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Preparing for Mass

God has given us a spectacular invitation to be in His physical presence and physically receive Him every day!

When we partake in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is important that we be in the proper frame of mind while doing so in order to honor God in the utmost possible way.  In our fast paced world today, it’s easy to miss the opportunity to slow down a bit before mass and truly contemplate what we about to do.

There are many ways to prepare before coming to our Lord’s table; here are but a few ways.

The Daily Roman Missal tells us that, in preparation for Mass, we can contemplate on the fact that the Eucharistic sacrifice is the most important event that happens each day and that the Eucharistic sacrifice is the most pleasing reality we can offer to God.

The Daily Roman Missal also includes other suggestions as follows.

We can and should pray before Mass.  Here are several different ways you could pray before Mass:

  • Praying for the priest, that the Holy Spirit will guide his words and actions in order to fulfill the needs of the congregation.
  • Praying for the congregation, that their ears may be open to receive the Word of God and comprehend and accept its meaning.
  • Praying the Rosary before leaving for Mass, or on the way to Mass.
  • Praying the Prayer of St. Ambrose, the Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Prayer to the Virgin Mary, or maybe the Prayer to Angels and Saints.
  • If you find yourself unprepared to receive Holy Communion for some reason, you could still pray a prayer of Spiritual Communion:

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Fasting requirements have changed over the years, and most particularly after the Second Vatican Council.  Currently, Catholics should fast for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion (previously, Catholics were required to fast from the Midnight before receiving Holy Communion).

While there are many ways to prepare for the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the point is to orient our minds toward God, to join with our brothers and sisters in the congregation, to have the right intention, and unite ourselves to the Sacrifice of Jesus who is the only Victim.