“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross through the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection; a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.’” (CCC 1323)
PAX CHRISTI celebrates the Eucharist, Mass, every day, and on the Vigil Mass of Sunday at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening, and the Sunday Mass at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Catholics are expected to participate in the weekend liturgy every weekend. The Mass is the “source and summit” of our life as Christians. Participation in Mass is more than just showing up. Participation in Mass, as defined by Vatican 2, is to be “full, active, and conscious.”
We can help make our participation “conscious” by preparing for Mass by reading the readings of the Mass PRIOR to coming on the weekend. We can also assist in making our participation “conscious” by arriving early and staying through the end of the Mass. Each week, we are sent off with the words, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” This dismissal is an intimate part of Mass, because through our participation in the Mass, we receive the nourishment and strength to go live our lives as a child of God, and a brother of Jesus.
We make our participation “active” by participating in the movement of the Mass, from standing, sitting and kneeling. Each of these liturgical stances help us exhibit in our bodies our attitude and demeanor toward what is happening during the Mass. We also make our participation very “active” by responding to the dialogues with the priest, and by singing the hymns and psalm response.
We can make our participation “full” by sharing in the ministries available during the mass. Each weekend mass needs at least 20 individuals to exercise the various ministries, such as greeters, sacristan, readers, altar servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, choir, musicians and cantor. Catholics in the proper state, free of serious sin and having fasted from food for one hour prior to Mass, are invited to come to the Table of the Lord to receive the Eucharist.