(dismissal), a word used in theconcluding formula of Mass in Latin:
("Go; it is the dismissal").
simply meant 'dismissal'. In Christian usage, however, it gradually took on adeeper meaning. The word 'dismissal' has come to imply a 'mission'. These few wordssuccinctly express the missionary nature of the Church" (Pope Benedict XVI,
Mass in the Roman Catholic Church
TheCouncil of Trentreaffirmed traditional Christian teaching that the Mass is the sameSacrifice ofCalvaryoffered in an unbloody manner: "The victim is one and the same: thesame now offers through the ministry ofpriests, who then offered himself on the cross; onlythe manner of offering is different. And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in theMass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the crossis contained and offered in an unbloody manner... this sacrifice is truly propitiatory" (
Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio
, c. 2, quoted in
Catechism of the Catholic Church
, 1367). The Councildeclared thatJesusinstituted the Mass at hisLast Supper: "He offered up to God the Father
His own body andbloodunder the species of bread andwine; and, under the symbols of
those same things, He delivered (His own body and blood) to be received by His apostles,whom He then constituted priests of the New Testament; and by those words, Do this incommemoration of me, He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood,tooffer(them); even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught."
The Catholic Church sees the Mass as the most perfect way it has to offerlatria(adoration) toGod. The Church believes that "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministriesand works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it."Itis also Catholic belief that in objective reality, not merely symbolically, the wheaten bread andgrape wine are converted into Christ's body and blood, a conversion referred toastransubstantiation, so that the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is truly,really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Eucharist.