This is the central and sacred act of worship in Catholicism. It is the liturgical form of celebrating the Eucharist.
The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:
- the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;
- the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.
The liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist together form “one single act of worship”; the Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord.
[Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1346]
The Eucharistic celebration unites us with the liturgy of heaven and marks the high point in our worship of God. The Church in heaven is united to the offering of Christ. At Mass the faithful join their sufferings and prayers to the sacrifice of Christ. The Eucharist is for all the faithful, both living and dead, in reparation for sins and to obtain spiritual and temporal benefits from God.
There are a number of stages in the celebration of Mass and each marks an important moment in our worship of God:
- All gather together – Christ himself is the principal agent at the Eucharist. He invisibly presides over each celebration. The priest acts in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis). Others such as readers participate and our response of ‘Amen’ manifests our involvement.
- Liturgy of the Word – we hear God’s word and the homily and intercessions encourage us to be witnesses to its message in our lives.
- The Offertory – we present the gifts of the Creator to Christ.
- Collection – sharing with those in need is inspired by the example of Christ who become poor to make us rich.
- Anaphora – the Eucharistic Prayer – of thanksgiving and consecration – marks the heart and summit of our celebration.
- Communion – this is the point at which the faithful receive ‘the bread of heaven’ and ‘the cup of salvation’.
In Holy Communion we are intimately united with Jesus Christ and we express union with His Church. Reception of Holy Communion also confers grace. It augments our union with Christ and separates us from sin. It wipes away venial sins and preserves us from future mortal sins. It strengthens our connection with the Mystical Body and commits us to the poor. Furthermore, it is a call for us to work for the unity of Christians whose separation so grieves Our Lord.
The Church encourages Catholics who are properly disposed to receive Holy Communion at the Eucharistic celebration. We have an obligation to prepare diligently in order to respond worthily to Christ’s invitation at his Paschal Banquet. We must be in a state of grace and anyone aware of having sinned mortally must first have received absolution in the sacrament of penance. We should be prayerful and have observed the Church’s requisite period of fasting beforehand. Moreover, our bodily demeanour in terms of clothing and gestures should suitably respect the solemnity and joy involved in being present with Christ. Click here to read more about the conditions for receiving Holy Communion.
Postures at Mass
In accordance with a directive of the Irish Episcopal Conference, the faithful are asked to adopt the following postures during the celebration of the Eucharist:
Penitential Rite STAND
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Responsorial Psalm SIT
Prayer of the Faithful STAND
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
Preparation of the Gifts
Prayer over the Gifts SIT
Eucharistic Prayer KNEEL
Sign of Peace STAND
Lamb of God
This is the Lamb of God KNEEL
Prayer after Communion STAND
MASS TIMES IN THE PARISH
Church of St. Oliver Plunkett
Saturday: 6:30pm (Vigil)
Sunday: 10am and 12 noon
Monday to Saturday: 10am
Church of St. Fursey
Sunday: 9am and 11am
Monday to Saturday: 9am
*Please consult the bulletin and/or website for Mass times on Holy Days of Obligation.
First Holy Communion
The Church in the parish works with teachers at the primary schools to prepare children for receiving Holy Communion for the first time. We also encourage the active involvement of the parents in this most important stage of a young person’s spiritual development.
Throughout the year thge candidates for First Holy Communion will lead Sunday litugical celebrations of the Eucharist as they complete the ‘Do This in Memory’ programme
The goal is to awaken in the children an appreciation of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We emphasize that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to die for us on the cross and redeem us from sin. In the Eucharist he left us a permanent way in which we can make him present with us today.
Please consult the bulletin and website for First Communion dates in the parish.