How Do I Prepare For Mass?
Message from Fr Len — 27th Sunday of the Year (A)
Preparing for mass is a vital part of our worship and it starts long before we even get to Church. Worshipping properly is not just about being in the building. Our faith life comes from the liturgy and when we celebrate liturgy well, that celebration is the best expression of our faith life. We can be distracted by so many things and it takes time to settle our minds so that we can turn our whole being towards God.
We have to think about preparing ourselves in much the same way as we would want to prepare for anything that we want to participate in fully. If we don’t prepare well then we can experience that feeling that we are not getting anything out of it. So below are a few tips on how to prepare well.
The experience of the Mass starts at home, we need to start thinking about what it is that we are about to do long before we get to Church. It is the Holy Spirit who is moving us to be at Church so we need to recognise God’s presence and begin to turn our minds to him. We can do this by looking at the readings and try to understand what they are about. What is the theme of this week’s Mass? What is the Church trying to say in the Collect? The Collect is the prayer that the Priest says after the penitential rite. This prayer is meant to gather together all our prayers and help us turn our minds to God. Ask yourself what is it that I want to pray for this week? What do I want God to help me with during the Mass?
Maybe you could think about reading the readings before Mass. This will help us to hear them and to see what God is trying to bring to us individually through the proclamation of his word. When on our way to Church try and remember and think about the fact that God is with you. When entering Church try and remember that it is the house of God and that we are God’s Holy people. Remind yourself of this by blessing yourself with Holy Water.
Please try to be in Church in plenty of time, the Church suggests at least 15 minutes before the service begins. This will give you time to settle your minds and turn your hearts to God. Finally remember that you are a full and active participant at Mass, it is not something that the Priest is doing for you but something that you are very much involved in. What you do will affect the atmosphere and prayerfulness of the service. The more that we are aware of this the more we can benefit the people of God in good ways which in turn will enhance our own spirituality.