Chapter 12 – A Walk through the Mass Love Unveiled


Mary –

Until reading this chapter, I wasn’t certain what was meant when a priest or deacon referred to ‘praying’ the Mass.  Praying the Mass?  How do we do that?  Of course, I can understand that there are various prayers within the Mass that we recite or listen to, but to pray THE MASS?  I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, at least not completely.  And I certainly, when prompted to think about it, have felt that I wasn’t very good at ‘doing’ it.  But the author here, without really saying it in so many words, walks us through the parts of the Mass, beginning to end, not only explaining each part, but – here’s the crux of the matter – pointing out exactly where our heads and hearts should be through each step if we just remove the distractions that we usually allow to interfere with this precious time and instead integrate all our thoughts, mannerisms, and postures into this beautiful sacrament as it unfolds.  Pray the Mass. I get it now.  Don’t just be present, but dive in.  Immerse yourself.  Each moment has its own beauty, meaning, and opportunity.  Don’t let those moments slip by.

Deacon Ralph –

Two thoughts hit me as I was reading this chapter. First, I can appreciate the opening comments about Stefano, Sri’s cousin, who was watching his first football game and comparing that experience to someone attending Mass for the first few times. Often those in our RCIA program have questions about the Mass. What we take for granted, can seem like a complex ritual of prayer, readings, sitting, standing, kneeling and singing. Truthfully, even experienced Mass goers, while they may know the format and flow of Mass, likely do not know the depths of the richness of the Liturgy. It becomes rote, a repeated action that loses the fullness of meaning. This chapter, in a scratching the surface kind of way, helps to remind us of what it is we do each week. Perhaps if folks had a greater grasp on the Mass they would take to heart the promptings of Vatican II that call for a “full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations.” Perhaps they’d be inclined to sing and prayer a little more and come more often.

The second thought from this chapter deals with the Offertory Gifts. I am usually busy preparing the Altar as the gifts of bread and wine are brought forth and the collection is taken up. What seems to be ordinary and functional, takes on greater meaning as Sri states that “these small gifts symbolize the giving of our entire lives to God.” Wow! Giving our entire lives to God, not 10 percent, 50 percent, 90 percent or even 99.99 percent, but 100 percent. Don’t we tend to hold back from that total giving? Saint Paul says we need to die to ourselves so that Christ can live more fully in us. In the Mass, Christ gives himself freely and totally for our salvation. Is our response a total giving of our entire selves to Christ?

 

Share your thoughts!