How is Sacred Scripture used in the Mass?
Since the history of the church and that of the humanity, liturgy has gone through dynamics of change in the efforts to align the worship with changes in the Church. Changes in the church have affected several elements of worship, including the Mass. The Mass also referred to as the Lord’s Supper is the act whereby the Christians especially that of the Catholic denomination are called together to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The celebration is presided by the priest who acts as the representative of the Christ. The Mass comprises of the two parts: the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the World. The two parts of the Mass are so interconnected that they are integrated together during worship. They both represent the presence of the word of God and the Body of Christ. It is from these two aspects where the faithful repent and their sins are cleansed. To perfect the whole procession of the Mass, the sacred scripture is used as the guide throughout the mass. The Sacred Scripture is one of the major vital festivities of the worship. It is from the lessons of the scripture, where the Mass teachings are learned and explained, psalms are sung and where hymns derive their inspiration from. God communicates to His people through the reading of the Sacred Scripture “3”. Similarly, the word of the sacred scripture represents the Christ. Therefore, the process of Mass commences by reading and explaining the word of God from the sacred scripture. During this time the God’s reading is supposed to be listened by each one as it is an element of the most crucial part in the liturgy. The sacred scripture readings form the primary element of the Liturgy of the word. To make the reading and listening effective, they are supplemented by the profession of faith and homily. Through the readings, God speaks to his people by revealing to them the mystery of the salvation as well as nourishing their spirit. When the people are silently listening and pondering to the word of God, the listeners makes the word of God their own and start to respond to it via their hearts. On the other side, the homily is the very important as it helps the people to listen the voice of God in His words.
The act of reading and explaining the sacred scripture of the God is followed by the by the prayers from the priest. Among all others elements of the Mass, Eucharist prayer from the scripture is the critical point of the whole festivity “7”. The prayer comprises of the orations which include the collect, offerings prayer and the prayer that comes after communion. The people’s prayers are addressed to the God by the priest who presides the congregation in the person of Christ “4”. Throughout the player, the priest makes a petition for the faithful by praying for the needs of the whole church as well as the salvation of the entire world “6”. During the prayer of the faithful people respond in a particular way to the word of God to invite the faithfulness among them “3”. In addition to presiding the prayers, the priest also provides particular explanations pertaining the procession of the Mass.Besides of using the sacred scripture in reading and explaining the word of God and during prayers in the mass, it is also used to guide other activities which occur during the mass “5”. The nature of the mass has “communitarian character” and thus communication between the presiding priest and the congregation is of huge significance “8”. This is to ensure robust communion between the priest and the congregation. Again, the sacred scriptures guide the both the priest and the people in responding and acclimating to the readings of the scripture “7”. This ensures and total participation of each member of the faithful assembly. To make the participation effective in getting the complete participation of the assembled faithful, the sacred scripture readings are accompanied by the Lord’s prayer, the Universal player, the Profession of Faith and the Penitential Act.
To illustrate how the sacred scripture can be effectively used in the Mass celebration, this essay uses the Mass which was conducted in Suburban Parish. The church used the sacred scripture through the celebration of the Liturgy. It was from the scared scripture where hymns, collects and prayers drew their inspiration. Similarly, during the liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest ensured the congregation celebrated this section of the mass by guiding them using the scared scripture. He quoted the verse in the bible whereby the Christ took bread and distributed it among His disciples. Finally, conclude the Mass celebration by reading the sacred scripture. This was followed by the brief announcements as well as the priests’ blessings and greetings. Thereafter, the people were dismissed and were encourage to remember to praise God always. Conclusion
The sacred scripture has been very important in guiding the procession of mass. The scripture has enabled people to understand the importance of the mass irrespective of the presiding of the priest. The mass is strictly aligned with readings and explanations from the scripture and thus making it universal to all the Catholics’ faithful. Therefore, understanding of the sacred scripture by the assembly of the faithful and accepting its inclusion in the mass will be important in renewing the hearts of each member of the church. The sacred scripture has enhanced the understanding of the readings as well revealing to the people what God is trying to say to them today.