Preparing for the Mass
Each month we will publish a resource page to support you in preparation for the Mass. In each one we will provide the following:
- The theme we propose
- The chapters of the resource book that the Mass theme will be developed around.
- The Gospel that will be used on the Sunday
- Any specific prayers that will be used in the Mass, other than those on the Missalette
- An explanation of any specific resources etc. that will be used at the Mass
- Suggestions for conversation in the week ahead of the Mass
- Suggestions for a prayer after the Mass
The theme we will take for the Mass is: We Prepare with Joy. The 3rd Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudate Sunday. Gaudate is the first word spoken in this Mass, it means Rejoice. The opening lines of the Mass are:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.
Indeed, the Lord is near.
Watch out for these opening lines on the Missalette on Sunday. They are in the Entrance Antiphon which is only said if there is no singing at the Mass.
On the 3rd Sunday of Advent we light the Rose coloured candle symbolising our rejoicing. On the other three Sundays we light a purple candle symbolising our penitence of preparation.
2. Chapter of the Resource Book
We are not using any chapter from the resource book, Preparing for First Holy Communion; A Guide for Families, this weekend. We will return to it in the new year.
In advance of the Mass talk about why we give gifts at Christmas. What is someone saying to you when they give you a gift?
3. Gospel of the Mass
Matthew 11:2-11 International Children’s Bible (ICB) Taken from the 18th chapter of the Gospel of Luke. – copied from www.biblegateway.com
John the Baptist was in prison, but he heard about the things the Christ was doing. So John sent some of his followers to Jesus. They asked Jesus, “Are you the man who John said was coming, or should we wait for another one?”
Jesus answered, “Go back to John and tell him about the things you hear and see: The blind can see. The crippled can walk. People with harmful skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear. The dead are raised to life. And the Good News is told to the poor. The person who does not lose faith because of me is blessed.”
As John’s followers were leaving, Jesus began talking to the people about John. Jesus said, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed[a] blown by the wind? No. Really, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. Those people who wear fine clothes live in kings’ palaces. So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This was written about John in the Scriptures:
‘I will send my messenger ahead of you.
He will prepare the way for you.’ Malachi 3:1
I tell you the truth: John the Baptist is greater than any other man who has ever lived. But even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.
4. Specific Prayer at the Mass
On this Sunday we will focus on the symbols of our Joy, the Christmas Tree and the Christmas Crib and offer you a blessing to take away to bless your tree and crib at home.
5. An explanation of any specific resources that will be used at the Mass
There are no specific resources being used on this weekend.
6. Suggestions for conversation in the week ahead of the Mass
Have a conversation about Christmas.
- Who do we receive gifts from?
- Who do we give gifts to?
- Why do we do this?
- What is someone saying to you when they give you a gift?
- What are you saying to a person when you give them a gift?
Light their Baptism candle at a meal around the time of this Mass, either in advance of it or after it or at both times.
7. Suggestions for prayer
You could use the following prayer at the next time you are gathering together following on from the Mass on the 15th.
We believe, loving God,
that you take delight in all you have made.
Open up in us again the springs of joy,
that we may delight in you, our true joy.
We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord.
Use a prayer of Grace before Meals that your child has learned in school.
Bless us, O God, as we sit together,
Bless the food we eat today,
Bless the hands that made the food,
Bless us, O God.