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The Good, The Bad, The Mass

The Good, The Bad, The Mass

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Published by: Thomas David Luke Wheeler on Sep 28, 2009
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09/28/2009

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Thomas Neville
The Good, the Bad, the Mass.
There are many people who attend Mass regularly for many reasons, some go because of their belief in Catholicism and God, some because they find going to Mass as a nice end/start to the week and others, as most kids will agree, because they are forced to go bytheir elders.In the same way, others don't go because they don't believe or are of a different faith, theydon't have the time or because they simply don't want to go.There are two teenagers who have shared their view with us, they are Emma, aged 15 andJames, also aged 15.Emma says, “I really enjoy going to Mass on a Sunday”.On the other hand, James says, “I prefer to stay in bed, Mass is boring”.In this essay, I will be looking into the reasons why the two teens feel the way they doabout Mass.Emma says that she goes with her family but she doesn't say at what age she startedgoing or why. I can guess that, like myself, she went from a young age and because her parents were Catholics... It “runs” in the family.She also gets involved in the Mass by serving on the altar, helping with the offertory andreading. One of the reasons I took an active part in the Mass was because it meant Iwould be doing something at most parts of the Mass, meaning I wouldn't get bored duringthe Mass and because it was something new to me.Emma also says of how she gets closer to God because she is in His presence.
 
Thomas Neville
She gives three examples of this when thinking about Jesus' link to the Mass, the breadand wine being made into the body and blood of Jesus (The consecration), the Gospelwhere we learn about Jesus' life and how the priest represents Jesus.I feel that these are all valid points which can help people feel closer to God.She then says about how she receives Jesus in Holy Communion through the bread andwine as mentioned previously. This is the most important part of Mass and Catholicsbelieve that, once the bread and wine are consecrated in the Eucharist, they cease to bebread and wine, and become instead the body and blood of Christ.If you're not a Catholic, or you are not familiar with this belief, then you won't understandthe significance of this section of the Mass and will probably see it as breakfast after you've missed it because you had to get to church too early, like James.Emma also enjoys listening to the teachings of Jesus through the Gospel. This is a part of the Mass that I feel stands out as an important part.We could easily live our lives by listening and acting on what Jesus says in the Gospel andthe homily that follows after can be considered in some ways as a modern example of theGospel, depending on what the priest decides to speak about.On the other hand, James says that there are other activities to do and that he prefers tostay in bed. I used to feel the same waybut I realised that there wasn't much else to do at10:30 on a Sunday morning and that if I was feeling too tired on a Sunday morning, I couldalways go to the Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon one, as I do myself now.When he mentions about being too lazy, I can't really offer an opinion or improvement onthat except to say that that is something he's going to have to sort/ work out himself.
 
Thomas Neville
This is the same with when he says he doesn't believe in God.To be honest, when James says of how the sermons are boring and/ or not applicable, Ican't help but agree when, every two or three months, my priest uses the sermon to readout the archbishop's letter. But, all the other weeks where there are no letters, are, I feel,interesting and contain a small joke of some kind, and always definitely applicable, even if not until the closing sentence.James also says that he doesn't understand the words or prayers that are used in Mass.He could always ask someone, like the priest.He says that peer pressure is involved. My only advice is to stop listening and get rid of your peers.... Then you won't have to worry about what anyone else thinks about what youdo.James says that all the hymns are the same and he's not involved.I can't really say if the hymns are all the same without going to his church but I can saythat, in my own church, we have a big hymn book.And, I can say that the priest (and Catholics in general) are always looking for people tohelp out, be it altar serving, reading, offertory or hedge cutting.As a practising catholic, I must say that I'd have to side with Emma on whether Mass isboring or not, to which her opinion is that Mass is not boring, but actually quite fun.However I can see where James is coming from with how Mass is boring and I will admitfreely that I went through that stage and I still have that occasional feeling, especially now

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