Tag: Holy Mass

A Priest’s Explanation Of The Holy Mass Still Gives Me Goosebumps 

A Priest’s Explanation Of The Holy Mass Still Gives Me Goosebumps 


There are certain, obvious parts of the Mass that become more automatic touchstones… easier, in a sense, for us to focus on or re-focus from. For instance, we can read along in our missals during the Liturgy of the Word – a natural way to engage. And at the Consecration, we know this is the supreme moment in the Mass when Our Lord comes to us… often there are altar bells to snap us to attention just in case.

Unfortunately, there are other moments when we lose our focus and our attention slips. It occurs to me, now, that part of the reason we glaze over is that we actually have no idea how awesome every part of the Mass is… but especially these “boring” parts… the parts that might seem like… fillers. 

The Orate Fratres:

“May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands…” – I used to gloss over this moment in the Mass, speaking by rote the monotonous response to the priest’s invocation. I suspect I’m not alone. But years ago, I heard a young priest say something about this exchange in the Mass that blew me away, forever changing my understanding of those familiar words (and of the entire Mass, itself). Indeed, it has put into even sharper relief in my imagination that our priests truly are real-life, sacramental superheroes. There is nothing mundane or milquetoast about what they do… what they ARE.

You know how you’ll sometimes find yourself driving a familiar route – to school, to work, home from the store – when suddenly you snap out of a 5 / 10 / 30-minute autopilot trance and wonder, “how the heck did I get here?” Alas, tragically, that trance of automation has happened to me in the Mass more than I care to admit. There comes a time in the life of a Catholic when the standing, sitting, and verbalized responses all come to us so habitually that we could do them all in our sleep.

What we hear and say:

V. “Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father almighty.”

R. “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of His name, for our good and for the good of all His Holy Church.”

What’s actually happening:

“In that moment, when the priest asks the brethren to pray that God would accept this sacrifice that he is about to offer, and the people in the pews offer their reply, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice,” what is happening is the priest is entering the great chasm between earth and heaven, ascending in persona Christi to heaven to offer the Sacrifice of the Son to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Your prayer in that moment should be that I – the priest – not lose track of my task, not make a mistake or slip into the abyss. When you say, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands…” you’re asking God to hold me in this moment and keep me from falling into that infinite chasm between Earth and Heaven, that I can only straddle thanks to His supernatural grace, the most important thing I do in my priesthood.”

This is where our imaginations come in:

When we go to Mass every week, even every day, things risk becoming stale. We see, smell, hear the temporal trappings and can forget or fail to see the awesome supernatural, metaphysical mystery of what’s actually happening in the Mass.

Even just the expanses and wonders of the Planet Earth take our breath away. If we can be so awestruck by scale and expanse in the natural realm… well, imagine multiplying that more “tangible” awe by infinity, to consider the difference between God and Man, between Heaven and Earth! What we can see by science and the naked eye is still very helpful, as an analogy. In all our modern sophistication, man has not yet plumbed the depths of the oceans. How could we, then, ever grow disinterested in the marvels of heaven? The most remarkable discoveries lie beneath the surface of (what had always seemed like) the most unremarkable aspects of reality. The Mass is no different. If anything, it’s the bedrock of that reality of our daily experience. If you would not have life go stale, if autopilot is not your preferred mode of existence, start with and return to the awe and wonder of Jesus Christ who comes to us in the Mass.

Foster your thirst for the fullness of wonder of the WHOLE MASS, which is there to be discovered and quenched in all manner of books, videos, lectures, real-life conversations with Catholics. Ask Our Lord to increase your love for Him in the Eucharist and for the Mass. Go to Him there. Soak in the depths. Receive Him. And give thanks.

-By Winifred Corrigan.

You May Not Know These 25 Things You Should Not Do At Mass

You May Not Know These 25 Things You Should Not Do At Mass

Small details that make the difference and unite the Church

1. Do not be late. Remember that God is waiting for you to fill you with your love, give your forgiveness and a hug, speak to your ear, and say what you need to hear. He separated a place on the table for you. Do not keep him waiting;

2. Do not wear provocative clothing. Do not wear attention-grabbing or provocative clothing (neckline, miniskirt, and shorts);

3. Do not enter the church without greeting the Lord. When you arrive, make the sign of the cross. He is there, happy to see you. Thank him for he invited him;

