THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR THE HOLY MASS OR LITURGICAL WORSHIP
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE WORD ‘MASS’?
The word MASS came from the Latin word MISSA, it means ‘to send forth’ or ‘to dismiss’. This word was used by our Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant-Catholic and other liturgical churches to call the celebration of the Holy Communion or the Last Supper, the Table of the Lord, the Holy Eucharist, in short the partaking of the Wine and Bread of the Lord.
ARE THE PARTS OF THE HOLY MASS BIBLICAL?
THE PROCESSIONAL – This is the part were the priest or pastors enters the center of the church towards the altar. The procession is the symbol of God’s march of triumph into his sanctuary and also Christ’s victory.
Psalms 68:24 (GNB) “O God, your march of triumph is seen by all, the procession of God, my king, into his sanctuary…”
2 Corinthians 2:14 (GNB) “But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ’s victory procession. God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance…”
Colosians 2:15 (GNB) “And on that cross Christ freed himself from the power of the spiritual rulers and authorities; he made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession…”
THE PRAYER OF CONFESSION – The second part of the Mass where the priest/ pastor says a prayer of confession and also the prayer “Lord have mercy” is being said.
James 5:16 “So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect…”
1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing…”
LORD HAVE MERCY
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
Mathew 9:27 Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, two blind men started following him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” they shouted.
THE GLORY – This is a prayer taken from Luke 2:14, John 1:29, and Hebrews 10:12.
THE CELEBRATION OF GOD’S WORD
The First Reading or the Reading from the Old Testament
Nehemiah 9:3 “For about three hours the Law of the LORD their God was read to them, and for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the LORD their God…”
Acts 13:15 After the reading from the Law of Moses and from the writings of the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message: “Friends, we want you to speak to the people if you have a message of encouragement for them.”
THE RESPONSORIAL PSALMS
Psalms 118:1 Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal.
Psa 118:2 Let the people of Israel say, “His love is eternal.”
Psa 118:3 Let the priests of God say, “His love is eternal.”
Psa 118:4 Let all who worship him say, “His love is eternal.”
(see also Psalms 136:1-26)
The Second Reading or the Reading from the New Testament
Colosians 4:16 “After you read this letter, make sure that it is read also in the church at Laodicea. At the same time, you are to read the letter that the believers in Laodicea will send you…”
1Thessalonians 5:27 I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.
THE HOMILY / SERMON / PREACHING OF THE WORD
Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
THE CONFESSION OR PROFESSION OF FAITH (Romans 10:9, I Corinthians 8:6, I Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 4:4-13)
1Corinthians 16:1-2 (KJV) “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come…”
THE CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER (I Corinthians 11:23-34)
THE LORD’S PRAYER (Matthew 6:9-14)
GREETINGS OF PEACE (John 14:27, 16:33, 20:19, 20:21, John 20:26, Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12)
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFULL
1Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people;
1Timothy 2:2 for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct.
1Timothy 2:3 This is good and it pleases God our Savior,
SINGING OF PSALMS, HYMNS AND SACRED SONGS
Colosians 3:16 Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts
Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts.
APOSTOLIC BLESSINGS & BENEDICTIONS
Romans 16:20, I Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Ephesians 6:23, Philippians 1:2, Colosians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Philemon 1:3,
SO BEFORE WE JUDGE
When I was attending other religious services aside from the Catholic church I always hear that they judge and ridicule the Holy Mass so my suggestion to other church leaders is to read the Holy Bible again and also Church history so that we will know the Biblical and historical background of the Holy Mass before we judge and teach our judgment on our members. Before we say that the Holy Mass is a useless tradition let’s look back in the Bible and we will all see that the Holy Mass is very Biblical, it is also very Christ centered and this form of worship came directly to Christ, to the apostles and continued by the early church and also continued by the Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern, Protestant-Catholics, Old Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Liturgical Churches, our denomination the Christian United Church and also our church. May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace.
CRITIQUE ON LITURGICAL WORSHIP EXPRESSION
- Most liturgical worship expression is formal and was put into writing thus it took spontaneity out of the way and so is creativity.
- Most people find liturgical worship as boring, to formal, lack of audience participation.
- Most people finds liturgical worship too traditional, and because most of the lay people are not theologically trained they do not understand the symbolism used in liturgical worship.
- Most traditional liturgy like the Roman Catholic, Greek orthodox, Anglican, Episcopalian are not changed since their emergence thus most people find it too ancient and lacks the feeling of relevancy in our times. While Methodists and some liturgical churches are open to “Creative Liturgy”.
LITURGICAL EXPRESSION IN THE CHRISTIAN UNITED CHURCH
Our church believes that the center of worship is the remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We also practice the ancient use of special vestments like the Alb, Chasuble and stole. We also have the elements of Liturgical Worship. However we encourage the participation of the lay people, in singing, in praying, in readings, in creative arts, special numbers, testimonies, pentecostal worship expression, speaking in tongues. singing in tongues, prophecy and we do not believe that the lay people should be merely an “audience” to the remembrance of our Lord. That is why in our churches the Table of the Lord is found at the center of the church. It has been this way since in the time of Jesus Christ and we will continue this Christian Tradition until he comes again.