Parts of the Mass
The most holy sacrifice of the Mass is a single act of worship, which begins with the introductory rites: the Entrance, the Greeting, the Penitential Act, the Gloria, and the Collect. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal teaches that these “have the character of a beginning, an introduction, and a preparation.” Each aspect guides the faithful more deeply into the celebration of the Paschal Banquet. We bring ourselves physically before God, we direct our minds to the things of God, we express sorrow for sins and implore God’s mercy, and we gather our prayers as a community of faith.
Because of its position and duration, it may be relatively easy to miss the significance of the Introductory Rites. Simple as they may seem these initial acts are not so: they are a calling together of the entire Body of Christ, they are the beginning of one great hymn of praise and thanksgiving, sung together by the local church, the church around the globe, and the angels and saints in heaven!
Check back in January 2020 for our next section, the Liturgy of the Word