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Junior Class Attends Teaching Mass

The Junior Class came together for a Teaching Mass. During Mass, Fr. Larry explained some of the symbolism and meaning behind the different responses, rituals, and images. Through the experience, the juniors began to ponder the mystery that the Mass is the place where Heaven and Earth meet. Mr. Petersen explained at the end of the Mass that coming together to learn more deeply about the Mass benefits the whole SJCP community.


1.      Why we bless ourselves with Holy Water when we enter the church:

When we are baptized, we use Holy Water to symbolize the fact that we participate in Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection (Paschal Mystery).  These are not just words.  This is a reality.

When we enter Mass, we bless ourselves with Holy Water to remind ourselves that in Mass we are literally entering into the original suffering, death, & resurrection of Jesus.  Seriously – we believe we are entering into the original event.

2.      Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy. (Or: “The Kyrie Eleison”):

We start Mass by recalling our sins so that we may receive the full benefits of redemption (forgiveness and communion with God).  This is why we say: Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.  By saying this, we emphasize that God’s mercy and goodness is greater than our sins.

3.      We read Scripture at Mass because it is the Living Word of God.  Again, these are not just words.  We believe that through Scripture we encounter God Himself.  It’s hard to fully experience this though because it happens quickly.  This is why it’s recommended to pray with the readings before Mass.

4.      We stand for the Gospel reading because the Gospels are the only books in Scripture that portray Jesus’ earthly ministry.

5.      “Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you.”

The priest says “we” during the Eucharistic prayer because he is not the only one offering the sacrifice of bread and wine to God.  Everyone does.  All Christians are baptized priest, prophet, and king.  Though the laity are not priests in the sense that they can administer the sacraments, they share in the priesthood by being spiritually present to offer the bread and wine (and ultimately, themselves) as a sacrifice to God.  Priesthood indicates ability to offer a sacrifice to God.  This is how the laity participate in Jesus’ priesthood.

6.      “Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the Old Testament, the Jews celebrated Passover to commemorate the meal they shared on the night they were freed from slavery to the Egyptians.  However, when they celebrated Passover “in remembrance” of the original event, they believed they were entering into the original event.  When Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me” at the Last Supper, He would have known this about those words.  Therefore, we believe that at Mass, we are no longer within the normal boundaries of earthly time.  We are actually taken into the original event of Jesus turning bread and wine into Himself, Jesus suffering, Jesus dying, and Jesus rising from the dead.

This is kind of a big deal.

Junior Class Teaching Mass
Father Frazier at Teaching Mass