Parents – these lessons are designed to initiate discussion. Please sit with your child and complete them together.
Lesson Two – We gather to prepare for Mass
This week we will be looking closely at the beginning of the Mass. We will find out how the Mass starts when we gather together as God’s people.
Q1: List the things that happen when you are having your school assembly and how they happen.
Whenever you gather for an assembly you usually know that there is a particular way that things are going to happen. The same thing happens when we gather for Mass – we begin with what is called The Introductory Rites. This is the beginning of Mass and it is the time when we prepare to hear the word of God and to celebrate the Eucharist.
At every Catholic Mass, anywhere in the world, the following 8 things will happen at the beginning of Mass.
- Entrance Song and Procession
- Veneration of the Altar
- Sign of the Cross
- Penitential Act
- Lord, Have Mercy
- Collect (Prayer of the day)
Please watch the following video of the beginning of a Mass at St James and look for each of these parts. You will need to answer questions about each part so you might have to watch a few times:
Q2: During the Entrance song and Procession, the Priest, Deacons, altar servers and helpers all process down the aisle. Does the Priest come first or last?
Q3: At this Mass, Fr Jude was joined by another Priest and a Deacon. How do the Priests/Deacons venerate the alter? Hint: the word venerate means to show how important it is.
Q4: Which hand do we usually use to make the Sign of the Cross?
Q5: When the priest finishes this veneration, he greets the people by saying, ‘The Lord be with you’. What do the people say in response?
Q6: Whenever we gather for Mass, we need to be at peace with God and one another if we are going to celebrate the Eucharist well. It is at this part of the Mass that we ask God for mercy and acknowledge the mercy and forgiveness of God. This is called the Penitential Act. How many times do we ask for Mercy during the Lord, Have Mercy prayer?
Q7: The ‘Gloria’ is a special prayer of praise that is often sung at Mass. When we gather for Mass we praise and thank God for all the things God has provided, but especially for giving us Jesus, his son.
Have a close look at the words of the Gloria. Write down all the words of ‘praise’ that you can find.
Q8: Listen to the Collect (Prayer of the Day). How do we respond after Fr Jude says “We ask all this through Christ our Lord”?