Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Holy Mass


It is a public celebration of the Church, where the people of God come together for the specific purpose of celebrating Christ  sacrifice and proclaiming his Glory. Every celebration of the Mass re-presents the one eternal sacrifice of Calvary. The sacrifice of the Cross happened about two thousand years ago in Jerusalem and because Christ is timeless and His sacrifice is eternal, Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

By this belief, we assemble as the body of Christ, his Church to fulfil the Lord’s command to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19). In memorial of his death and resurrection , the Church identifies itself with the saving Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and, nourished by his Body and Blood, in joyful hope looks forward to sharing in the supper of the Lamb in the heavenly kingdom God.

Catholic liturgical life does not lie with priests alone but also with the wholehearted engagement of everyone involved in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The way in which we celebrate the Holy Eucharist together is clearly of vital importance to the building up of the local Church. As we gather around the ‘table of the Lord’, our intimate personal connection to the Risen Christ, and a close relationship all Christian brethren in building of faith communities within the universal Church.
 
The Holy Mass (Liturgical celebration) is generally divided 4 main parts  Each phase of the 4 parts has it's own importantance. Therefore, Catholics must familiarize ourselves with the parts of the Mass.

1. Introductory Rites,
2. Liturgy of the Word
3. Liturgy of the Eucharist
4. Concluding Rite.

Through the The Liturgy of the Word,  God speaks with his people the congregation, opening up to them the mystery of redemption and salvation. The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, are closely connected as to form one act of worship. In the word of God, the divine covenant is announced and in the Eucharist the new and everlasting covenant is embodied and renewed.
 
 
 
1.  Introductory Rite
Entrance song
Priest, deacon, altar servers, lectors, enter the church or designated place for celebration of the liturgy. Upon arrival at the altar, after making a profound bow, the Priest venerates the altar with a kiss and, if appropriate, incenses the cross and the altar. When the entrance song is concluded, the Priest and the faithful, standing, sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, while the Priest, facing the people, says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Greeting
Celebrant greets all pre-sent at the liturgy, expressing the presence of the Lord to the faithful congregation.
Penitential Rite
Acknowledgment of sinfulness. followed by requests for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Gloria
Ancient hymn of praise in which the Church glorifies God. It is used on all Sundays (outside of Advent and Lent), and at solemn celebrations.
Opening Prayer
Celebrant expresses the general theme of the celebration in this prayer.


 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away”
Matthew 24:35
 
2. Liturgy of the Word
Readings from the Holy Scriptures are proclaimed and reflected upon. On Sundays and major feasts, there are three readings and Responsorial Psalm: Old Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, and Gospel.
1 st Reading
Responsorial Psalm
2 nd Reading
Gospel Acclamation
Acclamation of praise to God (Alleluia!), and prepares the Gospel for faithful congregation.
Gospel Reading
Homily
Homily (sermon) is a reflection by the celebrant on the Scripture readings and on the application of the texts in the daily lives of the faithful gathered and their community.
Profession of Faith
The Nicene creed, recalls and proclaims the fundamental teachings of the Roman Catholic faith.
Prayer of the Faithful
Prayer of intercession for all of humankind; for the Church, civil authorities, those with various needs, for all peoples, and for the salvation of the world. The celebrant invites all to pray, then the prayers of petition are read and the congregation responds by asking God to hear and to grant their requests.


 "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
John 6:51 
 
3. Liturgy of the Eucharist
Gifts of bread and wine are prepared and the Eucharistic Prayer is proclaimed by the celebrant, and the Blessed Sacrament is distributed to the assembly.
Preparation of the gifts
The time in the Mass when the bread and wine to be used in the celebration are brought to the celebrant, usually by representatives of the faithful congregation. Offertory song is sung, whille the presentation of gifts to the celebrant and as the altar is prepared for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The celebrant washes his hands in symbolic cleansing (expression of the desire for inward purification) to prepare himself just as the gifts have been prepared as an offering to the Lord.  The celebrant prays over the gift prepared asking that the gifts to be offered be made holy and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord.
Eucharistic prayer
The prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. It is the center and high point of the celebration. During the Eucharistic Prayer, in the real presence of the Lord that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Preface Dialogue - Introductory dialogue between the celebrant and assembly in which all are invited to join in prayer and thanksgiving to God. The Holy, Holy, Holy The response of the community to the preface and a continuation of the general theme of praise and thanks. Also called the Sanctus.
Consecration - Prayer and blessing during which the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Intercessions - A series of prayers for the Church, the world, the Pope, clergy and laity, and the dead. Final Doxology A final prayer of praise of God.
Amen ("So be it") - Called the Great Amen. It is the acclamation by the faithful congregation expressing their agreement with all that has been said and done in the Eucharistic prayer.

