God, our loving Father, thank you for all the ways you bless me. Help me to be aware that every person, place, and adventure I experience is an opportunity to love you more. Fill me with a desire to change and to grow, and give me the grace to become the-best-version-of-myself in every moment of every day. Amen
2 Overview of the Mass
Each time you go to Mass there are many things that happen. Behind each prayer and each action is enormous meaning; everything in the Mass happens for a reason. In our spiritual journey as Catholics we are always uncovering new layers of meaning, so we never stop learning about the Mass.
The Mass is made up of four parts:
1. The Introductory Rites
2. The Liturgy of the Word
3. The Liturgy of the Eucharist
4. The Concluding Rites
There are two words for us to pay special attention to here: rite and liturgy.
3 What is a Rite? A rite is something that is said or done the same way every time for a reason. For example, the Sign of the Cross is a rite. We do it the same way every time. We say it the same way every time: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The order is for a reason. God the Father is the first person of the Blessed Trinity. God the Son is the second person of the Holy Trinity. And God the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity. If you went to Mass and the priest began by making the Sign of the Cross and saying, “In the name of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and of the Father. Amen,” you would know that something was wrong.
Our Catholic faith has many rites. Each rite has a reason.
4 What is Liturgy? Liturgy is a prayer we participate in as a community. During the Mass we experience two types of liturgy: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. During the Liturgy of the Word we listen to readings from the Bible and a homily from the priest or deacon, then we pray the Creed together and offer our petitions to God. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist we offer our lives and our gifts to God, prepare the altar, pray the Eucharistic Prayer, and receive Holy Communion. Liturgy is a beautiful way to spend time with God and our parish family.
5 Parts of the Mass
6 Where Do We Celebrate Mass?
We celebrate Mass at church. Our parish church is a very special place because it is God’s house. We gather at church with our family, friends, and all our parish family to worship God in the way that Jesus taught us to.
The Mass is a beautiful ritual made up of prayers, liturgies, and rites.
Now let's watch this video on church.
7 Get Close and Stay Close to the Eucharist
8 The Parts of the Mass
We come to church on Sunday to celebrate Mass. It’s a great way to thank God for all the blessings he has given us. During the Mass we remember Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection, and the most amazing thing happens, something that doesn’t happen anywhere else: the priest changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.
How can he do this? God gives priests special powers. At your First Reconciliation God forgave your sins through the priest. During Mass God transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus through the priest.
Another amazing thing that happens at church is that we get to receive Holy Communion. We get to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. This is an amazing blessing. When you go back to your pew after you receive Jesus in the Eucharist, kneel down, close your eyes, and pray. This is a very special moment because God is inside you.
Now let’s talk about the four parts of the Mass. Do you remember what they are?
1. The Introductory Rites
2. The Liturgy of the Word
3. The Liturgy of the Eucharist
4. The Concluding Rites
9 The Introductory Rite
Mass begins with this procession The priest, deacon, readers, and altar servers walk together in procession toward the altar. This procession is usually accompanied by music. Music helps us to raise our hearts to God in praise and thanksgiving. Have you ever noticed that music can make you very joyful? This is your heart and soul leaping for joy. Music is a powerful way to pray. Saint Augustine said, “Singing is like praying twice.”
Sign of the Cross Once the priest gets to the altar he begins with the Sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” The Sign of the Cross is a rite.
We Say Sorry God loves healthy relationships, and a very important part of healthy relationships is saying sorry when we do or say something that hurts the other person. Catholics say sorry. The reason is because our friendship with God and our friendships with each other cannot thrive if we don’t say sorry.
If you were playing on the playground with a friend yesterday and he pushed you over and didn’t say sorry, how would you feel? You might wonder if he was really your friend. But if he came up to you and the first thing he did was say, “I’m sorry I pushed you over yesterday. I won’t do it again. Please forgive me.” How would that make you feel? You would be reminded that he really does want to be your friend.
