The word Mass is the general designation in western Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, for the Holy Eucharist or Eucharistic Sacrifice, the equivalent of the phrase Divine Liturgy used by Orthodox Christians.
The term "Mass" is derived from the late-Latin word missa (dismissal), a word used in the concluding formula of Mass in Latin: Ite; missa est ("Go; it is the dismissal"), and came into use in the Church of Rome in the fourth century. The form in English progressed from maesse before William the Conquerer's conquest of England to messe or masse in Middle English.
The word "Mass" is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to the Divine Liturgy by Orthodox Christians who may have been associated with communities who came from areas in central Europe that was affected by the Union of Brest-Litovsk.
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Liturgy of the Mass
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Sacrifice of the Mass
- Wikipedia: Mass (liturgy)