External Participation

We should participate in the Mass externally, taking care of some details:

•Attend the Mass with a spirit of prayer, praying as the Church teaches us to pray, avoiding distractions. Be one with the words, actions, and gestures of the celebrant, who acts in the person of Christ. Give up personal preferences; accept the option that the celebrant, considering the circumstances of the people in each community, has chosen from among the legitimate possibilities that the liturgy offers to us.

•Listen, respond, acclaim, sing, or keep opportune silence, in order to facilitate union with God and to deepen your reflection on the word of God.

•Stand, sit and kneel-and be serene-even if you see someone who does not do so.

•Be punctual. This is a considerate detail for Christ our Lord, himself, and for others who are attending Mass. Arrive before the priest goes to the altar. Leave only after the priest has left.

•Use your missal, or the missalette available in the church. By following the prayers of the priest, you can avoid distractions. The more complete missals for the faithful have the prayers of the Mass distributed in three main sections: Fixed Prayers of the Order of Mass, Proper Prayers, and Readings. The missalettes for the use of the faithful usually contain some of the variable prayers for each day's Mass and most of the fixed parts of the Order of Mass arranged in their usual sequence.

•Dress properly as for an important meeting and not, for instance, as if you were going to participate in a sport. Dress ought to convey the respect, solemnity and joy of the Mass. 13
13.   Catechism of the Catholic Church (=CCC), 1387, Librería Editrice Vaticane, 1994.

Printed with permission from eCatholicHub.


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