4. Do not be lazy to bow or genuflect. If you walk past the altar, which represents Christ, do reverence. If you pass through the Tabernacle, where Christ is, kneel (touch the ground with the knee);

5. Do not chew gum or eat or drink. Only water is allowed and if necessary and for health reasons;

6. Do not cross your legs. The act of crossing the legs is considered not very respectful. Your body should express your devotion;

7. The same person should not do the Reading and the Psalm. If you see a single reader or reader, offer to read, for the Readings and the Psalm should be proclaimed by different readers (two in the middle of the week and three on Sundays or holidays, when there is a Second Reading);

8. Do not add sentences when doing the Readings and the Psalm. Do not read the red letters or say “First Reading” or “Responsorial Psalm”;

9. Never recite the Hallelujah in advance. Do not go forth to say “Hallelujah, Hallelujah”. Wait a few seconds, surely someone will sing it. If neither the priest nor anybody sing, omit it, but never recite it;

10. Do not make the sign of the cross in the proclamation of the Gospel. You should only make three small crosses: one on the forehead, one on the lips and the last on the chest;

11. Do not respond in the plural when Creed is made in the form of questions. Who presides at Mass can ask: “Believe in God the Father Almighty?” In this case, do not answer “yes, we believe”, because faith is personal. Answer: “Yes, I do.”

12. Do not collect the offer during the Universal Prayer. The offering must be collected during the presentation of the gifts, when all are seated and the priest thanks God for the bread and the wine and purifies the hands;

13. Do not stand up during the presentation of the gifts. Sometimes someone gets up and, on impulse, others also stand up. Perhaps, on seeing the priest raise the chalice and the host, people think that it is already the Consecration. But it is not;

14. Do not kneel after the “Saint.” One must wait for the priest to ask the Holy Spirit to turn the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is at this moment that one should kneel (if there is bell, kneel when it sounds);

15. Do not sit during the Consecration. If you can not kneel down, stand up, but never sit down, unless it is for some illness. It is a lack of respect for Christ, which is present at the altar;

16. Do not say anything out loud during the Consecration. There are people who, during the Consecration, say out loud: “My Lord, My God”. But it distracts those who are making a personal prayer in silence;

17. Do not say out loud: “For Christ, with Christ, in Christ …”. Only who should say this is who presides over the Mass;

18. Do not leave your place to go and give Peace. You should only greet those who are close to you, not other people, in other banks. Neither should he take advantage to go congratulate someone or give condolences;

19. If you are not prepared, do not commune. You must have kept the Eucharistic fast (not having eaten or drunk anything an hour before committing) and having no serious sin;

20. Do not just make a line of Communion (the priest’s). Jesus is present in the Consecrated Host, no matter if it is the Host insured by the priest or by an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, who is a person prepared and authorized by the Church to distribute Communion at Mass and to take it to the elderly and sick;

21. After commune, do not talk to others. Go back to your place and talk to the Lord. If you have not communed, make a spiritual communion and talk to Him;

22. When you finish distributing the Communion, do not continue singing. The song of Communion must end when the last person receives the host so that there is a sacred silence, in which each person enters into dialogue with God;

23. Turn off the phone. Do not keep messaging or talking on the cell phone during Mass, as it distracts you and the others. Turn your attention to the Lord, who is dedicating His attention to you;

24. Do not miss the children’s view. Teach them to enjoy the Father’s house and to behave at Mass;

25. Do not leave until the Mass is over. Do not miss the fine blessing, through which the priest sends you into the world to bear witness in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Come out of the Church with a new purpose, which has been inspired in the Lord, to build the world, your Kingdom of love.

What Does “Mass” Mean and Why Do Catholics Use The Word?

What Does “Mass” Mean and Why Do Catholics Use The Word?

What Does Mass Mean and Why Do Catholics Use The Word?

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass

The English word “Mass” comes from the Latin word missa, which means to be “sent.” This Latin word has been used since the 6th or 7th century to describe the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist, our main liturgical service. The word is used during the conclusion of the celebration when the priest or deacon says in Latin, Ite, missa est.

The literal translation of that phrase is, “Go, it has been sent.” Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a commentary on these words and explained in his Summa Theologiae, “And from this the Mass derives its name … the deacon on festival days ‘dismisses’ the people at the end of the Mass, by saying: ‘Ite, missa est,’ that is, the victim [Jesus] has been sent to God through the angel, so that it may be accepted by God.”

