The liturgical life of Servants of the Holy Family is based on the traditional Latin Mass and the following is an introduction to this central act of worship in the Catholic Church.
The Son of God became a Man and died on the cross to redeem us from sin. Today, we can join with Our Lord in His death on Mount Calvary by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ instituted the Mass which is His unbloody way of offering Himself under the appearances of bread and wine. By the sacramental separation of His Body and Blood at the double consecration Christ dies again mystically at the Mass. We witness this moment at the elevation when the priest raises the Sacred Host and then the chalice containing the Precious Blood. Later, after praying the Our Father, we are joined to Jesus in Holy Communion. Now, fortified with the Holy Eucharist, we are able to return to the challenges of our daily lives.
These essential elements of the Mass are surrounded by beautiful ceremonies which enhance our appreciation and understanding of this hidden treasure.
At the beginning of the Mass we humble ourselves in the divine presence by confessing our sins. After this the Mass of the Catechumens is begun. This first part of the Mass instructs us through the reading of the Epistle and Gospel, much like the converts of the early Church received their catechism lessons. The priest explains these truths in the sermon and the Mass of the Catechumens culminates in our profession of faith by the recitation of the Creed.
The Mass of the Faithful now begins with the Offertory when the gifts are prepared for the sacrifice. Transubstantiation – that is, the changing of the substances of bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood – takes place when the priest, as the instrument of Our Lord, pronounces the sacred words of consecration. The Divine Liturgy leads to union with our beloved Savior in the reception of the Holy Eucharist. The Mass concludes with a final blessing, the Last Gospel and the Leonine prayers afterwards.
Thank almighty God every day for the gift of the Holy Mass and pray for vocations to the priesthood.