Tag: Holy Mass

How To Participate At Mass 

How To Participate At Mass 

The good news is this: In as much as we need to cooperate with Christ in celebrating the liturgy, the power of the Mass does not depend on us. Christ always and perfectly does his part. We need only to open ourselves up to him and the Mass will work.

Lift up your hearts! The priest bids us at the very heart of the Mass itself. God always accomplishes the divine part of the bargain. So how might we get involved better at Mass?

1. Listen: it’s hard work

It’s not so easy to simply listen today. We are so used to seeing a story as well as hearing it: watching television, going to the movies. And it’s difficult enough to follow the plot of a modern soap opera, let alone the stories of ancient Israel and the first Christians. But Baptism gives us the grace to hear the Word of God. Just as Jesus opened the ears of the man who could not hear, he opens our ears to hear God talking to us today in the old and holy words of scripture.

Can you remember a time, your loved one tried to tell you something you didn’t quite comprehend at first. What did you do? Most likely you positioned your body carefully so you could pay attention. You listened clearly, with your heart and mind as well as your ears.

The proclaiming of scripture and preaching at Mass is like this. The One who loves us beyond all telling is telling us. The proclaiming of scripture and the preaching of the homily at Mass is not like someone giving a report, it is a living dialogue between God and the church. And when God speaks, things happen.

So strive to listen. Position your body so that you can concentrate. Unless you have a hearing impairment or difficulty comprehending the language in which the scriptures are read, put down the missal and truly listen. When we have a lively dialogue with someone we love, we don’t read the newspaper at the same time. We look into each other’s eyes and listen deeply. We should do the same thing with the reader and the preacher.

Let the scripture and homily wash over you, and pay attention to the droplets that stick.

Some people read the assigned scriptures before Mass. Make it a point of duty to always go back to the scriptures that were read first at Mass again and again throughout the week. If nothing else, try to recall the verse from the responsorial psalm and use it as your prayer during the week.

During periods of silence, don’t pick the lint off your lapel, futz with or read anything. Listen for God’s voice. If you listen clearly, you’ll hear it.

2. Enter into mystery

The Greek word for church means “those whom God has called together.” Adopted by God in Baptism, we are brothers and sisters of Christ and hence brothers and sisters of each other. No other bond, not age or race or ethnicity or sexual orientation or political affiliation or economic status or educational background – not even biological relationship – is stronger than the bond of the water of Baptism that draws us together. This water is thicker than blood. This does not mean we all have to be best friends. But we have to act like we are more than just a bunch of strangers in the same room at the same time doing the same thing.

Practice this: Be alert about the presence of others as you get out of your car or walk toward your church. Make eye contact. Smile, nod, say hello. Recall that after he rose from the dead, Christ appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus as a stranger. And Mary Magdalene mistook him for the gardener.

Consider reaching early so you can spend some time in quiet solitude in the Blessed Sacrament chapel if your church has one. The Eucharist reserved in the tabernacle came from a prior celebration of the Mass, so praying in the presence of Christ in this manner can help us meditate on how to penetrate more deeply into the sacrifice the next time we go to Mass.

Bless yourself with holy water to recall who you are (a baptized person) and why you are here (because you are a baptized person). If you see the gifts of bread and wine set out, stop for a minute. Look at the bread. Place alongside the bread all that you have fulfilled in the past week: the work you did, the test you took, all the simple acts of kindness you expressed. Also place there all the things the parish did this past week to educate children, care for the sick, feed the hungry, stand up for the oppressed.

Look at the flagon of wine. Put into the flagon all the struggles that you passed through in the past week: to comprehend others better, to love others more. Put in the flagon, too, all the things the parish struggles with: the attempts to be a more inclusive community, a more vibrant community, a more faithful community. These, then, are the things we will offer to God under the signs of bread and wine.

Take a seat up front and move to the center. This isn’t being proud. Save the seats by the doors for those who arrive late. Save the seats on the aisles for those who may have to exercise a ministry, walk a baby, or sit next to someone in a wheelchair.

Bow to the altar before taking your place. Don’t just nod your head: Bend deeply, gracefully from the waist. Recognize Christ in this sign: a dining table where God eats with us and heaven comes to earth like a feast comes to those who are starving. When you bow to the altar, you bow to Christ.

