Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Mass is for self prayer?

So perhaps I am misunderstanding the Catholic Church; I must be since all those who are not Catholic usually tell me that they do not have to be at Church to pray to God that they can pray wherever they like. As I understand it, that is the point. We should pray everywhere and anywhere not just behind the closed doors of the church. That is the point of being a Christian by loving God and living by his Word.

The next question I encounter is why then must we attend Sunday Mass?
We attend to receive Holy Communion, to listen to the scripture, to pray in unity as the children of God. Mass, from my perception, appears to be less of an individual prayer than a group prayer. We adore, love, and ask for forgiveness from the Lord before we receive him together as a group as the whole Church.
Immediately after receiving communion, many individuals enjoy being in the presence of the Lord. They kneel in silent reflection. I am beginning to believe when kneeling following the communion we should join the choir in song to help all celebrate in their communion. In this moment we are as a whole filled with the Lord and able to pray and glorify him more fully. This leaves for that moment of reflection to be a short enjoyment from when the Priest is purifying the vessels and sits down in his own reflection to when he stands for ending prayer. In fact, at the end of Mass is when the individual prayers should begin. I like to end it with a Prayer to St. Michael to combat the devil, but that is for the individual to decide....

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I agree with you, Ian. I think that Sunday mass is for community- be it group prayer, or some sort of social activity that the church members do together because they are church members (I'm thinking of my own church in VA, where the members work together outside the church after mass with Haitian churches or w/in the local community). Good post.

Of course, I'm biased. I used to be in the church choir; we always wanted everyone to join in!