THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS
‘Renew your faith by attending Holy Mass. Keep your mind focused on the mystery that is unfolding before your eyes. In your mind’s eye transport yourself to Calvary and meditate on the Victim who offers Himself to Divine Justice, paying the price of your redemption‘ St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
It is the Mass used in the Catholic Church for almost 1500 years. It is called the Tridentine Mass (is often called the Traditional Latin Mass or the Forma extraordinaria – Extraordinary Form) because it was codified by the Council of Trent in the 16th century. However, the Holy Mass itself is far older.
There is two division of the Holy Mass:
The ‘Mass of the Catechumens’ has for its origin that Christians would bring with them pagans or Jews who wanted to be Catholics. Catechumens is a Greek word meaning ‘converts under instruction’. The Catechumens were allowed to attend the first division of the Holy Mass. However, before the sacrifice itself began the cathechumens had to leave the first part of the Holy Mass (up to the Offertory).
The actual sacrifice was reserved for the Faithful and this is why the second division is called the ‘Mass of the Faithful’ (from the Offertory) the renewal of the sacrificial banquet of the Last Supper and this was for only baptised Christians – the full members of the Church.