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The Catholic Mass

 

Mass

The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.

The Mass incorporates the Bible (Sacred Scripture), prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. Through time and space, we connect with the original Last Supper.

The Church teaches that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. This is misunderstood by many who claim that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ. It is not. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, (2000 years ago) as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded.

Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church. Study Church history and see how the early Christians celebrated Mass, and you will see it is the same as how Catholics celebrate it today.

Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it, and it is His gift to us. Mass should be the highlight of our week. We should look forward to going, and when we don’t, it’s a reminder that we need to work harder to more fully understand the reality of what happens at Mass. If you are a Catholic, you are supposed to go to Mass every week, and on Holy Days of Obligation. If you don’t understand the Mass, or are bored, and are looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding.
(Check out Scott Hahn’s book titled “The Lamb’s Supper” – simply beautiful!)

We don’t go to Mass to be entertained, or demand that the priest’s homily be exciting, or if it isn’t we aren’t going back. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Pray for them all and go to Mass regardless..If you’re looking for great entertainment every week, your priorities are all wrong. Go whether you feel like going or not. Love is much more than feelings. (You feed your children every day out of love for them, whether you feel like making it or not.) Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul.

It’s human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but we have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer – the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist.

Learn your faith. Ask questions, study, read the Bible, and learn what it means to be a Catholic Christian. So many Catholics stopped learning about their faith after their Confirmation. They left and joined mega churches which drew teens in, who then brought their parents in because of the exciting bands, great coffee, rock-star personalities, and a pulpit center stage rather than an altar. They have thrown out the sacred and holy – you won’t even find a cross in many of them – but you will have fun and be entertained. Many have replaced the sacred and the holy with elaborate light shows, re-branding of Christianity and enticing marketing campaigns. When you don’t understand your faith, or the Mass, it’s easy to leave it for someplace else that is exciting and sprinkles in just enough truth to make it sound believeable.

Some of the most passionate Catholics today are those who converted to Catholicism as an adult, and understand the meaning of the Mass and the Eucharist. So many of us were not taught our faith when we were young, but are now re-discovering the truth and beauty of it as adults. Learn your faith and learn why we do what we do. Don’t be tempted to leave the church founded by Jesus Christ for better entertainment, and if you have, please come back.

At Mass we get down on our knees to humble ourselves before our King. It’s not about “us” remember. We go for Him. We understand the importance of the sacred and the holy, and how truth and beauty draw us closer to God, so that we can bring His love to others. We need God, though so many in our world today tell you not to worry about what God thinks of you, but only how you treat and love each other. Of course Jesus wants us to love one another – we love and serve the lonely, the poor, the disabled, those in prison, the immigrants, men, women and children around the world, but we also love and care what our loving God thinks of us, and we worship Him as Jesus instructed us to do 2000 years ago.

When we receive the Eucharist, we truly, physically receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, of God Himself – at every Mass. If you’re looking for a personal relationships with Jesus Christ, you can’t get any more personal than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist with or without a dynamic homily.

Notice how it is the altar that is front and center at a Mass, not the pulpit or a personality. Notice how when the priest and deacon enter and leave Mass, they bow down and kiss the altar. They aren’t kissing a pulpit.

The Mass is a sacrifice. We go to Mass to worship God, hear His holy word in the Liturgy of the Word, and receive Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. That alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and thank God for this wonderful gift.

Read, study, seek more understanding, and most of all, pray that you will come to a better appreciation and love for this most beautiful gift that Jesus Christ instituted at the Last supper 2000 years ago. God loves you. Please go.

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!

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The Catholic Mass

Mass

The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.

The Mass incorporates the Bible (Sacred Scripture), prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. Through time and space, we connect with the original Last Supper.

The Church teaches that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. This is misunderstood by many who claim that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ. It is not. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded.

Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church. Study Church history and see how the early Christians celebrated Mass, and you will see it is the same as how Catholics celebrate it today.

Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it, and it is His gift to us. Mass should be the highlight of our week. We should look forward to going, and when we don’t, it’s a reminder that we need to work harder to more fully understand the reality of what happens at Mass. If you are a Catholic, you are supposed to go to Mass every week, and on Holy Days of Obligation. If you don’t understand the Mass, or are bored, and are looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding. We don’t go to Mass to be entertained, or demand that the priest’s homily be exciting, or if it isn’t we aren’t going back. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Pray for them all and listen to God’s word and participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass regardless.

