Attending Mass each Sunday continually reminds us of the life Jesus calls us to live. There is strength in coming together as a community of believers—each of us bringing our own joys and struggles, successes and failures, decisions to be made, and sometimes even our complacency. We bring our very lives to place at the foot of the altar. We realize we have much more to learn and understand about the great love that Jesus calls us to model in our daily lives. We are reminded of the total giving of self that Jesus offered when he died for us—the sacrifice that is involved in loving deeply. Life is not easy. We come to Mass seeking answers, comfort, guidance, encouragement, strength. Like the apostles, we often forget. We don’t understand. We get off track. We need to be there.
When we come to Mass, we never know how God will touch us. It may be through the scriptures, the prayers, the homily, a verse of a song, a connection with someone during the sign of peace, deep conversation with Jesus in Eucharist, or even through the words of someone we speak with before or after Mass. We may be touched with thoughts from the Holy Spirit that come in the silence. Sometimes we are more open and aware of God’s touch than at other times. That’s why it is so important for us to be committed to joining the community for the celebration of Mass on a regular basis.
A wonderful book to read is Living the Mass: How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life, by Dominic Grassi and Joe Paprocki. The authors go through each part of the Mass, detailing what is happening and the rich significance it has to our daily lives. It is very down to earth and easy to read.
To learn more about the different elements of the Mass and their significance click here, which will take you to the U.S. Conference of Bishops webpage on that topic.
Information about the New Roman Missal, which will change some of the prayers and responses said at Mass, can be found on the Office for Divine Worship website.