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THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

After the Collect, we all sit down for the part of the Mass called the Liturgy of the Word, which includes readings from the Old and New Testament, the singing of a Psalm, the Allelluia and the proclamation of the Gospel, followed by the Homily, the Profession of Faith (Creed), and the Prayer of the Faithful.

Readings are contained in the Lectionary, where they arranged in segments for ease of reading, and they are proclaimed from the ambo, a pulpit or lectern designed to be similar to an altar. The Book of the Gospels contains the Gospel readings for Sunday Masses and other solemnities.

Sunday readings are divided into a three-year cycle. (The readings for daily Mass are on a two-year cycle with one reading from various parts of the Bible and a Gospel reading each day.) For the Sunday readings, Cycle A focuses on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, Cycle B focuses on St. Mark, and Cycle C focuses on St. Luke. The Old Testament readings correspond to the subject of the Gospel.

The Second Reading, which follows a different type of arrangement, is most often from a Letter of St. Paul to a community or individual or from one of the other New Testament letters.
Do not fall prey to the lie that the Catholic Church doesn’t allow us to read the Bible. Most of the prayers and responses of the Mass are taken directly from Scripture and there is never a celebration of the Mass in which the Bible is not read.

“Word” has several meanings. It can mean Jesus, the Word of God (cf John 1), or it can refer to the Scriptures, that is, the Holy Bible. The Scriptures are “living word” that will always speak to us in a way nothing else can. As we listen to God’s Word proclaimed at Mass, let us present to the Lord all our worries and cares.