Where Does the Catholic Mass Come From? (The Answer May Surprise You!)

by Jimmy Akin

in Books, Liturgy



 

 

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{ 7 comments }

Frank La Rocca August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

An informative and interesting presentation – thank you.
What’s with the jungle drums under the chant?

Nick August 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Great video! Here’s where the custom of altar girls come from (bold is my emphasis):
Redemptionis Sacramentum
[47.] It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of comprehension.[119] Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these.[120] Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers. Whenever such associations are international in nature, it pertains to the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to establish them or to approve and revise their statutes.[121] Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms.[122]
________________________________________________
[119] Cf. S. Congregation of Rites, Instruction, De Musica sacra, 3 September 1958, n. 93c: AAS 50 (1958) p. 656.
[120] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Response to dubium, 11 July 1992: AAS 86 (1994) pp. 541-542; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Letter to the Presidents of Conferences of Bishops on the liturgical service of laypersons, 15 March 1994: Notitiae 30 (1994) pp. 333-335, 347-348.
[121] Cf. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, art. 65: AAS 80 (1988) p. 877.
[122] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Response to dubium, 11 July 1992: AAS 86 (1994) pp. 541-542; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops concerning the liturgical service of laypersons, 15 March 1994: Notitiae 30 (1994) pp. 333-335, 347-348; Letter to a Bishop, 27 July 2001: Notitiae 38 (2002) 46-54.

Mike Petrik August 26, 2011 at 7:59 am

Nick, I have zero objection to altar girls, but citing RS, etc., as a source for their usage as a custom seems odd to me. These citations are more appropriately understood as authorizations. The use of altar girls is far too new to be regarded as a custom. It is more of an innovation. On balance, I think it is a good innovation, and it is certainly one that Rome is empowered to authorize of validate, but calling it a custom seems not quite right to me.

The Masked Chicken August 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

The use of altar girls is far too new to be regarded as a custom. It is more of an innovation. On balance, I think it is a good innovation, and it is certainly one that Rome is empowered to authorize of validate,
Yes, Rome is empowered to authorize it, but rather than an innovation, it was a concession to a pre-existing illegal activity. I, personally, think it is not helpful in the long run for there to be altar girls, except, in necessitas, as alter boys, in times past, often became priests. Altar girls, even with the limited trial we’ve had, show no attraction to becoming nuns. This is the first time, to my knowledge, in Church history where women were allowed to approach the altar during Mass.
I realize there are differences of opinion possible on this issue and it is not the topic of this post, so I will bow out.
The Chicken

Tim J. August 26, 2011 at 10:47 am

So glad my sound card is back in operation. This is why God invented sound cards.

Mike Petrik August 26, 2011 at 11:38 am

Dear Chicken,
While we do differ on the desirablity of altar girls, we are in complete agreement about the undesirability of how the innovation came about. Those priests and bishops who violated Church law in preference to their own agendas and biases operated out of a very ugly arrogance in my opinion.

Jim Ryland August 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

Jimmy,
The video is missing the actual origins. Our Lord and his disciples were devout Jews and indeed Christians were viewed as a Jewish sect for about the first century in the Roman world.
The Mass form is taken directly from the ancient Orthodox Jewish Sabbath First Service on Friday evening. If you were to attend Sabbath Eve services at an Orthodox Synagogue today, you’d feel right at home. The Service and the Mass share a common liturgical form, section by section.
There were some “Helenized” details added in later centuries, somewhat rooted in Greek drama, but the form and substance is purely Jewish.

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