Through a series of informational articles, we will try to explain terms, prayers, and actions that happen at Mass and why they happen. You will learn about the prayers the priest prays silently during Mass, as well as the people’s parts. References to GIRM in italics refer to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the book from which rites related to the Mass are codified. We hope this information will help to make your participation in Mass more meaningful and understandable.
The Mass has four parts total, 2 major parts (Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist) and 2 minor parts (Introductory Rites and Concluding Rite).
- Opening hymn (Entrance Chant)
- Greeting - Sign of the Cross
- Penitential Rite/Sprinkling Rite
- Gloria (Sundays and Holy Days)
- Collect - Opening Prayer
Liturgy of the Word – Listen to God’s Word
- Old Testament reading
- New Testament reading (Sundays and Holy Days)
Liturgy of the Eucharist – Receive God’s Body & Blood
- Preparation of Gifts
- Lord’s Prayer
- Prayer After Communion
Concluding Rite – Go forth to act and be like Jesus
The Mass is a ritual, which means that through the repetition of prayers, movements, and the changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, we are spiritually formed, inspired, and consoled. The Mass allows each person to bring his or her own desires and wants and incorporate them into the liturgy. During Mass, you are called to offer yourself and all that you may be feeling to God in Jesus Christ. We gather to listen to God’s Word and hear it applied to our lives. Then we receive Jesus in the Eucharist and go out to share His love and act like Him. The more we go to Mass and hear God’s Word and receive His Body and Blood, the more we can act like Jesus.