If the tabernacle is not in its own chapel but in the main body of the church, our tradition is to genuflect to the tabernacle rather than bowing to the altar. After acknowledging Christ present at the altar or in the tabernacle, affirm Christ present in those sitting around you. Say hello, or at least offer a simple smile and a nod. Some people like to kneel and pray after taking their seat. In some monasteries, the practice is to stand attentively for a few moments before sitting. When you sit, prepare your donation and find the opening song. If you picked up the bulletin, don’t read it immediately.

3. Sing for your supper

Singing together blends many voices into one. Won’t you join your voice to the great voice of the Body of Christ? The musicians are there to lead and to assist, not to perform. We are there not to be entertained, but to sing.

Singing together is a great experience. Assembling as the church at liturgy gives us an opportunity rarely found in our technological culture: an opportunity to make music with our voices, to sing together. There is a power in our common song to spread joy to hearts that are without joy, to share sorrow so that the burden is lighter for all, to give voice to hope and yearning and gratitude and love that words alone cannot show.

4. Give it up! 

When we come to the heart of the Mass, the great prayer of thanks and praise, put your heart into it! After you make your donation, stop for a second and think of all the things you are most thankful for right now. As you watch the gifts of bread and wine being placed on the altar, recall that you put yourself alongside that bread and in that flagon when you first came in. Understand that you (and we) are being offered to God under the signs of bread and wine.

And here’s the miracle. The God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in them, the God who wove the night sky and buttoned it with stars, the living God accepts our gift of self under the sign of bread and wine. Then God changes those gifts into the Body and the Blood of his beloved child Jesus Christ and gives it back to us.

Our medieval ancestors wanted to know particularly at what point the bread and wine become Christ’s Body and Blood. They settled on Christ’s very own words that the priest repeats in the middle of the eucharistic prayer, and these words came to be called “the consecration.” Today we are aware that the whole Eucharistic Prayer consecrates the gifts. It would be a grave mistake for a priest to omit all but the words of consecration. In fact, a few years ago, the pope approved an ancient Eucharistic Prayer for continued use in some of the Eastern churches. it’s called the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. It does not contain the words of consecration but in other words, calls down the Holy Spirit to make the gifts the Body and the Blood of Christ. The pope said that this prayer still purifies.

It’s easy to check out while the priest says the long Eucharistic Prayer. Don’t do it! Don’t miss out on the divine gift exchange. Especially important are our proclamations that are part of this prayer: the Holy, Holy, the Memorial Proclamation and the Great Amen. Sing them from your heart, and remember that in doing so we are joining in the singing of the angels and the saints before God’s throne.

Next, we pray the Lord’s Prayer together, and it’s easy to simply say it from memory without thinking much about it. Here’s where posture can assist. Our bodies can help keep our minds centered on the meaning of these most beautiful words. If your parish holds hands, then hold hands. 

5. Sing, walk, eat, drink

Going for Communion is not meant to be like going through the drive-through at a fast food restaurant. it’s a communal procession in which we walk and sing together in order to eat and drink together. The communion that we share is on two levels: our communion with Christ and our communion with each other.

So sing as you walk! Most music ministers now use Communion songs with short refrains so that you won’t need to carry a hymnal or song sheet. (If they don’t, you might suggest it). Walk with the music. If you receive Communion in your mouth, walk with hands folded. If you receive Communion in your hand, walk forward with your one hand cupped in the other, palm upward, ready, eager, to receive.

Don’t pass by the cup! (Unless of course, you have a very specific medical reason for doing so). The chances of catching a cold or worse are minuscule. But the chances of catching Christ’s life and spirit as well as communion with Christ and your sisters and brothers is high.

If it’s your parish’s custom to bow before receiving the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine, then do so slowly, carefully, gracefully.

Sing on your way back to your place. In as much as most parishes in the U.S. don’t do so, the official posture during Communion is to stand until all have received. But if your parish kneels or sits, then do what you are comfortable doing. Keep singing. This song is not a distraction, but one of the methods that Christ uses to make us one with him and with each other.

If you were taught to kneel and bury your face in your hands after Communion, you may want to rethink this practice. It’s not that it’s bad or wrong, although it is difficult to sing this way. Instead, on further reflection, there may be routines that better enable you to involve fully in the Mass at this point. The Mass is not time for private prayer – it is thoroughly a communal act. This may sound harsh, especially since many of us yearn today for moments of solitude.

The Mass, especially at this moment, is not about solitude, but about communion, being one with others in Christ.

