Mass (liturgy)

Painting of 15th-century Mass

Mass is a term used to describe the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church[1] and Anglican churches,[2] as well as some Lutheran churches,[3] Methodist,[4][5] Western Rite Orthodox and Old Catholic churches.

Some Protestants employ terms such as Divine Service or worship service (and often just "service"), rather than the word Mass.[6] For the celebration of the Eucharist in Eastern Christianity, including Eastern Catholic Churches, other terms such as Divine Liturgy, Holy Qurbana, and Badarak are typically used instead.


The English noun mass is derived from Middle Latin missa. The Latin word was adopted in Old English as mæsse (via a Vulgar Latin form *messa), and was sometimes glossed as sendnes (i.e. "a sending, dismission").[7] The Latin term missa itself was in use by the 6th century.[8] It is most likely derived from the concluding formula Ite, missa est ("Go; the dismissal is made"); missa here is a Late Latin substantive corresponding to classical missio.

Historically, however, there have been other explanations of the noun missa, i.e. as not derived from the formula ite, missa est. Fortescue (1910) cites older, "fanciful" etymological explanations, notably a latinization of Hebrew matzâh (מַצָּה) "unleavened bread; oblation", a derivation favoured in the 16th century by Reuchlin and Luther, or Greek μύησις "initiation", or even Germanic mese "assembly".[9] The French historian Du Cange in 1678 reported "various opinions on the origin" of the noun missa "mass", including the derivation from Hebrew matzah (Missah, id est, oblatio), here attributed to Caesar Baronius. The Hebrew derivation is learned speculation from 16th-century philology; medieval authorities did derive the noun missa from the verb mittere, but not in connection with the formula ite, missa est.[10] Thus, De divinis officiis (9th century[11]) explains the word as a mittendo, quod nos mittat ad Deo ("from 'sending', that which sends us towards God"),[12] while Rupert of Deutz (early 12th century) derives it from a "dismissal" of the "enmities which had been between God and men" (inimicitiarum quæ erant inter Deum et homines).[13]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Heilige Messe
asturianu: Misa
беларуская: Імша
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Імша
bosanski: Misa
brezhoneg: Oferenn
català: Missa
čeština: Mše
Cymraeg: Offeren
Deutsch: Heilige Messe
eesti: Missa
español: Misa
Esperanto: Meso (diservo)
euskara: Meza
français: Messe
Gaeilge: Aifreann
Gàidhlig: Aifreann
galego: Misa
한국어: 미사
hrvatski: Misa
Ido: Meso
Bahasa Indonesia: Misa
italiano: Messa
עברית: מיסה
Basa Jawa: Misa
ქართული: მესა
Kiswahili: Misa
Кыргызча: Месса
кырык мары: Месса
Latina: Missa
latviešu: Mise
Lëtzebuergesch: Mass (Zeremonie)
Limburgs: Mès (liturgie)
lingála: Mísa
magyar: Szentmise
Nāhuatl: Misa
Nederlands: Mis
日本語: ミサ
norsk nynorsk: Messe
polski: Msza
português: Missa
русский: Месса
sardu: Missa
Scots: Mess
shqip: Mesha
Simple English: Mass (liturgy)
slovenčina: Omša (bohoslužba)
slovenščina: Maša
српски / srpski: Миса
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Misa
suomi: Messu
svenska: Mässa
Tagalog: Misa
vèneto: Mesa
Tiếng Việt: Thánh lễ
walon: Messe
吴语: 弥撒
粵語: 彌撒
žemaitėška: Švėntas Mėšės
中文: 弥撒