Introduction | Liturgy of the Word | Liturgy of the Eucharist
Concluding Rite | Items used at Mass | Posture at Mass


The section of the Mass preceding the Liturgy of the Word that confers a quality of preparation and introduction on the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The intent is that the assembled group unite as a community properly prepared to hear God's Word and celebrate the Eucharist. Includes the following:

Entrance Antiphon
Penitential Rite (Rite of Blessing & Sprinkling)
Kyrie (Lord, Have Mercy)
Gloria (Glory to God)
Opening Prayer
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Liturgy of the Word - The major part of the Mass between the Opening Prayer and the preparation of the Gifts during which the Word of God is proclaimed, responded to, authoritatively explained, accepted and held fast, and appealed to. Includes the following:

First Reading
Responsorial Psalm
Second Reading
Acclamation (Alleluia)
Gospel Reading
Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed) or (Apostles' Creed - Children Only)
General Intercessions (Prayer of the Faithful)
Public Authorities
Salvation of the World (Oppressed)
Local Community
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The major part of the Mass after the Liturgy of the Word and ending before the Concluding Rite. This part corresponds to the words and actions of Christ at the Last Supper. Christ took bread and the cup, gave thanks, broke, and gave them to His disciples saying: "Take and eat; this is My Body. Take and drink; This is the cup of My Blood. Do this in memory of Me."

Preparation of the Gifts (Presentation)
The priest prepares the altar and the gifts, prays over the bread and wine, and helps the assembly get ready for the tremendous Sacrifice that will take place in an unbloody manner. Includes the following:

Offertory Song
Preparation of the Altar
Preparation of the Bread
Preparation of the Wine
Washing of Hands
Invitation to Prayer
Prayer over the Gifts

Eucharistic Prayer
The center and high point of the Mass that makes Christ present for us in His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. During it, the entire assembly joins Christ in acknowledging the works of God and in offering the Sacrifice. Includes the following:

Introductory Dialogue
Eucharistic Prayer
Epicleses - Ask God to consecrate the Host & Wine
Institution - Narrative and Consecration
Anamnesis - Command of Christ through the Apostles
Final Doxology
Memorial Acclamation
Great Amen

Communion Rite
is the conclusion of the Mass. It is part when God gives a gift to Him. In both cases the gift is the same Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. Includes the following:

The Lord's Prayer
Rite of Peace (Sign of Peace)
Fraction Rite
Breaking of the Bread
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Personal Prayer
Silent Prayer
Prayer after Communion

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Immediately after the Communion Rite, should there be any announcements, these are made, but should be kept brief. Then just as the people were greeted at the beginning of the Mass, so now the president greets the people again and blesses them in one of three forms, the simple one, or at his discretion a more solemn Blessing, particularly at various seasons or on specific feast days, or a Prayers over the people. Includes the following:

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Books | Objects | Vestments

Book of the Gospels
Contains only the Gospel readings. It is used on more solemn occasions and is carried by the deacon if it is used.

Contains all the parts of the mass for a specific season in the liturgical year including instructions on when to stand, sit, or kneel.

Contains the scripture readings for Mass.

Contains the opening prayer, prayer over the gifts, prayer after communion, and solemn blessings. Eucharistic prayers and prefaces for all of the masses including most special occasions.


The large cup used at Mass used to hold the wine which becomes the Blood of Christ.

A saucer-like disk which holds the bread which becomes the Body of Christ.

A vessel used to hold the Hosts which will be used for communion. Some are cup-like and others are bowl/plate like. They are also used to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.

Decanter or Flagon
The bottle or pitcher like vessel used to hold the wine which will be consecrated at mass for the communion of the people. It is brought forth with the gifts.

Communion Cups
Chalice like vessels used at communion when the people receive from the cup. They are kept on the Credence Table and brought to the Altar at communion time.

A white linen cloth on which are placed the vessels containg the bread and wine during Mass which will become the Body and Blood of Christ.

The stiff, square, white cover that is placed over the paten when it is on the chalice.

A white cloth use to cleancse the chalice. It ressembles a napkin.


A long white garment which can be used by all liturgical ministers. It is a reminder of the baptismal garment worn when the new Christian "put on Chirst."
A long cord used for fastening some albs at the waist. It holds the loose-fitting type of alb in place and is used to adjust it to proper length. It is usually white, although the liturgical color of the day may be used.
A long cloth "scarf." According to the manner in which it worn it is the mark of the Office of the priest or deacon. A priest wears it around the neck, letting it hang down in front. A deacon wears it over his left shoulder, fastening it at his right side.
The sleeveless outer garment, slipped over the head, hanging down from the shoulders covering the alb and stole of the priest. It is the proper Mass vestment for the main celebrant and its color varies according to the feast.

Worn during "Ordinary Time." Ordinary does not mean ordinary in the sense of common or normal. Ordinary means counting, as in the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Worn on Passion (Palm) Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, and on the Feast Days of Martyrs including the Apostles and Envangelists.

Worn during the Christmas and Easter seasons and celebrations of Mary, the Angels, the Saints who were not martyrs, All Saints, Birth of John the Baptist, Chair of Peter, Conversion of Paul, and our patron - St. John the Evangelist.

Worn during Advent and Lent.

Worn on the 3rd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) and the 4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday).

Worn at Masses for the dead.

A loose-fitting robe with open sides and wide sleeves worn by a deacon on more solemn feasts. It takes its color from the liturgical feast as listed above.
A long black garment worn by Altar Servers under the Surplice. Also worn by Diocesan Priests (Black), Monsignors (Rose), Bishops (Violet), Cardinals (Red), and the Pope ( White).
This is a wied-sleeved garment, slipped over the head, covering the shoulders, and coming down below the hips. It is worn over the cassock.
A cape-like garment which is put over the shoulders and hangs to the ankles, it is open in the front and worn by a priest or deacon in processions at Benediction and in other services.
Also called the humeral veil. This is a long narrow shawl-like vestment used at Benediction.

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STAND - From the start of Mass until the first reading

SIT - During the first and second readings

STAND - From the Gospel acclamation until the end of the Gospel

SIT - During the homily

STAND - From the profession of faith until the end of the general intercessions

SIT - From the preparation of the gifts to the end of "Pray brethren ..."

STAND - From the start of the people's response to the end of the "Holy, Holy, Holy"

KNEEL - From the end of the "Holy, Holy, Holy" until after the amen of the eucharistic prayer

STAND - From the start of the "Our Father" until the end of the "Lamb of God"

KNEEL - From "Behold the Lamb of God" until the distribution of Communion

STAND - When receiving Communion

SIT or STAND - During the silence after Communion

STAND - From the start of the prayer after Communion ubtil the end of Mass

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