Each week we come to participate in the "source and summit of the Christian life" (cc1325). We are then called to 'go forth and make disciples'. To help us become more familiar with the structure of the Mass, over the next few bulletins we will look to the specific parts of the Mass and their Biblical references. But first let's have a brief overview of the Liturgy itself.READ MORE
Treasured ancient rites, familiar rituals. Wouldn't you like to know where it all comes from?
The Mass has been at the very center of Christian worship since the time of the apostles. To examine its history and development, we look to the New Testament and the account of the Last Supper. It is because Our Lord told us to do what he had done, in memory of him, that our Liturgy exists. A definite pattern, or format, of the Eucharistic celebration developed within decades of the death of our Lord. The earliest and most detailed account of the Eucharist is found in St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, which predates the Gospels – written in Ephesus between 52-55 A.D. By the time of St. Gregory (d. 604), we have the text of the Mass, its order and arrangement – aren't we so privileged to partake in this most sacred tradition? Minimal changes, moving certain elements to different places, took place with each century, but by 1570 and the Council of Trent, we have the finalized edition of the RomanMass.
In weeks to come, we will walk through the main parts of the Mass, and ponder them in light of their Scriptural background. With this understanding, the more we will come to appreciate the splendor of the rich treasure of the Liturgy. We will be better prepared to give ourselves to Jesus in every prayer and gesture; and the more we will be prepared to encounter Jesus.
In pondering the title of this column – LIVING LITURGY – it led me to reflect on:
The Liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time, it is the font from which all her power flows. The Celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy is the formal structure for us to worship, give praise and thanks, ask forgiveness, pledge fidelity and render service. Aaah – render service - this is where the remaining 167 hours comes in to play!READ MORE
These are the highest, holiest days celebrated each year by the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. It is called the "Easter Triduum" or Paschal Triduum". We celebrate the great Paschal mystery of Christ's crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
Holy Thursday the Church recalls the Last Supper when Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist. The Lord commands the apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, to perpetuate this offering. So not only are we commemorating the gift of Christ's body and blood, we thank God for the priesthood. After the homily, we witness a representation of Christ's service and charity, as twelve parishioners' feet are washed. Our Lord came "not to be served, but to serve." (Mt. 20-28) After Communion, we experience the beautiful tradition of a Eucharistic Procession to an Altar of Repose where we can spend time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 11:00 p.m…. "won't you come and spend an hour with me"?READ MORE