In Home Discipleship Formation November 2022
Parts of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Word
We continue to explore the Catholic Mass by learning about the second part of the Mass, The Liturgy of the Word.
Prayer: Begin with the Sign of the Cross
Dear Heavenly Father,
Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” This beautiful verse shows us how precious your Word is to us all. We come to you in prayer today and ask for your help developing a love for that Word. We know we can trust every written verse.
Thank you for giving us the Bible as an expression of your unending love for us. Forgive us Lord for not reading it more often. Sometimes we let distraction get in the way or put it off until tomorrow. But we come to you with renewed commitment today, because we know as we read about your love, we will in turn grow in the love we have for more of your truth.
Lord, your son Jesus taught us the importance of your Word. He said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) Let your Holy Spirit give us a hunger for more time reading, praying, and seeking truth. May that hunger fuel a deeper love for the Bible.
Thank you, Father for loving us so much that you provided guidance for us in the form of a love letter. May we never take it for granted. Thank you for your Word, your mercy, and your love.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Family Discussion Question:
- What are some of your favorite stories from the Bible? Invite each family member to share their favorite story. Discuss why these stories are favorites.
The second part of the Mass is the Liturgy of the Word. It is during this time that we literally listen to the Word of God. The readings we hear at Mass are not stories made up by people. The first and second readings, the Psalm response, and the Gospel are all words that God spoke and were written down to be passed on for thousands of years.
The First Reading comes from the Old Testament of the Bible (usually). During the Easter season the First Reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles. The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible that helps us understand the relationship between God and the Israelites, God’s chosen people. And the end of the First Reading, the reader says, “The Word of the Lord” and we respond, “Thanks be to God.”
The Psalm Response is a song that we sing in between First and Second Readings. The Psalms were written by God’s servant David who was a king in the Old Testament. David was a shepherd before God called him to be King of the Israelites. The Psalm response will follow the Liturgical year: more joyful for Christmas and Easter; more sorrowful or penitential for Advent an Lent.
The Second Reading comes from the New Testament letters usually from St. Paul. The letters are written to communities, or specific people, to help them live lives like Jesus modeled based on love, forgiveness, and mercy. And the end of the Second Reading, the reader says, “The Word of the Lord” and we respond, “Thanks be to God.”
- The First and Second readings are proclaimed from the ambo and read from a red book called the Lectionary.
Gospel Acclamation----After the Second Reading, we stand and sing the Alleluia. We stand to honor Christ, present with us in the Word, especially in the Gospel. We sing the ALLELUIA outside the Lenten season; during Lent, we sing another acclamation---Glory to you, O Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel: The Gospel comes from one of the Gospel writers in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. The dialogue is as follows:
Priest/Deacon: The Lord be with you.
We respond: And with your Spirit.
Priest/Deacon: A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (this year).
We respond: Glory to you, O Lord.
We then trace a cross on our foreheads so that that Word of God will in our minds; we trace a cross on our lips so that the Word of God will in on our lips; and we trace a cross on our hearts so that the Word of God will be in our hearts.
When the Gospel ends the Deacon or Priest says, “The Gospel of the Lord”. We respond, “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.”
- The readings are on a three year cycle---Years A, B, and C. We just began Year A with the First Sunday of Advent on November 27, 2022. The Gospels for Year A come from Matthew, one of the four Gospel writers.
Homily: After we listened to the Gospel, Fr. Nonito or Deacon Dan, give a homily. A homily is a connection of the readings (First, Second, and Gospel) to our daily lives given by the deacon or priest. A homily in not meant to WOW or entertain but is meant to transform our lives.
- A homily is measured in terms of its real impact on people when they leave church and return to their homes, schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces. A homily should help us take the Word of God, just proclaimed, with us when we leave the church. A homily enters our lives and sticks with us so we can be living homilies, doing the work of evangelization by inviting others to consider the good news of Jesus Christ as an alternative to their current way of life.
Creed: The Creed---specifically the Nicene Creed, is a prayer that expresses our identity. We are baptized into this creed---this statement of beliefs, as Catholic Christians, that we believe about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Catholic Church. If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must place our trust in him; know who it is we believe in and why. When we pray the Creed, we are placing our trust in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Church. To say we believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Church, means that we are allowing them to lead us and we will follow. To proclaim the words of the Creed at Mass is to proclaim a relationship.
Pray the Nicene Creed together and focus on what you are praying and believing when you say, “I believe in One God . . . “
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
(For younger children have them echo the words after you.)
Prayers of the Faithful: The prayers we offer for our Church and her leaders, for our country and its leaders, for ourselves and others, for those who are sick, and those who have died are called Prayers of the Faithful or Intentions. The Prayers of the Faithful follow a certain pattern: Church; Country (government leaders); ourselves or others suffering from disasters, violence, etc; those who are sick; and those who have died.
- The Prayers of the Faithful are ever changing to express the needs of those gathered. They challenge us to live out our baptismal call as we leave the church. Each prayer usually ends with “We pray to the Lord.” We respond, “Lord, hear our prayer.”
- The Prayers of the Faithful end the Liturgy of the Word and foreshadow the prayers we will soon place before the altar as we prepare to offer our gifts to the Lord in the Liturgy of the Eucharist---the third part of the Mass.
As a family, invite each family member to think of a prayer for someone and end it with “We pray to the Lord”. The rest of the family responds, “Lord, hear our prayer.”
Video Discussion Questions:
- What is the purpose of the homily?
- From what part of the Bible does the First Reading come?
- Why do we trace crosses on our forehead, lips, and heart?
As you trace a cross on your forehead, lips, and heart say,
“I pray that the Word of God is in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart.”
Finish session by completing a Kahoot quiz with your family.
Nickname must be your Family name for your child/ren to be marked present for the session.
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