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What We Do at Mass and Why

Marquette University-CC

Brushing up for Christmas


2. Acclamation 
The whole congregation, joining the heavenly choirs, sing the Holy, Holy, Holy. This acclamation is proclaimed by all of the people in the congregation together with the priest.

Following this acclamation, the faithful kneel. Those who cannot kneel should bow their heads profoundly at the moments when the priest genuflects.

3. Epiclesis 
The invocation of the Holy Spirit to consecrate the Eucharistic bread and wine.

4. Narration of the Institution and Consecration  
According to the circumstances the body and blood of Christ may be incensed when the priest elevates them.

5. Acclamation
The priest proclaims, “The mystery of faith.” The people respond, “We proclaim your death…”

6. Anamnesis
The Church performs Christ’s memorial, bringing to mind particularly his blessed Passion, Death and Resurrection and his Ascension into heaven. The priest says, “Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial…”

7. Oblation
The offering of the bread of life and the cup of salvation. The Church offers the spotless Victim to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

8. Prayers of Intercession
These express that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church,
both in heaven and on earth.  The priest says, “Remember, Lord, your Church, spread throughout the world…”

9. Doxology
The priest (alone) says, “Through him, and with him, and in him…”  This exclamation glorifies God, and concludes with the people saying, “Amen.” (After the doxology, the people stand.)

IV. Communion Rite

A. The Lord’s Prayer
This is prayed by the priest and the people together. As a pious practice, if you usually lift up your hands or hold the hands of your family members to pray the Our Father, do not force others to follow your personal practice; some people might end up being bothered and paying more attention to being in physical contact with you than to the prayer itself.

B. The Embolism  
(This is prayed by the priest alone.) It elaborates on the last petition of the Lord’s Prayer, asking for deliverance from the power of evil, on behalf of the whole community of the faithful.  The people conclude with the doxology: “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.”

C. The Sign of Peace
This is a moment which is often abused and the cause of disorder; maintain an atmosphere of recollection and silence. The members of the faithful shake hands only with those who are next to them, as it is only a sign of peace. At the moment of offering the sign of peace, it is necessary to AVOID actions such as:

1. Introducing a “song for peace,” which is not a part of the Roman Rite.

2. The faithful walking around to give each other the sign of peace.

3. The priest leaving the altar to give the sign of peace to some of the faithful.

4. The rite of offering the sign of peace turning into an occasion for congratulations or condolences among those present.

(Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, regarding the Sign of Peace, paragraph 6):
If you need to be reconciled with someone (although that person may be absent), do it before Mass, fulfilling the Lord’s command: “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)  Therefore, the rite of the Sign of Peace is not the time for superhuman feats of arm stretching, long-distance greetings, turning around completely or leaving one’s place.

D. Singing the "Lamb of God" and the Breaking of the Bread 

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