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Father Z responds to a question about the prayerful invitation by the priest to the faithful to : “Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.” An invitation given when the gifts of bread and wine are on the altar, have been prayed over and incensed.

In relation to this point in the order of Mass, Father Z offers a great way to help our active participation, to unite the actions of the priest and the needs and prayers of the congregation:

Here is something I can recommend for your deeper active participation in this invitation by the priest.

It can help to identify ourselves with the gifts placed on the altar for consecration.

The congregation is  invited by the priest to unite their sacrifices to those he offers in his manner of offering.

We all have both burdens and reasons to rejoice.  Therefore, when the priest or deacon is preparing the chalice, when he puts drops of water (the symbol of the human) into the wine (the symbol of the divine) to be mingled – the lesser being transformed within the greater – try consciously to  place into that chalice all your cares, aspirations, sentiments of gratitude, petitions, and all that you are.  Let it all be joined, before they are stupendously transformed by God.

Active participation can sometimes be a difficult concept. It does not mean that we should all have things to do during the Mass, as so many would often have us believe. Active participation is not about our duties as acolytes, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, choir members or whatever. Rather, it hinges on the active nature of our part in what Mass is really about: the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the salvation He has brought us, and continuous to bring.

When we think about how we take part in the celebration of the Mass – because it is an act by all the faithful joined together, priest and laity alike – we should not primarily consider the duties we take upon ourselves, not the outward ‘activity’ or our own busy-ness, but our conscious – active – participation in what Christ, through the order of the Mass and the priest, asks of us. We are there “through Him and with Him and in Him”, to hijack but another line from Ordo Missae, and what better moment is there to offer all our “cares, aspirations, sentiments of gratitude, petitions, and all that [we] are” to Christ? We are in more than conversation with Him, and that requires an active attitude in ourselves. Father Z’s helpful recommendation is an example of that and, I think, a great thing to try the next time you are at Mass.

Of course, this is but one part of the entire great order of the Mass, but we have to start somewhere. Try and consciously follow what the priest says and does, and then try and see how you can actively participate in that, for the priest’s actions are those of Christ, and Christ is the one who calls us to Him.

About this blog

I am a Dutch Catholic from the north of the Netherlands. In this blog I wish to provide accurate information on current affairs in the Church and the relation with society. It is important for Catholics to have knowledge about their own faith and Church, especially since these are frequently misrepresented in many places. My blog has two directions, although I use only English in my writings: on the one hand, I want to inform Dutch faithful - hence the presence of a page with Dutch translations of texts which I consider interesting or important -, and on the other hand, I want to inform the wider world of what is going on in the Church in the Netherlands.

It is sometimes tempting to be too negative about such topics. I don't want to do that: my approach is an inherently positive one, and loyal to the Magisterium of the Church. In many quarters this is an unfamiliar idea: criticism is often the standard approach to the Church, her bishops and priests and other representatives. I will be critical when that is warranted, but it is not my standard approach.

For a personal account about my reasons for becoming and remaining Catholic, go read my story: Why am I Catholic?

Copyright

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Netherlands License.

The above means that I have the right to be recognised as the author of both the original blog posts, as well as any translations I make. Everyone is free to share my content, but with credit in the form of my name or a link to my blog.

Blog and media

Over the years, my blog posts have been picked up by various other blogs, websites and media outlets.

A complete list would be prohibitively long, so I'll limit myself to mentioning The Anchoress, Anton de Wit, Bisdom Haarlem-Amsterdam, The Break/SQPN, Caritas in Veritate, Catholic Culture, The Catholic Herald, EWTN, Fr. Ray Blake's Blog, Fr. Z's Blog, The Hermeneutic of Continuity, Katholiek Gezin, Katholiek.nl, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, New Liturgical Movement, NOS, Protect the Pope, Reformatorisch Dagblad, The Remnant, RKS Ariëns, Rorate Caeli, The Spectator, Vatican Insider, Voorhof and Whispers in the Loggia.

All links to, quotations of and use as source material of my blog posts is greatly appreciated. It's what I blog for: to further awareness and knowledge in a positive critical spirit. Credits are equally liked, of course.

Blog posts have also been used as sources for various Wikipedia articles, among them those on Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carré, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Archbishop Sergio Utleg and Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki.

Latest translations added:

IN PROGRESS

[Dutch] Internationale Theologencommissie - Sensus Fidei in het Leven van de Kerk.

30 June: [Dutch] Paus Franciscus - Boodschap voor het Katholieke Jongerenfestival.

19 June: [Dutch] Paus Franciscus - Interview in La Vanguardia.

18 May: [English] Pietro Cardinal Parolin - Homily at the consecration of Archbishop van Megen.

15 May: [English] Ane Hähnig - Interview with Michael Triegel.

3 May: [Dutch] Paus Franciscus - Boodschap voor de Wereldgebedsdag voor Roepingen 2014.

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Sancta Maria, hortus conclusus, ora pro nobis!

Sancte Ramon de Peñafort, ora pro nobis!

Pope Francis

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of Rome, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the Servants of God

Bishop Gerard de Korte

Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden

Willem Cardinal Eijk

Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto, Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht

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