The Institution of the Holy Mass

Jude Missa

The first Mass was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself at the Last Supper on the first Holy Thursday. The unbloody sacrifice of the Last Supper is a memorial of Christ’s bloody sacrifice on the cross. Thus, the mass is a unifying event of the Last Supper and Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. Together with the mass, Christ also instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the bread and wine became His Body and Blood.

Together with the mass, Christ also instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the bread and wine became His Body and Blood. To make it short, the Last Supper is the first mass of the world. After the resurrection and ascension to heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ, the ministry of the first pope, Saint Peter and the 11 apostles has started. The Apostles followed what Christ told them in the Last Supper; “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19), which they did. The Mass, at first contains “Ritual” and “Sacrificial Meal”. And also, according to the tradition, Saint Peter the Apostle is the author of the actions and some parts of the Mass. At that time, the Mass went well, but as many people converted to Christianity in different places, there are people who forgot the original symbol of the mass, which they eat selfishly and became drunk that results the first liturgical abuses in the Holy Mass. This is why Saint Paul the apostle rebuked the Corinthians when they drink the cup of the Lord unworthy. To solve this problem and to avoid any abuses in the mass, Saint Peter and the other apostles removed the elements of the “Meal” which what remains is the “Ritual and Sacrifice”. The eating of Bread and drinking of Wine remains, but in the right form which what we see and witness today, mostly in the “Tridentine Mass” or “Traditional Latin Mass”.

After the death of all the apostles, there were no written documents about the full details of the Holy Mass, and the bible only contains fragment details. Until Saint Justin Martyr defend the Christianity and preserved the full account of the Holy Mass in 150 A.D. Then to the following centuries, the church added some parts in the mass and made some minor changes, like Saint Pope Gregory the Great’s “Gregorian Chant” and the additional of Altar Rails in the church and the creation of the White Bread as the Host during the Frankish Empire. Then in the year 1570, Saint Pope Pius V codified of the “Tridentine Mass” where the language of the mass used is in “Latin” and made some minor changes in conducting the mass. The mass has no further changes until 1969, where Pope Paul VI made a major change in conducting a mass where the languages used were changed into vernacular and the priest was now facing to the people instead of facing to the altar.

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