Etymology: Old English. masse, messe, Anglo Saxon mísse. Late Latin missa, from Latin mittere, missum, to send, dismiss: compare French messe.In the ancient churches, the public services at which the catechumens were permitted to be present were called missa catechumenorum, ending with the reading of the Gospel. Then they were dismissed with these words: "Ite, missa est", the congregation is dismissed. After that the sacrifice proper began. At its close the same words were said to those who remained. So the word gave the name of Mass to the sacrifice in the Catholic Church. See Missile, and compare Christmas, Lammas, Mess a dish, Missal
- (context, Roman Catholic Church) The principal liturgical service of the Church, including a scripture service and a eucharistic service, which includes the consecration and oblation (offering) of the host and wine. One of the seven sacraments.
- (music) A musical composition set to portions of the Mass.
Supplemental Details:Sponsor an extended definition for Mass for as little as $10 per month. Click here to contact us.
Full Definition of Mass
verb (mass, es)
- (religion) The Eucharist, now especially in Roman Catholicism.
- (context, religion) Celebration of the Eucharist.
- (context, religion, usually as the Mass) The sacrament of the Eucharist.
- A musical setting of parts of the mass.
- (context, intransitive, obsolete) To celebrate mass.
Supplemental Details:Sponsor an extended definition for mass for as little as $10 per month. Click here to contact us.
Full Definition of mass