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Parts of a Catholic Mass I

Parts of a Catholic Mass I

As Christians, when we consciously and actively live all parts of a Mass, we relive Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Pope Francis points out that through the Mass we Christians receive God's love and mercy, and we open ourselves to a new life thanks to the Resurrection. 

Because it is important to explain the parts of the Catholic Mass 

In the Holy Mass, we live the sacrifice of Christ, which was offered to all of us, once and for all on the Cross. This, which is the centre of our Christian life and the thanksgiving that we present to God for his great love for us, is not another sacrifice, it is not a repetition. It is the same sacrifice of Jesus that is made present. 

Broadly speaking, the Christian Mass has two fundamental parts: 

Liturgy of the word 

The Eucharistic Liturgy 

Dispose of, live and give thanks for the mass. 

To know how to take advantage of the great spiritual fruits that as Christians are given to us, through the celebration of Holy Mass, we must know this celebration, understanding its gestures and symbols, participating in it with reverence. 

Living the Christian faith in a concrete way implies that there are moments of family prayer, moments of living the sacraments together, especially in Sunday Mass. 

Parts of a Mass: Opening Rites 

We arrive preferably on time to the temple and we prepare ourselves to celebrate the greatest mystery of our faith. 

The introductory rites prepare us to listen to the word and celebrate the Eucharist: 

  • Entrance song 

  • Kiss at the altar and Sign of the cross 

  • Penitential act 

  • Song of Glory 

  • Collect prayer 

Entrance song 

We prepare to begin the first part of a mass with the entrance song. It is a song that unites us all because people from different places, cultures, ages come to Mass and we sing with one voice, as a family, that of God on earth, in communion with the whole Church. 

The Song highlights the festive nature of the celebration. We come together to celebrate one of the greatest gifts that Jesus left us: the Eucharist. 

Some attribute to Pope Celestine I (422-431) the incorporation of the entrance song. Although the exact date of incorporation is unknown, it already existed for sure in the 5th century. 

Kiss on the altar and Sign of the cross 

The priest enters, kisses the altar and greets all those present, making the gesture of the sign of the Cross. To begin in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is not only to mention the name of God, but to put ourselves in his presence. 

This is a good time to ask the Lord to help us live the Holy Mass with the same purity, humility and devotion with which the Blessed Virgin received him. 

(…) The priest is there, not in his own name, but in nomine Ecclesiæ, in the name of the Church. He represents, then, all the faithful, and in the name of all, he gives the liturgical kiss to Christ, symbolized by the altar. This veneration of the altar is expressed with three signs: 

  1. The inclination that is a gesture becomes an act of homage to Christ, to the place of sacrifice and to the Lord's table. 

  2. The kiss at the altar: which is a kiss of greeting and love between the Church and the incense. 

  3. It is completed with the incense that symbolizes honor, purification and sanctification. 

Penitential act 

Placed in the presence of God, the Church invites us to humbly acknowledge that we are sinners. We humbly ask the Lord for forgiveness for all our faults. We humbly acknowledge in front of all our brothers that we are sinners. 

It is an important gesture to start Holy Mass with a clean heart and soul. It is a good time to remember when our last confession was. As Christians, we have to go to this Sacrament to receive Jesus. 

And to express this desire and ask God for forgiveness, we used the words of the blind man who heard that Jesus was passing by, and since he knew that he could not heal himself, but needed God's help, he began to shout in the middle of the crowd: "Lord, have mercy on me." Thus, with confidence in God's mercy, we also pray "Lord have mercy." 

Song of Glory 

We praise God, recognizing the holiness of him, at the same time as our need for him. The Gloria is like a shout of enthusiasm towards God, to the whole Trinity. 

On Sundays and solemnities, this hymn is recited, which summarizes the maximum meaning of Christian life: to give glory to God. Praise God, not just because he is good, or because he helps us, or because of the things that he gives us. Give Him glory for who He is, because He is God. It helps us to be well oriented, to affirm that the highest meaning of our life is in Him. 

Collect Prayer 

The Collection is so-called because it is the prayer that collects everyone's requests. We do them through Jesus Christ, the only Mediator, in the communion of the Holy Spirit, who collects our supplications, making the Mystery of the Trinity present again. 

The priest invites the entire community to pray, presenting to God the Father the petitions that the Church raises to Heaven each time the Holy Sacrifice is celebrated. 

