The CAPG's Blog
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
The Mass is the unbloody Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ. Through it God has given us the Blessed Eucharist, His living Body and Blood, His Soul and Divinity. Through it He Himself is "with us all days," dwelling in the tabernacles of our altars as truly as he dwells in Heaven.
The word Mass is from the Latin missa, derived from the verb mittere, to send, and signifies a sending away, a dismissal. In the ancient liturgy of the Church there were two dismissals at the Holy Sacrifice:
1. That of the catechumens, those partly instructed and not yet baptized after the Gospel and sermon, and 2. that of the faithful at the end of the Mass - still preserved in our Masses by the announcement "Ite Missa Est" ("Go, it is the dismissal") gradually came to denote the service itself. The French from, "Messe," was modified in England into "Maesse," " Masse, and finally "Mass".
In the early centuries of the Church the Mass was known as the Breaking of Bread, the Lord's Supper, the Solemnity of the Lord, the Sacrifice, the Holy Liturgy and the Eucharist, which means thanksgiving.
A priest who offers the Mass is called its celebrant.
Source: The Visible Church, Her government, ceremonies, sacramentals, festivals and devotions; a compendium of the "Externals of the Catholic Church". Fr. John F. Sullivan 1920