Have you ever wondered how the form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass came together? Who established the principle parts of the Mass, for example? Where the various prayers come from? If the Mass has been basically the same throughout the ages?
One of the earliest records that we have regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is given to us by St. Justin Martyr, a Father of the Church in about the year 155. It is described in a letter he wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius, describing the Christian liturgy as it was celebrated in Rome. All of the principle parts are easily identified in this letter, a testimony to the rich tradition that is ours as Catholics.
But, impressive as it is in description and antiquity, this letter it is not the earliest record of the Mass. To find out what that might be is our guest Mike Aquilina, here to talk with us today about the Fathers of the Church and the Mass.