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From Fr. Brendan McCarthy on the Holy Mass.

Perhaps you have already become aware of the least used word in the English language? I have arrived at the conclusion that it has been banished from our Catholic vocabulary with a dreadful finality. It is the word MASS.

Everywhere one would expect to see the word 'Mass', one finds today the word Eucharist. This is true of Catholic publications, and it seems to me that, in the cause of truth, we should try to keep the word Mass uppermost in our thinking.

I have noticed a growing tendency among Anglicans to speak of "The Eucharist" when describing the bread and wine ceremony they are accustomed to call a religious service.

So many of our clergy, even the hierarchy, have adopted the practice of referring to our religious rites as "Eucharist." This is not only a misnomer, but an attempt to banish the word "Mass" from our language. The Church has taken up the practice, and so our central Act of Worship of God, for countless years known as the Mass, has been relegated to the term Eucharist.

Permit me to put it another way. We have lay ministers who are delegated on occasion to administer the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the fruit of the Mass, but no lay person is privileged to celebrate the Mass. This word is absent from Protestant thinking and soon will be from ours if we don't put a stop to the constant use of the word Eucharist when really it is the Mass that is intended. The Mass gives us the Eucharist, and will continue to do so. Like many others in Ireland, my maternal grandfather was murdered in the Belfast Shipyard in 1912 because he upheld the dignity of the MASS which was the source from which he was accustomed to receive the Blessed Eucharist.

Clarenville, NL
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Title Annotation:Letters To The Editor
Author:McCarthy, Brendan
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Apr 1, 2004
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