WHAT IS THE MASS - WHY SHOULD I BOTHER?
"Mass is boring." "I don't get anything out of Mass — why should I go?" "Why can't I just pray alone?" These are common feelings, especially among young people but among many adults as well.
Don't shrug and walk away! Just take a moment to click on the link on the image below to find out some of the reasons to go to Mass.
DEVELOP AN ENQUIRING MIND... HERE ARE A SELECTION OF VIDEOS TO GET YOU STARTED
WAYS TO APPRECIATE THE MASS MORE
1 Learn about the Mass
Find out more about the meaning of the Mass by reading, watching Catholic DVDs or TV, asking questions to the people who can help you - your Catholic RS teacher, a parent or a priest. There also loads of booklets available in the Church.
2 Read the Scripture readings before the Mass starts!
They're there in the newsletter each Sunday! Take time to read them and think about what they mean, and what significance they have for your life. If you develop this habit, you will find it much easier to appreciate the readings during Mass and you will get more our of the homily (sermon).
3 Arrive early!
It's very difficult to settle and pray during Mass if we rush in at the last minute or arrive late. Try and plan to have at least 10 minutes in the Church before Mass starts. Read the Scriptures while you wait; sit quietly; Talk to God - bring your needs and concerns to the Lord and ask Him to help you to be engaged in the prayers during the Mass. If you do this regularly, gradually, you will notice the difference.
4 Really listen and pray during the Mass
Make a determined decision to concentrate, listen and pray. At the moment of the Consecration, when the bread and wine are changed into Jesus' Body and Blood, reflect on the wonder of this and on the graces you receive by receiving Holy Communion. You will start finding that everything that happens becomes very personal and precious.
5 Pray in thanksgiving after Mass
Don't rush out as soon as Mass is finished! Take just a moment to thank God for all you received during the Mass and ask for His help to live your faith as you go back into ordinary life.
EMBARRASED TO SAY YOU ARE CATHOLIC?
What are you embarrassed about?
Part of growing up is to develop our strength of character and stand up for what we believe in. If you believe in God and if you believe that God loves us and if you believe that Jesus died for our sins - then why on earth would you be embarrassed to admit it?
God gave you a free will. The choice is yours! Do you have the courage and strength of character to explore your faith and let it grow? You will be pleasantly surprised to see the positive effects on your life!
REAL PEOPLE... REAL LIVES
Alex - aged 14
I really like rowing, swimming and music I play the clarinet, piano and violin.
What I like about going to Mass is that I can step away from the busy parts of my life, just for a while. I find it peaceful in church and I enjoy the sense of community.
To me, being a Catholic is about having a good connection to God through prayer and the Mass. It is also about caring for one another. In my daily life I try to be kind and respectful and willing to forgive.
I have also been involved with charity work for the Global Citizenship Society, by fundraising for scholarships for students in Dakar and Bangladesh, so that they can attend school. I have also helped with the Shoeboxes project, where we filled shoeboxes with goodies for disadvantaged children in Rumania.
Hannah - aged 14
I get encouragement from my parents and I am happy to meet friends at church, where it really feels like you are part of a big family. Being at a Catholic school I think is not only important but also helpful, because of the ethos of the school and the visits by the priests, whom we can question and talk to. It is also really nice to have a chapel at our school.
As a Catholic, I try to be kind to others and there is clear guidance on what is right and what is wrong. I also try to be forgiving.
Helping others is something important too, and this year I helped with raising money for the Lenten project. I think that young people are willing to help, especially if they are allowed to show their initiative and express their ideas. They also need encouragement and ideas for youth events that they can be involved in.