Section 19: Sacred Liturgy

This lesson is based on the text, Life in Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, by Rev. Gerard Weber and Rev. James Killgallon (Acta Publications, 1995). The question in bold type is followed by a short answer taken from the text. The text in italics is another answer from the RCIA teacher, Jim Collins. Hyperlinks in red will direct you to documents or websites related to the topic. The entire sequence of lessons forms a comprehensive approach to basic RCIA instruction.

  1. What is the sacred liturgy? Official public worship of God by the Church.

  2. What is the essence of liturgy?  (1) God (mysterious) is experienced in a special way through the celebration of the sacramental liturgy; (2) It is our response in faith and love to the many blessings we have received from God.

  3. Is the liturgy primarily ritual? The ritual is the form we use to worship. Jesus warned us about the danger of becoming wrapped up in form and losing sincerity in our worship. To worship with sincerity we must learn the meaning which underlies the Churchís ceremonies, sacraments, and the Mass. 

  4. How important is active participation in the liturgy? Mere attendance has little value. We are called to worship publicly with sincerity of heart, proclaiming approval and acceptance of the sacred doctrines and mysteries being celebrated.

  5. Does a person really have an obligation to participate in the liturgy in order to worship God? Exodus 20:8-11 relates our obligation to worship. Acts 2:42 tells how the early Christians worshipped regularly. Catholic Christians are obliged to attend Mass each Sunday. God deserves regular worship from all of us. See Catholic Answers Bible G-2.

  6. What is included in the sacred liturgy

a) the Mass, b) the seven sacraments, c) the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office,             Breviary)

  1. What is the liturgy of the hours? Daily prayer of the Church, consisting of psalms, other scripture, and readings, required to be said by those who have been ordained, religious, and monks. The laity is encouraged to pray it also.

  2. What is the liturgical year? How we live the life of Christ throughout the year.

a. Advent

b. Christmas

c. Epiphany

d. Lent

e. Holy Week

f. Easter Vigil and Easter

g. Easter Season

h. Pentecost

i. Ordinary Time

 Section 25: Structure of the Mass, p. 175

  1. What is the origin of the Liturgy of the Word? It was a meal (Liturgy of the Eucharist) like the Last Supper celebrated usually in the morning at a Christianís home. A service of prayers (Liturgy of the Word) modeled on the synagogue service was added to it.

  2. What is the structure of the Liturgy of the word?

    1. We speak to God: Entrance Rite (song, blessing with water, 1st word: Lord Have Mercy), Gloria (2nd Word: Praise), Opening Prayer (third and fourth Words: thanksgiving and petition)

b.   God speaks to us (thematic): 1st reading: O.T.; Responsorial Psalm; 2nd reading: NT; Gospel Acclamation or Alleluia; Gospel; homily; Creed; Prayer of the Faithful;

  1. What is the structure of the Liturgy of the Eucharist?

    1. We give to God: Preparation of the gifts; Preface; Holy, holyÖ; Eucharistic Prayer: prayers for living and dead, consecration, acclamation, Through Him

    2. God gives to us: Lordís Prayer, Rite of Peace, Holy Communion (Lamb of God, Preparation: Lord Jesus ChristÖ, This is the Lamb of GodÖ, Reception, Thanksgiving and colloquy, Conclusion.

  2. What is the importance of Communion in the Mass? It is our participation in the sacrifice and meal. We partake of the Lordís supper offered to us and we offer ourselves in return.

  3. What is meant by the different roles which are fulfilled in the celebration of the Mass?

            a. Celebrant presides

            b. Deacon assists: reads Gospel, gives homily

            c. Readers proclaim the Word

            d. Eucharistic ministers distribute

            e. Leaders of song and choir assist

            f. People sing and pray

            g. Servers assist

6.   What is a concelebrated Mass?  Two or more priests offer together.

  1. Why does the priest wear special vestments at Mass? Reflect a sacred and ancient tradition.

  2. Why are the priestís vestments of different colors? Indicate season or celebration. White, gold, red, green, purple (violet), black

  3. How does a person prepare for Mass? Read the scriptures in advance. Greet the Trinity. Praise the Trinity. Ask pardon for our sins. Make an offering of ourselves and ask for help in being good sons/daughters. Make special requests. Offer all the prayers, works, joys, sufferings of the day/week for a special intention. N.B.: one hour fast; no communion if we are in serious state of sin.

Saintís Life: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael

Prayer to St. Michael: St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.