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A History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church
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A History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church


The Catholic Publication Society Co. 1881

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A History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church begins with a brief dissertation of the principle liturgies in use in the East and the West at the turn of the last century. It then gives an account of the origin and meaning of the word Mass before providing a full account of the liturgy as it is performed in Catholic churches of the extraordinary rite. Starting with the preparations of the priest before the celebration, O'Brien takes the reader step-by-step through the ceremony, giving the literal and mystical meaning of everything that is done in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

With the Logos edition, all Scripture passages in A History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church are tagged and appear on mouse-over. What’s more, Scripture references are linked to the wealth of language resources in your digital library. This makes these texts more powerful and easier to access than ever before for scholarly work or personal Bible study. With the advanced search features of Logos Bible Software, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “vestment” or “Luke 9:26.”

Key Features

  • Provides definitions and explanations for each component of the Holy Mass
  • Moves step-by-step through the liturgy
  • Excellent for quick reference

Praise for the Print Edition

There are many excellent works in the English language, both Catholic and Anglican, treating of liturgical history and cognate topics. Father O'Brien has compiled the one which for the practical use of Catholics, and also of non-Catholics who wish to understand our rites and ceremonies, is the best and the most interesting.

Catholic World

The work is a valuable one for Protestants, as well as for Roman Catholics. The present volume is well adapted to give an idea of the Roman Catholic ceremonial as it is explained by those who practice it.

Bibliotheca Sacra


  • The Mass—Origin of the Word
  • Sacred Vestments
  • Sacred Vessels
  • Chalice Linens
  • The Manner of Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • Incense
  • Sacred Music and Musical Instruments
  • The Varying Rites within the Church
  • The Altar
  • Relics
  • Crucifixes and Crosses
  • Lights
  • The Tabernacle
  • The Missal
  • Bells
  • Bread Used for Consecration
  • Wine
  • Number of Masses That a Priest May Say upon the Same Day
  • Concelebration
  • Customs Relating to the Celebration of Mass
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Introit
  • The Sermon
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Creed
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Offertory
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Preface
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Canon
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Consecration
  • The Celebration of Mass—The Pater Noster
  • The Celebration of Mass—Communion of the People

Product Details

  • Title: A History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church
  • Author: John O'Brien
  • Publisher: The Catholic Publication Society Co.
  • Publication Date: 1881
  • Pages: 414

About John O'Brien

John O'Brien (1841–1879) was a Roman Catholic clergyman and educator. He was a professor of liturgy, ecclesiastical history, and sacred theology at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition