Saturday, April 9, 2011

Do we pray the Mass or do we celebrate the Mass?

I received an email from a woman who took issue with a few things in my last diocesan article. One of her points was that we do not pray the Mass. She said that we celebrate the Mass.

For those who may wonder what the answer is to the question, here's a Catechism reference and a quote by Pope Saint Pius X.

"The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer..." the Catechism #2643 (see also #2626-#2642 for an explanation on the forms of prayer that make up the Mass).

"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass." - Pope Pius X

In reading the Catechism, we learn that we not only celebrate the Mass together, we do indeed pray the Mass.


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