An Overview of the Mass

Celebrating the Lord's Day


Sunday is the day on which we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Sunday is the Lord’s Day. We gather for Mass, rest from work, and perform works of mercy. People all over the world gather at God’s Eucharistic table as brothers and sisters.

The Order of Mass

The Mass is the most important sacramental celebration of the Church, and it always follows a set order.

Introductory Rites—preparing to celebrate the Eucharist

Entrance Chant

We gather as a community and praise God in song.


We pray the Sign of the Cross. The priest welcomes us.

Penitential Act

We remember our sins and ask God for mercy.


We praise God in song.


We ask God to hear our prayers.

Liturgy of the Word—hearing God’s plan of salvation

First Reading

We listen to God’s Word, usually from the Old Testament.

Responsorial Psalm

We respond to God’s Word in song.

Second Reading

We listen to God’s Word from the New Testament.

Gospel Acclamation

We sing “Alleluia!” to praise God for the Good News. During Lent, we use a different acclamation.

Gospel Reading

We stand and listen to the Gospel of the Lord.


The priest or the deacon explains God’s Word.

Profession of Faith

We proclaim our faith through the Creed.

Prayer of the Faithful

We pray for our needs and the needs of others.

Liturgy of the Eucharist—celebrating Christ’s presence in the Eucharist

Presentation and Preparation of the Gifts

We bring gifts of bread and wine to the altar.

Prayer over the Offerings

The priest prays that God will accept our sacrifice.

Eucharistic Prayer

This prayer of thanksgiving is the center and high point of the entire celebration.

  • Preface—We give thanks and praise to God.

  • Holy, Holy, Holy—We sing an acclamation of praise.

  • Consecration—The bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

  • The Mystery of Faith—We proclaim the mystery of our faith.

  • Amen—We affirm the words and actions of the Eucharistic Prayer.

Communion Rite—receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

Lord’s Prayer—We pray the Our Father.

Sign of Peace—We offer one another Christ’s peace.

Lamb of God—We pray for forgiveness, mercy, and peace.

Communion—We receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Prayer After Communion—We pray that the Eucharist will strengthen us to live as Jesus did.

Concluding Rites—going forth to glorify the Lord by our lives

Final Blessing

We receive God’s blessing.


We go in peace, glorifying the Lord by our lives.