Practice this: While singing the Communion song, watch the faces of others going to and coming back from the altar. See in each face the face of Christ. Recall that after his Resurrection, Jesus often appeared to his followers in the guise of a stranger. But it was in the breaking of the bread that they saw him.

There should be a moment of communal silence after all have received Communion and the singing is completed. Here is our opportunity to “rest in the Lord” for a moment before concluding and going back into the fray of daily living. Here, you may bow your head and close your eyes if that assists you to pray. Whatever posture you assume, don’t fidget with your belongings or read the bulletin. Simply say “thanks” to God in the silence of your heart.

Why You Must Stay Awake During Mass

Why You Must Stay Awake During Mass

During Mass, the risen Jesus is present. He comes to walk and talk with us. He opens the Scriptures for us and challenges us to open our hearts to believe in him. He breaks the bread for us just as he did with his apostles and gives himself to us in his Body and Blood.

Jesus taught the first Christians that when we gather on Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, we are not gathering only with family and friends in our parishes but also with his angels and saints for he is also present on the altar. He is the altar on which the lamb would be sacrificed, the priest and the sacrificial lamb as well.

In a mysterious way, our Mass on earth unites us with God and the heavenly choir in the eternal liturgy of heaven. Our worship in the Mass also makes us one Body in Christ with our fellow Catholics everywhere in the world — in every nation from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Thus, we must approach every Mass with a spirit of reverence and respect.

Your experience of the Mass will change if you try to get there a little early so that you have time to settle your mind and prepare your heart.

Try to enter the sanctuary slowly, reverently and without speaking. Spend a few minutes kneeling and talking to Jesus Christ with real intimacy in the silence of your heart.

When Mass begins and the priest processes to the altar, try to keep in mind that he is not only our friend and our pastor but a physical representation of Christ Ordained by God.

Thus, he will pray and offer the sacrifice of the Mass in the person of Jesus Christ — in persona Christi.

The priest calls us into God’s presence, greeting us with the salutation used by God’s angels in the Bible. When he says, “The Lord be with you,” we should have the same joy that the Blessed Virgin Mary had when God’s angel spoke those words to her.

The priest might instead use St. Paul’s apostolic greeting: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

In our new Mass translation, the priest will pray that more precise word, “communion,” instead of “fellowship,” which we are used to hearing. The people will also respond with new words: “And with your spirit.” These words too are from St. Paul.

These small changes remind us that in the Mass, God is sharing himself with us in his Spirit of love, and in his Spirit of love, he is drawing all of us into communion as one family of God.

And with your spirit reminds us that we are more than our material bodies. In Baptism, God has poured his love into our hearts through the gift of his Spirit, making each of us a child of God. What a beautiful gift!

As Jesus said that God is Spirit, and he calls us to worship him in spirit and in truth. The Mass is Spiritual as it has been for Christians since the beginning. In our worship, we join ourselves to Christ’s great act of love on the cross. “Through him, with him and in him”, we offer our lives to God and to our brothers and sisters in love.

May Our Lady help us to stay awake during Mass this week and as well better live the Mass.

The Tremendous Blessings And Benefits Of The Holy Mass As Told By Popes And Saints. 

The Tremendous Blessings And Benefits Of The Holy Mass As Told By Popes And Saints. 

The Tremendous Blessings and Benefits of the Mass as Told by Popes and Saints.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass   Compilation.

The Greatest Prayer of deep ectasy with reverence. 
Pope Paul VI – “The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!”

Pope Benedict XV – “The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death.”

St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor of the Church) – “The celebration of the Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross.”

St. Gregory (Doctor of the Church) – “The heavens open and multitudes of angels come to assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

“It is most true that he who attends holy Mass shall be freed from many evils and from many dangers, both seen and unseen.”

St. Augustine (Doctor of the Church) – “The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.”

“He who devoutly hears holy Mass will receive a great vigor to enable him to resist mortal sin, and there shall be pardoned to him all venial sins which he may have committed up to that hour.”

“He [who attends Mass with all possible devotion] shall be freed from sudden death, which is the most terrible stroke launched by the Divine Justice against sinners. Behold a wonderful preservative against sudden death.”

St. Jerome (Doctor of the Church) – “Without doubt, the Lord grants all favors which are asked of Him in Mass, provided they be fitting for us; and, which is a matter of great wonder, ofttimes He also grants that also which is not demanded of Him, if we, on our part, put no obstacle in the way.”

