How Do I Prepare for Mass on Sunday?
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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Text from the first four paragraphs of "How Do I Prepare for Mass on Sunday?"A few of us are saying, "I prepare by getting my family to church, with the least amount of fighting." All of us have, at one time or another, had the experience of being there at the beginning of Mass and feeling many miles away. It can seem that we are totally distracted by everything, anything going on around us, and by a long list of things, emotions, memories, that find their way into our consciousness the minute Mass starts.This very common experience offers us the opportunity to reflect upon what we can do to make our experience of Mass much richer, enjoyable, and helpful for our faith life.It starts with an attitudeIf I think about going to Mass merely as "fulfilling my Sunday obligation," I've already lowered the bar terribly to begin with. The Church - the whole People of God - asks us to come together to give thanks and praise to God and because the Mass makes us who we are as Church. The Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy tells us that the Eucharist (which means "Thanksgiving") is the "source and the summit" of our faith life. Our faith life comes from the liturgy and when we celebrate the liturgy well, that celebration is the best expression of our faith life. The Constitution sought to renew the liturgy so that we might all have "fully conscious and active participation" in it. How different this vision is from "attending Mass"!We can think about preparing for the liturgy the way we'd prepare for anything we want to participate in fully. If we are going to a new movie that is out, we might read several reviews and get connected with the buzz about the movie. If we are going to sporting event, it always helps our involvement if we stay up to date with the teams and know something about the players and some of the team stats. If we are going to a committee meeting or a neighborhood organization gathering, we'd typically get ourselves ready to know the issues and be ready to participate in the event.