What is a Catholic “Mass?”
The word Mass comes from the Latin word “missio,” which means mission or sending. During Mass Jesus is sent down to us, His worship and ours is sent to the Father, and we are then sent as missionaries to proclaim the Good News of Christ to the world.
Mass is where we can encounter and receive Christ, enter into His’ sacrifice, and praise God. The Mass has two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
In the Liturgy of the Word, three passages are read from the Bible. The third passage is the Gospel, where we are told about Jesus’s life. Throughout the Liturgy of the Word, we hear God’s words spoken to us. We are invited to listen to what God might be saying to us through the scriptures.
In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the people offer bread and wine. The priest acting in the person of Christ proclaims His words from the Last Supper. The bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Catholics who are in a state of grace are able to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Mass can be intimidating or strange if you have never been, but know that you are welcome and we are excited to help guide you through this great act of worship!
“One thing I love about the Mass is that it unites students of all different ages, majors, and hobbies before one altar for worship. Though externally we may appear to have little in common, we all gather together before Christ as members of his Church to receive him in the Eucharist.” -Rory Mitchell
I do not know what is going on…
Whether you have gone to Mass your whole life or this is your first time, Mass can be confusing. We have all had moments when we wonder what is going on or why we are doing something, don’t fear, instead open your ears, mind, and heart. Listen to God speaking to you through the Scriptures and prayers.
Remember that Mass is an act of Worship and has a flow’. The Order of Mass can be found in the Chapel and will help you see how the Mass is a beautiful movement of worship.
If you need guidance talk to a Peer Minister or FOCUS missionary. We are here to help and want you to experience God’s love and grow closer to Him through Mass.
“How can I get more out of Mass?”
Step one, come prepared. Try reading the readings before you get to Mass. You would never go to class unprepared, right? Reading the scriptures ahead of time can allow you to focus and mediate on them while they are being proclaimed in Mass. Every time you hear Scripture, you are giving God another chance to speak to you.
Step two, pray the Mass. Listen to the words being spoken and the words coming out of your mouth. Cherish those words and mean those words, don’t just say them, but pray them. Think about how they can relate to your life and open your heart. Let God speak to you and take what He has to say and apply it to your life. Listen to the most important words of the Mass – “This is my Body… This is the chalice of my Blood”. When we respond “Amen” let that great yes resound through your soul!
Additionally, if you feel there is something that has come between you and God, go to confession before Mass. The best way to receive Jesus and get the most out of Mass is to be free from all sin.
“I haven’t been to Mass in awhile…”
Don’t worry about what you have or have not done in the past because you can start fresh now. That is the amazing thing about God; He is merciful and loves to forgive, God wants you back and desires that you worship Him at Mass and receive Him in the Eucharist. God the loving Father will joyfully welcome you back! The Community at the Newman Center is also here to help you in any way we can!
“Mass isn’t fun…”
The overall reason to come to Mass is to experience and praise the Most Holy Trinity. Mass is about entering into a deeper relationship with God give glory and praise to Him for all He has done for us. Mass is about more than surface emotions and fleeting feelings, it is about lasting joy and abiding peace. If you don’t always feel it while at mass that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there.
If you are having trouble feeling right at mass speak to God and let Him know! He wants you to cats all your cares and worries onto Him. If you need further advice our Chaplain, Fr. Ketterer would love to speak with you.
“I don’t know anyone…”
That’s okay! Strangers are never strangers long at the Newman Center. We love seeing new people and welcoming them with open arms. Please feel free to contact or talk to any of the Peer Ministers, FOCUS missionaries, or Fr. Ketterer, we are glad to have you and want to make you feel comfortable and help you get the most out of Mass!
Adoration allows us to set aside time to tell the Lord about our battles, to thank Him for the many gifts He’s given us, and to adore Him. One of these gifts is music, so what better way to adore Christ than to give it back to Him through praise and worship music during Adoration! -Hannah Truong