By Luther W. Martin
Over seventy years ago, a Roman Catholic publication, The Homiletic Monthly and Catechist, A Magazine for the Catholic Clergy, for September, 1910, asserted:
There is no holier nor more exalted sacrifice than the adorable sacrifice of the Mass, in which Jesus Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine, offers Himself up through the hands of the priest, in order to perpetuate His Sacrifice upon the Cross, and to apply to us its merits. There is no means whereby we can worship and adore the Lord in a more worthy manner. Upon the altar at holy Mass, Jesus Christ humbles and abases Himself before His heavenly Father, although He is equal to Him in all things. God could receive no greater glorification than He receives in the exalted sacrifice of the altar, because in it is renewed the infinite homage which Jesus Christ offered to the heavenly Father by His sacrifice on the Cross. And as in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass God finds His glorification, so man finds therein his sanctification . . . (p. 865).
“Mass” – Unknown To Holy Scripture
The term “mass” is totally foreign to the Bible. Although Roman Catholics and some “High Church Anglicans” use the word in reference to the Lord’s Supper or “eucharist. ” The word “eucharist” means thanksgiving or expressing of thanks in Holy Scripture. It was never capitalized, nor was it in Scripture ever called “Holy Eucharist.”
Giving of thanks is what Christ did when he instituted the Lord’s supper. He gave thanks for the bread and then gave thanks for the fruit of the vine. Christians today “give thanks” not only for the bread and fruit of the vine, but especially give their thanks unto God for the gift of His Son upon the cross. Thus, the observance of the Lord’s supper, each Lord’s day, is a giving of thanks for the redemption of the faithful …. those who throughout their life-time, consistently and faithfully assemble for the purpose of partaking of the Lord’s supper, each and every Lord’s day.
Christ Was Our Sacrifice
Notice the words used in the excerpt from the Catholic publication: “adorable sacrifice of the Mass”; “in order to perpetuate His sacrifice”; “exalted sacrifice of the altar”and “holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
The bold assertion that Christ is offered as a sacrifice again and again through the hands of a priest, is a baseless fabrication! Note, please, what the Scripture states:
“So also was Christ offered once to take away the sins of many – . . ” (Heb. 9:28, Roman Catholic, Confraternity Translation).
“So also will Christ, offered once ‘to bear the sins of many’ . . . ” (Heb. 9:28, Roman Catholic, Westminster Version).
“So also was Christ offered only once to bear the sins of the multitude . . .” (Heb. 9:28, Roman Catholic, Kleist-Lilly Version).
“So Christ was offered up once to take away the sins of many; . . .” (Heb. 9:28, Roman Catholic, New American Bible).
I could supply additional Roman Catholic translations and versions, but they all teach that Christ was offered up one time, not repeatedly! The so-called “sacrifice of the mass” is an expression that is completely foreign to Holy Writ.
Additional False Doctrines In The Mass!
The doctrine that is called “transubstantiation” is also involved in this subject. This is the Roman Catholic teaching that the priest miraculously changes the bread and wine, into the very body and blood of Christ. By so-doing, the body of Jesus is offered time and again as a bloody sacrifice. In the Middle Ages, when the gullible and ignorant were taught that the priest could regularly work this great miracle . . .. and they believed it . . . it was just a short step to believing an additional lie, of “the sacrifice of the mass.”
History of the Mass, Reviewed
The word “mass” is not Hebrew, Syriac, or Greek. The only language in which it has a remote ancestor, is Latin. It has been speculated that the word now used in English, mass, comes down from “missa” which comes from “missio” which meant “dismissal.” It is further supposed, that when the earlier Latin Christians observed the Lord’s supper, that they dismissed any strangers, “Gentiles” or whatever, prior to partaking of the supper of the Lord, by the expression, “Ite, missa est.” Meaning, “Go, dismissal is made.” Thus, leaving only the faithful present in the assembly, and then they would proceed with the Lord’s supper.
Really, the foregoing is only speculation, but this is what the Catholics have concluded as producing the term “mass.”
Several centuries elapsed before complicated laws and regulations began to attend the observance of the mass. Mass is not to begin earlier than one hour before the aurora (dawn), not later than one hour after mid-day. A priest may only say “mass” one time per day, with the exception of Christmas Day, when he can say mass three times. In some dioceses, the bishops have give permission for priests to say mass two times per day.
The simplest thing one can say about the “mass” . . . . it is completely un-biblical!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 11, p. 332
June 7, 1984