Celebration of the Divine Liturgy
Prepared and approved for all Sunday Liturgical Celebrations among the Member Jurisdictions Churches of the Catholic Church in America.
Edited and Redacted from the Modern Roman Rite and other Sources
Before our priests celebrate Mass, it is typical to pray a set of “vesting prayers” to spiritually prepare for Mass. While these prayers may no not be obligatory, “their use is recommended since they help in the priest’s preparation and recollection before the celebration of the holiest sacrament of our Church — Eucharistic sacrifice”.
Even more so, the vesting prayers, call to mind the particular vows that a priest professes on the day of his ordination and asks God for strength to remain faithful to them.
These prayers are prayed before putting on the various liturgical vestments to celebrate Mass and is a quiet and hidden action that the laity rarely ever see. While the prayers aren’t used by the laity, they can help men and women in the pew understand the great symbolism behind each vestment and why these ancient articles of clothing are used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Here are the following prayers are said by priests while vesting for Mass:
HAND WASHING — O Lord, give my hands power to wash away all evil, that without stain in mind or body I may strive to serve you. (while washing his hands).
AMICE — Place, oh Lord, the helmet of salvation on my head to resist the attacks of the Devil.
ALB — Make me white, O Lord, and purify my heart, so that being made white in the blood of the lamb, I may deserve an eternal reward.
CINTURE — Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity and extinguish in my heart the fire of concupiscence so that, the virtue of continence and chastity may always remain in my heart, and I may serve you better.
MANIPLE —(Note: This particular vestment is not always used). May I deserve, O Lord, to carry this maniple of sorrow and penance so that I may one day enjoy the reward of my labors.
STOLE — Restore unto me, O Lord, the stole of immortality which I lost through the sin of my first parents and, although unworthy to approach thy sacred mystery, may I nevertheless obtain eternal joy.
CHASUBLE (is called “little house” in Latin because it covers everything else) — O Lord, who has said, “my yoke is sweet and my burden light,” grant that I may so carry it as to merit your grace.
Vesting Prayers for Deacons
Dalmatic (Deacons and Bishops):
Lord, endow me with the garment of salvation, the vestment of joy, and with the dalmatic of justice ever encompass me.
Lord, restore the stole of immortality, which I lost through the collusion of our first parents, and, unworthy as I am to approach Thy sacred mysteries, may I yet gain eternal joy.
The following is an optional prayer and ritual from the Orthodox:
The deacon, with his robe and stole (orarion) in hand, goes to the priest and bows his head, saying:
D: Bless, Master, the robe and the stole.
The priest blesses:
P: Blessed is our God always, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
The deacon goes to the side of the sanctuary. Vesting himself with the robe, he recites this prayer:
My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for He has clothed me with the garment of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of gladness; as a bridegroom, He has set a crown on me; and as a bride adorns herself with jewels, so He has adorned me.
After kissing the stole, the deacon places it on his shoulder. As he puts on the cuffs, he recites the following:
Right: Thy right hand, O Lord, has been glorified in power. Thy right hand, O Lord, has shattered the enemies. In the greatness of Thy majesty Thou hast overthrown Thy adversaries.
Left: Thy hands have made and fashioned me. Give me understanding that I may learn Thy commandments.
Then the deacon goes to the Table of Preparation, and sets the Holy Vessels in place for the priest.
PRIVATE PREPARATION PRAYERS after appropriate fasting.