It’s human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but we have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer – the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. Go whether you feel like going or not. Love is much more than feelings. Love is a sacrifice and putting others before yourself. Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul.

Learn your faith. Ask questions, study, read the Bible, and learn what it means to be a Catholic Christian. So many Catholics stopped learning about their faith after their 8th grade Confirmation. They left and joined mega churches which drew teens in, who then brought their parents in because of the exciting bands, great coffee, rock-star personalities, and a pulpit center stage rather than an altar. They have thrown out the sacred and holy – you won’t even find a cross in many of them – but you will have fun and be entertained. Many have replaced the sacred and the holy with elaborate light shows, re-branding of Christianity and enticing marketing campaigns. When you don’t understand your faith, or the Mass, it’s easy to leave it for someplace else that is exciting and sprinkles in just enough truth to make it sound believeable.

Some of the most passionate Catholics today are those who converted to Catholicism as an adult, and understand the meaning of the Mass and the Eucharist. So many of us were not taught our faith when we were young, but are now re-discovering the truth and beauty of it as adults. Learn your faith and learn why we do what we do. Don’t be tempted to leave the church founded by Jesus Christ for better entertainment, and if you have, please come back.

We go to Mass to worship God. We get down on our knees at Mass to humble ourselves before our King. It’s not about “us” remember. We go for Him. We understand the importance of the sacred and the holy, and how truth and beauty draw us closer to God, so that we can bring His love to others. We need God, though so many in our world today tell you not to worry about what God thinks of you, but only how you treat and love each other. Of course Jesus wants us to love one another – we love and serve the lonely, the poor, the disabled, those in prison, the immigrants, men, women and children around the world, but we also love and care what our loving God thinks of us, and we worship Him as Jesus instructed us to do 2000 years ago.

When we receive the Eucharist, we truly, physically receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, of God Himself – at every Mass. If you’re looking for a personal relationships with Jesus Christ, you can’t get any more personal than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist with or without a dynamic homily. Notice how it is the altar that is front and center at a Mass, not the pulpit or a personality. The Mass is a sacrifice. We go to Mass to worship God, hear His holy word in the Liturgy of the Word, and receive Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. That alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and thank God for this wonderful gift.

Read, study, seek more understanding, and most of all, pray that you will come to a better appreciation and love for this most beautiful gift that Jesus Christ instituted at the Last supper 2000 years ago. God loves you. Please go.

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!

3

The Beauty of the Catholic Mass

incense use

I remember when I first started re-discovering my love for the Catholic faith, I attended Mass at a beautiful church (Saint Brigid in Johns Creek, GA) that had the tabernacle and crucifix displayed prominently up front. The church I had been attending did not have this, so when I walked into this church, it moved me profoundly and brought me to tears.

I love the tabernacle not stuck in a corner. I love that Catholic churches have the altar front and center, and not a pulpit. I love to watch the priests and deacon kiss the altar when they enter and leave Mass. I love the bells, the candles, the incense, the statues of Mary, Joseph and the saints, the oils, the vestments, the stained glass windows . . . all of it. I love that during the consecration (in many churches) you hear these beautiful bells ringing, which call your attention to the miracle that is taking place upon the altar. These bells help to connect us in a deep and mysterious way to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

I love the crucifix. You will come across some people who express distaste at the thought of depicting Jesus at His most vulnerable. Guess what? This should make you uncomfortable. Jesus does not want us to look at His Crucifixion as only a past event. Every lash that he took, every blow that drove the nail into his hands was caused by you and me. OUR sins (present, past and future) hung Jesus on that cross. The crucifix is the ultimate expression of the lengths that a loving God will go to reach us. Gazing at a crucifix is a humbling experience.

When we see incense being used in our churches, it is meant to remind us of heaven, and that our worship of God in the Christian liturgy is divine in origin. It also reminds us to pray, and that our prayer rises to God like the smoke from the censer, purifying our worship of God, and allowing his Holy Spirit to work in us to make us holy.

These little traditions and sacramentals all mean something, and make the Mass all the more meaningful and beautiful. They help us with all of our human failings and distractions to understand what is really going on at Mass, and to focus on Christ. Are they necessary for the validity of the sacrament? No. But can they help one to truly appreciate and recognize the beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and come to a deeper understanding of why we are there? Yes.

