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Liturgical Texts of the Mass

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Basic Texts for the Roman Catholic Eucharist


This webpage is intended to help you become familiar with the "Order of Mass" used in the Roman Catholic Church. The texts and responses spoken by all the people are indicated in bold type below. Some of the greetings and prayers spoken by the presider (the priest or bishop) at each Mass are also included, in order to help you understand the structure and flow of the Mass more fully. The postures prescribed for Masses in the United States are indicated in small print (note: standing, sitting, or kneeling during certain parts of the Mass may differ in other countries).

This webpage is not intended for priests to use in celebrating the Eucharist, since it does not include those texts which are different at each Mass, such as the three presidential prayers (the Opening Prayer, Prayer over the Gifts, and Prayer after Communion), or the readings used during the Liturgy of the Word. It also does not contain the full "rubrics" (the explicit instructions printed in red) of the Roman Missal (the Sacramentary), nor does it contain the brief prayers that the priest is supposed to say "inaudibly" (just before and after proclaiming the Gospel, while mixing the water and wine, while washing his fingers, after the Breaking of the Bread, and just before and after receiving communion).

The "Order of Mass" is based on the Missale Romanum (The Roman Missal, revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Council and published by authority of Pope Paul VI). The English translations of the prayers and responses given here are copyright 1970-1985 by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), and reprinted here with permission. The explanations printed in small italics are by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Read the text at this website

Word of God - Scripture Readings

First and Second Reading.  Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel.


Eucharistic Prayers

Basic Texts for the Roman Catholic Eucharist

These webpages are intended to help you become more familiar with the various texts used during the "Mass" or "Eucharistic Liturgy" of the Roman Catholic Church. In particular, there are several different "Eucharistic Prayers" that the presider (the priest or bishop) may choose near the middle of the Mass. Each of these has a similar structure and each contains some words that are identical in nearly all of the Eucharistic Prayers (especially the "Eucharistic Acclamations" sung or spoken by all the people, and the "words of institution" recited by the presider, which include the words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper.)

To help you see both the similarity in structure and the differences between the various Eucharistic Prayers (both in wording and in length), they are printed in parallel columns on the following pages. Texts and responses sung or spoken by all the people are indicated in bold type. The "words of institution" are printed in dark red. Some of the texts spoken by the presider are optional for certain Masses or liturgical seasons, as indicated in small italics.

These webpages were compiled by Felix Just, S.J.
This page was last updated on August 1, 2005

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