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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.’”[2]

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.


  1. Good to have you back. I still owe you a response on a couple of your previous posts (and I hope to get around to it eventually ha ha), but there's nothing I really disagree with here. That the temple ceremonies are 'secret' doesn't really bother me, especially considering how readily accessible the goings-on are on the internet. But I won't divulge that info here, of course.

    Also, you may be interested in some of the discussions going on at the USU SHAFT blog. Check it out. I'd love your input.

    Take care! Let's do lunch soon.

  2. Thanks for the comments. As you have already noticed, I left a few thoughts on some of your posts at SHAFT. I have read your blog there before. Always good to get a look at a different perspective. I'll facebook you about lunch, my schedule is pretty open during the days right now.

  3. Hey, I was just snooping around in your archives. it is interesting that you make a connection between the Mormon temple and the catholic Mass. especially in talking about how people who hadn't been baptized were not allowed to participate or even to be there.
    however i think there is a big difference between what happens in the temple and what happened in the mass. it was actually the Eucharist or the great thanksgiving or the lord supper. See at a time when Christianity was illegal and in the minority they did not openly practice the lord's supper only those who had gone through catechism and had been baptized were allowed to participate in the communion. it was the most holy thing they did and it was a precious thing they did to go to the lord's table and eat with him as they did at the last super. actually the the Catholics call the bread the host is because Jesus is the host of this mean and depending on how literally you take the phase 'this is my body' he is also the bread. anyway as time when on and more and more people where christian, and where baptized at birth there was less reason to have people who had not yet been baptized to leave before the lord's supper was 'served.'


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