Mass is offered in this church
according to the
Rite of the Roman Catholic Church
The Mass you have known is the same Mass offered here at St. Patrick Catholic Church. Our Mass is celebrated by an ordained priest, just as it would be in any other Catholic Church. However, there are four important differences which separate this parish from neighboring Catholic parishes.
First, during the Penitential Rite, when we pause briefly to recall our sins and failings, we recite the same prayer, but instead of offering a simple concluding prayer, the priest offers General Absolution to the entire congregation. This absolution is given to all who are disposed to receive it with the intention of receiving forgiveness of sin, restoration of our relationship with God, reconciliation with our neighbor, and preparation for all present to receive Christ in Holy Communion.
Second, during the Eucharistic Prayer, when the elements of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, there are commemorations made. At this time, we pray for Craig Bates, our Presiding Bishop, and Gregory Ortiz, the Bishop of the Diocese of the Northeast.
Third, as we ready our hearts to receive Communion, the broken Host is lifted and presented to us a final time, with the invocation, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are WE who are called to His Supper”.
The phrase “Happy are those who are called to His Supper” would be better translated from the Latin as “Blessed are those who have been called to the Supper (or Wedding Feast) of the Lamb!” This passage from the Book of Revelation is the Church’s way of reminding us that our participation in the Eucharistic Feast here on earth is meant to foreshadow the GREAT feast of the Kingdom. Now, remember, the Book of Revelation says, “I saw a throng whom no one could count standing before the throne of God and of the Lamb!” Too often when the word THOSE is used in many Catholic Churches, it is a word of limitation, exclusion and selection: Some are IN and some are OUT! Not so here at Saint Patrick’s! We strive to image the heavenly banquet of the Lamb by offering Eucharistic hospitality to the entire congregation, who may then choose to approach to receive Communion. Our position in Communion is certainly not to judge those approaching, but to help and nourish them with Christ’s most precious Body and Blood, causing the wish of Christ that they all be one to become a reality.
Fourth, we welcome to receive Holy Communion all of the faithful present who have been baptized and have a faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, without exclusion of the divorced, the non-catholic or any others who find themselves outside of acceptance within the Roman Catholic Church.
The acceptance of all of the faithful who approach for Communion has become a great comfort to many who have been turned away from Communion in neighboring parishes, have had to worship apart from family members due to multi-faith families, or have not approached for many years due to sins committed yet not forgiven because of uneasiness over private confession.
During the Mass, even a casual visitor will notice a number of other minor differences (minor to us, but perhaps refreshing and welcome to visitors)…
- A caring parish priest greets each arriving parishioner and visitor to church and is there to say good bye, thank you, and wish you a great week as you depart.
- The Mass is offered with the dignity of traditional music selections. In an age when traditional music and beautiful anthems have all but disappeared from Catholic worship, we keep that spirit alive, at each Mass, through our organist and cantor.
- We do not preach on the topic of finances. Instead, we try to offer a helpful, hopeful, and uplifting sermon, based upon the scriptures, with the idea of providing the basis for improving our relationship with God and each other.