31. The Liturgical celebration
of the Eucharist: the Holy Mass

  Introduction

   The center of the liturgy of the Church is the Eucharist (the Mass), which the Apostles celebrated from the very beginning. From then until now, the Mass has remained essentially the same.

    Below, will be explained the meaning of the various parts and the dialogues carried out between the priest and the faithful. The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days will also be discussed; if seven years of age have already been reached, the person has the ability to use reason and so there should not be serious impediment.

  A. Answer with one of these options: Mass, procession, different, same.

 The center of the liturgy of the Church is the

 Since the Apostles, the Mass has remained the






  Main Ideas

1. Participating in the Eucharist

   Objectively, the Mass is the greatest event that takes place on earth and, when we attend it, we must participate with great interest and devotion trying to achieve the maximum result.

   Since the sacrifice of the Calvary is renewed in the Mass, we should be present with the same feelings that Saint Mary had at the bottom of the cross, accompanying her son and fully identifying with Him.

2. Parts of the Mass

   The liturgy of the Mass is performed according to a fundamental structure preserved throughout the centuries. It includes two great fundamental moments: the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy, which are preceded by the initial rites and followed by the conclusion.

    Opening Rites, which have the purpose of introducing and preparing:

    a) When the person who is celebrating the rite goes to the altar it is time to pray or sing the introduction.

    b) The priest kisses the altar as a sign of reverence, because it symbolizes Jesus Christ.

    c) The priest greets the faithful and invites them to acknowledge their sins, by praying the “I confess...” or other prayers approved by the Church, which can be found in the Roman Missal. Although this penitential act has the efficacy of the sacrament, and only mortal sin is forgiven in confession, we must sincerely grieve and repent our sins.

    d) The priest finishes the initial ritual with the recitation or singing of the Kyrie and sometimes the Gloria, which is then followed by the opening prayer.

    A) THE LITURGY OF THE WORD. In this part of the Mass, the following moments are distinguished:

    a) The reading of the Holy Scripture. On Sundays and holidays there are three: one from the Old Testament, one from the New and the third one from the Gospel. Between the readings there are songs or Psalm prayers, which require a response from all present at the Mass.

    b) The Homily. The priest explains the truths that were revealed by God and taught by the Church, so as to instruct us in faith and encourage us to improve our lives, taking his cue from the readings and meanings of the celebration.

    c) The profession of faith or the Creed. It is the ceremony in which we confess our faith; one prays standing, bowing the head to show respect, and saying: “and by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.”

    d) The prayer of the faithful. With this prayer we pray for the Church, for the Pope and the Hierarchy, by civil authorities and all people, especially the poor.

    B) THE EUCHARISTIC LITURGY. It is the main part of the Mass that renews consecration, which is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The main actions are:

    a) The presentation of the offering or the offertory. The priest offers to God the bread and wine, which are the matter of the sacrifice; other gifts can be offered with the bread and wine so as to share them with those who are in need. The priest invites people to pray so that the sacrifice of the Church shall be pleasing to the Lord: “Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.” The faithful respond: “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all his Church.”

    b) The Preface is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to remember the wonders of God, which concludes with the song of the angels in heaven: “Holy, Holy ... Hosanna in the highest.”

    c) After comes the Eucharistic Prayer or Canon, which is centered on consecration, in which the priest pronounces the same words He spoke at the Last Supper in the name of Jesus Christ and with intent to consecrate them. At this time, Jesus Christ is really present on the altar, thus renewing the redemptive sacrifice of His Passion and Death. Seize the moment to make acts of faith and ask things from Jesus for the living and the dead.

    d) The Communion Rite. It begins with a brief introduction that introduces the Lord's Prayer, which is accompanied by other prayers. Then the priest presents the Sacred Form: “Behold the Lamb of God…”, and the faithful continue with him: “Lord, I am not worthy...” by conducting an act of humility and faith. The best way to participate in the Mass is to take part in the communion by being in God's grace and properly prepared; if one cannot take place in the communion, it is advisable to make a spiritual communion.

    e) The Concluding Rite. The Mass ends with the final salutation and benediction. If you communed, you should dedicate a few minutes to thank the Lord.

  B. Choose one of these possible answers: earth, population, Calvary, pain, penitence, Eucharist, missal, altar, sins, virtues, psalm, Gospel, homily, prayer, offertory, grace, humility, confessionary, angel or God.

  The Mass is the greatest event that takes place on

  What is renewed in the sacrifice of the Mass is the

  The two main parts are the Liturgy of the Word and of the

  In the initial rites the priest kisses the

  The faithful are invited to recognize her

  During the Mass, the priest reads the Old Testament, the New and the

 Between the readings one sings or prays the

  The priest explains the

  We give the offers or the

  The Preface is a song of praise and an action of

  Through the consecration, Jesus Christ is present in the

  We can take part in the communion if we are in the grace of


3. The responses of the faithful at Mass

    During the Mass the faithful recite a dialogue or along with the priest with prayers like these: “I confess”, “Gloria”, “The Creed”, etc. It is convenient to learn these prayers and responses so as to participate at Mass correctly; they can be found in the Missal or a prayer book.

4. The First Commandment of the Church: attend the Mass every Sunday and the Holidays

   The Church requires, under mortal sin, to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays in order to teach the importance of the Mass and help us meet the third commandment of the Law of God.

    This obligation begins after the age of seven, that is, for those who have the ability to use reason and do not have serious impediments.

    The Church wants us to participate in the Mass not because it is an order, but by one’s own initiative and generosity. It is even advised that the faithful participate daily in the Mass. The reason is clear: the Mass is the center and root of the life of the Church and of each Christian, and is the quintessential act of worship offered to our Father in heaven. If we were really aware of what it is and what it represents in our lives and for the Church, we would do everything possible to attend Mass every day.


Catechesis Course. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With the permission of the authors.


  C. Choose one of the possible answers: prayers, lectures, Tuesdays, Sundays, YES, NO, family or church.

  The faithful participate in the dialogue of the Mass through

  It is considered a mortal sin if one misses the Mass on

  Before seven years of age there is no obligation to attend Mass

  And those who have the ability to use reason?

  The Mass is the center and source of the life of the


  Catechism Questions

1. What acts make up the celebration of the Eucharist?  The Eucharistic celebration or Mass involves the proclamation of the Word of God (the Bible reading); giving thanks to God the Father for His benefits, especially for the gift of his Son; the consecration of the bread and wine and the participation in the communion, at least by the one who carries out the celebration. These are elements that constitute a single act of worship.

2. What is the first commandment of the Church?  The first commandment of the Church is to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays.

3. Who is obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays?  Christians who have reached the age of seven and have the ability to use reason are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays.

  D. Select the button to chose the correct answer. Below are the possible answers:

 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

  What acts make up the celebration of the Eucharist?

  What is the first commandment of the Church?

  Who is obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays?


 POSSIBLE ANSWERS

 A

 The Eucharistic celebration or Mass involves the proclamation of the Word of God (the Bible reading); giving thanks to God the Father for His benefits, especially for the gift of his Son; the consecration of the bread and wine and the participation in the communion, at least by the one who carries out the celebration. These are elements that constitute a single act of worship.

 B

 The first commandment of the Church is to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays.

 C

 Christians who have reached the age of seven and have the ability to use reason are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and on holidays.

  Purposes of Christian life

- Live the Mass correctly by participating in the dialogues and maintaining an appropriate position.

- Make it a promise to not skip Mass on Sundays or on other holy days, and also attend on other days when we are not required.



 
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL