Participating in the Sacrifice of Christ

KingDavidTurn to the Lord and His strength; constantly seek His face.” (Introit)

Along with the psalmist, we turn to the Lord most especially in the Sacred Liturgy. It is the essential purpose of the public prayer of the Church that we should seek God’s face, His active and loving presence among us.

Pope Benedict XVI said that the priest at Mass “…is in a conversation with God because the texts of Holy Mass are not theatrical scripts or anything like them, but prayers, thanks to which, together with the assembly, I speak to God.” He was commenting on St Benedict’s famous advice to his monks when singing the psalms, “Let the mind be in accord with the voice.”

This helps us to understand that our participation in the Sacred Liturgy is primarily the interior action of prayer, and that our external activity must serve this purpose. In particular, both the priest and the people in offering the Holy Mass, must unite themselves with the ends for which Our Lord offered the sacrifice of Calvary which is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice. Christ on the Cross gave adoration and thanks to the Father, offered atonement and reparation for our sins, and pleaded for grace for all of us.

Our response when we participate in the sacrifice of the Mass, should be to adore God the Father from our heart, to thank Him for His blessings, to offer Him our sincere contrition for our sins, and to beg Him for His grace. It is good to prepare for Mass in our morning prayers, to come a little early to put ourselves in the presence of God before Mass, and to give thanksgiving afterwards.