For quite some time now I have been using this series of articles to highlight the ceremonies of the Mass, because the celebration of the Eucharist is the highest form of Christian worship. And in doing this I’ve tried to highlight some aspects of the Mass which don’t get a lot of consideration most of the time.
After all, I’ll bet at least once a year every parish’s Bulletin prints an article about, say, receiving Holy Communion in the forms of both bread and wine (the best way to do so, I might add!). And I wish I got a nickel whenever a pastor complains about people leaving Mass early, ’cause they all do it constantly!
In our reflections we’ve now reached the post-communion time of Mass. Have you ever heard or read much about this part of the celebration? I get the impression that in general we don’t realize how precious this time is. Most of the time folks are gathering up their purses, coats, umbrellas, children, and wits, getting ready to leave the church-building. What’s not so obvious is that this ought to be one of the most powerful prayer-times of all.
Think about it. The Lord Jesus Christ has just been present to His people; all have worshiped, and many have actually taken Him into themselves in the Eucharistic food. There are other holy times in life, but few are as readily obvious! We should be prayerfully and gratefully “full of” God and His Holy Spirit. Our song of thanksgiving ought to come from the heart. The blessing we receive should radiate off of each of us into the souls of others. We are dismissed not to forget but to pass on our shared memories and graces to others. In short, a good believer departs the Mass holier than when it started, and it ought to show!