Communion Rite
Lords Prayer
"Our father in Heaven,....", petition for both daily food (Eucharistic bread) and the forgiveness of sins. 
Doxology - Response of the people acclaiming the sovereignty of God.  "For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever."
Sign of peace
 Celebrant invites the faithful congregation to express their love and peace with one another.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you." John 14:27
Communion
Breaking of the Bread - Celebrant recreates gestures of Christ at the Last Supper when He broke the bread to give to His disciples. The action signifies that in communion the many are made one in the one Bread of Life which is Christ.
Lamb of God (“Agnus Dei ”) - Invocation during the breaking of the bread in which the faithful congregation petitions God for mercy and peace.
After saying a preparatory prayer (Celebrant:Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.Congregation: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed), then the celebrant (or other designated ministers) gives communion (the consecrated bread and wine) to himself and the other ministers at the altar, and then communion is distributed to the congregation. While communion is distributed, communion song is sung.
Prayer after Communion by the celebrant in which he petitions that the Sacrament be beneficial for all.
 
4. Concluding Rite
Celebrant’s greeting to all present, final blessing and dismissal; followed by a concluding song and concluding procession.
Concluding Prayer
Blessing
Dismissal
 
 
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Catholic Postures
 
There is a common understanding of the significance of the postures of standing, sitting, and kneeling within our culture.
 
Standing
We rise or stand,  
~ to greet people,
~ to honour someone important,
~ to express readiness for action,
~ when seized with excitement.
In Christian liturgical tradition, standing is the basic posture of Easter people lifted up to greet the risen Lord. The congregation stands at Mass, for example, during the proclamation of the Gospel reading.
 
Kneeling
We kneel,  as human gesture of submission.
In Christian tradition, kneeling signifies,
~ acknowledgement of one’s creatureliness before God,
~ penitence for sin,
~ humility,
~ reverence,
~ adoration.
 
 
Sitting
We sit,
~ to listen,
~ to rest,
~ to wait,
~ to watch.
At Mass, for example, to sit during the Homily and at the Preparation of the Gifts.
 
Other gestures, that we do during the celebration of the Mass includes,
~ bowing,
~ kissing,
~ genuflecting,
~ striking the breast
~ handclasp or handshake, the sign of peace.
 
Bowing signifies,
~ a natural and gracious sign of respect,
~ a sign of reverence
~ a sign of honour offered to persons or to their images.
 
Two types of bow,
1. Bow of the head, the three Divine Persons are named together, and at the name of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honour Mass is celebrated. Also during the reciting of the Nicene creed "and bythe Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.",  when we profess of our faith.
2. Bow of the body, a profound bow, is made: towards the altar.
 
 
We genuflect by bending the right knee to the ground. Genuflecting was an ancient gesture and it signifies,
~ fealty
~ reverence,
~ adoration.
Therefore, it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, and for the Holy Cross from the solemn veneration of the Holy Cross during the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil. If the Most Blessed Sacrament is present on the tabernacle, priest, the deacon, and the other ministers must genuflect when they approach the altar during adoration but not during the celebration of Mass itself.
 
All who pass before or come into the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, kneel or bow their heads.
 
Kissing is a more intense way to show, 
~ reverence,
~ respect.
~ sign of veneration to the altar and the Book of the Gospels by priest, and ordained ministers.
On Good Friday, the faithful congregation is allowed to kiss the cross during the Veneration of the Cross.
 
Striking the breast signifies,
~ humility,
~ self-abasement.
The faithful congregation, during the I confess, will strike the breast 3 times when the following is said "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault".
 
 
With our handclasp, we sharing the sign of peace. In the sign of peace the faithful congregation express their ecclesial communion and mutual charity for each other before receiving sacramental Communion.
 
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Luke 22:14-20 
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

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