Understanding the Mass: Part 1

December 3, 2019 - 2:29pm
Understanding The Mass   Blog
A Message from Fr Carl

St Michael Parish Family,

As we begin Advent and the new Liturgical Year of the Church, the best preparation for the coming of our Lord is to understand more deeply the Eucharist and the Holy Mass. St. John Vianney said, "If one understood the Mass well, he would die of joy!" Hence, as a good tradition for all of us here in St. Michael, let us review the parts of the Holy Mass, the summit and source of Christian Life. I hope that those of us who go to Mass regularly may become something like ambassadors, providing a living witness of the importance of the Holy Mass to our families, friends and those who visit St Michael’s.

The INTRODUCTORY of the Mass helps the faithful come together as one, establishes communion and prepares themselves properly to listen to the Word of God and to celebrate the Eucharist worthily.

MAKE the Sign of the Cross with holy water (a sign of baptism and acknowledgement of the presence of the Divine Holy Trinity) upon entering the church.

GENUFLECT or BOW toward the tabernacle containing the Blessed Sacrament and the Altar of Sacrifice before entering the pew. Please avoid socializing or conversation. This is your time to socialize and converse with God.

KNEEL in the pew for private prayer before Mass begins or join in the praying of the Holy Rosary.

STAND for the Introductory Rite: Entrance Chant, Penitential Rite, Gloria and Collect.

STRIKE your breast at the “mea culpa(s) through my fault” in the Confiteor. This action reminds us of our unworthiness before God and begging for God's mercy. This prayer also pardons all venial sins and prepares our soul for an encounter with God.

BOW your head when you say “Lord, have mercy” during the Kyrie. If there is a Rite of Sprinkling, make the Sign of the Cross when the holy water is sprinkled in your direction.


Preparing for Mass


How should we prepare for Sunday Mass? Since the Holy Mass is our path toward the Eucharist—“the source and summit” of our lives as Catholics— it’s probably worth putting in extra effort to prepare for our encounter with God and worship Him with reverence. Below are some practical tips I would like to share with you:

1. Approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation if needed especially when we are in the state of mortal sin. Saturday times are at 9:15 am, 3:45 pm and 6:15 pm. Also, there are morning opportunities on Mondays and Fridays at 7:30 am in the Church and afternoon opportunities on Wednesdays at 2:30 pm in the Convent Chapel.

2. Read the Mass readings and reflections at home before coming to church. Links to the readings and reflections to help you understand them are provided in the Friday Flocknote that is emailed to you at 7:00 am every Friday. You can also visit usccb.org and look for Readings for Holy Mass.

3. Don’t be Late! Arrive early to spend time in silence in the Adoration Chapel or join us in praying the Rosary in the church. Greet others with a warm smile, but save conversation for outside.

4. Remember to fast for one hour before Mass. This is a physical reminder for us that we are putting Jesus first.

5. Dress nicely as is fitting for your encounter with the Lord.

It is my prayer that we will all come to a better appreciation for the Holy Mass together. Next week, we will look at the Liturgy of the Word.

St Michael the Archangel, defend us!

Fr Carl


Digging Deeper

Watch Elements of the Catholic Mass, a series of short videos available to view free for St Michael Parishioners at FORMED.org!  

If you have never registered on FORMED, click "sign up" then "I belong to a parish" and then search for St Michael's by zip code 94550.


Elements Of The Mass







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