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I know a Japanese person who is interested in the Catholic faith who plans to attend Mass despite not knowing anything about it. I think this person would greatly benefit from a summary explaining what it is and why it is done before attending. What should be said?

Please keep in mind that, generally speaking, the Japanese know nothing about Christianity.

closed as too broad by curiousdannii, Lee Woofenden, Geremia, bruised reed, Matt Gutting Jan 2 '18 at 16:02

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • This is an English language site and the Stack Exchange review process from voting on answers to moderation all relies on other English speakers. Asking for other language content is outside the scope of the site. You can figure out what you need to know and do the translation yourself (or find another source for that). – Caleb Dec 29 '17 at 14:01
  • To clarify, your friend is merely "attending", not "partaking"? Catholic religion requires one to make confession of one's sins to their duly ordained priest before taking communion, else the penalty may apply. One must be in a state of grace beforehand, but not partakings as to "get there" somehow. So, you may want to start there. catholic.com/tract/who-can-receive-communion – SLM Dec 30 '17 at 0:05
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Here is the answer I gave to the Japanese person interested in Christianity who said she would be attending Mass tomorrow. Please pray for us.

~~~

There is one being who created our reality. We call this being 'God': Because we think there is no limitation to this being, there is only one god, not multiple gods. Lacking any limitation, God is perfectly happy, but chose to create us so that we could be happy, too.

私たちの現実を作り出した者がいます。私たちはこれを「神様」と呼んでいます。この存在に制限はないと思うので、複数の神ではなく、ただ一つの神があります。どんな限界もなく、神様は完全に幸せですが、私たちも私たちが幸せになれるように創造することを選んだのです。

Mankind is comprised of multiple individuals but all share one human nature, which includes a body and a spirit. This nature became corrupted when the first humans chose to rebel against God. Consequently humans became mortal, suffer, and die. God chose to save them by restoring human nature in the following way: God became a man named Jesus in Israel about 2000 years ago. Jesus has both a human nature (Jesus is human) and a divine nature (Jesus is God). Jesus lived a life without any rebellion against God; he lived a life without any corruption.

人類は複数の人で構成されていますが、すべてが体と精神を含む人間の本質を共有しています。最初の人間が神に反抗することを選んだとき、この性質は崩壊しました。その結果、人間は死に至り、苦しみ、死にました。神は約2000年前にイスラエルでイエスという名の人になったのです。イエスは人間的性質(イエスは人間です)と神の性質(イエスは神様です)の両方を持っています。イエスは神様に対して反逆することなく生きていました。彼は腐敗のない人生を生きました。

Heaven, i.e. life with God, is a far better and more powerful place than Earth. It is both a reward and a privilege. Therefore we must be tested to ensure that we are able to take on the greater responsibility and delight of life there. For this reason we are tested with suffering. Jesus was also tested by suffering innocently, and demonstrated His obedience to God and union with God by choosing to allow Himself to suffer a death sentence from the Roman Empire.

天国、すなわち神との生活は、地球よりはるかに優れた強力な場所です。これは報酬でも特権でもあります。したがって、私たちは、そこでのより大きな責任と喜びを味わうことができるようにするために、テストを受けなければなりません。このため、私たちは苦しんでテストされています。イエスはまた、無邪気に苦しんで試験を受け、ローマ帝国から死刑判決を受けられるように選択することによって、神様への従順と神との結合を実証しました。

There are multiple reasons why Jesus died. Here are two reasons. Because this death sentence was suffered innocently by God Himself, the spiritual consequence of evil being death was overcome. Hence through Jesus we can live in heaven even after we have done evil. Secondly, Jesus chose to suffer this death to encourage us in our suffering. He shows us that although we don't always understand why we suffer, the end result will be worth it.

イエスが死んだ理由はいくつかあります。ここには2つの理由があります。この死刑は神様自身によって無邪気に苦しんでいたので、邪悪な死の霊的帰結は克服されました。それゆえ、イエスを通して、わたしたちが悪を行ったのに、私たちは天に住むことができます。第二に、イエス様はこの苦しみに苦しんで、私たちの苦しみの中で私たちを励まします。彼は、私たちがなぜ苦しんでいるのかを必ずしも理解しているわけではありませんが、最終的な結果は価値があると私たちに示しています。

Consequently, if we stop rebelling against God and unite ourselves to Jesus and partake of his natures, we may share in the benefits of a pure human nature and our spirits and bodies will survive death and live with God in perfect happiness. This life in heaven will be far better than our life on Earth because we will be united to God.

したがって、私たちが神様に反抗して自分自身をイエスに結びつけ、自分の性質を味わうならば、私たちは純粋な人間性の恩恵を分かち合い、私たちの精神と体は死から生き残り、完璧な幸福で神様と共に生きます。この天の人生は、私たちが神様に結合されるので、地球上の私たちの人生よりはるかに良いでしょう。

To unite ourselves with Jesus' pure human nature and God's perfect divine nature, we must stop doing evil and instead do good and be Baptized so that God will live with our spirit. We must also eat Jesus' Body under the appearance of bread so that our body may be included in life in heaven. We also unite our suffering with Jesus' suffering so that God may work good out of the evil we experience.

イエスの純粋な人間性と神様の完全な神性とを結びつけるためには、悪をやめることをやめ、代わりに良いことをして、バプテスマを受け、神様が私たちの霊で生きるようにしなければなりません。また、私たちの体が天の人生に含まれるように、パンの形でイエスの身体を食べなければなりません。私たちはまた、苦しみをイエスの苦しみに結びつけ、神様が経験する悪から良い働きをするようにします。

