Walk through the Liturgy of the Mass with Bishop Barron and you'll be transformed by his insights on this most privileged and intimate encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ this side of heaven. The Mass will help you understand how to fully, consciously, and actively participate in the source and summit of the Christian life.
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When we step through the church door before Mass, we are transported out of the imperfect world and into God’s heavenly realm. In the Liturgy of the Word, we hear a call from God and provide a response from his people, the Church. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we are intimately joined with the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ and are bound together in the communion of saints that transcends time and place.
This video-based study program can be used individually or in a group to walk through all parts of the Mass in a way you’ve never experienced on your own. Groups meet for seven 90-minute sessions, and each session includes video viewing and small group discussion of the Study Guide questions.
Participants read the commentary in the Study Guide and prepare the questions before the small group discussion. This preparation can be done either before or after they view the video, as the Commentary in each lesson is very detailed. The Study Guide Commentary was written by Elizabeth Scalia, a popular author, editor, and speaker, under the direction of Bishop Barron. Ms. Scalia is also a Benedictine Oblate.
The Leader’s Kit provides essential resources for lay discussion leaders, including the DVD, study guide, facilitator guide, answer key, and 20 "Why Stay Away?" booklets that address common reasons people avoid going to Mass. Leaders can also register for a free training webinar which teaches the best ways to run an effective The Mass study group.
Lesson One: “Introduction”
- Lesson 1
- Lesson 2
- Lesson 3
- Lesson 4
- Lesson 5
- Lesson 6
Lesson 1: A Privileged Encounter
One of the most basic truths about the Mass is that it is an encounter with Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a philosophy or a set of ideas, but rather a relationship with the person of Christ. In the Mass, in a privileged way, we meet him, listen to him, respond to him, commune with him.
Lesson 2: Called Out of the World
The Greek word ekklesia, which we translate to “Church,” is derived from two words, “ek” and “kalein”, which literally mean “being called out from.” The Church is that community which has been called out from the world, which is to say, the dysfunctional order, and called into a new way of being, the kingdom of God inaugurated by the eternal King himself, Jesus.
Lesson 3: God Speaks Our Story
Biblical people are part of a story that they didn’t make up. To be a Christian is to be part of the great story of creation, the fall, the formation of a people Israel, and the coming of the Messiah. To know ourselves, therefore, is to hear this story told over and over again. The beauty of the Mass is that it is Christ himself who tells this story at every Mass.
Lesson 4: Responding to God
After we have listened to our story, we respond to God with the homily that links Scripture with our daily lives, the Creed that is our statement of belief in what God has revealed, and the Prayer of the Faithful, where we ask God to do something specific for us because we trust his promises.
Lesson 5: Preparing for Sacrifice
Next comes a great gathering of gifts to offer back to God: bread, wine, and usually money. Offering these gifts involves both a symbolic and often a real sacrifice, if one is generous in contributing to the collection basket. Next, we encounter the climax of the Mass - the moment when the mystical body of Christ comes to full sacramental expression.
Lesson 6: The Real Presence Creates Communion
Now the moment of transubstantiation arrives, when Jesus is made present to us in his very Flesh and Blood under the appearance of bread and wine. This moment is a mystery, but a reality nonetheless. Christ has come and there is a feast, and it is an eternal one that gathers the whole Church, living and dead, into communion with each other through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Lord made present at each Mass.