An act of religious devotion usually directed towards God. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something.
In the Church's liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated. the Father is acknowledged and adored as the source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation. In his Word who became incarnate, died, and rose for us, he fills us with his blessings. Through his Word, he pours into our hearts the Gift that contains all gifts, the Holy Spirit. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1082
Often, people will suggest that going to Sunday Mass is not necessary. After all, they can pray at home just as well. This has clearly been an issue in the Church for more than a millennium. In the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom addressed this problem directly:
You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests. (CCC, no. 2179, quoting St. John Chrysos-tom, De incomprehensibili 3, 6: PG 48, 725)
When members of our church community are absent from this gathering, they are missed. No member of the faithful should be absent from the Sunday Eucharist without a serious reason. The Liturgy should be the first thing on Sunday’s schedule, not the last. We should arrive on time, prepared in mind and heart to fully participate in the Mass. Those who cannot attend because of illness or the need to care for infants or the sick deserve our prayers and special attention.
Basically, there are two main parts to the Mass. The Liturgy of the Word & the Liturgy of the Eucharist. These are preceded by the Opening Rite and followed by the Dismissal Rite.
The Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Word is the first half of the Mass. Instantly the Mass is a participation of the priest and the congregation. This can be seen and heard from the responses from the people, the choir and congregation singing and the alter servers helping the priest with the celebration.
The major parts of the first half of the Mass are
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the second half of the Mass. There is a definite change in direction at this point. The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the bread and wine being brought to the alter.
The major parts of the second half of the Mass are