Celebration of the Mass

Dear Friends,


As we focus our attention on the celebration of the Mass, it is important to keep in mind the Mass is arranged in such a way so as to promote participation among the faithful attending Mass.   Indeed the Church so desires “that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14).   The new translations of the Roman Missal will be more accurate and faithful to the original Latin texts and therefore offer the faithful the opportunity to utter the ancient words of the Sacred Liturgy.   But what does this all mean to each of us as we celebrate Mass together? 


The Church’s desire that we participate in the Eucharist fully, actively and consciously means that each one of us has our role in the Eucharistic assembly.   The priest who is the celebrant of the Mass, the deacons who assist at Mass, the liturgical ministers who assist the priest and deacons, the choir, the ushers, and all the assembled community, each is called to fully participation.   First, each of us are called to “full” participation.   This is accomplished by being among the baptized and freed from mortal sin.   This also means that we must be engaged in the Mass.   Preparation for the Mass is very important.  Catholics should arrive at Church early enough to pray, offer your participation in the Mass for your intentions, for your deceased relatives, your family, your friends, or those who need prayers.   It is also good for us to review the readings at Mass so that you better receive the Word of God as proclaimed in the Liturgy of the Word and the homily.    Enter into a spirit of reverence and silence to focus your attention on the Lord so as to better enter into the Divine Presence of God.


Active and conscious participation involves our responding, singing, praying, standing, kneeling, and offering our sacrifices to God.    This means that we are not mere spectators of a drama unfolding at the altar, no all of us are partakers of the Divine Mysteries, joining our priestly prayer to the priest at Mass.   If you need assistance, follow along in the missallettes provided.   Active and conscious participation also means to sing.   I realize that we don’t often know the hymns or don’t think we are good singers, but God wants us to sing to him, to offer our prayer with heartfelt love.   Do not be afraid to sing, let God hear the expression of your faith in him.  


Let us pray that in these next few months God will bless our efforts to enter more fully in the joy of the Eucharist.   That each one of us takes on a renewed love for the Mass and experience the full blessings our faith has to offer us.  


Fr. Vásquez








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