We come to Church on weekends in order to participate in the Mass and be filled with the blessings of Our Holy Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I always wonder, how many of God’s people, who come to Church on weekends, take active participation in the Mass.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), published in 2002, states that the assembled faithful should be made “ever more holy by conscious, active and fruitful participation in the mystery of the Eucharist” – (GIRM No.5).
The question that arises in mind, is, “What is Active Participation in the Mass?” It was Pope St. Pius X, who conceived the phrase “Active Participation in the Mass” in the beginning of the 20th century. He explained in the following words: “If you wish to participate in the Mass actively, you must follow with your eye, heart and mouth all that happens on the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ”.
First of all, active participation means that the mind and heart are awake, alert and engaged during the Eucharistic celebration. Secondly, it means involving exterior action, that is, saying the prayers and doing the gestures and sacred signs.
In other words, active participation involves conscious presence, praying, singing. Conscious presence means listening with attention and reverence to the proclamation of the Sacred Scripture.
Let us involve ourselves in the Mass praying together and singing together.
Fr. Arul Joseph V.