Liturgy of the Word
First Reading - is from the Old Testament of the Bible (except during Easter season). It tells how God spoke to man through
the Prophets and predicts the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, through its stories.
Responsorial Psalm - the Psalms are from the Old Testament which are songs or hymns of praise, thanksgiving, and request to God for help.
Second Reading - is generally taken from the Letters of the Apostles (in the New Testament) which were written to instruct new Christians and to convert others to the faith.
Alleluia (except during Lent) or Gospel Acclamation - is sung to praise the Lord
Sign of the Cross on the Book of Gospels - is made by the Priest (or Deacon) to show that the cross of Christ is the source of all blessing and that the words of the Gospel are the words of Christ who died on the cross for our salvation.
We make the 'Sign of the Cross' on our forehead (to show that we believe the Gospel), on our lips (to show that we respect the Gospel and desire to spread the Good News) and on our breast (to show that we love the Gospel and want it kept in our hearts).
Gospel Reading - is from one of the four Gospel books which are found in the New Testament and were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We stand to listen to them to show our respect. The Gospels are direct accounts of the life and works of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead. Only the priest or deacon is allowed to read the Gospel during Mass, representing Jesus who becomes present among us through His word. After proclaiming the Gospel, the priest (or deacon) kisses the book, saying quietly, 'May the words of the Gospel cleanse us of our faults'.
Homily - is a talk given by the priest or deacon which is usually an explanation on the readings just heard, and connects what we learn from the readings with how we should live God's word in our own lives.
Profession of Faith - is proclaimed by everyone to profess what we believe as Christians about God, the Trinity, how we were created and where we are going in The Apostle's Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated and the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen'.
General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful) - are prayers for all who need God's help: for the Pope and the Bishops and clergy, for the health and welfare of our country, for the sick and disabled, for the less fortunate, for peoples throughout the world, and for other special intentions of the parish or community.