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Liturgy Corner December 19 - Wrapping up the Past and Looking to the Future

In the past weeks, I have been writting about the silent prayers of the priest at Mass. If you did not get to read these articles or perhaps missed one or two of them, remember that you can always go to the parish website and read them or share them in “The Liturgy Blog.“ It feels strange to end the ongoing reflection and catechesis of this subtopic so abrumptly. And so, in this interim time of the last sunday of Advent before Christmas, I will offer one more thing related to this past topic. There may not be a Liturgy Corner article for the Christmas bulletin, depending on the space available and other factors. Following Christmas, I plan to begin writting on the parts of the Mass spoken by the congregation. It seems fitting to write about these pieces after writting for so long on the prayers of the priest. But also, it is quite an important topic. It is all to easy to “drift through” Mass, getting distracted and mindlessly saying the required phrases of all the “And with your spirit”s and “Amen”s etc. While it is no silver bullet to the problem of distractability, certainly knowing what we are saying and why we are saying it can be a great help.

I briefly mentioned in the past that, on his arrival, Fr. Adam showed me a few prayers in the back of the Missal to pray before Mass begins. The main prayer he showed me that has become the normal practice in the Sacristy before Mass begins is the “Formula of Intent.” It really helps me to bring my mind and heart into the celebration of the Mass and to give my willpower and focus to the ‘work’ of offering up to God my intentions. Now, this prayer is quite specific to the priest (to illustrate, it begins, “My intention is to celebrate Mass and consecrate the Body and Blood…”). However, I recently came upon an adapted version of it for the congregation. I think that this could be incredibly helpful for you, the congregation, in bringing your own minds and hearts into your own role in the Mass. I will present this prayer below in such a way that, if you desire, you can cut it out and maybe store it in your purse or in a prayer book you bring to Mass.


My intention is to participate in this Mass fully, consciously and actively,

and to worship the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

made present on the altar by the priest according to the Rite of Holy Roman Church,

to the praise of almighty God and all the Church triumphant,

for my good and that of all the Church militant,

for all who have commended themselves to my prayers

in general and in particular (for…[your own Mass intentions here])

and for the welfare of Holy Roman Church.



May the almighty and merciful God grant us joy with peace, amendment of life, room for true repentance, the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit, and perseverance in good works.



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