At every Mass, the same thought occurs to me about my favorite parts of the Mass -- aside from of course receiving the Eucharist. One of the hopes of Vatican II was that the faithful would participate more fully in the Mass, not just hear it. As such, using the vernacular was partly in the hope that the Mass and its beautiful components would be more readily heard and understood and draw people into the worship. We of course can debate that all day long, the pros and cons of both forms of the Mass. That is not what I want to do here.
Not counting the Eucharist -- which of course is the greatest joy of the Mass. There are four parts that particularly speak to me.
1. The Confiteor: I greatly prefer those masses when we say the Confiteor, rather than the Kyrie as I find this an exquisite confession of our faith -- It admits our failings -- "through our own faults -- in what we have done and what we have failed to do" -- We then invite the Holy Mother, all the Angels and Saints and our Brothers and Sisters gathered there in community to pray for us -- to commend us to God. I think this is exquisitely beautiful.
2. As we prepare for the Gospel, we make the sign of the cross on our forehead, our lips and our hearts and should call to mind this prayer: Lord may your word be ever in my thoughts, always on my lips and forever in my heart. I love this so much -- reminding us to draw the Word into our very being and existence and make it a part of us and in every thing we think, feel and say. So very beautiful.
3. As the gifts are being prepared on the altar - the priest steps to the side and the alter servers pour water over his hands. This prayer is generally inaudible and is for the priest specifically, but it is one of the most beautiful moments in the Mass to me, having been at very small private masses and heard my Uncle say the words they have stuck with me forever: "Lord wash away my iniquities and cleanse me of all my sins" From Psalm 51:1-2. I have also heard it as: "Lord wash away my iniquities and cleanse me of all indifference."
From the GIRM:
76. The priest then washes his hands at the side of the altar, a rite that is an expression of his desire for interior purification.
145. After the prayer In spiritu humilitatis (Lord God, we ask you to receive us) or after the incensation, the priest washes his hands standing at the side of the altar and, as the minister pours the water, says quietly, Lava me, Domine (Lord, wash away my iniquity).
4. And, finally, where we say: "Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." (The new translation and based on Mathew 8:8 -- I must admit a fondness for the old one, Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed but this is a nice way to think about the new translation: mbernadettee.tumblr.com).
Either way, I love this part of the Mass as well. It is a beautiful recognition, not only of our own imperfections and frailties, but of the desire to invite Christ in and through our Faith to be healed by Him. So, beautiful.
These four parts of the Mass speak to me at every Mass. I love them. They resonant within my heart and mind and soul.
What parts of the Mass are of particular resonance to you??