Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Holy Mass

" Read the misselette"
- Collapse Tthe little book that's in the pews contains the rough "schedule" of how the mass will proceed. Find the date (and possibly time) for the specific mass you're at. That will show you the 2 readings, hymn, and gospel that will be performed that day. They will also contain what are effectively stage directions for when to sit, stand, kneel.

In another section of the book is the list of prayers that's done at every mass, again with stage directions. It will take a little bit to get acclimated to when you do what, but it eventually becomes instinct.

In general, and from what I remember.
When you get to church, quickly genuflect towards the alter as you select a pew.
Kneel as you say a quick silent prayer to yourself
Sit and wait for mass to begin.
When the entrance hymn begins (there should be a flyer or placard or sign somewhere telling you all the hymns for the day), stand. The priest and other mass participants will come out to the altar.
Continue standing until after the priest's opening remarks and/or prayers, until he says "please be seated" or motions you down.
Sit through the first and second readings.
Stand at the gospel hymn.
sit for the gospel and homily
Stand in preparation to receive communion
File out of your pew, receive communion
Return to your pew, kneel until the tabernackle (the chest that contains the eucharist) has been closed, then sit.
Stand when the priest asks you too
Stand for the closing hymn.

I might not be 100% correct on all of those, it's been a while since I attended mass regularly. In fact, I'm quite sure there's one more kneeling in there somewhere, but I can't remember where.

You don't *need* to memorize any prayers - they're all in the misselette. However, some that would be good to know so you're not constantly flipping pages:
* The Lord's Prayer (aka The Our Father)
* The Nicense Creed ("We believe in one God, the father the almighty...")
* Glory to God in the Highest
and a few that are sung:
* "Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us (x3). Lamb of god, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace"
* "Holy Holy Holy Lord, God of power and might. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Higest"

And there are a few standard call-and-responses that you'll hear every week too. When the priest or another person at the altar or podium says a certain phrase, the congretation responds:
"Peace be with you" => "And also with you"
"Lift up your hearts" => "We lift them up to the lord"
"Let us give thanks to the lord our God" => "It is right to give him thanks and praise"
"This is the word of the Lord" => "Thanks be to God"
"This is the gospel of the Lord" => "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ"
"Pray, brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty father" => "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his church"
"This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper. " => "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed"
"The mass has ended. Let us go in peace to love and to serve the Lord" => "Thanks be to God"

This is awesome! I have been confronted this week by two good non Catholic friends and they do not understand the Mass.

I tell ya, they got the real Eucharist! LuAnn and I have been waiting a long time. That little tabernackle has the risen saviour. The Holy Spirit descends on me every time it is open!

Non Catholics do not understand. Only 20 percent of Catholics understand and that is one faith.

If you believe in God you believe in God.

I know there is one, I cannot prove it!

Want to go Mass and pray to my Heavenly Father.


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