In an era where a tragically large number of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, or even attend Mass every Sunday, these sacramentals can help one focus on the miracle that takes place upon the altar. I love all of our beautiful traditions which are a very powerful devotional aid during Mass, and a rich sacramental tradition of the Church.

3

The Catholic Mass

Mass

The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.

The Mass incorporates the Bible (Sacred Scripture), prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. Through time and space, we connect with the original Last Supper.

The Church teaches that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. This is misunderstood by many who claim that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ. It is not. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded.

Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church. Study Church history and see how the early Christians celebrated Mass, and you will see it is the same as how Catholics celebrate it today.

Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it, and it is His gift to us. Mass should be the highlight of our week. We should look forward to going, and when we don’t, it’s a reminder that we need to work harder to more fully understand the reality of what happens at Mass. If you are a Catholic, you are supposed to go to Mass every week, and on Holy Days of Obligation. If you don’t understand the Mass, or are bored, and are looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding. We don’t go to Mass to be entertained, or demand that the priest’s homily be exciting, or if it isn’t we aren’t going back. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Pray for them all and listen to God’s word and participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass regardless.

It’s human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but we have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer – the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. Go whether you feel like going or not. Love is much more than feelings. Love is a sacrifice and putting others before yourself. Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul.

Learn your faith. Ask questions, study, read the Bible, and learn what it means to be a Catholic Christian. So many Catholics stopped learning about their faith after their 8th grade Confirmation. They left and joined mega churches which drew teens in, who then brought their parents in because of the exciting bands, great coffee, rock-star personalities, and a pulpit center stage rather than an altar. They have thrown out the sacred and holy – you won’t even find a cross in many of them – but you will have fun and be entertained. Many have replaced the sacred and the holy with elaborate light shows, re-branding of Christianity and enticing marketing campaigns. When you don’t understand your faith, or the Mass, it’s easy to leave it for someplace else that is exciting and sprinkles in just enough truth to make it sound believeable.

Some of the most passionate Catholics today are those who converted to Catholicism as an adult, and understand the meaning of the Mass and the Eucharist. So many of us were not taught our faith when we were young, but are now re-discovering the truth and beauty of it as adults.(Guilty as charged.) Learn your faith and learn why we do what we do. Don’t be tempted to leave the church founded by Jesus Christ for better entertainment, and if you have, please come back.

We go to Mass to worship God. We get down on our knees at Mass to humble ourselves before our King. It’s not about “us” remember. We go for Him. We understand the importance of the sacred and the holy, and how truth and beauty draw us closer to God, so that we can bring His love to others. We need God, though so many in our world today tell you not to worry about what God thinks of you, but only how you treat and love each other. Of course Jesus wants us to love one another – we love and serve the lonely, the poor, the disabled, those in prison, the immigrants, men, women and children around the world, but we also love and care what our loving God thinks of us, and we worship Him as Jesus instructed us to do 2000 years ago.

When we receive the Eucharist, we truly, physically receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, of God Himself – at every Mass. If you’re looking for a personal relationships with Jesus Christ, you can’t get any more personal than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist with or without a dynamic homily. Notice how it is the altar that is front and center at a Mass, not the pulpit or a personality. The Mass is a sacrifice. We go to Mass to worship God, hear His holy word in the Liturgy of the Word, and receive Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. That alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and thank God for this wonderful gift.

Read, study, seek more understanding, and most of all, pray that you will come to a better appreciation and love for this most beautiful gift that Jesus Christ instituted at the Last supper 2000 years ago. God loves you. Please go.

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!

1

The Bells & Whistles!

Mass 2

I remember when I first started re-discovering my love for the Catholic faith, I attended Mass at a beautiful church (Saint Brigid in Johns Creek, GA) that had the tabernacle and crucifix displayed prominently up front. The church I had been attending did not have this, so when I walked into this church, it moved me profoundly. During the consecration I heard these beautiful bells ringing, which called to my attention the miracle that was taking place upon the altar and helped to connect me in a deep and mysterious way to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

I love the crucifix. I love the tabernacle not stuck in a corner, I love that Catholic Churches have the altar front and center. I love to watch the priests and deacon kiss the altar when they enter and leave Mass. I love the bells, the candles, the incense, the statues, the oils, the vestments, the stained glass windows . . . all of it. These little traditions and sacramentals all mean something, and make the Mass all the more meaningful and beautiful. They all help me in all my human failings and distractions to focus on what is really going on at Mass. Are they necessary for the validity of the sacrament? No. But can they help one to truly appreciate and recognize the beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Yes!

