.D.; Imprimatur, Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of NY.

"On Calvary, Christ offered sacrifice in his physical body. In the Mass he offers sacrifice in his mystical body, of which we are members. Therefore at Mass we are, in a spiritual sense, both co-offerers and co-victims with Christ." ("Companion to the Missal," by Sister M. Cecilia, OSB, 1954, Bruce Publ. Co., opposite title page) 

Once for all:

John 19:30
Romans 6:9 He died "once for all..."
Hebrews 7:27 "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself."

Hebrews 9:12 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he (Jesus) entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9:26 "...but now once in the end of the world hath he (Jesus) appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.."

Hebrews 9:28 "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many..."

Hebrews 10:10-12 "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God""

The 'Celebration' of the Mass

"When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover..." Catechism of the Catholic Church, p 343, para 1364

The message of the gospel is the resurrection ("He is risen!"), not his death: victory, not defeat! "It is finished!" Jesus said on the cross.

How does the Mass today, in its present form, compare to the worship services of the first-century chruch?

       A.  Worship services in the early church had a mark of simplicity and informality.

             1.  They met in homes.  

                              Romans 16:5

                              1 Corinthians 16:19

                              Colossians 4:15

                              Philemon 2

                              Acts 12:12

             2.  Teaching was given "from house to house."  

                              Acts 20:20

             3.  Communion was taken "from house to house."  

                              Acts 2:46

             4.  Although the temple was used as a place for public testimony and teaching, it was not
                  the center of spiritual growth and worship.    

                              Acts 5:20, 21, 25; 9:20

         B.  In the early church, each person was a necessary and important
               member of the Body -- not an observer of one leader (minister or
               priest) performing, but a participant.

                      1 Corinthians 12 and 14; Romans 12; Ephesians 4

         C.  Church attendance was not compulsory, under "obligation of sin."
                      Colossians 2:16; Romans 14:5, 14; Mark 2:23-28; Deuteronomy 10:12, 13

God wants our hearts, not our rituals.

What is true worship?

      - from the heart; in the spirit.

                John 4:23, 24
                Philippians 3:3
                Romans 1:9

      - not "vain repetition" in memorized prayer.

                Matthew 6:7
                Ecclesiastes 5:1, 2
                Isaiah 28:13
                Isaiah 29:13 (Matthew 15:8, 9; Mark 7)
                1 Kings 18:26
                Acts 19:34

God is not impressed with the formality of religious services (i.e., processions, etc.) Consider the following Scriptures:

1 Samuel 16:7

Ecclesiastes 5:1, 2

Isaiah 1;11-15

Isaiah 5:12

Isaiah 29:13 (Matthew 15:8, 9)

Isaiah 66:1, 2

Jeremiah 12:2

Amos 5:21-24

Amos 6:5, 8

Matthew 23:14

Mark 7:6, 7

Mark 12:38, 39

Mark 15:7-9

John 5:41

John 4:23, 24

Acts 2:46

2 Timothy 3:5

2 Corinthians 3:17

1 Samuel 15:22

Psalms 50:8-15

Psalms 51:16, 17

See also:

Psalms 69:30, 31

Jeremiah 6:20

Jeremiah 14:12

Hosea 6:6

Micah 6:6, 7

Malachi 1:6-14

Matthew 9:13

Matthew 12:7

Luke 13:24-27

Romans 2:17-29

1 Corinthians 7:19

Philippians 3:4-7

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