Entering into the Mass, an encounter with God

In the second of a series on the Catholic liturgy discover how in the liturgy's opening moments we get ready for all that follows, and how we can better appreciate our encounter with Christ in the Liturgy of the Word.

The introductory rites: Call to communion and community

The entrance, the greeting, the penitential act, the Gloria, the Kyrie and the collect (opening prayer) -- set the tone for listening to the word of God and celebrating the Eucharist.

With a thankful heart: The Liturgy of the Word

The readings from Scripture that we hear at every Mass help us to know to Word of God -- Christ himself -- which is why we respond, Thanks be to God." See three tips to be more receptive to the Word.

Lord’s Prayer is reaching out for father’s loving embrace, pope says

People who have become estranged from God, feel lonely or are paralyzed by guilt can "find the strength to pray" by starting with the word, "Father," spoken with the tenderness of a child, Pope Francis said.

Footprints tell of where we’ve been, where we’re going

Where our feet have trod give witness to our being: I was here; I left a mark. Our wanderings, writes Gina Christian, in turn mark us: calluses on our soles and souls. In this new year let us walk in the unseen Lord's paths.

Jesus’ baptism invites us to reaffirm our oneness with God

Having received the light of Christ, we must proclaim the good news of salvation with our very lives, writes Msgr. Joseph Prior. Daily prayer helps us tend the fire of God's love in our hearts.

Readings of the Holy Mass – The Baptism of the Lord

Read or listen to the readings before Mass with these resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, using the New American Bible, Revised Edition.

Pope offers practical tips for keeping track of one’s love of neighbor

Pope Francis offered a checklist for Catholics to keep track of how they measure up to the biblical admonition: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' but hates his brother, he is a liar."

Prayer has the power to change lives, hearts, pope says

God is a father who never ignores his children when they call to him in times of suffering, loneliness and despair, Pope Francis said.

Inside the Mass: The people get ready for worship

In the first of a seven-part series, learn how active participation in the liturgy is the new norm, and how preparation can help us celebrate the liturgy well on Sundays, and afterward.