When we see incense being used in our churches, it is meant to remind us of heaven, and that our worship of God in the Christian liturgy is divine in origin. It also reminds us to pray, and that our prayer rises to God like the smoke from the censer, purifying our worship of God, and allowing his Holy Spirit to work in us to make us holy.

In an era where a tragically large number of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the ringing of Sanctus bells can help one focus on the miracle that takes place upon the altar. For me,at least, I love the bells and all of our beautiful traditions, which are a very powerful devotional aid during Mass, and a rich sacramental tradition of the Church

2

The Catholic Mass

Mass

The Mass is the most important and sacred act of worship in the Catholic Church.

The Mass incorporates the Bible (Sacred Scripture), prayer, sacrifice, hymns, symbols, gestures, sacred food for the soul, and directions on how to live a Catholic life — all in one ceremony. Through time and space, we connect with the original Last Supper.

The Church teaches that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. This is misunderstood by many who claim that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ. It is not.

Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded.

Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church.

If you are Catholic, you are obliged to go to Mass every Sunday – not just on Sundays when you wake up early enough, it’s convenient, or when you feel like it. You love and feed your family whether you feel like or not right? You need to feed yourself and your family spiritually whether you feel like going or not too. (Legitimate reasons to miss Mass would be along the lines of illness, needing to care for the ill, and lack of an available Mass within a reasonable distance.)

A lot of Catholics don’t attend Mass as they should, perhaps because we do not realize it is a requirement and a mortal sin to miss it, or possibly because we take for granted what is really happening at the Mass, and it is not a priority in our lives. But if you really understood and knew what was happening, you wouldn’t just go on Sundays, you would want to go every day. Think about the hours you spend on Sundays watching sports, sleeping in, or going to the gym to get physically fit. What if you went to the gym just one hour per week? How physically fit would you be with just one hour? God asks for only one hour per week at Mass. (Please give him many more hours of this throughout the week in prayer, reading the Bible and other Catholic books, or at daily Mass.) Mass will help bring us closer to Him, bring grace in our souls and is a beautiful way to start your week.

It’s human and natural to forget, want to sleep in, take it for granted, or become numb to it, but we have to continually work to overcome that trap. The devil is real and loves it when you stay home. At Mass we are being offered the greatest gift God has to offer – the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. Go whether you feel like going or not. Love God always, even when you don’t feel like loving Him. He never abandons you so please do not abandon Him. Love is much more than feelings. Love is a sacrifice and putting others before yourself. Going to Mass is good for your eternal soul.

Attending Mass is not just an obligation, it’s a privilege. God knows we need it, and it is His gift to us. Mass should be the highlight of our week. We should look forward to it and want to go. And when we don’t, it’s a reminder that we need to work harder to more fully understand the reality of what happens at Mass.

Staying home thinking missing Mass doesn’t matter, or that watching it on tv, or being a good person is enough – is wrong. If you are a Catholic, you are supposed to go to Mass every week, and on Holy Days of Obligation. If you don’t understand the Mass, or are bored, and are looking for better “entertainment” – then pray for understanding. We don’t go to Mass to be entertained, or demand that the priest’s homily be exciting, or if it isn’t we aren’t going back. Some priests are more gifted with amazing homilies. Some are not. Pray for them all and listen to God’s word and participate in the Mass regardless. Learn your faith. Ask questions, study, read the Bible, and learn what it means to be a Catholic Christian. We go to Mass to worship God. We get down on our knees at Mass to humble ourselves before our King. It’s not about “us” remember. We go for Him.

When we receive the Eucharist, we truly, physically receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, of God Himself – at every Mass. If you’re looking for a personal relationships with Jesus Christ, you can’t get any more personal than when you receive Him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith.

Christ is truly present in the Eucharist with or without a dynamic homily. Notice how it is the altar that is front and center at a Mass, not the pulpit. The Mass is a sacrifice. We go to Mass to worship God, hear His holy word in the Liturgy of the Word, and receive Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. An inspiring homily and beautiful music absolutely add to the beauty of the Mass, but even without these things, Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. That alone should make you want to never skip Mass, be there on time, not leave early without a good reason, and thank God for this wonderful gift.

Read, study, seek more understanding, and most of all, pray that you will come to a better appreciation and love for this most beautiful gift that Jesus Christ Himself (not man) gave to us nearly 2000 years ago. God loves you. Please go.

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!