Blessed is our God, always, now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. [3 times] (Bowing) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, (upright) now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. O most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities,f or Your Name’s sake. Lord, have mercy. [3 times] (Bowing) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, (upright) now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name; Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Keep us from falling into temptation; and deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Glory to You, O God. [3 times] Lord, have mercy. [3 times] O Lord, born of the Virgin, regard not my transgressions. Cleanse my heart and make it a temple for your most pure body and blood. Do not cast me from your presence, for your mercy cannot be measured. (Bowing) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. How dare I partake of your hallowed things, unworthy as I am? For if I make bold to draw near with those who are worthy, but do not have a wedding garment, I earn the condemnation of my sinful self. Cleanse my defiled soul, O Lord, and save me, for you are loving and kind. Now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. OR
Many are my transgressions, O Mother of God. I turn to you who are pure seeking salvation. Have pity on my soul and pray to your Son our God for the remission of my evil deeds, O blessed one. Lord, have mercy. [3 times] You who desire to eat the body of the Lord, draw near in fear lest you be consumed, for fire it is. And drinking the blood of God in communion, first be reconciled to all, and then with boldness eat the sacramental food, but before partaking in the great sacrifice of the life-giving body of the Lord, pray in fear and humility. O Lord and Master Jesus Christ our God, You alone have power to absolve our sins. In Your goodness and loving kindness forgive me all my transgressions, witting and unwitting, and grant that I may partake without condemnation of Your divine and glorious, most pure and life-giving mysteries. For You are the God of mercy and bountiful in love towards us, so to You we ascribe glory, honor and praise together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Lord, have mercy. [3 times]
O Lord Jesus Christ my God, absolve remit, be gracious and forgive me Your.sinful, unprofitable and unworthy servant, my many sins, offenses and transgressions, which since my youth until the present day and hour I commit against You, in knowledge and in ignorance, whether of words or deeds, whether in thought or in imagination, of my willfulness and in my senses. By the intercession of her who bore You without seed, Mary, Your all immaculate and ever-virgin Mother, grant that I may partake without condemnation of Your immaculate, immortal, life-giving and dread mysteries, for the forgiveness of sins and unto life eternal, unto sanctification, enlightenment, strength, healing and health of soul and body, of myself and for those for whom I pray; and unto the blotting out and complete obliteration of my evil thoughts, imaginings and intentions, and unto protection from the evil spirits of darkness; for Yours is the Kingdom and the power, and the glory, and the honor and the worship with Your Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. O Lord, I know that I receive unworthily of Your immaculate Body and precious Blood; I know that I am guilty and can only eat and drink condemnation to myself, failing to discern the Body and Blood of Christ my God. Yet, trusting in Your compassion I come unto You Who said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me and I in him.” Therefore, O Lord, have compassion on me and do not make an example of me the sinner, but according to Your great mercy, grant that these holy things may be for me, and for those for whom I pray, unto healing, purification, enlightenment, protection, salvation and sanctification of soul and body, and to the expulsion of every evil imagining, wicked deed or work of the devil, which may assail the mind or body. May this communion move me to boldness and love toward You, and to the amendment of my life, the increase of virtue, and the keeping of Your commandments through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as a provision for eternal life and for a good defense before the dread judgement seat, and not unto judgement or condemnation. For the Celebrants ONLY [Stretch forth Your hand, O Lord, from Your holy dwelling place, and strengthen me for Your appointed service, that I may stand without condemnation before Your dread judgement seat, and fulfill, at this altar, the sacred, bloodless sacrifice, which is Your own one true Eternal Sacrifice; for Yours is the power and the glory, unto the Ages of ages. Amen] Lord, have mercy. [3 times] Glory to You, O Christ our God and our sure hope. Glory to You. Through the prayers of our holy forebears, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and give us Your blessing. Amen.
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
(This is a blessing — not consecrating — of the elements prior to the liturgy) At the preparation table, or in the sacristy, the Deacon says or softly intones the following prayers:
Deacon: Lord Jesus Christ, Master and Dispenser of every good thing,
Who offers the blessed life to all, and at all times, grant that this
mystery may be accomplished in re-mission of all our sins, and that
sanctified, we may delight in the endless beatitude of eternal glory,
O Savior of the world, Who lives and reigns with the Father and
the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the Ages of ages. Amen.
Taking the bread, the Deacon makes an incision on the underside in the form of a cross and places it on the paten, saying:
Deacon: This is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world
for the life of the world and its salvation. One of the soldiers
pierces His side with his lance,
Then pouring the wine and water into the chalice, he continues:
and out flowed blood and water. For this reason we mix them in
order that the God of mercies may deign to sanctify them for our
well-being, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns
with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and ever and unto the Ages
of ages. Amen.
The Celebrant, holding a list of names of those dearly departed then prays:
Celebrant: We offer this holy oblation to Your praise and glory, O Christ
our God; we offer it also, in supplication, for these Your servants,
living […N,N,N (optional)…] and departed […N,N,N (optional)…],
The Celebrant touches the gifts with the Diptych of names and continues:
that You will deign to receive these prayers for their well-being,
and grant these, our brothers and sisters, Your loving mercy; for
You are a good and loving God, and unto You we ascribe glory,
honor and praise, with Your Father, and the life-creating Holy
Spirit, now and ever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen.
