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Answered 2008-08-18 16:44:25

The Mass of the Catholic Church started on the night of the Last Supper when the Lord took bread and wine and prayed the blessing, then gave each to his disciples and said Take and eat (while holding the bread) this is my body. And likewise with the wine, He said take and drink, this is the cup of my blood...

From this time onward the early Christians celebrated this service and called it the Eucharist, "the giving of thanks". They took his words literally and believed that the wine became his blood and the bread became his flesh, since this hearkened back to his sermon a year earlier in John 6 when he told them they must eat his body and drink his blood.

Paul later described the Mass again in Corinthians when he rebuked the church there for their abuses of this sacred meal. 'Some of you are sick and dying because you take the Lord's body and blood improperly" The early christian church always believed that communion which is the focus of the Mass was literal and not to be taken symbolically.

All of the fathers of the early church who were direct successors of the apostles, wrote about the Eucharist and Justin martyr in the 2nd century described the order of the Mass which is amazingly unchanged even to this day. Augustine and others wrote extensively about the Mass and the Eucharist being the literal flesh of Christ.

So the Mass as it came to be called was initiated by Christ and continues unchanged to this day through the Catholic Church.

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