November 1st

Immediately following the opening prayer, or collect, the congregation is seated in order to listen to the Word of God.  This part of the Mass is known as the “Liturgy of the Word”.

On Sundays, there are always three readings from Scripture and a Responsorial Psalm.  The first reading is usually taken from the Old Testament.  The Easter Season is the exception to that rule.  During the Easter Season, the first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.  In the book of Acts, we hear about what the Christian community did during the days following the Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord, and so it makes sense that we hear these accounts read during the time immediately following Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection.

Following the first reading, we have a Responsorial Psalm.  The Psalms are prayers that were written with the intention that they would be sung.  Singing the Psalms is a major part of Jewish worship, and we continue to use them.  The Psalms are prayers that were inspired by God.  When we pray the Psalms, we worship God with the very words that He gave to us.  We also know that Jesus prayed the Psalms, and so we also follow the example of Our Lord when we pray them.

The second reading is always taken from one of the Epistles (Letters) of one of the Apostles.  The Epistles are letters that are usually addressed to one of the early Christian communities, although some of them are addressed to a particular person.  (e.g. the Letter to Timothy)  These letters tend to offer practical advice.  The letters often address a particular issue going on within the community to which it is written, but we know that the Holy Spirit inspired the letter, and therefore we can still gain insight and greatly profit from following the instructions found in them.

The proclamation of the Gospel is the high point of the liturgy of the Word.  We give special respect and honor to the Gospel because the Gospels record the life, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

God bless,

Father White

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