At the center of our week as Catholic Christians is the celebration of the Eucharist. All we are and all we do flows from this celebration of our faith. The Second Vatican Council tells us that the entire spiritual treasure of our Church is contained in the Eucharist and that is Jesus, Himself. This is why we place such tremendous importance on this weekly (and even daily) celebration at Christ the King.
It truly takes a parish to celebrate the Eucharist well. I am so grateful to the many, many people who help us to celebrate the Eucharist and to celebrate it well. Some of these good parishioners are seen by all: our faithful altar servers, our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, lectors and ushers, our musicians, choirs and cantors. It would be hard to imagine our Eucharistic celebrations without the contribution of this small army of parishioners. There are also many people behind the scenes who contribute equally to the beauty of our celebrations: the people who faithfully wash and iron the many linens used at the altar, the parishioners who clean and replenish the holy water fonts and water the flowers and clean the church each week. It truly does take a parish to celebrate the Eucharist well.
Each of us has a role to play in making our celebrations of Sunday Mass vibrant celebrations of our faith. The Second Vatican Council calls on all at Mass to take a full, active and conscious participation in the celebration. We are not observers at Mass, but participants and that is why the role of the congregation is so important for vibrant celebrations. Each one of us should ask, “How am I fulfilling my role at Mass?” Here are some ways in which we can ensure that our participation is full, active and conscious.
- Read the scripture readings before coming to Mass. They are posted in the bulletin each week.
- Arrive on time for Mass and even a few minutes early to prepare spiritually for the celebration.
- Join the community in the main body of the church for the celebration of the Eucharist and refrain from using the Blessed Sacrament Chapel unless there is a particular circumstance.
- Open a song book and join in the singing of the songs even if you can’t sing. The words of the songs are in themselves part of our prayer.
- When the celebrant says, “The Lord be with you,” respond clearly and with sincerity, “And with your spirit!” Two to three hundred voices should raise the roof in the church!
- Let your ‘Amen” be equally loud and clear at the end of prayers. It is our assent to what has been said.
- Stay with community for the entire Mass which means until the last note of the last song.
- Unless the baby has been left in the bathwater or the roast is in the oven, spend a few minutes greeting people after Mass. We are all in this together!
May our celebrations of the Eucharist at Christ the King be known for their vibrancy and may we all take a full, active and conscious participation in the Mass
See you at Mass!