The Mass

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The Mass
by Cardinal Donald Wuerl & Mike Aquilina
(Image, 2013)

The book explains the importance and meaning of each part of the Mass, how the parts relate to each other and their Biblical and traditional background. The writers also give an overview of the context of the Mass, for example, the vestments and vessels used, and end the book with “ten ways to get more out of the Mass”. Why is it important that we understand the Mass well? As the writers put it:
“The Mass is what we do; and it’s what we should always be doing, not because we go often, but because the Mass, in a very real sense – and through a very real presence – defines our life.”

Written for Spotlight (July 2014)


Here are excerpts of their ten practical tips for getting more out of the Mass.

[quoted verbatim]
Ten Ways to Get More out of the Mass

  1. Rehearse the readings
    The familiarity will open your heart and mind to see a theme emerging from the Old Testament to the New—and to see clear applications for your own life.
  1. Dress up to the occasion
    God doesn’t need our reverence at all—but Lord knows we need it… Our clothes express our attitude, but they also affect our attitude.
  1. Arrive early
    This gives us time to collect all our thoughts, referring them to Our Lord as they arise.
  1. Take up your part
    The words of the Mass help to form us into the persons God wants us to be.
  1. Open your heart
    We can also approach the altar and offer a heart filled with love. After all, we are participating in the great manifestation of God’s love for us.
    IMG_9551
  1. Invest your intentions
    When you do this, you place a personal stake in the Mass.
  1. Take one thought home
    While you’re listening to the readings, try to discern a “word” that God intends especially for you.
  1. Say thanks
    … thank God for the gift of the Mass. There is no greater gift. You have received a foretaste of heaven.
  1. Make a good confession
    … good dispositions do make a difference in our understanding, our emotional engagement, and the quality of our prayer.
  1. Forgive someone
    Jesus said: “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

♫ Makes me want to listen to Supper of the Lord

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