39 Search Results for: mass for millennials

The Mass for Millennials: Doxology and Amen

Every Eucharistic Prayer concludes with the Doxology and the Great Amen. In this solemn, powerful moment, the presider holds aloft Jesus himself, truly present in the Eucharistic species, and proclaims: Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB beautifully summarizes this liturgical action thus: In that moment the Church is doing what Christ did and forever does: she offers his one body, to which she has been joined [by the power of the Holy Spirit], to the Father for the glory of his name and for the salvation of the world. This is our communion in the sacrifice of Christ. This is perfect praise. (What Happens at Mass, 106) Doxology. Perfect praise. In this moment of the liturgy, through our union with Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are restored to our original vocation of the homo adorans, the priestly creatures whose vocation has always been and will …

The Mass for Millennials: The Eucharistic Prayer

A few months ago, I was stuck in the deep trenches of service options on the Catholic Volunteer Network website. Simultaneously, I was overwhelmed when thinking about the enormity of social, political, and economic issues affecting real people’s lives inside and outside the U.S. Would I be choosing one community over another? What are the implications of that? Who is my brother, sister, mother? However, the priest’s words in my dorm’s Mass serendipitously intercepted me at a crucial moment of my post-graduate discernment process. The words were nothing out of the ordinary, but resonated loudly: Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ. As I heard that line in my dorm’s chapel, I felt the deep call to see what a just world might look like when shared across religious, national, …

The Mass for Millennials: Eucharistic Prayer

While serving a weekday Mass recently, the only way to remain focused while holding the Roman Missal (a large book that necessitates a strange twisting of myself to hold it upright) was to follow along on the page as the priest read the Eucharistic Prayer. This proved beneficial since I was struck anew by a phrase I have heard virtually every week since birth (although in a new translation since 2011). “Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the Bread of Life and the Chalice of salvation, giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you.”  The first ninety percent of this phrase had little new consequence for me. Three words, however, caught my attention and remained in my thoughts: “minister to you.” Being a campus minister, I was thrown off by seeing part of my job title appear in the Roman Missal. I like to think that any Catholic in my position would react similarly—imagine coming upon the …

The Mass for Millennials: The Roman Canon

During my first year in college, I heard Eucharistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon as I would later learn) for the first time. Upon first praying the text, I thought to myself, there are so many random saints who are named. Who are they? Why no Saint Patrick or Francis or Clare or Ignatius of Loyola? I also thought to myself, as it was prayed throughout the Easter season, “Hmmm, this is long. I wish it was shorter. A lot shorter.” Yet, after years of studying Eucharistic Prayer texts, the Roman Canon has come to occupy a place in my heart as that text that I love the most and yet hear the least. For many, the present translation seems too formal. We bless “these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices.” We offer the oblation for the Church, for all those gathered together, for the apostles. We ask that the offering will be “spiritual and acceptable,” two words that don’t seem to go together in contemporary English (yeah, I’m spiritual and acceptable but …

The Mass for Millennials: The Sanctus

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of your glory Hosanna in the Highest Blessed is He, who comes in the name of the Lord Hosanna in the Highest Hosanna in the Highest Even though I’ve recited that prayer thousands of times in my liturgical life, to recall the words correctly here I had to sing. The musical theme I recalled this time was the classic Mass of Creation setting, which surprised me—in G minor, it is a bit dismal and has never been one of my favorites. But I learned to sing this setting of the Sanctus as I learned to speak. In a way, it’s my liturgical-musical infancy narrative. The Sanctus draws us into the Infancy Narratives by inviting us to sing with the angels. Luke 2:8-14 tells of an angel coming to the shepherds as they work in the fields, shining with the glory of the Lord on the night of Christ’s birth. After proclaiming this good news to the shepherds, the angel is joined by a chorus, …

The Mass for Millennials: It is Right and Just

If you have ever learned a second language, you know that some concepts do not translate perfectly. I have always loved discovering those words and phrases in Spanish that more precisely convey meaning than their corresponding English. The feeling is akin to becoming privy to a small but special secret—only these are the secrets you want to share with others, hoping they provide a similar sense of excitement and insight. For me, certain lines of the Mass said in Spanish prompt this discovery. I only started learning Spanish in high school, but it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the language. Through various extended immersions, I have had my fair share of exposure to the Mass in Spanish. And while there was indeed a learning curve, I did eventually move from mumbling unintelligibly to confidently joining my voice with others in our response as a unified congregation. In the very beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, a dialogue occurs between the priest and the congregation. In English: Priest: The Lord be with you. …

The Mass for Millennials: Prayer Over the Offering

Every Wednesday another seminarian and I work at a shelter run by Mother Teresa’s sisters, the Missionaries of Charity. The shelter is in the poorest ZIP code in the United States. The men there have messy and complicated lives — many are estranged from families, suffer addictions or check knives at the door — but somehow these lives seem to work out. These guys have almost nothing but they find what they need. Jobs, housing, treatment. Children are born. Things work out. For all their suffering these men tread softly through life. They don’t seek attention or strive for honor — as the rest of us with attention or honor so often do. I’m awed at how their precarious situation has made them so human, in so many ways the kind of person I want to be. Despite the mess, things work out. The same thing happens on a massive scale in the Offertory at Mass. Its brief and sometimes silent prayers can make the Offertory the easiest part of Mass to miss; sometimes I …

The Mass for Millennials: Presentation of the Offerings

If you have spent any time in a parish—or in the Midwest for that matter—you have likely been to a potluck. You know, a meal where various dishes are brought to be shared and enjoyed by all. Sometimes when a group really knows how to throw a good potluck, you may have even been assigned a dish “category” corresponding with the first letter of your last name. Now, those people really know how to throw a good potluck. Potluck meals invite people to show off their culinary talents; similarly, they give others permission to buy that tub of KFC chicken they’ve been craving. Despite the fact that some people (myself included) are lovers of the eclectic potluck meal, there is always the danger of running out of food, or eating a meal entirely comprised of cheese cubes and day-old baked goods because that is all that was left when you finally made your way through the line. Thank goodness the Eucharist is not your average potluck. At least, not in that previously described understanding of …

The Mass for Millennials: Prayer of the Faithful

I used to think that the Prayer of the Faithful was a bit like a bill passed in Congress. There would be certain key prayers, followed by additional prayers from special interest groups that might not have been part of the original plan, but after a vote from the parish committee on Sunday all of us are obliged to stand and repeat, “Lord, hear our prayer,” regardless of whether we were particularly connected to these prayers. However, in reality these prayers are one of the most important duties of our Christian life, and a necessary work for our salvation and that of the world. First, from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal: In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. (§69) What is striking here is that the Prayer of the Faithful is one of the ways that we exercise our shared baptismal …

The Mass for Millennials: the Creed

When First Year Students enter the university each fall, they are provided the opportunity for a prompt and thorough indoctrination into the Notre Dame football culture. They learn the gestures, the cheers, and the songs that will punctuate their existence during their time on campus, and that will continue to help define their identities as alumni and alumnae long into the future. These traditions are not something that students have the option to create or define themselves. Rather, they are received: each student must ultimately decide whether or not their individual “I” will become part of the collective “We” of the Notre Dame student section. There may be something of an analogy in this image, which allows us a window into what the Creed teaches us about faith. The recitation of the Creed at Mass seems to contradict everything we think we know about faith today. Faith, or belief, is something subjective: I search the abstract realm of faith for truth, and I decide in my own mind and heart what seems the most convincing …