Fast Facts on the History of the Mass:
- By A.D. 300, the Eucharist was offered in a variety of languages, including Greek, Latin, Syriac and Coptic.
- St. Gregory the Great, Pope from 590-604 A.D., undertook a great reform of liturgy, helping to standardize the rites of the Latin Church.
- Monks painstakingly copied ritual books by hand, which gave them great influence over ornamenting the ceremonies with their traditions; for example, by including their chants.
- During the Middle Ages, there was a movement toward standardizing Mass celebrations, largely led by St. Francis and his friars, who offered Mass as it was offered in the papal courts.
- The advent of the printing press allowed the Church to enforce uniformity as much as possible—a great necessity after the Protestant Reformation caused Church discipline to break down in many areas.
- Pope St. Pius V issued an authoritative Roman Missal in 1570, by order of the Council of Trent.
- The Liturgical Movement, encouraged by Pope St. Pius X, was one of the great tributaries to the work of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which sought greater lay participation in the Mass.
- A new Roman Missal, which differed in many significant ways from its predecessor, was issued in 1969 by the Servant of God Pope Paul VI.
- Since then, the Missal has undergone several revisions. The newest Roman Missal was released in November 2011.
Come back next Sunday for Mass 101 Part 3: Preparing for Mass!