The Mass

The main act of worship for the people of St Bartholomew's takes place on Sunday morning.


This service is called The Mass, or The Eucharist. The word Eucharist is derived from the Greek word meaning thanksgiving. Roman Catholics and some Church of England churches use the word Eucharist interchangeably with Mass to describe their Sunday morning Holy Communion services.


Saint Jean Vianney said of the Eucharist. “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.”


The Mass booklet is fairly easy to follow, and anyone in church will be very happy to help or guide you.


The Mass itself can be broken down into four main parts:


The Introductory Rite, which includes the greeting a confession and the collect the special prayer for the day; the Liturgy of the Word follows, which normally consists of a reading from the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures to give it its correct title, which is followed by a responsorial Psalm and then a reading from the New Testament. The Liturgy of the word always finishing with a reading from one of the four gospels, which is followed by the homily or sermon; the peace usually takes place after the prayers of the faithful or bidding prayers as they are also called, here we pray for the Church, for the World, for the Community in which we live and for our families and friends, we also pray for the sick and for those who have died. The Liturgy of the Eucharist, follows, bread and wine are brought to the altar, the Priest gives thanks and prays that they may become the body and blood of Christ, which we share in at communion (more on how this works practically below); and finally the Dismissal when we give thanks for what we have received during Mass and are then sent out with a blessing.


During the service normally after the prayers, we have what is called the 'peace'. After the introduction to the peace it is traditional to share a 'sign of peace' a simple greeting usually in the form of a handshake or it may be a kiss. This isn't quite the same as greeting someone in a non-church context it isn't really the right moment to catch up on the week’s gossip or to introduce yourself to people (the best time for that is after Mass at coffee). Sharing the peace with those nearby is sufficient.


At communion time, people go forward to the front of church to receive communion. If you are confirmed or normally receive communion at another Christian church, then you are welcome to receive communion here. However, if not, you can still come forward to receive a blessing, please bring your Mass book with you to indicate to the Priest that this is what you want. Children are always encouraged to come forward for a blessing.


After Mass, please stay with us for tea or coffee and normally there’s a biscuit or two.


We take our charge to care for the people of Armley very seriously in this in this parish and if you need to talk to a priest make yourself known after Mass or contact us. (see the "Contact Us" page for contact details)





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