Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Mass: A Heavenly Experience

For one hour a week, every Christian and specifically every Catholic is invited to experience the closest approximation of Heaven that earth can provide. It’s known as the Holy Mass. Allow me to remove the veil that surrounds the Mass and show you exactly what I mean.

Before Mass

As we wait for the entrance of our Heavenly King, we gather together in silent, expectant meditation. We greet old friends and new, and join together with our family scattered by the hectic pace of the world.

Processional

The King’s presence is announced to all and we, along with all the angels and saints, begin singing in joyful exuberance.

Repentance

Although we will not have the need for this step when we are actually in Heaven, this small act of repenting of our sins prepares our heart to participate in the joyful event we are about to experience.

Gloria

We all sing Glory to God for His mercy and goodness, being grateful for His forgiveness for our sins. You can believe that this song will be on the lips of every person entering the gates of Heaven.

Blessing

Our Father imparts His blessings on all of us gathered in His name.

The First Reading

Taken from the Old Testament or the Acts of the Apostles, we are reminded of God’s work on our behalf in past History despite of the flawed responses of humanity to His love.

The Responsorial Psalm

The Psalm is our song of rejoicing over whatever events transpired in the first reading.

The Second Reading

Taken from the New Testament readings, we reflect on the graces given us through the New Covenant and the call to Holiness extended to all believers because of God’s love for us.

Alleluia

As the priest, in the person of Christ, prepares to read to us from the Gospels, we rise to sing our acknowledgement the kingship of Christ.

The Gospel Reading

Here we listen to the words spoken by Christ while He walked among us and are once again reminded of how great His love is for us.

The Homily

The meaning of the Gospel passage is revealed and we are encouraged to live out the love of Christ Jesus in the world around us.

The Recitation of the Creed

In unison, we affirm our belief in the teachings of Christ and His church, our intentions to be obedient, and our faith in the working of the Holy Spirit.

Prayers of the Faithful

All those who have needs present them, and the community unites in prayer for those needs.

Presentation of the Gifts

Now we, in joyful gratitude for all that God has done for us, present ourselves and our offerings to God. We sing His praise during this time, for it is because of His love that we have gifts to present.

Holy, Holy

As we prepare to enter the wedding feast of the Lamb, we sing of Christ’s Holiness

Our Father

Joining together in one accord, we recite the Our Father and wish one another peace

Lamb of God

Together, we acknowledge Christ as the savior and the Lamb of God who takes away our sins

The Consecration

Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is made present once again. It is not that this event happens a second time, it is that we are transported mystically to Calvary to witness the sacrificial death of Christ for our sakes and that of our salvation.

The Eucharist

We sing in joy as we go up to partake in the wedding feast of the Lamb, celebrating Christ’s union with His bride. Each of us receives a portion of the Lamb of Salvation, which unifies us in One Body

Final Blessing

Filled with good things from the feast, we are given a blessing before we are sent out to carry Christ’s love into the world. Our heavenly experience is ended, but we are reminded that this brief foretaste of heaven is not for us to keep to ourselves but should be taken to the whole world.

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