"The Mass is the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all her power flows." The Mass is the source and summit of Catholic life. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy - Article 10)
The liturgy is the privileged means
through which the baptized are continually immersed into the reality of the living God
through Christ’s paschal mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit
in the midst of the communion of the church and in our world
in a unique and yet provisional way
through the use of human faculties of mind, heart, will and imagination
as experienced through human speech, gesture, movement and silence
by means of the things creation and of human manufacture
in order to be shaped and formed by what we experience
to enable us to live lives more fully converted to the gospel and what the liturgy enacts in our world,
until liturgy and sacraments cease
and what we experience here is made full, real and complete in the kingdom of heaven.
Msgr. Kevin Irwin
Catholic University of America, Washington DC
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The Order of Mass specifies the proper sequence of events for any Mass or liturgy.
Fasting requires that a person take only one meal a day, but current Church discipline permits one to take a main meal and two lesser meals which together do not equal the main meal.
The items used at Mass include several different books used by the priest, lectors and parishioners. There are also many unique objects used by the priest during the Liturgy of the Eucharist as well as the vestments worn at any mass or liturgy.