from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The mass; a mass.
  • noun In the Mozarabic liturgy, a variable prayer or address, called more fully the Oratio Missœ (Prayer of the Mass), answering to the Gallican Præfatio Missœ (Preface of the Mass). It probably derived its name from the fact that the dismissal (missa) of the catechumens originally preceded it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (R. C. Ch.) The service or sacrifice of the Mass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music a mass, in the sense of a composition setting several sung parts of the liturgic service (most often chosen from the ordinary parts Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Agnus Dei and/or Sanctus) to music, notably when the text in Latin is used (as long universally prescribed by Rome)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin phrase "Ite, missa est,", "Go, it is the dismissal (or sending)", reinterpreted as naming the ceremony: "Go, it is the Mass" or "Go, the Mass is over"; from perfect passive participle missus, dismissal or sending, from verb mittere, send



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  • Please parse the last words of the Latin Mass: "ite missa est"; help settle an argument I have been having with a High School friend: is missa the past participle of mittere, is it the word for mass or does missa (magically) mean dismissal in medieval Latin?

    March 29, 2019