Pope Benedict XVI also expanded on these words in his encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis, but focused on a different spiritual meaning behind the phrase. He wrote, “In antiquity, missa simply meant ‘dismissal.’ However in Christian usage it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word ‘dismissal’ has come to imply a ‘mission.’ These few words succinctly express the missionary nature of the Church. The People of God might be helped to understand more clearly this essential dimension of the Church’s life, taking the dismissal as a starting- point.”

Instead of seeing the words of the priest or deacon as a conclusion to the celebration, Pope Benedict saw them as a beginning. He made that abundantly clear when he developed new words for the dismissal at Mass. Pope Benedict approved the phrases, “Ite ad Evangelium Domini annuntiandum (Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord)” and “Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum (Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life).” Both of these dismissals focus on the missionary character of the Mass and how those in the pew are meant to go out in the world, sustained by the Eucharist they just received.

Viewed in this framework, the “Mass” is not just a single celebration on a Sunday or weekday or feast day, but a starting-point for a lifelong journey of Christian witness. The priest, in the place of Christ, sends forth his parishioners into the world so that they may be beacons of light, set on a hill for all to see.

Source: aleteia.org/

What is the Priest Saying at Mass that you Can’t Hear?

What is the Priest Saying at Mass that you Can’t Hear?

Sometimes certain prayers are exchanged silently, or in low tones, between the priest and God.

For much of the Church’s history, many of the priest’s prayers at Mass were inaudible to the congregation. This wasn’t simply because they didn’t have microphones or because the priest prayed ad orientem, facing in the same direction as the congregation. It was the style of the liturgy, and you will still experience the Mass this way if you attend the Extraordinary Form.

Even today, however, in the post-conciliar Mass, during which the priest generally faces the people and many parts of the liturgy are prayed responsively or collectively, there are still some prayers of the priest that those outside the sanctuary may not be able to hear.

Why is that?

According to Fr. Edward McNamara, “In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite this quiet recitation is mostly reserved to the priest’s personal prayers.” Sometimes these prayers are called “‘priestly apologies,’” which are not prayers in which the celebrant excuses himself for being a priest, but in which he recognizes his intrinsic indignity and implores divine aid in order to worthily celebrate the august mysteries.”

One example of prayers said in a “low voice” comes during the Offertory, when the priest offers to God the bread and wine. The rubrics, or directions, of the Roman Missal states, “The Priest, standing at the altar, takes the paten with the bread and holds it slightly raised above the altar with both hands, saying in a low voice: ‘Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.’” He also prays a blessing of the wine.

In this instance the priest is acting as an intercessor for the people, offering the congregation’s gifts to God and begging his blessing upon the Holy Sacrifice. At Sunday Mass, we generally don’t hear these prayers because we are singing the offertory hymn. At daily Mass, however, the congregation can hear the priest’s softly spoken words, and responds to each blessing prayer with the refrain, “Blessed be God forever.”

An example of the priest’s personal prayers comes after the Offertory when he goes to wash his hands. The Missal says:

“After this, the Priest, bowing profoundly, says quietly: ‘With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.’ Then, standing at the side of the altar, he washes his hands, saying quietly: ‘Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.’” (Psalm 51:2)

It is obvious why these prayers are prayed quietly since they only concern the priest and his relationship with God.

These prayers are just a few examples of times when the priest is instructed to pray in a “low voice” or “quietly,” directing his prayers to God on behalf of the people.

Recently Cardinal Robert Sarah commented about this aspect of the liturgy during a speech at the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum Pontificum (the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI acknowledging the importance of both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Mass), held at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum). According to the Catholic Herald, Cardinal Sarah said, “The silent praying of the offertory prayers and of the Roman canon might be practices that could enrich the modern rite today. In our world so full of words and more words more silence is what is necessary, even in the liturgy.”

Silence is a key part of the Mass, something that the Roman Missal specifically states. It suggests that “brief periods of silence are also appropriate, accommodated to the assembled congregation; by means of these, under the action of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God may be grasped by the heart and a response through prayer may be prepared. It may be appropriate to observe such periods of silence.”

Similar to how Elijah heard God not in the wind, earthquake, or fire, but in the “a whistling of a gentle air,” sometimes we need to pause for a second and listen to the silence instead of the prayers being said by the priest. God may be trying to speak to us, and we simply need to open hearts to hear his words.

Source: aleteia.org

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