That’s why, after the Sign of the Cross, the first thing we do at Mass is say sorry to God. We want him to know that we are his friends and that we want to be really good friends to him. We say sorry to God and ask for forgiveness at the beginning of Mass with a really simple and beautiful prayer Priest: Lord Have Mercy We Respond: Lord Have Mercy
Priest: Christ Have Mercy We Respond: Christ Have Mercy
Priest: Lord Have Mercy We Respond: Lord Have Mercy
Glory to God Next we say or sing The Gloria. At different times in life we pray for different reasons. And at different times in the Mass we pray for different reasons. Sometimes we pray to ask God to help us. This is called a prayer of petition. Sometimes we pray to ask God to help other people. This is called a prayer of intercession. Sometimes we pray to thank God for all the ways he has blessed us. This is called a prayer of thanksgiving. And sometimes we pray to praise God for his goodness. This is called a prayer of praise.
The Gloria is a prayer of praise. Sometimes we sing it and sometimes we say it, but always for the same reason — to praise God!
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you. We give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; You take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; You are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, With the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen."
After the Gloria, the priest reads the opening prayer from the Roman Missal. Then the whole congregation responds with “Amen,” and we sit down to listen to the Word of God. Did you know that when we say, "Amen" this means, "I believe?"
10 The Liturgy of the Word
During the part of the Mass we call the Liturgy of the Word, we listen to the Word of God and reflect on how we can live our lives as God invites us to. The Liturgy of the Word includes readings from the Bible, the homily, the Creed, and the intercessory prayers.
At Mass on Sunday we listen to four readings from the Bible:
1. The First Reading from the Old Testament
2. The Responsorial Psalm
3. The Second Reading from the New Testament
4. The Gospel Reading from one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Each reading is specifically selected to connect with a theme that the Church wants us to reflect on that week. AND GUESS WHAT: Every Catholic parish reads the same readings each Sunday. So if you have a friend on the other side of the country, you can talk about the readings because they heard the same ones you heard at Mass.
Homily After the Gospel, the priest or deacon delivers the homily. During the homily, the priest or deacon explains the readings, shows us how they apply to our lives, and inspires us to live what we have just heard from God’s Word.
After the homily, we stand and proclaim the Creed together, and then we have the prayers of the faithful.
Everyone believes something. There are many things we believe as Catholics. We believe in God, we believe God loves us, we believe God has blessed us, and we believe in the power of prayer. But there are many other things we believe.
At Mass each Sunday we proclaim the Creed. The Creed is a summary of the core beliefs that make up our Catholic faith.
11 The Creed Summary of Our Core Beliefs
12 The Bible
The Bible is made up of two main sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.
One of the many ways God speaks to us is through the Bible. God has an amazing plan for your life, and one of the ways he reveals that amazing plan is through the readings we hear at Mass every Sunday.
If you were going on a long journey it would be a good idea to take a map with you. It would be even better to take a guide with you who has made the journey before. The Bible is like that map and the Church is like that guide to help you make your journey through this life into the next so that you can live with God in heaven forever. The Bible is like that map and the Church is like that guide to help you make your journey through this life into the next so that you can live with God in heaven forever.
Over and over throughout the Bible God speaks to people, guiding them, encouraging them, and warning them. He spoke to Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Noah and Jacob, Rebecca and Ruth, Mary and Paul. God spoke to each of them in different ways, but he spoke to them all. And now, God wants to speak to you.
Jesus is the central figure in the Bible. In the Old Testament we read over and over again about how the people were waiting for Jesus, the Messiah, to come. The New Testament is about Jesus and his teachings and about the life of the early Church and how the first Christians tried to live the Gospel message.
I have had some wonderful teachers in my life, and I am sure you have too. Jesus is the greatest teacher who ever lived. His favorite way to teach was to tell stories. He told stories that ordinary people could understand.
13 Closing Prayer
Throughout your life, you will come across many teachers. But none of them will ever love you more or possess greater wisdom than Jesus. Turn to Jesus at all times. Ask Him to lead you and guide you. Ask Jesus to help you to know what He wants you to do. Take time each day to do this through your prayers. Take time to listen to Jesus by sitting quitely for a few minutes each day, read a few lines from the Bible, and listen carefully to people who you know you can trust.
Let Us Pray
Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will.
ASSESSMENT SESSION FIVE
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