Ordination and celebration of the first mass is an important moment in the life of a young Catholic priest. Particularly in the rural community this religious ceremony is very special, treated as the 'rite of transition'. The article attempts to reveal and interpret the most important moments of the first mass, and refers to the concept of Arnold van Gennep's 'transition' rites. Despite a different external form, the ceremonial sense of the first mass has always remained the same. It is the change of the social status of the young priest, which gives him the right to assume the same position in the local community as is assumed by his peers in a wedding ceremony. In a ritual manner he is separated from his role of bachelor to be 'reborn' in the new role, that of priest. The ceremonial rite of 'transition' takes place in the space between the priest's family home and the church. It is the physical movement of the procession from one 'centre', i.e. family home, to another, i.e. the church. On the way a border separating the space of the family home and the space around the church is crossed. In this symbolic way a transition between two social statuses is represented - that of bachelor and that of priest.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.