Starting tomorrow, there will be a weekly post on the prayers of the Mass. The basic outline of the posts will be as follows: the text of the prayers along with a brief reflection or note on one or more of them. All of the prayers are the prayers which we hear (and pray) at Mass from the Roman Missal, English translation according to the third typical edition. Until something better comes up, we will call the series, “Weekly Euchology.” Euchology refers to the study of prayers in the liturgy. Weekly because the prayers of the Sunday Mass can be used throughout the following week (unless there are other prayers for the day). My intention to post every Saturday. Last time I tried to start a weekly series, Sacristy Notes, it fizzled out after the first week. This time around, I will approach the task with greater commitment. Perhaps “Sacristy Notes” will be revived as well.
As I preacher, my homilies have typically drawn from the texts of Sacred Scripture that are given for a particular Mass. The General Instruction for the Roman Missal, paragraph 65, states:
The Homily is part of the Liturgy and is highly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an explanation of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.
As I understand it, a homily must stem from at least one of three sources: the readings, the prayers of the day (the Proper), or from another part of the Mass (the Ordinary, for example, the Eucharistic Prayer). Contrarily, a sermon could be about anything a preacher desires. Since the prayers of the Mass are infrequently the fodder for homilies, I hope that our consideration of them will increase our conscious participation at Holy Mass.
May each of us, by considering the text of the prayers of the Mass, increase our love for Holy Mass. The more we know the more we can love!