Okay, we’re now ready to deal with the Mass itself in this little series of articles. What will we need to do this?
First of all, we need the Church. No, not the building, I mean we need the assembly of believers. Did you know that the rules of the Church virtually require that at least one other person assist the priest at Mass? Sure, for a good reason a priest could celebrate Mass alone – because spiritually the entire Church is remembered in his prayers, and he speaks even in the name of those who can’t attend – but no priest will tell you that this would be best.
In fact, it’s obvious from the very texts of the service itself. So much of the wording at Mass is dialogue: greetings-and-responses, or antiphons meant to be repeated, or proclamations and announcements. It would be odd to say “The Lord be with you” and not get any answer!
Remember, too, that “full and active participation” means that the priest is not supposed to do everything himself: having more members of the Church community present means that more of the words and actions of the Mass can be shared!