As I was reading in Daniel C. Peterson’s and Stephen D. Ricks’ Offenders for a Word , I read the following quote, which is in response to the accusation that it is unchristian to have “secret rituals:”
“The very word from which ‘mass’ may be derived, missa (in the phrase missa est), appears to have been the point in the Christian worship service when those who were not yet members in full standing were ‘invited . . . to leave the church building. Then the doors were closed, and the ushers assumed their placed in order to inquire of anyone who still desired to entire if he was baptized.’”
This struck me as rather fascinating, since when I was on my mission in Virginia, my second Easter out in the mission field, my companion and I had agreed to go to an Easter Vigil with some recent converts who were formerly Catholic. This was a positive learning experience for me. Afterwords, my companion pointed out several parallels to the LDS Temple ordinances. While I haven’t been to an actual Mass, I have discussed this with some members and missionaries who have, and they have all pointed out parallels in Mass and the Temple ordinances as well. Some have also told me that a Vigil and a Mass are quite similar.
In light of the quote above, perhaps many of the rituals preformed in Catholic services are traces of the long since lost “secret” (sacred) ordinances which have now been restored to modern temples? I don’t know if this is really the case, just something I thought was interesting and so decided it would be worth sharing.
1. While this posting mentions the Temple ordinances, I do not discuss what goes on inside the Temple. The internet is not the place for that, as I hold these ordinances to be very sacred. I respectfully ask any and all commenters to please be respectful and not discuss the details of the Temple ordinances here, or anywhere else on my blog. Thank you.
2. Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks, Offenders for a Word (1992), response to Claim 10. Peterson and Ricks have a citation in this quote which I have omitted.