About the Holy Mass (Part 2 – Liturgy of the Word)

continued from part 1 – Introductory Rites

“The Liturgy of the Word”. 

There are typically three readings from Holy Scripture, plus a responsorial Psalm.  The Lector will read the first reading which is from the OT.  When he is finished, he will say “The word of the Lord”, and everyone responds, “Thanks be to God“.

The responsorial Psalm is next.  The Psalmist or cantor will sing or say the Psalm, and the congregation will make their response.

The second reading is from the New Testament, and is conducted just as the first, with the people responding at the end “Thanks be to God

Now we sing “Alleluia“, as the priest or deacon prepares to proclaim the Gospel, which is our third reading.  If the Deacon is doing the reading, he will first bow before the priest, and ask for his blessing.  The Priest says in a low voice: “May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may proclaim His gospel worthily and well, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” and the Deacon will respond “amen”.

If there is not a Deacon, the Priest will bow before the altar and say a prayer:  “Cleanse my heart and my lips, Almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.  He then proceeds from the altar to the podium, and greets the congregation with “The Lord be with you”, and the people respond “and with your spirit”

The Deacon or Priest then says “A reading from the Holy Gospel according to ____” while making the sign of the cross over the book, his forehead, his lips and his heart; and the people respond with “Glory to you, Oh Lord” as we make the sign of the cross on our foreheads, then our lips, and finally over our hearts.  When I do this, I pray that God will print His word on my mind, that it would be on my lips, and that it will be impressed and stored in my heart.

The Deacon or Priest will then read the gospel message, ending with “The Gospel of the Lord”  And we all respond “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”  Then, he kisses the book, and says quietly “Through the words of the gospel, may our sins be wiped away”.  The Homily is next, and the Priest or Deacon will expound on the readings, and encourage the faithful in their faith.  when the homily is finished, we all profess our faith together by reciting the Creed:

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, through Him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven,

(bowing, we continue…) and by the Holy spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate  He suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life

who proceeds from the Father and the Son;

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified;

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

Lastly, there is another prayer, “the Universal Prayer”, where we offer up prayers for our world, our country, and one another.  After each petition, the people respond together with “Lord, hear our prayer“.

This concludes the Liturgy of the Word, and we move to the high point of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Part 3 – Liturgy of the Eucharist

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