THE HOLY MASS – THE GREATEST PRAYER OF THIS WORLD
“ESSENCE OF THE MASS
At the Last Supper, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again.
Thus the Mass is:
1) The true sacrifice of the New Covenant, in which a holy and living Victim is offered, Jesus Christ, and we in union with Him, as a gift of love and obedience to the Father;
2) A sacred meal and a spiritual banquet of the children of God;
3) A Paschal meal, which evokes the passage (passover) of Jesus from this world to the Father; it renders Him present and makes Him live again in souls, and anticipates our passage to the Kingdom of God;
4) A communitarian meal, that is, a gathering together of the Head and His members, of Jesus and His Church, His Mystical Body, in order to carry out a perfect Divine worship.
Thus, the Mass is the greatest prayer we have. Through it we give thanks and praise to the Father for the wonderful future He has given us in His Son. We also ask forgiveness for our sins and beg the Father’s blessing upon us and all human beings.
OUTLINE OF THE MASS
The Eucharist consists of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist plus introductory and concluding rites.
During the Introductory Rites acts of prayer and penitence prepare us to meet Christ as He comes in Word and Sacrament. We gather as a worshipping community to celebrate our unity with Him and in Him.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
The proclamation of God’s Word is always centred on Christ. Jesus is the Word of God Himself and the Author of Revelation. It is He Himself Who speaks to us when the Sacred Scriptures are liturgically proclaimed, and He calls for our positive response.
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
We enter now into the Eucharistic sacrifice itself, the Supper of the Lord. We are God’s new people, the redeemed brothers and sisters of Christ, gathered around His table.
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
We bring forward our gifts of bread and wine as well as our monetary offerings for the upkeep of the church building and the clergy, and the relief of the poor. These are but a symbol of our inner readiness to give God all of ourselves with our hopes and disappointments, our work and leisure, and our whole everyday lives.
The Eucharistic service of praise and thanksgiving is the centre of the celebration. We join Christ in His sacrifice, celebrating His memorial and acknowledging the wonderful works of God in our lives.
At the consecration of the bread and wine Christ’s words spoken through the priest accomplish what they signify: His Eucharistic Body and Blood, His Real Presence with all the riches of the Kingdom.
The people now praise Christ in the Memorial Acclamation. We celebrate the fact that Christ has redeemed us, is with us now to apply that Redemption to each of us, and will return in glory to perfect that Redemption for all.
The Communion rite is the conclusion of the Mass. It is the part when God gives a gift to us after we have presented our gift to Him: Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the world. We receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, that gives access to eternity.
We have heard God’s Word and responded to it. We have received Christ’s Body and Blood and achieved greater union with Him and others. Now we leave to praise and bless the Lord in our daily lives.”