From The Catholic Shield Tract
A lot of Non-Catholic Christians ask in criticism why Catholics go to Mass. Anti-Catholic Christians conclude with one voice that the Catholic Mass is a “jumble of medieval superstition.” But such a statement is baseless due to the reason that it is taken entirely from anti-Catholic opinions passed on from one anti-Catholic Christian to the next.
So what really is the mass? Why do we celebrate it? The Mass is not just a prayer service; it is a celebration with Christ, our main celebrant. We worship God together with the angels in heaven (Revelation 19:10) We actually witness His one and only sacrifice for us that same instance as the witnesses in Calvary had seen since this sacrifice that He did for us is beyond the limits of time and space.
Is the Mass biblical?
In fact it is! It is not just biblical, but it is heaven itself! One former anti-Catholic named Scott Hahn, when he was still a Protestant Minister went to a Catholic Church to see for himself what the Catholic Mass really is. He couldn’t help but conclude; “As the Mass moved on, however, something hit me. My Bible wasn’t just beside me. It was before me – in the words of the Mass!” During the Eucharist, Scott’s doubt drained away as he witnessed the Priest raise the white host and began to whisper from his heart: “My Lord and my God, That’s really You!” From that time on, He couldn’t help but conclude the same truth that the Church always knew all these time – that the Mass is heaven on earth! When we enter the Church to attend Mass, we are entering heaven to celebrate with the Lord, together with all the angels and saints in heaven!
Can we prove if the Mass is really Biblical?
Proving will take more than just this small leaflet, for the parts of the Mass are based from the different books of the Bible, especially the book of Revelations. The Mass has two major parts: The Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
The Mark of God
The sign of the cross (Revelation 7:3, 14:1) is the Christian faith summarized in a single gesture, renewing our covenant with God that begun with our baptism.
The Kyrie, the part when we recite “Lord have mercy…” often appears in Psalms 6:2, 31:9, Matthew 15:22, 17:15, 20:30.
The Gloria, or Glory to God was sang by the angels at Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:14, and the following were echoed in the book of Revelations especially on Revelation 15:3-4.
Who would ever say that the 1st Reading, 2nd Reading, and the Gospel Acclamation are not biblical? These related readings are taken from the Old Testament, the Epistles of the New Testament, and from the Gospels. These are read out to be heard by the faithful in fulfillment to Romans 10:17 where it says that “Faith comes by hearing.” The Alleluia we recite before the Gospel is acclaimed is evident in Revelation 19:1, 3, 4 and 6.
The Homily of the Priest or Deacon
The sermon part is a commentary given by the priest or the deacon in relation to the readings and the gospel for the day. The homilies don’t have to entertain us, just as Jesus comes to us in a humble, tasteless wafer. The Holy Spirit can work effectively even through a monotone, lackluster preacher.
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
The Creed we Heed
The Apostle’s Creed is the next to be recited right after the sermon. It is the summary of the Dogma of our faith. In short, if a belief does not adhere with the creed, don’t follow it. The creed is our basic guideline written and composed by the greatest minds of our Christian faith in the council of Nicea (325 A.D.) and Constantinople (381 A.D.) based on the teachings of the apostles themselves. This creed was made to guide and protect us from those who are teaching false doctrines and beliefs. This will also identify that we are in communion with the True Church established by Christ Himself in 33 A.D.
Our Offerings during the Offertory
Here, we offer the most important offerings; the bread and wine. These are human offerings that will soon become divine during the Eucharist. These will be brought to the altar and be made holy in Christ. After that, the priest begins to say, “The Lord be with you”, then we respond “and also with you”, the priest continues by saying, “Lift up your hearts.” Finally we say, “we lift them up to the Lord.” Lifting up our hearts to the Lord is found in Revelation 1:10, 4:1-2 and 11:12. The Sanctus, or Holy is recited or sung together with all the choirs of angels and the saints in heaven (Revelation 4:8 and Isaiah 6:2-3).
