Posted March 16, 2006
Book: Active Participation At Mass: What it is and how to attain it
Author: Anthony M. Buono
Alba House, New York, 1994, pp. 143
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
One of the most important elements in the faith of any Catholic is
participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of
Obligation. Unfortunately, for many their participation is less than active,
full and fruitful because they are often not as well versed in the
inexhaustible riches of the Mass as they could and should be. This book
hopes to remedy that situation in part by presenting a brief but
comprehensive overview and explanation of the various elements of the Mass
and how the person in the pew can better relate to them so that their
involvement is more personal, more prayerful and more rewarding. An
invaluable aid for stimulating interest in the Mass. It will likewise be
found useful as a tool for RCIA instruction.
An Excerpt from the Book:
Real Meaning Purpose of the Gospel Procession
One of the many benefits of the Gospel Procession is that it helps to impart
the real meaning and purpose of the Gospel proclamation at Mass. The Gospel
reading (like all the readings) is not just an exercise in imparting
information about God and his dealings with human beings. Neither is it a
simple instruction on the teachings of the faith.
The Gospel proclamation is an event, a happening. It is an intervention here
and now on the part of God the Father — in the life of this community
gathered to celebrate the Eucharist. It is the continuation of the History
of Salvation today.
Not only has God intervened in the Old Testament through his patriarchs and
prophets. Not only has he intervened in the New Testament through his
only-begotten Son. He now intervenes in the lives of people today – mainly
through the liturgical rites of the Church, which render Christ present in
his Mysteries through the Holy Spirit.
In this communication, the Gospel has a privileged place, as shown by the
unique liturgical features that surround it. The Gospel is the only reading
preceded by a procession, by an acclamation, by a blessing, and by a prayer.
The Gospel is reserved for a person in Holy Orders whereas the other
readings can be proclaimed by lay people. It is honored by lighted candles
and incense and preceded by a call for attention: “The Lord be with you.”
Then we all make the Sign of the Cross on our forehead, lips, and heart —
that is, we consecrate with the sign of our redemption our thoughts, words,
and sentiments. At the end, the one who proclaims the Gospel kisses the Book
as an act of loving homage addressed to Christ himself.
The people of the assembly respond to the introduction to the Gospel reading
with the words: “Glory to you, Lord,” and at the end they utter one more
acclamation: “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ” – both are addressed to
Christ who by this action has come among us!
While the Gospel Procession takes place, an acclamation is sung — in honor
of the Christ who comes to “evangelize” his people. He has already spoken in
the other readings (“He himself speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in
the Church.” Now he will speak to his people in a way that is much clearer,
more personal, more decisive, and more enriching than in the previous texts
The Acclamation comprises a short biblical sentence, praising God in his
function of Teacher (Master) and preacher. It may also recall a scriptural
thought proper to the feast or the day.
By entering into the spirit of this Gospel Procession, the people in the
assembly become conscious of Christ’s personal presence among them as surely
as he walked among the people in Palestine two thousand years ago. He comes
in his Word to proclaim his message anew – only this time it is to us,to our
specific assembly and community so that he may direct that message and that
Word to our particular problems, states, and desires. The Gospel Procession
puts us in the ideal mood to open our hearts to Christ and to his Word!
Table of Contents:
1. Recognizing Sacramental World
2. Understanding what participation is
3. Carrying out the people’s parts
4. Utilizing ways to better participation
5. Entering into the five amens
6. Encountering Christin the Word of God
7. Praying the responsorial psalm
8. Appreciating the Gospel Procession
9. Professing the faith
10. Participating in the Eucharistic Prayer
11. Partaking of the Lord’s banquet
12. Living the liturgical year