The Mass enables us to do all this: At the Mass we hear from the messages God gave to us over time (collected in the Bible) to encourage us to stop doing evil and do good. The priest also lectures us to show us how to apply these messages to our daily lives. At the second part of the Mass God makes Jesus' death present to us this day so that we may combine our suffering with Jesus' so that God may do good with it. We eat Jesus' body as He commanded so that our bodies will be included later in heaven. At the Mass we also ask God and previous Christians in heaven to help us solve our problems here on Earth. We also thank God for all the good we experienced the past week. We praise God because it is the respect due to Him, singing is fun, and praising God improves our mental health.

このミサは私たちにこのすべてをすることを可能にします:ミサの時に、悪をやって停止し、善を行うために、神様が私たちに与えたメッセージ(聖書で収集された)を聴きます。司祭はまた、これらのメッセージを私たちの日常生活に適用する方法を教えて下さいます。ミサの第二部では、神様がこの善を行うために、私たちの苦しみをイエスと組み合わせることができるように、イエスの死が今日私たちに提示します。私たちは、私たちの体が後で天に含まれるように、彼が命じたようにイエスの体を食べます。 ミサでは、地球上の私たちの問題を解決するのを手助けするために、神様と以前のキリスト教徒にも尋ねます。 私たちはまた、過去1週間に経験したすべての良いことに神に感謝します。 神様が敬意を表し、歌が楽しく、神様を賛美することが私たちの精神的健康を向上させるので、私たちは神様を賛美します。

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You can explain it as a community celebration in the form of a dinner

It is broken into various parts that can be explained in easy to access terms

  1. Introductory Rite

    • Entrance Song or Antiphon, Greeting:
      We have arrived in God's house, and we enter hearing nice music and are greeted by our host, the Celebrant. (Priest/Bishop).

    • Penitential Rite, Kyrie (Lord, Have Mercy) Gloria (Glory to God), Opening Prayer:
      We establish that we are all equals here (spiritually) by honestly admitting that we are imperfect, that we ask our God to be merciful, and we join into a communal expression of God's most excellent being. The underlying theme is "we are happy to be here, and we are all in this together." Our host leads us in an opening prayer with the aim of getting us all on the same page: being open (in our hearts) to God's blessings.


  1. Liturgy of the Word

    • First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, Second Reading, Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia), Gospel Proclamation (Reading the Word):

      We share the Holy Scriptures, which to us is the Word of God

    • Homily
      Our host shares some wisdom/insights/inspiration based on the Holy Scripture just shared

    • Silence, Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed)

      We contemplate for a bit on what our host has said, and then as a community reaffirm what we believe

    • General Intercessions (Prayer of the Faithful)

      We pray together.

    • Offertory Collection, Offertory Procession, Offertory Procession

      We contribute to the well being of our (spiritual) community so that we always have a place to worship together.


  1. Liturgy of the Eucharist

    • Preparation of the Gifts (Presentation), Eucharistic Prayer, Memorial Acclamation, Thanksgiving, Offering and Intercessions Doxology and the Great Amen:
      Our host leads us into the deeper spiritual elements of our faith and worship, to include the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of our Savior. (It's a dinner, see the lead in). The Great Amen signifies that the faithful believe, which is an important element to full participation in the dinner celebration.

    • Communion Rite: The Lord's Prayer, Rite of Peace, Fraction Rite - Breaking of the Bread, Commingling, Agnus Dei:

      We recite a special Prayer Jesus gave to us, we offer each other peace, and our host prepares the meal. We communally acknowledge that Jesus takes away our sins.

    • Personal Prayer

      We prepare ourselves spiritually to receive Him.

    • Communion We receive him, which is the dinner mentioned above, so that we may be spiritually nourished. (Lord, I am not worthy ... and my soul shall be healed)

    • Communion Song, Silent Prayer, Ablution

      We hear an inspirational song while we pray and have a spiritual moment, meanwhile our host cleans up after the dinner and reverently places the Host back in the Tabernacle, a sacred place.

    • Prayer after Communion

      We pray together and end the dinner on a positive note before we leave.


"Go forth, glorifying the Lord by your lives."

How you may wish to render that in Japanese is up to you, I have no competence in that language.

  • This answer assumes far too much Christian heritage and understanding. For example, you simply declare that eating a tiny bread wafer is a "meal" or "dinner". In fact you are assuming the reader understands Jesus' Last Supper. The Japanese know nothing, and for example would wonder why everyone bows when the priest holds up a piece of bread. My goal is to provide background context and explain what is actually happening at the Mass. Your answer instead assumes all this background context and summarizes for Christians what happens with a certain theological interpretation (calling it a dinner). – Internet User Dec 30 '17 at 1:28
  • Trying to make that which is complex simple is not easy. If you go too reductionist, you risk losing the message. I've been to Japan, they understand "spiritual" very well. Shinto is a very spiritual belief system. – KorvinStarmast Dec 30 '17 at 3:27

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