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Amber Foster wrote:

Hi, guys —

My name is Amber Foster. I am in the 10th grade at Ursuline Academy of Dallas in Texas. I am a Methodist and I attend a Catholic School. I have many questions about the Catholic faith that my Catholic teacher will not answer. I have a few questions about the things that go on during the Mass.

  • If you could, would you take the time to answer them?

It would be greatly appreciated.

  • Why is Scripture used in the liturgy at all?
  • How many readings are there in a Mass and why is it that number?

    Regarding the readings in the Mass:

  • Is the entire Bible read over a cycle?
  • Is the whole Bible eventually read over the liturgical year?
  • If not, what parts are covered?
  • Do the readings repeat every year; if not, how often to they repeat?

I would appreciate your help with these questions. I am struggling in her class because she thinks that I have too many "unnecessary" questions, but I cannot really fully understand what we are learning until I understand the basics.

Thank you for your time.

Amber Dawn Foster

  { Can you answer some questions from a Methodist about the Scripture readings used in the Mass? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Amber —

You said:

  • Why is Scripture used in the liturgy at all?

Because the Catholic Church is a truly Biblical Church. The Bible was written by Catholics and their ancestors, for Catholics, for use in our Catholic worship service, the Mass.

There are two parts to what Catholics call, "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" or "Sunday Mass": This is the Catholic worship we give solely to God, solely to Jesus, who is True God and True Man.

In the Liturgy of the Word, God teaches us, through the priest and Holy Scriptures, on how to be better Catholic evangelists for Jesus and how to handle problems with Satan and his temptations. We read the teachings of Our Lord and learn how to develop into a better Catholic Christians, in hope of being a better witness for Christ's Church, the Catholic Church.

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we receive His real Body and Blood to nourish and strengthen us in this world. (John 6:51-70) Although the consecrated Host, still looks like wheat bread, the substance, something we can't see, has been changed into the Body of Our Lord.

You said:

  • How many readings are there in a Mass and why is it that number?

During Sunday Mass's there are three readings:

  • one from the Old Testament
  • one from the Epistle's and
  • one from one of the four Gospels.

During Daily Mass, there are two readings:

  • one from the Old Testament
  • and one from the Gospel.

You said:

  • Is the entire Bible read over a cycle?
  • Is the whole Bible eventually read over the liturgical year?
  • Do the readings repeat every year; if not, how often to they repeat?

The readings are chosen so that the Catholic who attends Sunday Mass for three years will have heard most of the Bible. This is why it is referred to as a three-year cycle of readings.

There is a Year A set of readings, Year B set of readings, and Year C set of readings, then we start over again, Year A, Year B, etc.

The readings for daily Mass are chosen so that the Catholic who attends daily Mass on a regular basis will have heard most of the Bible in two years. This is why we refer to it as a two-year cycle of readings.

You said:
If not, what parts are covered?

Too many parts to remember! If you are really interested I would go to a Catholic bookstore in the Texas area and ask for a Saint Joseph Sunday Missal and St. Joseph Weekday Missal. These are the readings used.

You said:
I would appreciate your help with these questions. I am struggling in her class because she thinks that I have too many "unnecessary" questions, but I cannot really fully understand what we are learning until I understand the basics.

"unnecessary" questions?

For a sincere seeking Christian there is no such thing as "unnecessary" questions, especially since you are obviously seeking to understand. If you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

For the Church, I apologize that your teacher was not able to answer your questions. Like I have told my niece and nephews, the only dumb question is the one not asked!

I also recommend you surf through the following web sites as well:

Hope this helps,

Mike

Lisa commented:

Dear Amber,

Keep asking questions!

The only way to learn about your faith is by asking questions and obviously the Holy Spirit is prompting you to learn more about the Catholic faith! Understand that in the classroom setting, your teacher is given only so many hours to devote to so many questions, but it's important that you find your answers and find them in a good place.

This web site is an excellent place to look, but also find a good Catholic adult who would be open to answering your questions too! There are many of us out there! I teach a lot of kids, Catholic and non-Catholic and I think asking questions is how you learn.

God bless you and don't give up!

Lisa Simmons

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