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The Mass in Close-up

by Fr Antony Jones


I suppose I was about eight when I started going to daily Mass.  I was an altar server and very proud to be part of the team.  I studied Latin in secondary school, so before long the unchanging parts of the Mass were very familiar to me, with much of it known by heart.  I studied for the Priesthood at Rome and was ordained in 1966.  Apart from a five year spell in the Catholic Missionary Society, I have ministered in my native Wales.  As I recently celebrated my seventieth birthday, it struck me that I have been attending or celebrating daily Mass for sixty-odd years.  

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Fr Antony Jones

The original idea behind this book was to explain to my parishioners the most recent changes in translation; but as it progressed, it turned into a kind of guide in which I have tried to share with my readers the depth of the Mass as I see it and pray it.  I hope it will help you.

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This brought home to me two things.  That for more than sixty years I have been reciting the same prayers day after day, sometimes several times a day, but without tiring, without staleness, an almost miraculous experience which I share with most priests.  In fact, far from becoming stale, the Mass continues to become more amazing still. 


Secondly, that it has been my most stable and faithful companion throughout my life.  My parents who introduced me to the Mass and taught me to love it are long since dead; friends have come and gone; I have lived in many different places and countries, in widely differing circumstances, but no matter where I was or whatever kind of situation I found myself in, the Mass has remained my faithful friend. It is the one thing in my life that has not changed.

Oh yes it has changed superficially.  It changed from Latin to the rather hurried translation I have lived with most of my priestly life.  It has changed again in this latest revision.  But the Mass itself has never changed.  In whatever language or translation, the Mass has always been the Mass, the sacrament whose depth of mystery has always fascinated me and drawn me on.

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