The Mass // How to Celebrate the Opening Rites

Phil 1:2; 1 Cor 1:3; John 1:1-5; Luke 24:13-35; THE MASS PDF Link

Everything up onto this point as been an individual act: we enter the Church, we’ve blessed ourselves, we’ve entered the pews, maybe said a prayer to two. And then begins the opening rites: music begins and we sheepishly sing along in community as the procession of the servers and priest of the Mass enter in. Christ becomes present for the first time, through the procession of the Word. Christ is the Word, and just like on the Road to Emmaus, he presents Himself to us at each Mass. He is present with us! Do we recognize Him?

“And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.”

Sisters – Christ has entered the building! This is bigger news than Elvis entering the building. Our Lord has come to us, as a community, to be with us. He wants to walk with us and talk with us. How are our eyes prevented from recognizing Him? Maybe it has been awhile since we participated at Mass, maybe we are preoccupied with the worries of the week and our obligations/schedule after Mass, maybe we arrived late and are still trying to center ourselves and let go of the rush of anxiety we had, maybe the kids are acting up, or maybe we think the music stinks and we’re preoccupied with the ideas of better song options. The world is loud and its consuming thoughts can become amplified in our head. Even the disciples were too consumed with the buzz of daily life to recognize who was before them (Luke 24: 18). The opening rites of the Mass (Song, Procession, Sign of the Cross, Opening Prayer) are all acts to help us come together as a community. We have the opportunity to get lost in song, praising God & losing our pride because we may not like our own voice. We have the opportunity to sign ourselves with the Sign of the Cross – marking ourselves as a Christian. Lastly, we have our first opportunity to pray together as a family, in unity, to our God.

Today, acknowledge God for being God and meditate on what may prevent our eyes from seeing Christ when he becomes present to us in the beginning of Mass. Ask Him for the grace to let go of those things so you will not miss Him in the moment of His visitation. 


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