Parts of the Mass (2)

Today, I’m going to talk about the second part of the Mass.

2. Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: On Sundays, this reading is usually taken from one of the books of the Old Testament, except in the season of Easter. The place used by the lectors to read the Scriptures at Mass is called the ambo.

Responsorial Psalm: After the First Reading, a cantor sings the Psalm chosen according to the liturgical celebration. The congregation participates in the meditation of the Word of God by singing the response to the Psalm.

Second Reading: This reading is always taken from one of the Letters in the New Testament. The book that lectors use to proclaim the Word of God at Mass is called the Lectionary. At the end of the First and Second Readings, the assembly honors the Word of God just received by responding, “Thanks be to God.”

Gospel Acclamation: The assembly, standing, sings the Alleluia, followed by a verse from the Scriptures. The Alleluia is sung every Sunday of the liturgical year, except in Lent.

Gospel: The reading of the Gospel constitutes the high point of the Liturgy of the Word. It holds special marks of honor, such as the procession with the Book of the Gospels and its proclamation by a deacon or a priest. At the end of the Gospel, the faithful acknowledges the presence of Christ who speaks to his people by responding, “Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Homily: In the homily, the preacher gives an explanation about the Sacred Scriptures or any other texts from the liturgy. The preacher draws from them lessons that may help people in their daily lives and encourages them to be faithful to Christ’s call to grow in holiness.

Profession of Faith: On Sundays and Solemnities, the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed is recited. Since the Creed is so special and core to our faith, every Sunday, after the homily, the whole assembly stands as one and professes the faith that binds us together.

Universal Prayer: The gathered assembly prays to God on behalf of the Church, the world, and themselves, entrusting their needs to our faithful and loving God. This part of the Liturgy of the Word is also called the "Prayers of the Faithful." At the end of each petition, the congregation usually responds, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

Information based on the Roman Missal and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

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