March 7th

After the priest finishes his own preparation prayers, and the congregation has finished singing the Lamb of God, the priest holds the consecrated Host aloft and says: “This is the Lamb of God . . .”  We all respond to this proclamation with the prayer “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

This prayer that we all recite together is a reminder that none of us is worthy, on our own, to receive our Lord: God’s grace and mercy are always a freely given gift.  We can not earn them, we can only receive them.

Reception of Holy Communion is the high point of the Mass.  After we receive Our Lord, we should spend time with Him thanking Him and telling Him all the other things on our hearts.  It is also good to just sit still and be aware of His Presence within us after we have received Him in Holy Communion.  We should avail ourselves of the time that it takes for everyone else to go to Communion as well as the time it takes the priest to purify the vessels.  That is time that we can spend with our God, Whom we have just been intimately united with in Communion.

The Concluding Prayer usually asks that the grace that we have received will strengthen us and keep us faithful as we go out into the world.  The priest then blesses the people and dismisses them.  The dismissal is really a sending forth.  It is not just “It’s over, you can go now.”  It is more of a commissioning: “Go and share with the world the grace that you have received.”

The exit hymn is a chance for us to praise our God, in song, for all the great things that He has done for us: especially for giving us the gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist.

I hope these reflections on the Mass have been helpful.  I know that it has been a long series, but I think it is important for all of us to be reminded of why it is that we do what we do in the Sacred Liturgy.

God bless,

Father White