The Celebrant blesses the eucharistic elements
Celebrant: Bless, O Lord, these gifts that those who receive it may
receive Your grace.
The Deacon then veils the Gifts and censes them. (Optional)
Introduction to the Theme of the Day
Lector, or Celebrant introduces the theme for the day, then
The PAX — Sign of Peace
Lector, or Celebrant: Sisters and Brothers, before we enter into these sacred mysteries, let us examine our hearts, and as a sign of our desire to be reconciled with with God and our neighbors, let us offer unto one another a sign of Christ’s Peace.
And all offer one another a sign, in keeping with local customs, that expresses peace, communion, and charity. The Priest gives the sign of peace to a Deacon or minister.
When the people are gathered, the Priest processes to the altar with the ministers while the Entrance Chant (Antiphon) is sung.
When he has arrived at the altar, after making a profound bow with the ministers, the Priest venerates the altar with a kiss and, if appropriate, incenses the cross and the altar. Then, with the ministers, he goes to the chair.
Chant: Cf. Ps 48 (47): 10-11 or an appropriate hymn or song
Your merciful love, O God, we have received in the midst of your temple. Your praise, O God, like your name, reaches the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with saving justice.
When the Entrance Chant is concluded, the Priest and the faithful, standing, sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, while the Priest, facing the people, says:
Priest: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
When the Entrance Chant is concluded, the Priest and the faithful, standing, sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, while the Priest, facing the people, extending his hands, greets the people, saying:
Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(Bishop) Peace be with you.
All: And with your spirit.
Penitential Act: (Form A)
Priest: My sisters and brothers, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries. A brief pause for silence follows. The Priest, or a Deacon then says the following or other invocations*
Lord, You were sent to heal the contrite of heart:
Lord, have mercy.
The people reply:
Lord, have mercy.
You came to call sinners:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
The general absolution by the Priest follows:
May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life.
The people reply:
(may be sung or spoken)
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you, we bless you,
we adore you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
When this hymn is concluded, the Priest, with hands joined, says:
Let us pray.
All pray in silence with the Priest for a while.
Then the Priest, with hands extended, says the Collect prayer: (This prayer changes daily)
LITURGY OF THE WORD
(readings from the lectionary)
Lector: A reading from the book of N.
When the reading is concluded the lector says:
The Word of the Lord
All: Thanks be to God
Psalm of the day, or appropriate song
Lector: our responsorial today is...
Lector: A reading from the second letter of N to the N: When the reading is concluded the lector says:
The word of the Lord
ALLELUIA (Gospel Acclamation sung during the Gospel Procession) see Luke 4:18 or selected Alleluia song
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Meanwhile, if incense is used, the Priest puts some into the thurible. After this, the Deacon who is to proclaim the Gospel, bowing profoundly before the Priest, asks for the blessing, saying in a low voice:
Your blessing, Father.
The Priest says in a low voice:
May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips,
that you may proclaim his Gospel worthily and well,
in the name of the Father and of the Son ✠ and of the Holy Spirit.
The Deacon signs himself with the Sign of the Cross and replies:
If, however, a Deacon is not present, the Priest, bowing before the altar, says quietly:
Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God,
that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.
The Deacon, or the Priest, then proceeds to the ambo, accompanied, if appropriate, by ministers with incense and candles. There he says:
The Lord be with you.
The people reply:
And with your spirit.
The Deacon, or the Priest:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to N.
and, at the same time, he makes the Sign of the Cross on the book and on his forehead, lips, and breast.
The people acclaim: Glory to you, O Lord.
Then the Deacon, or the Priest, incenses the book, if incense is used, and proclaims the Gospel.
At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:
The Gospel of the Lord.
All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Then he kisses the book, saying quietly:
Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.
The bishop, priest or deacon speaks to the congregation, ending with:
The Word of our Lord.
All: Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ
Profession of Faith
(The ordinary form is the Nicene Creed, without the Filoque. The Apostles Creed may be substituted)
All: I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, (bow) and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. (raise from bow)
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
Prayer of the Faithful
This will vary in each church according to their needs. Generally prepare individual prayers for: