The Catholic Mass 101

The Catholic Mass 101 was created to provide a brief overview of a Catholic Mass from start to finish.  This one-page document is a great resource to share with any guests who are not Catholic, but wish to gain a better understanding of the parts of a Catholic Mass. 


Thank you for joining us for Mass at St. Susanna Parish.
There are two parts to the Catholic Mass.  Our celebration of the Mass is two great parts that form a fundamental unity and one single act of worship.  (CCC, 1346)

Part 1:
The Liturgy of the Word

AT THE BEGINNING OF MASS, we stand and welcome the Priest.  We also welcome God’s Word in the Holy Bible.

We listen as the Lector reads the FIRST READING, which is typically from the Old Testament of the Bible.

Next, several verses from Psalms are read or sung.  This is called our RESPONSORIAL PSALM.

Then, the next Lector reads the SECOND READING, which is typically from the New Testament of the Bible (typically not from one of the Gospels, but from the New Testament following the Gospels which is the beginning of the Catholic church).

The Priest or Deacon reads the GOSPEL which is from the Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.  (These books make up the time that Jesus was alive on earth, including His suffering, death, and resurrection.  The Gospels conclude when Jesus ascends into heaven.)

The Priest gives a HOMILY reflecting on the Word of God.

We profess our belief in God when we recite the NICENE CREED.

Part 2:
The Liturgy of the Eucharist

THE GIFTS OF BREAD AND WINE are taken to the Priest on the altar.

We remember everything that Jesus did to save us.

We pray as TRANSUBSTANTIATION occurs and the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.  This mystery is paramount to the Catholic faith as the bread and wine become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We pray THE LORD’S PRAYER as Jesus taught us.

We offer one another a SIGN OF PEACE.

Those who are in good standing as practicing Catholics are invited to receive the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, by going to COMMUNION.  *We do not wish to offend our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we respectfully ask those who are not in Communion with the Catholic church to refrain from the grave matter of receiving the Eucharist.  You are welcome to come forward for a blessing from the Priest – cross your arms over your chest.  To learn more about this and other Catholic teachings, please reach out to our RCIA coordinator, Joe Schleicher, at 513-398-3821 ext. 3149.

The Priest will clean the vessels used for Communion while the congregation prays together silently or with song.

The Priest offers a FINAL BLESSING to everyone at Mass and requests that we go in peace and spread the Gospel.

MASS HAS ENDED and a song is sung as the Priest departs.