Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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1. Term

The Christian term “mass” (Lat. missa) initially referred to the dismissing of a gathering, the sense being that the church was sent into the world at the conclusion of its gathering for worship (Blessing). From the fourth century the term came to be used for the whole service of worship, and from the fifth and sixth centuries exclusively for what is now called the Mass. The reason for the change in usage is that increasingly the whole of worship, especially the Eucharist, came to be seen as an action that…

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Meyer, Hans Bernhard, “Mass”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 08 April 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_M231>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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