In common usage, a mass is a regular worship service in Roman Catholic Christianity and Anglicanism. More precisely, the Catholic Mass is the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) in which worshippers commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by accepting bread and wine as symbols of Jesus’ body and blood. The Mass is therefore at the center of regular services in these denominations. It consists of two parts. The first is the liturgy of the word, which includes readings from holy scripture and a sermon, or homily. The second is the liturgy of the Eucharist, which offers special prayers and readings as well as the sacrament of the Eucharist itself. The term is derived from the Latin phrase Ite, missa est, which means Go, it is ended. SEE ALSO: Eucharist; sacraments; Roman Catholicism

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