The History of the Mass
This is the ancient ceremony that has been repeated again and again by the Church of Jesus Christ. Indeed, even before the cross was the sign of Christ's followers, the Mass existed. What happens in our Catholic churches today would have been familiar in all essentials to countless Christians for nineteen centuriesto the saints and sinners who have made up the company of Christians since God first took bread and broke it in a borrowed room in Jerusalem.
The Mass is the most simple and subtle act of worship. It has been loved and died for. It has been criticized, outlawed, rejected as idolatry. But it remains for the majority of Christians, in all its differing outward forms, the most important action they are capable of doing. This is the best form of worship that we have to offer because it is the doing, the sacrifice, of Jesus Christ as well as of ourselves in union with Him.
The basic outline of the Mass has remained the same through the centuries. The Second Vatican Council called for a simplification of the ritual and permitted the Mass in the language of the people. The Mass, then, is just the same as it always was but now is much easier to understand and to celebrate.