The Liturgy of the Word

Author: St. Brigid's Church | Source:

Entrance Procession & Antiphon People stand up, the priest goes to the Altar. Entrance hymn may be sung. (All stand up) The procession assembles: (thurifer), cross bearer, candle bearers, book bearer, lector or deacon (carrying the Book of the Gospels). If incense is used, the thurifer approaches the celebrant who places it in the open Thurible and blesses it silently with the sign of the cross. Having bowed to the sacristy crucifix or image, all proceed to the sanctuary at a steady and unhurried pace, while the entrance antiphon or hymn is sung. Holy water is taken at the door of the sacristy or the church door. In procession, all look straight ahead, and servers and clergy are spaced carefully. Those not carrying anything keep their hands joined. On arrival before the altar, those who are not carrying anything bow deeply (or genuflect if the tabernacle is in the sanctuary) (Picture). If the lector carries the Book of the Gospels, he or she reverently places it on the altar. The celebrant goes to the altar and kisses it at the centre (Picture), placing both hands on the surface and joining them when he stands upright. It seems preferable to kiss the altar from the side where he will celebrate. (The deacon also kisses the altar, after placing the Book of the Gospels on it.) At this point the incensing may take place. The Thurible (Picture) seems to function best when it is fashioned along traditional lines, hanging from four chains, the lid raised by the central chain, and secured by a ring. Thuribles made with one chain are not as convenient to use as they seem. In the West, the chains are usually about a meter or a yard long, so that the Thurible may be swung at length with one hand in processions. It should be at the same time a beautiful and a practical vessel, with ample openings for the smoke and a secure but removable cup for the charcoal. It should be regularly and carefully cleaned. Greeting (Priest) In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Congregation) Amen. Standing at the chair, (Picture) the celebrant makes the sign of the cross, saying "In the name of the Father . . .", and then joins his hands. He greets the people, opening his hands for the liturgical greeting and closing them at the end of the chosen formula . . . He introduces the Mass briefly. This is neither a homily, nor an explanation of the readings --- although he may indicate the central theme of the readings or use some key words from them. Then he invites the assembly to join in the act of penitence, preferably with one sentence. Silence follows to allow for an examination of conscience, then the chosen penitential rite proceeds. A server holds the missal or book of the chair open before the celebrant. (Picture) Rite of Blessing and Introductory Rites (Priest) "The Lord be with you." (Congregation) "And also with you." Sprinkling with Holy Water On Sundays, it is commendable that the rite of blessing and sprinkling holy water ("Asperges") should take the place of the penitential rite of the mass . . . so that the faithful may perceive the baptismal significance of this popular sacramental. A holy water vessel and sprinkler (Picture) of ample proportions are easier to clean and to use. Water may be blessed in this vessel at the rite of the blessing and sprinkling at the beginning of a Sunday Mass. A reasonably deep "bucket" with a moveable handle is more convenient. The sprinkler may take the form of a brush or of a hollow, perforated ball, perhaps containing a sponge. But the pocket-size sprinkler conveniently used in pastoral situations does not seem appropriate for celebrations in a church. Penitential Rite (Priest) My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries, let us call to mind our sins: (Congregation) I confess to Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned to do; and I ask the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, all the angels and saints, and you here present, to pray for me to the Lord our God. (Priest) May Almighty God have Mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. (Congregation) Amen. For option (a), "I confess . . .", all present strike the breast (Picture) with the palm of the hand once at "through my own fault" Options (a) and (b) are always followed by the Kyrie. For option (c), the deacon, a reader or the cantor or choir may lead the invocations which are praises of Jesus Christ, drawing on the rich variety of scriptural and doctrinal titles and themes. In this case the Kyrie is not said or sung after "May almighty God . . .", because it has already been included after each of the invocations. The celebrant concludes the penitential rite saying, "May almighty God . . .", with his hands joined and without making the sign of the cross. Kyrie Lord have mercy Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy Lord have mercy. The Kyrie is sung or said in the vernacular or in Greek. Each acclamation is made twice, but the old ninefold version may be retained if this is integral to the musical setting. A short verse or "trope" may be inserted into the text of the Kyrie. Gloria (Hymn of Praise. It may be said or sung ) Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your Glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer. for you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ , with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. With hands joined, the celebrant intones or says the first words of the Gloria, when its use is directed, that is: on all Sundays, except in Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts and at solemn local celebrations. If necessary, a cantor may begin the Gloria. It is sung or recited by all together or in alternation. Twice during the Gloria, the celebrant bows his head at "Jesus Christ". All remain standing for the Gloria. Opening Prayer A server holds the missal or "book of the chair" open before the celebrant who, with his hands joined, sings or says, "Let us pray." Then he may wish to close his eyes in prayer, a useful moment to recall the specific