A LOOK AT CATHOLIC MASSES

TYPES OF CATHOLIC MASSES:

1- Low Mass
2- High Mass
3- Solemn Mass
4- Votive Mass (Supplication, Thanksgiving, Requiem, Nuptial)
5- Vigil Mass
6- Pontifical Mass
7- Concelebrated Mass

The Holy Mass may be offered or celebrated only by a bishop or by a priest. He is then referred to as the celebrant of the Mass. He represents Jesus Christ, the High Priest of the Church, and presides at the Mass as Jesus did at His Last Supper, when He instituted the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

Both the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist are administered to the faithful by the celebrant during every Mass. Sometimes the Sacrament of the Word of God is offered during the Mass, which may be delivered by a deacon besides a bishop or a priest.

The two basic kinds of Masses are the Low Mass and the High Mass. These two are offered most often at the parish.

A High Mass is scheduled for every Sunday, each Holy Day of Obligation and certain major holy days.

Low Masses are generally offered during the week and on Saturdays, especially when only a small group of people are expected to attend.

1 – Low Mass

– a Mass that is entirely read or spoken by the celebrant. No parts of the Mass are chanted or sung, but hymns may be sung by the congregation and by the choir. The celebrant may even lead the singing of the hymns. Sometimes music may be played softly during certain parts of the Mass in order to help create a more uplifting atmosphere.

2 – High Mass

– a Mass that has some of its parts chanted or sung by the celebrant, which includes some parts that are sung responsorily between the celebrant and the congregation or the choir. Any day there is more than one Mass celebrated, the High Mass should be prominent and celebrated when the most people are expected to attend.

At the High Mass music is played and hymns are sung, unless prevented by circumstances.

Another basic kind of Mass is the Solemn Mass. It is offered on high holy days and on special occasions at the parish.

3 – Solemn Mass

– a Mass that is a High Mass (one in which certain parts are sung by the celebrant) at which there are assistants to the celebrant. An assistant stands at each side of the celebrant throughout the Mass and each one is assigned specific duties.

Traditionally during a Solemn Mass the Readings and the Gospel are chanted and incense is used. The altar may be incensed during the Entrance Rite, the Gospel prior to its proclamation, and the gifts of bread and wine as well as the altar during the Offertory.

A Solemn Mass is usually offered to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and very special occasions.

Masses that are not offered on behalf of the whole congregation from the beginning to the end have a specific designation in the Church. Such Masses are celebrated for a special purpose by request and are called Votive Masses, of which there are several types.

4 – Votive Mass or
Mass of Special Intention

– a Mass that is offered at the
request of an individual or a group for a special purpose. It may be celebrated as a Low, High or Solemn Mass.

The four common types of Votive Masses are:

a- Mass of Supplication or Entreaty
— when a humble petition, earnest request or urgent solicitation is made to God through Christ in the context of the Holy Mass.

A common Mass of this type is the Mass for Health, when prayers are offered for the healing of individuals. A Mass of Grace may be offered to ask God to provide a specific kind of help to individuals in accordance with His will and to His greater glory.

b- Mass of Thanksgiving
— when gratitude is expressed to God or divine goodness is publicly acknowledged or celebrated through Christ in the context of the Holy Mass.

Common Masses of this type are offered on: wedding anniversaries, church anniversaries, anniversaries of ordination an…

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