Church of the Visitation
*Learning* the Mass
A young boy was attending Mass with his father. During the Mass, the priest genuflected as he entered the sanctuary. Puzzled, the young man asked, “Daddy, what does that mean?” The father replied, “That’s a sign of respect for Jesus at the altar.” Later, the priest kissed the book after reading the Gospel, “What does that mean?” the boy questioned, “That’s a sign of love for Jesus in the Bible.” Then, as the priest was beginning his homily, he took off his watch and placed it on the lectern. “What does that mean?” asked the youngster. The father slowly shook his head and sadly replied, “Nothing at all, son – nothing at all!” This humorous story helps to bring out something that many of us share with that young boy: what do the various objects, words and gestures of the Mass mean?
It's the central focus of the our faith: the
that brings it to God's faithful. We devote so much time and energy to learning the skills and trades that help us to survive and thrive in our lives - why do know so little about what happens in the Mass, that skill that helps to shape our eternal future?
Fr. Michael Schmitz
, a priest of the
diocese of Duluth
, chaplain at the
University of Maryland
noted Catholic speaker
, wanted to help the parishioners at
St. Joseph's Church
in of Grand Rapids, Minnesota answer that question. The result is a two-hour "Teaching Mass" video, in which he stops and explains what happens at the Mass from before it begins to its conclusion. Taking the time to watch this video can go a long way to enriching the experience and the fruits of this important aspect of our worship.
If the link at the top of this article doesn't work, the video may be played directly at YouTube from
. This can be the first of many tools that we hope to make available in fully appreciating this gift of Christ to His Church!
If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.
St. John Vianney
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Audio (61 minutes) -
The Mystery of Christmas
In this inspiring talk, renowned preacher and retreat master Fr. Larry Richards illuminates how the true joy of Christmas is found in the greatest gift ever given—the gift of Jesus Christ to the whole world. With humor, compassion, and clarity, Fr. Larry gets to the heart of the true meaning of Christmas and helps us to better appreciate the immensity of God's love for us as His children.
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Sent by Fr. Ed Blanchett on Friday, January 5 at 3:00PM