Tag: Mass

Why Do We Strike Our Breasts During The Penitential Rite At Mass?

Why Do We Strike Our Breasts During The Penitential Rite At Mass?

Pope Francis today, discusses the Penitential Rite at mass. 

“What can the Lord give to those who already have a heart full of themselves, of their own success? Nothing, because a proud person cannot receive forgiveness, being full of his supposed righteousness,” said Pope Francis as he continued today his series of catecheses explaining the meaning of the Holy Mass.

The penitential rite was the theme of the first general audience of the new year.

During the Penitential Act, part of the Introductory Rites of the Mass, “the priest invites us to recognize our sins, observing a moment of silence. Each of us enters his or her interior to take cognizance of everything that isn’t in agreement with God’s plan.”

“This is why,” the pope explained, “we confess our sinfulness in first person singular, saying, ‘I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.”


The pontiff explained that this formula “is accompanied by the gesture of striking your breast to indicate that the sin is yours and no one else’s.”

“The words we say with our mouth are accompanied by the gesture of striking our breasts, recognizing that I have sinned through my own fault, and not because of anyone else. It often happens that, because of fear or shame, we point our finger to accuse others. It’s difficult to admit we are guilty, but it is good to confess it sincerely.”


Speaking in his own style, with no papers in his hand, the pope told a story to illustrate how the gesture of striking one’s breast should be a heartfelt act of repentance. He described a woman who, in the confessional, listed off the sins of her husband, her mother-in-law, and her neighbors—but who didn’t confess her own sins. Eventually, the priest said to her, “Excuse me, ma’am, but tell me: are you done? Great; you’re done with other people’s sins. Now, begin to tell me yours.”


“It’s not enough not to harm our neighbor.”


Regarding the sin of omission, the pope also explained that Christians must not neglect the good they could do. “We often feel like good people because, we say, ‘I haven’t harmed anyone.’ In reality, it’s not enough not to harm our neighbor; we need to choose to do good, taking opportunities to bear good testimony to being disciples of Jesus,” he added.

“Sin severs our relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters, our relationships in our family, society, and community,” the pope declared to the crowd gathered in Paul VI Hall.

Recognizing our own sins during Mass “concludes with absolution from the priest, in which God is asked to pour out his mercy on us.”


Nonetheless, the pope explained that “this absolution doesn’t have the same value as that of the Sacrament of Penance,” which is when we go to confess our sins directly to a priest.


This is because “there are grave sins, called mortal sins, which can only be forgiven in the sacrament of confession.”

Lastly, the Bishop of Rome greeted the pilgrims at the audience. At the beginning of this new year, he expressed his desire that it be a “time of peace, and that you may contemplate the Lord’s embrace of love and tenderness in your lives” and “draw near in prayer to the Prince of Peace who has come to dwell among us.”

The pope invited the faithful to seek interior renewal, “following the example of so many personalities of Sacred Scripture, such as King David, Saint Peter, and the Samaritan woman. Despite having offended God, they were able to ask His forgiveness with humility and sincerity, and they were able to experience His mercy, which transforms and gives true happiness.”

At the beginning of the audience, the pope referred to the parable of the pharisee and the publican, in which only the latter returns home “justified,” that is to say, forgiven (Luke 18:9-14). “Those who are aware of their own failings and lower their eyes with humility, feel the merciful gaze of God resting on them,” he said.


We know from experience that only those who know how to recognize their own mistakes and ask forgiveness will receive other people’s understanding and forgiveness,” he said.


The audience ended with the prayer of the Our Father in Latin and the apostolic blessing, directed especially to children, the sick, and those who are suffering.

The Reason Why The Church Uses Incense At Mass Will Amaze You

The Reason Why The Church Uses Incense At Mass Will Amaze You

Pope Francis dispenses incense while celebrating Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Canonization Mass for Friar Junipero Serra in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Catechism advises us that petition includes substantially more than our spirit, “Regardless of whether supplication is communicated in words or signals, it is the entire man who asks” (CCC 2562).

Hence the Church’s open types of worship contain various components that are noticeable and connect with our real detects. The Catechism teaches us that, “In human life, signs and images involve a vital place. As a being immediately body and soul, man communicates and sees profound substances through physical signs and images. As a social being, man needs signs and images to speak with others, through dialect, motions, and activities. Similar remains constant for his association with God” (CCC 1146).

To help connect with the greater part of our faculties amid the festival of Mass, lifting up our bodies and souls to God, the Church for quite a long time has utilized incense as a vital outside sign.

Incense was an imperative piece of love for some antiquated religions, including the Jewish love of God. In the Tabernacle, and also the Temple, God directed that a “sacrificial stone of incense” be constructed. God coordinated that Aaron, the High Priest, “might consume it, an interminable incense before the Lord all through your ears” (Exodus 30:8).

Associated with this custom is the best-known expression saying incense in the Old Testament, “Let my supplication be considered incense before thee, and the lifting up of my hands as a night give up” (Psalm 141:2).

Christians immediately received the utilization of incense, and it shows up unmistakably in the book of Revelation in the glorious ceremony, where St. John depicts, “the smoke of the incense ascended with the supplications of the holy people from the hand of the holy Messenger of God” (Revelation 8:4).

In light of the above-sacred writing entries, the essential significance behind the utilization of incense is to symbolize our supplications ascending to God. When we see the incense we are reminded that the cleric is there to get together our petitions and argue for our sake before our adoring and benevolent God.

Incense additionally brings to mind the wonderful reality of the Mass. It associates our festival to the magnificent formality portrayed in the book of Revelation and advises us that the Mass is a meeting place amongst paradise and earth.

Lastly, the thick billow of incense can regularly darken our perspective of the sacred place. This is something worth being thankful for and helps us to remember the baffling idea of the Mass. Our mortal personalities can’t grasp completely the riddle that is being commended before our eyes and the incense makes that reality significantly more unmistakable.

So while the utilization of incense can appear to be interesting now and again, it has profound otherworldly roots and has been a piece of heavenly love for a huge number of years.

When Is It Considered Too Late For Anyone Coming To Mass To Recieve Holy Communion? 

When Is It Considered Too Late For Anyone Coming To Mass To Recieve Holy Communion? 

Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Q: At what point in time during Mass it is considered too late for anyone coming into the Mass to receive Communion? These days I see a lot of people who enter the Mass even as Communion is being given and they head straight to receive. Is this right? — E.M., Port Harcourt, Nigeria

A: Like most priests, I am loath to give a straight answer to this question because, in a way, it is a catch-22 question for which there is no right answer.

It is true that before the Second Vatican Council some moral theology manuals placed arrival before the offertory as the dividing line in deciding whether one fulfilled the Sunday obligation of assistance at Mass. But after the liturgical reform, with its emphasis on the overall unity of the Mass, modern theologians shy away from such exactitude.

Mass begins with the entrance procession and ends after the final dismissal and we should be there from beginning to end. Each part of the Mass relates and complements the others in a single act of worship even though some parts, such as the consecration, are essential while others are merely important.

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Is Christ Really Present at Mass? See Proof and Believe

Is Christ Really Present at Mass? See Proof and Believe

Issue: In what ways is Christ present in the Mass?

Response: At Mass Christ is present in the priest, in sacred scripture, in the congregation, and in the Eucharist. Among these, Christ’s presence in the Eucharist is preeminent.

Discussion: In its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council addresses the different ways Christ is present in the liturgy:
To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of His minister, “the same now offering, through

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