What is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Mission Lab

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not only a ritual which reminds us of the sacrifice of Calvary, but through the ministry of ordained priests, Christ continues, until the end of time, His sacrifice of the Cross in an unbloody manner.

The Holy Mass is the sacrifice by which the Church not only remembers Jesus Christ, but really brings Him, His saving Death, and His Resurrection into the present, so that His followers might become part of it. The Church can do this because Jesus is united to His Church in the Holy Spirit. When the Catholic Church celebrates the Eucharist, Jesus is truly there, and it is He Who does once more what He did at the Last Supper.

At the Last Supper, our Lord instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood, to continue for all time by His sacrifice of the Cross until He would come again. In the Mass, Jesus gave His Church a remembrance of His Death and Resurrection, which is a true sacrifice. In the name of the whole Church, the priest offers the Sacrifice of Jesus in an unbloody and sacramental manner in the Holy Eucharist. The priest, acting in the Person of Christ, brings about the Eucharistic Sacrifice and offers it to the Father in the name of all the people.

The Mass is a prayer to the Father, in which we give Him thanks and praise for the merciful redemption He has offered us in His Son, Jesus Christ. We also ask forgiveness for our sins and beg the Father’s blessing upon ourselves and our fellowman.

The Mass is a sacrifice because it makes present our Lord’s own offering of Himself to His Father, on the Cross. When we participate in the Mass, in memory of Him, we enter into that offering and become a part of it.

The Mass also makes present to us Jesus’ Resurrection because His sacrifice establishes a bond of friendship and love between the Father and His children. Just as we share in Jesus’ Death at Mass, so we also share in the new life of the Spirit which was bestowed upon Jesus in His Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is very important because it brings together all of the gifts which the Father has given us in Jesus Christ. It brings into our lives the very presence of our Lord Jesus, His sacrifice on the Cross, and the new life of the Holy Spirit which He opened to us by His Resurrection.