intention for which he offers this Mass. Silence is observed for a reasonable time, then he extends his hands and intones or says the Opening Prayer or Collect. He bows his head at the holy name or at the name of Mary or the saint of the day, if this is in the text. He joins his hands at "we make our prayer through . . .", bowing at "Jesus Christ". The long trinitarian ending to this prayer is always used, with slight adaptations. The assembly sings or says "Amen". The server closes the book, bows and takes it away. Then all sit. Whenever the celebrant sits, a server (or the deacon) may help him arrange the back of his chasuble over the chair. Readings and Responsorial Psalm First Reading Reader: A reading from . . . The word of the Lord. Responsorial Psalm Reader: . . . . Congregation: . . . . Second Reading Reader: A reading from . . . The word of the Lord. At the "table of the word", God speaks to His people. Through the ministry of the word, Christ is present among us. The people share in the word by listening, by responding, and by the act of faith in the Creed. The word leads to the intercessions for the needs of the Church and the salvation of the world. The lector (comes to the sanctuary and) makes the customary reverences; first bowing deeply to the altar or genuflecting to the tabernacle, then bowing to the celebrant, before going to the ambo. Because he presides over the liturgy, the celebrant may briefly introduce the readings. It seems preferable for the lector, while reading, to rest both hands on the book. The lector may join his or her hands and pause before saying or singing "The word of the Lord" (in the US) or "This is the word of the Lord." Silence is observed after each reading for a reflection on the proclaimed word. (Picture) During the readings, the celebrant should give the people the good example of attending to the reading. After the reading or the responsorial psalm, the lector returns to the centre, reverences the altar or tabernacle and bows to the celebrant before returning to his or her seat. On some occasions it may be helpful for an M.C. or server to escort the lector (s) to and from the ambo. The responsorial psalm is sung or said. The cantor, choir or lector leads the assembly in making the response. On Sundays and solemnities, the responsorial psalm should be sung. At the end of the second reading (or the responsorial psalm. if there is only one reading), a server takes the lectionary from the ambo to a convenient place, unless it must be used for the Gospel text. The Liturgy of the Word Gospel acclamation (Alleluia ) (To be said or sung ) (All stand) Alleluia, alleluia! . . . . . . . . . Alleluia! The Alleluia verse (or its equivalent during Lent) should always be sung. At least "Alleluia" should be sung to one of the familiar melodies. All stand. (If incense is used, the celebrant remains seated and prepares the Thurible. The deacon helps prepare incense, then seeks a blessing and takes the Book of the Gospels to the ambo.) Gospel (Priest) "A reading from . . . . . . ." " . . . . . . . .." "This is the gospel of the Lord." If the celebrant reads the Gospel, he stands and preferably comes before the altar. He bows deeply and with hands joined says quietly "Almighty God, cleanse my heart . . ." If the Book of the Gospels is used, he takes it from the altar and carries it in procession to the ambo, preceded by the (thurifer and) candle bearers. At the ambo he opens the book. Then he greets the assembly, singing or saying "The Lord be with you", but with hands joined. He sings or says "A reading from . . .", making the sign of the cross with his right thumb on the text, then on his forehead, lips and breast (Picture) (and he incenses the book with three double swings). He reads the Gospel with his hands joined as usual. During the Gospel all stand and turn towards the ambo to honour Christ in his word. The candle bearers stand on either side of the ambo. At the end of the reading, he sings or says, "The gospel of the Lord" (in the US) or "This is the gospel of the Lord." Homily The homily follows at the ambo. But a bishop or priest may preach at the chair, seated or standing. If the celebrant wishes to refer to the Book of the Gospels or lectionary (resting it on his lap or holding it), the deacon or a server brings it to him from the ambo. Only a bishop, priest or deacon may preach the homily, which is required on all Sundays and holy days of obligation and is strongly recommended on weekdays, especially in Advent and Lent and on other pastoral occasions. Notices should not be read before or after the homily, unless the people need to be reminded of a collection or given a sacramental or liturgical directive. Profession of Faith (The Creed) (All stand) We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, . . . . . . . . The celebrant returns to the chair. He may sit for a silent reflection after the homily or if a collection is taken up at this point, which should be "covered" by music. He stands and sings or says the first words of the Creed, which is to be said on all Sundays and solemnities, and which may be said on other occasions when it seems appropriate. All bow deeply at "by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . man." All kneel at these words on the solemnities of Christmas and the Annunciation. General Intercessions (Liturgy of the Word) At the end of each one: Lord hear us Lord, hear our prayer. With hands joined, the celebrant introduces the General Intercessions. The introduction is always addressed to the people. A server holds the book of the "Prayer of the Faithful" before him. At the ambo the intentions are announced by the deacon, cantor, a rector or some other person (s). All respond to the intentions either with short responsorial prayers, sung or said, or with silent prayer. Then the celebrant opens his hands and says or sings the final prayer, joining his hands as usual at the ending. Those who read the intentions should turn to him during this prayer and leave the ambo or the area near it only after the "Amen".

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