St. John Chrysostom (Doctor of the Church) – “When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the divine victim immolated on the altar.”

St. Anselm (Doctor of the Church) – “A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.”

St. Teresa (Doctor of the Church) – Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God’s Goodness and asked Our Lord “How can I thank you?” Our Lord replied, “ATTEND ONE MASS.”

The principal excellence of the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the Cross of Calvary: with this sole difference that the sacrifice on the Cross was bloody, and made once for all, and did on that one occasion satisfy fully for all the sins of the world; while the sacrifice of the altar is an unbloody sacrifice, which can be repeated an infinite number of times, and was instituted in order to apply in detail that universal ransom which Jesus paid for us on Calvary.

I believe that were it not for the Holy Mass, as this moment the world would be in the abyss, unable to bear up under the mighty load of its iniquities. The Holy Mass is the potent prop that hold the world on its base.

Be now confounded for very wonder, reflecting that the proposition just laid down is indeed most true; a soul assisting with adequate devotion at holy Mass renders more honor to God than that which all the Angels and all the Saints put together render with all their adorations.

And, yet, with the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, viewed according to its intrinsic preciousness and value, satisfaction may be made completely for committed sin … Not that the Sacrifice of the Mass by any means cancels our sins immediately, and of itself, as does the Sacrament of Penance: but it cancels them mediately, calling down various aids of interior impulse, of holy aspiration, and of actual grace, all tending toward a worthy repentance of our sins, either at the time of the Mass itself or at some other fitting time.

“O blessed Mass, by which we come to have the Son of God placed not within our arms but within our hearts, Nor is there a doubt but that with Him, and Him alone, we shall be able to satisfy the debt of gratitude which we have contracted with God.

It is in our power by means of it to pay the fourth debt due to God, which is to supplicate Him, and to entreat new graces of Him. … Yes, yes: in holy Mass our dear beloved Jesus, as the chief and supreme Priest, recommends our case to the Father, prays for us and makes Himself our advocate. … How can you doubt but that He wishes to give you all the virtues and all the perfections which are required to make you a saint, and a great saint, in Heaven?

What graces, gifts and virtues the Holy Mass calls down … repentance for sin … victory over temptation … holy inspirations which dispositions to shake off tepidity … the grace of final perseverance, upon which depends our salvation … temporal blessings, such as peace, abundance and health …

In having Masses said for the suffering souls in Purgatory: “the holy Mass not only shortens their pains but also extends great immediate relief to those poor souls … the charity you exercise toward poor souls under purification will all redound to your own good.”

In having Masses said for your own soul: “… get celebrated all the Masses possible in your circumstances not only for the souls departed but for your own. Do this for two motives: first to obtain a good and holy death – it being the invariable opinion of theologians that there is no more efficacious means for attaining so holy a purpose. Another motive is that you may yourself issue quickly from Purgatory and fly away into eternal glory, there being no means more adapted for obtaining from God a grace so precious as that of going direct to Heaven, or at least a short detention on the way, than Indulgences duly gained, and the holy Sacrifice.”

-St. John Vianney
Patron Saint of Parish Priests.

“When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary – a joy, a fragrance, a well being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt.”

“If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.”

“There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.”

“When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee.”

St. Padre Pio, stigmatic priest: “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without the Holy Mass.”

Revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the Great – For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death.

Revelation of Christ to St. Mechtilde – He who is in the habit of devoutly hearing holy Mass shall in death be consoled by the presence of the angels and saints, his advocates, who shall bravely defend him from all the snares of infernal spirits.

Have you been to Mass today? Don’t miss it ! 🙏🙏🙏



Why Should I Go To Mass Everyday? 

Why Should I Go To Mass Everyday? 

Why Should I Go to Mass Every Day?” 

+The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!” (Pope Paul VI).

+For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great). 

+Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than without the Mass. 

+The Cure’ d’ Ars, St. Jean Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy. 

+A great doctor of the Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death. 

+St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than many after it. 

+”The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death.”

(Pope Benedict XV). 

+Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God’s Goodness and asked Our Lord, “How can I thank you?” Our Lord replied, “ATTEND ONE MASS.” 

+The Blessed Virgin Mary once told Her faithful servant Alain: “My Son so loves those who assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that, if it were necessary He would die for them as many times as they’ve heard Masses.” 

(Explication Du Saint Sacrifice De La Messe).



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