What's Mass/Confession all about?

The Mass is the highest form of Catholic worship. In the celebration of Mass, bread and wine become our Lord in Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. The first Mass was the Last supper (Lk 22). There are two key parts to the Mass - Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Liturgy of the Word includes readings from the Bible (usually an Old Testament reading, a psalm and a New Testament reading linked in theme to the Gospel reading). In the 'Word,' God speaks to us. 

To receive communion we must be in good standing with the Church, be free from mortal sin and have observed the one hour communion fast. Those not receiving communion may pray silently or receive a blessing from the priest (please indicate this by crossing your hands over your chest).

Non-Catholics are most welcome to attend Mass; they may not, however, ordinarily receive the Eucharist. Feel free to come forward to the priest for a blessing at communion time.

If it's your first time coming to Holy Mass, there are Mass Cards at the back of the Church to help you to follow the responses, and hymn books in the aisles. At the 10am Sunday Mass, people will be at the church doors to welcome you in - if you have any questions just ask them. Sit whereever's most comfortable for you - it might be helpful to sit towards the back so that you can follow those in front. An order of Mass showing the outline of mass can be seen here, while this week's Mass readings can be found at www.universalis.com/mass

Eucharistic Adoration is a period of liturgical or silent prayer before the presence of the Eucharist (the consecrated host - Our Lord really present), which concludes with a blessing.

The sacrament of reconciliation (or Confession or Penance) is where Catholics seek forgiveness and absolution from sin. There is an obligation to go to confession at least once a year, usually during the Easter period. When in a state of mortal sin, one is encouraged to seek reconciliation as soon as possible. Catholics are welcome to attend more frequently, out of personal devotion.

Baptism washes away sin - both original and personal sin committed before Baptism. This sacrament makes us a member of the Church. It gives us graces from the Holy Spirit. Baptism is considered necessary for salvation for those whom the Gospel message is known and who have had the possibility of asking for it. There is only one valid baptism that can be performed. Parents should seek for children to be baptized as soon as possible after  their birth.

Returning to Church?

Lots of our parishioners have been away for a bit – and some for long periods. It’s not unusual and it’s just wonderful that people think that perhaps something is missing out there:

 

            So much pressure to HAVE things

            So much pressure to DO things

            So much pressure to be BETTER than your neighbour

            So much pressure to SAY how wonderful things are when they aren’t always so good.

            So much pressure in the MEDIA saying what rubbish religion is

            So little innocence

 

But..

Does this make people happier? Is something missing?

 

What about Jesus’ wonderful Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 

So if you are wondering whether to come back – there is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of and everything to look forward to.

Everybody – EVERYBODY – who comes to church is a sinner, everybody is welcome and it can be really good to be part of a community.

It takes time and effort but just introduce yourself to the Parish Priest or anybody else and see what you think. You have nothing to lose and perhaps some peace,  joy and salvation to gain!

What to Expect?

Mass is the central point of the Catholic's week, and the most important part of the Mass is the consecration of the gifts of bread and wine into the body and blood of Our Lord. However, you will find many different expressions of the worshipping community at different Masses. For instance, the 6pm Mass contains no singing at all, while the 10am Mass is our busiest service with a full choir and Children's Liturgy present. The 11-30am Mass usually has some hymns, but the Mass parts (e.g. Gloria, Lamb of God) are not sung.

If you are thinking of to Mass for the first time, you are most welcome to join us. Just come along to Mass and introduce yourself to the priest after Mass if you want to find out more about joining us more often. Practically speaking, you can sit wherever you want - but it may be helpful to sit towards the back to be able to see when others stand/sit/kneel and while many people do wear smarter clothes it is not uncommon for people to come dressed in casual attire - all we ask is modesty and respect (it more important to prepare one's heart for Holy Mass than one's wardrobe!). You'll find some Mass cards at the back of the Church to help with responses. 

After Sunday Morning Mass, a number of the congregation gather in our Parish Centre, just up the road, for tea and coffee. Do join us, if you have the time.