Don’t be late for Mass believing the introductory rites do not matter, Pope Francis told visitors and pilgrims.
The words and gestures that open the celebration help the faithful come together as one and prepare them to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist worthily, he said on 20th December during his weekly general audience.
“It is not a good habit to be looking at the clock” and calculating how much of the beginning of Mass would be okay to miss and still fulfil one’s obligation, he said.
Get to Mass early – not late, he said, because it is during the introductory rites that “we begin to adore God as a community” and “to prepare the heart for this celebration with the community.”
The pope continued his series of audience talks on the Mass, reflecting on the introductory rites.
“Understanding these holy signs is necessary in order to fully experience the Mass and savour all of its beauty,” he said.
Picture: Pope Francis blesses a group of newly ordained priests of the Legionaries of Christ at the end of his weekly general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican on 20th December. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano).