Great works of the past often seem great because they outgrow their own time. As Witold Paprocki writes: "It is in the B minor Mass that everything is best in Bach's vocal music, hence the richness of compositional means, precision of form and textures, wonderful polyphonic choruses and virtuosic solo performances, rich sound colours, and above all, unheard of no other composer of this time, a sophisticated symbolism and rhetoric of the utterance, allowing the word and sound to be combined into one suggestive and inseparable whole. (...) For many researchers, the Mass in B Minor is a work comparable to the Kunst der Fuge. Like this contrapuntal treatise, it is surrounded by the aura of mystery – an unambiguous intention that pushed the Lutheran's ardent faith to summarize the key part of his work with a Catholic mass. It is sometimes referred to as an ecumenical or simply humanist mass, addressed to every human seeking his own way to God. A work whose music takes words from the liturgical concrete to the level of mysticism, making them a cross-cultural and timeless value. "
Another Polish scholar specialising in the works of Bach, Szymon Paczkowski in the text for "Music in the City" states: "Music, which Bach wrote for the church, was created for the glory of God. The composer did not create it for the sensual or intellectual pleasure of the listener, but to mediate in the contact of man with God, he strengthened him in faith, prayer and religious experience. The space of the church was to be filled with perfection and beauty, to support the meaning of the service, to be its worthy ornamentation, like a painting in the centre of the altar, golden ornaments, marbles and stucco work in the Baroque church. Bach treated his work as the most sublime form of human reaction to the Word of God – reactio hominis to what they reveal. Bad would be areligious composition that would diminish the sense of the Gospel or the liturgical with splendour and sumptuousness. (...) Was Bach really going to set a full cycle of Mass in accordance with the Catholic liturgy, or was he guided by some other, still unclear premises? Or maybe he wanted to create a universal work, independent of denomination, a mass for a truly apostolic Church – universal, truly pleasing to God? These questions can be multiplied, and the search for answers will be a fascinating task, just as any attempt to penetrate the musical construct of the Mass in B minor, its structure, symbolism and theological message. However, this does not change the fact that the perfection of Bach's work makes us helpless, even incompetent in the face of the desire to extract its secrets. "