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Mass Explained iPad App

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The Mass Explained iPad app is a comprehensive multimedia learning experience focused on the Roman Catholic Mass. It is totally approachable, thoroughly entertaining and currently available in the app store.

As the title suggests, the Mass Explained iPad app is a multimedia journey through the Catholic Mass — more specifically, the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Mass with which most Catholics are familiar. It explores the roots of each section of the liturgy with its unique prayers and gestures. Packed with scriptural references, quotes from the Church Fathers, the Catechism and excerpts from councils and encyclicals.

In addition to the hundreds of photographs, drawings, charts and graphs that make for a visually stunning user experience, the Mass Explained iPad app contains several interactive elements:

Navigate 360° images of towering cathedrals, inspiring pilgrimage sites and ancient ruins.

Rotate meticulously rendered liturgical vessels and ancient artifacts.

The works of the masters help illustrate the evolution of the Mass.

Explore possible Emmaus sites, follow Paul’s missionary journeys, discover where saintly relics are venerated today.

Prayers in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and English as well as Gregorian chants and other liturgical music take center stage.

Often incorporating 3D animations, the videos shed light on various aspects of the Eucharistic Celebration.

Zoom in to discover the intricacies of medieval illuminations and marvel at the brushwork of the great masters.

Reviewed by priests and scholars, the app received a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. It is faithful to the Magisterium.

What do the critics say?

“The Mass Explained app completely knocked me off my feet… There is so much to look at and so much to take in, you’ll want to go back to it over and over… I can see this being used in a classroom situation for middle school Theology classes all the way to RCIA classes.”—Katie O’Keefe, Read full review

“The book is undeniably impressive in both content and execution. It’s a catechist’s dream…The author, Dan Gonzalez, merges solid research with a strong catechetical style and a superb sense of design to create something new in Catholic circles: a high-end multimedia learning experience that fulfills the promise of new media in the new evangelization.”—Thomas McDonald, Patheos: God and the Machine. Read full review

“I was really stunned by how good the layout is along with all the graphic media found on every page. This is a very beautiful app…I am extremely impressed.”—Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester. Read full review

“…like the Catholicism series, [MassExplained] should be a model for anyone seeking to produce engaging and substantive catechetical and evangelical materials. Yes, I’d put it at that level.”—Amy Welborn, Charlotte was Both. Read full review

“The Mass Explained is without question the most elegant, content-rich, beautiful app for the iPad that I have come across. While this app is an investment, it’s a worthy one if you want to dive deeply into the riches of the Mass.”—Clayton Emmer, The Weight of Glory.Read full review

The Mass Explained is so brilliant and so useful, it’s not only worth the $25, it’s worth buying an iPad just to have it…every Catholic parent and educator needs to see this..My friends, this is what iPads are for. I haven’t seen a better interactive tool for teaching and explaining the faith.”—Dr. James Stone, Read full review

Mass Explained for iPad hits a home run…This is a great application for people looking to go beyond a basic understanding of the Mass.  I could easily see RCIA catechists usingMass Explained to introduce the Mass to prospective Catholics.”—Christopher Smith, OP, Christopher’s Apologies. Read full review

pic2“…the Mass Explained app…takes advantage of visual and aural technology…The pages are filled with pop-up definitions and explanations, podcasts, 3-D tours, slide-shows, maps and more.”—Joyce Donahue, The Liturgical Catechist. Read full review

“…it is the Mass in slow motion, explaining anthropological, biblical, historical, and symbolic background to each part…you will be delighted with this app.”—Rev. Bosco Peters, Liturgy—Worship That Works. Read full review

“This new app on the liturgy will be very helpful to both those not only in high school but also those involved in adult religious formation…”—Ana Rodriguez-Soto, The Florida Catholic. Read full review

Dan Gonzalez—the author of Mass Explained—was interviewed by Gus Lloyd, host of the morning show Seize the Day which airs on The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Hear full interview (16 minutes)

“…these pages come alive; from tabbed windows and sliders, to chronological samplers of different liturgical music, to Renaissance paintings and high-quality panoramas that allow the user to scroll and zoom for a greater appreciation of the real-world art they represent, to 3-dimensional objects you can turn with the flick of a finger or get audio descriptions of with a simple tap, to embedded videos explaining ancient customs that find their fulfillment in the Mass, this app surpasses its aim to stimulate minds young and old with holy learning.”—Micah Murphy, Truth and Charity. Read full review

“…a beautifully designed, richly informative, and fully interactive experience…this is themost effective medium to display this kind of information.  The Mass is an extremely visual, interactive, and sensory experience, so why shouldn’t an in-depth guide to the Mass be the same?”—Joe Houde, John Paul the Great Catholic University. Read full review

“Dan González…spared no artistic expense in making his work a thing of beauty. The app is visually stunning, from its opening swinging thurible through its 23 well-laid-out chapters.”—Joanne Mercier, Ministry and Liturgy Magazine. Read full review


Visit for details, critical reviews, screenshots, FAQs, a link to a downloadable .zip file with visual resources and a link to the app in the app store.

My three Catholic Apps: Mass Explained Catholic Words and Games Catholic Word Search

My Catholic Vocabulary Word Card Game:

Dan Gonzalez is both author and designer of the MassExplained blog and MassExplained iPad app. Through fun games and colorful flash cards, Dan's new app, Catholic Word & Games, teaches Catholic vocabulary to children. His design work can be seen at Visit to browse his Catholic t-shirt line. Dan's reversion story can be read here.


  1. Crislee Anderson Moreno

    June 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Dan, will you have it for Android one day….anytime soon? Yes, I’m cheap. I have all android products: Tablet and phone. But I’d really like to have the app. Thanks for all you do! You are a blessing to us all.

    • Dan Gonzalez

      June 8, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Crislee! Thanks so much for reading this newsletter and website, for writing and for sharing the links through Facebook! It is much appreciated. As far as an Android version…

      The iOS and Android version of the tools I used to create the app—Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS)—do not mirror each other exactly. I would need to take the iOS (Apple iPad) version and remove panoramas, inline videos, horizontal swipes and a host of other features for it to work on Android devices.

      I know this is frustrating for Android users based on emails I’ve received. They feel like second-class citizens who often get crippled versions of popular apps. I apologize.

      However, I would rather there not be an Android version of Mass Explained than put one out that has been “dumbed down” with a compromised user experience. That, I feel, would be more of a disservice. As soon as Adobe works out the disparity between iOS and Android, an Android version of Mass Explained will be available as soon as possible! Promise!

      But alas, it is out of my hands and I cannot provide a timetable.

      I can guarantee you that no one wants an Android version more than me! 🙂

      • Crislee Anderson Moreno

        June 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        That makes perfect sense to me. Thanks Dan!

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