Saturday, September 19, 2020 –
Yesterday we walked though going to Confession and showed how it goes through each of the expressions and forms of prayer. Today we want to do that for the Mass. Now, the Mass has a lot more “stuff” to it, so I will be pulling out examples rather than a full walk though.
Know, however, that the Mass contains ALL the expressions and forms of prayer many, many, MANY times over! Why? Simplest answer is that it contains the Eucharist, which itself “expresses all forms of prayer.” You can know this because the Catechism say so:
2643 The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer: it is “the pure offering” of the whole Body of Christ to the glory of God’s name and, according to the traditions of East and West, it is the “sacrifice of praise.”
Again, as a reminder, here is our base outline for both the expressions and forms of prayer:
Section I: Expressions of Prayer
- External Prayer
- Internal Prayer
Section II: Forms of Prayer
- Petition (supplication)
Let’s start with the expressions of prayer. VOCAL PRAYER is definitely the easiest one. Whether it is singing the Gloria or praying the Pater Noster, you know it is vocal because you can hear it. And yes, even at a TLM Low Mass there is vocal prayer. The Priest and altar boys speak on our behalf, but there is **still** vocal prayer!
What about MEDITATIVE PRAYER? Yes, that too happens at the Mass. You **should** be taking the time to really think about each part of the Mass as it is happening. It is a bit more difficult to do in Novus Ordo because you are constantly moving around and “doing” something, but every moment is an opportunity for you to meditate on God’s truth. Take the readings, for example, as the Priest is saying them, let the words sink in. Think about the message of the Gospel. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help you understand what God’s Will and what He needs you to know and do.
As for CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER, many people think this is difficult, but you have the perfect time during the Consecration, especially at the Elevation, to **be** with Christ in the Eucharist. For me, time stops. I am with my Lord and He is with me: that beautiful, eternal gaze at one another!
Now on to the forms of prayer. If you were paying attention when I was going through each of the forms of prayer, you might have noticed that the examples contained part / prayers from the Mass. That is because the Mass really does cover every form of prayer! Rather than going through the entire Mass, I will point out an example for each form of prayer:
- Blessing and Adoration:
- Pretty much any part of the Mass, for realz!
- Petition (supplication):
- The Confiteor (AKA the “Penitential Act”)
- Prayer of the People at the Novus Ordo Mass
- The Te Igitur (prayers for the Church) and the Memento, Domini (Commemoration of the Living) in the Traditional Latin Mass
- Every time we say, “Deo gratias” at Mass (it literally means, “thanks be to God”)
- The Glory Be (Gloria Patri…)
- The Gloria from Mass (Gloria in excelsis Deo)
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea: the Mass is ALL the expressions and forms of prayer!
Mother most admirable, pray for us!