The Mystery of the Eucharist
The priest, in the person of Christ (Persona Cristi) will call on the Holy Spirit over the gifts. This is called the epiclesis. Then the Narrative of the Institution follows when the priest in Persona Cristi will say “This is my body… This is my blood…Do this in remembrance of me.”(Luke 22:14-20). Now, our man-made offering of bread and wine becomes divine because at this instant, though still in the form and element of bread and wine, it has literally become the body and blood of Jesus Christ Himself. This is the reason why we kneel down in reverence to the spiritual and physical presence of Christ. Pope John Paul II identifies this part (Eucharist) as the summit of our Faith. Though the entire Mass is equally important, the Eucharist is considered as the highest form of worship. A feast won’t be complete without food and drink, and here is something that should never be taken symbolically, because it’s really true! This food (bread) we partake is not an ordinary food, it is really the body of Christ, and the wine the priest drinks on our behalf is not an ordinary wine but truly the blood of Christ!
Why Catholics believe Christ is Present in the Eucharist
To many Non-Catholic Christians, this is the most controversial part. They have taught their members that this is of no importance. Most of their efforts are poured down into discrediting the Eucharist as just a fictitious part that Catholics believe as true. To explain it as short as possible, Christ instituted the Eucharist at the last supper (Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:17-19).
He was the priest prophesied offering a sacrifice in the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20, Hebrews 7:1-17). Melchizedek was both a priest and king which is an odd combination in the Old Testament. Rather than offer animal sacrifices, he offered bread and wine as Jesus (who is also a type of Priest and King) would later on do at the Last Supper. Christ said that He will be the Bread whom we will eat and the blood whom we will drink. This is the reason why many of His followers later on abandoned Him because they couldn’t accept what He was telling them (John 6:35-71). St. Paul taught that anyone who eats of Christ’s Body and drinks of Christ’s blood unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
Prayers for the entire Church
Next is the intercession where we pray for the living and the dead and the whole Church (Revelation 5:8, 6:9-10, 8:3-4). Doxology (Greek for “word of Glory”) follows. Afterwards, the “Great Amen!” is said or sung (Revelation 19:14, 22:21). Then the Lord’s Prayer will be prayed. The formula prayer that all Christendom will agree as the most perfect taught by our very Lord and Savior in the Gospels. Then each will greet each other with the sign of peace as Christ and the apostles consistently uttered to those whom they visited or write to.
Uniting with the Lamb
Before communion begins, we hear the priest say, “This is the Lamb of God…” (John 1:29, 36, Revelation 5:6 and throughout). We all know that the Lamb is Jesus Christ, even Non-Catholics will agree. This Lamb is presented to us by the priest in the form of bread that he broke, which the scripture describes as “The Lamb standing as if slain.” (Revelation 5:6).
Despite our unworthiness, we come to receive Christ to be part of us not only spiritually, but also physically during the Holy Communion.
The Blessings from God and our Commissioning
After the communion, we are given the final blessings. Then the final words “The Mass is ended. Go in Peace.” This doesn’t mean our being a Christian also ends. It just means that we have to live the Mass in our lives with our fellowmen.
Why we sit, stand, and kneel in certain parts of the Mass
Non-Catholics as well as uninformed Catholics don’t see the importance of these gestures. We sit because it is the proper position for instruction like when we listen to the readings and the sermon. We stand because this is a gesture for prayer and reverence to the Gospel. Kneeling is not just a gesture for prayer; it is a gesture of respect and reverence. That’s why we kneel during the Eucharist when the Body and Blood of our King are presented to us.
Respect your Faith!
Remember, you are entering heaven once you attend Mass. Be dressed up for the feast of the Lord, not as if you are going to bed, a party, a fashion show, or to the beach. Put off your cell phones and avoid talking especially during the solemn parts. In respect to others who are also attending the mass, do not allow your children from going around the church.
There is nothing else more important in life than to spend your time with God, and He is only asking you one hour of it for the Holy Mass.
May God be with you always