Seminary/School of Divinity


Summer 2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



William B. Stevenson

Second Advisor

Christian D. Washburn

Third Advisor

Paul J. Wojda


This work is divided into three chapters. The first chapter discusses the idea of sacrifice in general. Section 1 considers contemporary and ancient notions of its importance, taking its point of departure whether sacrifice is or is not a central concept in Christian worship and salvation. Section 2 explores natural sacrifices, those sacrifices of all non-Hebrew or Christian origin. Section 3 explores the sacrifices present and defined in the Old Testament. The second chapter discusses the Passion and Death of Christ. Section 1 centers on the Passion and the Last Supper, giving particular consideration to the Passover. Section 2 discusses the Divine Priesthood of Christ. Section 3 is a Thomistic consideration of the effects of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross. The third chapter is about the Sacrifice of the Mass. Section 1 Relates the Mass to the Last Supper, through the concepts of Sacrament and Ritual. Section 2 relates the Mass to Calvary and the Passion of our Lord. The specific concept explored is that of how the sacrifice that occurs at Mass is the same as the sacrifice that occurred on Mount Calvary. Overall, this thesis attempts to highlight the importance of sacrifice to Christians and serves as a reminder that though contemporary people do not see animal sacrifices on a daily basis, the idea of sacrifice deserves to be reinvigorated among Christians and Catholics in particular, since it was through a sacrifice that our salvation was won.