The Mass can be roughly divided into four sections which can be summed up in one word each:
- Come – We come together in Mass as one Body, gathering before our Lord
2. Listen – Listening to the Bible readings, the Word of our Lord and Homily
- Do – Praying and participating in the Eucharist, becoming One with Him
- Go – The send off where we bring this message to all the world
Entrance Procession: Priest, deacon, altar servers and lectors enter the church or designated place for celebration of the liturgy.
Entrance Hymn/Song or Gathering Hymn: The song/music/entrance antiphon which takes place during the entrance
Veneration of the Altar: The reverencing of the altar with a kiss by the bishop or priest who
presides at the service followed by the other bishops, priests and deacons, and the optional use of incense.
Greeting: The celebrant greets all present at the liturgy, announcing the presence of the Lord to the assembled community.
Penitential Rite: A general admission of sinfulness by the entire assembly, accompanied by
requests for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Gloria: Ancient hymn of praise to glorify God. It is used on all Sundays (outside of Advent and Lent) and solemn celebrations. The text originates from the Christmas narrative in the Gospel of Luke. (Luke 2:14).
Opening Prayer: This prayer by the celebrant expresses the general theme of the celebration.
Liturgy of the Word: The Liturgy of the Word consists of Scripture readings that are proclaimed and reflected upon. Usually, there are three readings: an Old Testament selection, a New Testament selection (from the books other than the Gospels), and the Gospel reading. A Responsorial psalm occurs between the Old and New Testament readings.
Responsorial Psalm: Between the first and second readings, a psalm is spoken or sung by the entire assembly. The response is repeated after each verse. If sung, a cantor or choir sings the verses of the psalm.
Alleluia Acclamation: This acclamation of praise to God follows the second reading and prepares the assembly for the Gospel.
Homily: The homily (sermon) is a reflection by the celebrant or other minister on the Scripture readings and the application of the texts in the daily lives of the assembled community.
Profession of Faith: The assembly together recalls and proclaims the fundamental teachings of the Roman Catholic faith. The Profession of Faith, also referred to as the Creed, is used on all Sundays and Holy Days. The Profession of Faith may be either the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed.
General Intercessions: Prayers of intercession for the Church, civil authorities, those with various needs and for the needs and salvation of the world. The celebrant invites all to pray, another minister proclaims the prayers of petition and the assembly responds by asking God to hear and to grant their requests.
Liturgy of the Eucharist: The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the section of the celebration when the gifts of bread and wine are prepared and the Eucharistic Prayer is proclaimed by the celebrant, and the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharist, Communion) is distributed to the assembly.
Preparation of the Gifts: The bread and wine to be used in the celebration are brought to the celebrant, usually by representatives of the faithful.
Offertory Hymn/Song: Music used during the presentation of gifts to the celebrant and as the altar is prepared for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Washing of Hands: This is an expression of the desire for inward purification. The celebrant washes his hands in symbolic cleansing to prepare himself just as the gifts have been prepared as an offering to the Lord.
Prayer Over the Gifts: The prayer by the celebrant asking that the gifts to be offered be made holy and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord.
Preface Dialogue: The introductory dialogue between the celebrant and assembly in which all are invited to join in prayer and thanksgiving to God called the Sanctus or Holy, Holy, Holy. The community responds to the preface and continues the general theme of praise and thanks.
Eucharistic Prayer: The prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. It is the centre and high point of the celebration. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the Church believes that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Included in the Eucharistic Prayer are the:
Consecration: The prayer and blessing during which the bread and wine become the Body andBlood of Jesus Christ, Memorial Acclamation: The Priest declares the mystery of faith and the congregation responds.
Intercessions: A series of prayers for the Church, the world, the Pope, the clergy and the laity, and the dead.
Final Doxology: A final prayer of praise of God.
Amen: Also called the Great Amen. It is the acclamation by the people expressing their agreement with all that has been said and done in the Eucharistic prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father): The prayer of petition for our needs and forgiveness of our sins.
Doxology: The response of the people acclaiming the sovereignty of God.
Sign of Peace: Before sharing the Body of Christ the members of the assembly are invited to express their love and peace with one another, usually through shaking hands or a kiss. Now with a slight bow.
Breaking of the Bread: The celebrant carries out the gestures of Christ at the Last Supper when he broke the bread to give to his disciples. The action signifies that in communion the many are made one in the one Bread of Life which is Christ,
Lamb of God (Agnus Dei):An invocation during the breaking of the bread in which the assembly petitions God for mercy and peace.
Holy Communion: After saying a preparatory prayer, the celebrant (or other designated ministers) gives communion (the consecrated bread and wine which has been changed to the Body and Blood of Jesus) to himself and the other ministers at the altar, and then communion is distributed to the congregation.
Communion Song: The music that is sung as the consecrated bread and wine – the Body and Blood of Christ – is distributed to the faithful.
Prayer After Communion: The final prayer by the celebrant in which he petitions that the
Sacrament be beneficial for all.
Concluding Rite: The brief rite which consists of the celebrant’s greeting to all present, final
blessing and dismissal; followed by a concluding song and the concluding procession.