 It is important for every Christian to know and live properly each of the parts of the Catholic Mass: 

Parts of a Mass: Liturgy of the Word 

Through the readings, we will listen directly to God who speaks to us, who are his people. We respond by singing, meditating and praying. 

In the first reading God speaks to us through the experiences of his prophets, in the second reading through his apostles-Finally, in the Gospel he speaks to us directly through his Son Jesus Christ 

  • First reading of the Old Testament 

  • Psalm 

  • Second reading: In the New Testament. 

  • Gospel: The song of the Hallelujah disposes us to listen to the proclamation of the mystery of Christ. In the end, we acclaimed saying: "Glory to you, Lord Jesus." 

  • Homily: The priest explains the Word of God to us. 

  • Creed: Profession of Faith 

  • Prayer of the faithful: We pray for each other asking for the needs of all. 

  • Wash 

First reading: Old Testament, God speaks to men 

The first reading, generally taken from the Old Testament. God speaks to us through the history of the people of Israel and its prophets. 

It is important to meditate on them, because through these words, God was preparing his People for the coming of Christ. And they also prepare us to listen to Jesus, since the first reading is directly related to the Gospel to be read. 

Responsorial Psalm, the response of the faithful to the Word of God 

The Responsorial Psalm is like an extension of the themes proposed in the first reading. 

With the psalms we learn to pray, we learn to speak with God, using his own words, which became prayer. Words that He puts in our mouths so that we know how to express ourselves. 

Second reading: In the New Testament, God speaks to us through the apostles. 

We heard the preaching of the first men to whom Jesus said: "Go and make my disciples of all nations ... teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you." (Mt 28, 19-20). 

It is taken from the New Testament. It can be part of the Acts of the Apostles or the letters that the first apostles wrote. Also from the Catholic Epistles, the book of Hebrews or the Apocalypse. That is to say, they are the writings of the apostles, 

This second reading helps us to know how the first Christians lived and how they explained the teachings of Jesus to others. This helps us to better know and understand what Jesus taught us. 

After the second reading, the Alleluia is sung, which is a joyous song that recalls the Resurrection or another song according to the demands of the liturgical season. 

Gospel, The proclamation of the Gospel 

The song of the Hallelujah disposes us to listen to the proclamation of the mystery of Christ. At the end, we acclaimed saying: "Glory to you, Lord Jesus." 

It is Jesus Christ himself who speaks to us in the Gospel. That is why we listen to him standing up, and the priest kisses him when he finishes proclaiming it. He then announces aloud that Jesus Christ is among us: Dominus vobiscum! 

The gestures made by the priest symbolize our desire to be part of the Truth of the Gospel. The teachings of the Lord are communicated to us so that we can meditate on them in personal intimacy and incorporate them into our souls, so that we then communicate them, in the form of words and works of mercy, to the people around us in our daily lives. our life. 

It is a call to the apostolic responsibility of Christians, which in the Holy Mass takes on new strength. 

Homily: The priest explains the Word of God to us. 

The priest takes time to explain the Word of God to us. Homily comes from a Greek word that means "dialogue", "conversation". It is the moment when God speaks to us through his Church. 

It is a simple and practical explanation, rooted in liturgical texts, that we will apply to our Christian life. We try to make the advice they give us our own and we try to get specific purposes. A good homily is one that makes you reflect from the inside. 

Creed: After hearing the Word of God profess our faith 

«We are a single people that confess a single faith, a Creed; a people gathered in the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit »(Saint Leo the Great, Homily I on the Nativity of the Lord (PL 54, 192). 

Praying the Creed is a source of holy pride for every Christian. We are amazed at the reality of being the People of God, the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. 

Prayer of the faithful: We pray for each other asking for the needs of all. 

With the prayer of the faithful, the first part of the Mass ends. We pray for each other asking for everyone's needs. Presentation of the offerings of bread and wine 

In that Bread and that Wine that the priest offers to God - the fruit of man's sweat and work - are all your human efforts. Offer all that to God. Put all the hours and actions of your day on the paten with Christ and thus you will supernaturalize your life. 

Everything will be done for God and will be pleasing to God. Make your life truly an offering to the Lord. Let us not forget that, by raising these prayers, it is Christ himself who presents them to God the Father by the virtue of the Holy Spirit. 


While the priest does the washing of the hands, you repeat inside the prayer that he makes inside: Lord, wash me completely of my guilt and purify me of my sin! 

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Maria Reina de La Paz Parish

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