How to Assist at Mass
Four Steps to Get the Most out of Holy Mass
Beginning of Mass to the Offertory
The priest, who is the representative of Jesus Christ, descends the altar steps and purifies himself by the confession of his sins and by sentiments of contrition.
Following his example, I should purify myself by acts of humility and of repentance for my faults.
I confess to Almighty God, . . . Act of Contrition.
Offertory to the Consecration
The priest offers the bread and wine of the Sacrifice.
I should offer myself in like manner. “Here I am, my God, to do Thy Will.”
- An offering of my entire being; my body and all its senses, my heart with all its affections and desires, my soul with all its faculties,
- An offering of the past in reparation, of the present in order to sanctify it, of the future in preparation,
- An offering of the merits of Jesus Christ,
- An offering of the Masses being celebrated today throughout the world.
An Act of Oblation: Take, O Lord, and receive my freedom, my memory, my understanding, my will; all that I have and all that I possess Thou hast given me, O Lord. I return it all to Thee; it is all Thine. Do with it as Thou wilt. Give me Thy love and Thy grace; they satisfy all my desires(St. Ignatius Loyola)
Consecration to Communion
The priest immolates the Divine Victim; he says in the name of Jesus Christ:
“This is My Body . . . This is My Blood.”
In union with my Savior I should immolate myself without reserve. Humble and loving acceptance of the daily crucifixion . . . duties of my state in life . . . trials of this life . . . hidden sufferings . . . physical pain . . . annoyances . . . humiliations . . . deceptions . . . loss of temporal goods, of friends, parents . . . spiritual trials . . . crosses no matter what kind they may be.— A general and particular acceptance in union with Jesus Christ.
“Obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.”“Obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis.” (Philip, ii, 8.)
Communion to the end of the Mass
Jesus Christ unites Himself with the priest and with the faithful.
I should unite myself to Him . . . Sacramental or Spiritual Communion … In becoming one with Him I accomplish more perfectly the four ends of the Mass: I adore … I thank . . . I petition … I expiate.
Excerpt taken from “Guidefor Victim Souls” by Very Rev. Joseph Kreuter, O.S.B. with slight editing