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The Christian Eucharist or Holy Communion, especially in the Roman Catholic Church. Mass was also formerly used for the feast day or festival of a specified saint; this usage now survives only as a suffix, as in Candlemas, Christmas, Lammas, and Michaelmas.

Recorded from Old English, the word comes from ecclesiastical Latin missa, from Latin miss- ‘dismissed’, from mittere, perhaps from the last words of the service, ‘Ite, missa est [Go, it is the dismissal]’.

Subjects: Music

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