Welcome to the MASSive Crush series! I happen to have a MASSive crush on the Mass itself. This series will be a tool to help explain and break the Mass down step-by-step to explain why we do what we do. (And what we are supposed to be doing during that part of the Mass!) It should hopefully be a good refresher for us all, and a renewal of our love for the Mass!
- PROCESSIONAL: Okay. First things first, Heaven is the realest. Let’s start at the beginning. Where the priest and the altar servers proceed down the aisle towards the sanctuary (the area where the altar is and the priest sits, usually raised up a few steps off the ground). This is the time where we see the priest inviting all of us to join him in going forward, towards the “holy of holies,” the place where the sacrifice will take place. Since the Mass is the reality of Heaven on Earth (I know, so cool), all of the angels and the saints in Heaven join us in the beginning as we come together to gather and worship God.
What we should be doing: Take this time to sing with the whole Church in praising God’s name as we come forward to the place where Christ is made present right before our eyes. Ask God to prepare you for His love and presence.
- GREETING: You’ll notice that the priest takes the time to greet you and welcome you. In the Church, we do not judge anyone, and everyone is always welcome. Sinner and saint, young and old, Catholic and not are all welcome to join us in the Mass. The priest invites everyone to gather in and join their hearts together for this incredible gift we have to experience God’s presence in such a deep way.
What we should be doing: Pray for all those around you who will celebrate this Mass with you! Thank God for the great gift of the Mass and the ability to worship Him and give Him thanks.
- PENITENTIAL ACT: This is where we usually say the Confeitor; “I confess to Almighty God…” or the Kyrie. This is a chance for us to come to God and allow ourselves to be humbled in front of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We all admit together, as one human race, that we are at fault and we are sinners. Collectively, we ask God for His forgiveness and mercy, and to wash us clean before we enter fully into the liturgy.
What we should be doing: Although our venial sins are removed at Mass, it is important that we prepare our souls before going to Mass by going to confession. Then, we can make sure any mortal sins or other sins are washed away from us, so that we can receive Jesus in the Eucharist. During this time, we should focus on truly asking God to feel sorrow for our sin, and give us the ability to reject and turn from sin in the future.
- GLORIA: My favorite Gloria by far is the one sung at the Easter Vigil. There are bells, trumpets, and rejoicing! We go all of Lent without singing the Gloria, did you notice? This is because although we are an Easter people as Catholics, we recognize that Lent is a time of testing and trial and temptation. We still praise God for His glory, but have to work a little harder, trusting and believing by faith and not by sight. During the Gloria we are praising God for all that He is and offering up our thanksgiving for His awesomeness (I mean that in the literal sense, we are in awe of God).
What we should be doing: Focus on all that God has done for you. What are the ways He has blessed you this week? For what are you most grateful in your life? Praise Him!
- COLLECT: This is the part of the Mass right before we get to sit down again (yessssss). The priest says the collect (CALL-ect) where he gathers all of our prayers and petitions, and whatever is on our heart, and asks God to prepare us for the Sacrifice of the Mass that will be coming soon.
What we should be doing: Allow yourself to truly enter in to the Mass and prepare for the coming of Christ on the altar and in your heart! Offer God your full attention and your heart as we move into the liturgy of the Word.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the MASSive Crush Series! (: