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The Mass - An Obligation Or Joy - Term Paper Example

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The Mass - An Obligation Or Joy

The primary objective of this paper is to establish that the Mass is a feast of joy and not an obligation. This research paper will compare and contrast the Old and New Testament viewpoints of the Mass and illustrate how different parts make the Mass a joyful feast. The paper will also highlight the significance of active participation during progress of the Mass makes it a feast of joy. The concept and process of the Mass are similar in the both the New and Old Testaments, although there are some differences in viewpoints of the Mass between the two Testaments. The New Testament mass comprises of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist2. These major parts are further divided into subsections to make a whole Mass. The standard duration for a Catholic Mass is two or three hours, and two or three Mass services may run on a Sunday. The Mass is a symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice, which makes present the passion of Christ through the priest and joins human beings as partakers of His meal. Most people believe that the Mass is an obligation for all Catholics; however, the Mass is a joyful and voluntary activity among the Catholics. The Celebration of the Mass in the Old Testament and Comparisons to the New Testament Concept of the Mass The fundamental nature of the Mass is contingent upon the venue and functions that participants perform. The Mass in the Old Testament was celebrated in Tents and Temples. There existed the Holy of Holies that housed the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant was covered with the Propitiatory or Mercy Seat. The Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s staff and the vessel containing Manna. The Holy of Holies also contained the Cherubim, which was a winged creature supporting the throne of God and acting as a guardian Spirit. The Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant were kept in the Temple. Old Testament priests were allowed to access the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant during feasts and sacrifices. The Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies are similar to the Tabernacle in the New Testament. The Old Testament Temple and Tents of Worship housed the sanctuary. The sanctuary was the Altar of incense, which contained ten candlesticks. The sanctuary also contained the table of loaves, which was also referred to as the bread of the presence. The frankincense that the New Testament priests spray to the congregation during the Mass commemorates the Old Testament incense. The Catholic Church has an altar table from where the priest prepares the Eucharist before distributing it to the congregation3. This table holds the Eucharist bread and the wine that symbolizes the blood of Christ. The candles keep burning on the sanctuary throughout the church service. These candles are similar to the ten candlesticks in the Old Testament. The New Testament, however, burns two candles while the Old Testament used ten candlesticks to represent the Ten Commandments. The table for the loaves in the Old Testament is similar to the Eucharist table in the New Testament. Another component of the Old Testament Temples was the Vestibule. The Vestibule was the bronze altar of sacrifice. The Vestibule contained the bronze sea of water for purificatio ...Show more

Summary

The Mass-A Joyful Activity Name Subject Date The Mass-A Joyful Activity Introduction The Mass is one of the most joyful activities among the Roman Catholics. The Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church is referred to as the Mass. The term Mass colloquially refers to the entire church service that is undertaken by the Catholics…
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