In many dioceses throughout the world, Catholics have the opportunity to attend Holy Mass, not only on Sunday, but every day. There is something very special about participating at a weekday Mass: it changes our day, sanctifies it, unites us with Jesus and the Church, and reminds us that we belong to God and not to the world.
We live in a culture focused on trivial, unimportant things. The Mass reminds us of what is real and true: Jesus’ Incarnation, His death and resurrection, and His gift of eternal life for us with Him in heaven.
On days we attend Mass, our participation in the Liturgy will be the most important of our actions. At Mass, we worship, adore, and thank God, ask forgiveness for our sins, and pray for others. We unite ourselves with the priest in the Sacrifice of the Mass and offer God our lives, prayers and works, thus actively participating in the Liturgy.
When Catholics are in a state of grace, free of mortal sin and believing that Jesus is truly present, they can receive His body and blood in the Eucharist. We are so blessed to have the opportunity receive Jesus in this way often, even every day, making us have a closer relationship with Him and giving us many graces. These graces include the forgiveness of venial sins, strengthening our will to avoid committing mortal sins, increased union with Jesus, and union with the members of His Mystical Body, the Church.
I began going to Mass on weekdays while working in a Catholic college. Because of my frequent participation in Mass, I grew to have a greater love for Jesus, and a closer friendship with Him. I became more devoted to Him in the Eucharist and began spending time praying in His Presence in church. Since that time, I have continued to go to Mass during the week (and on Saturdays) whenever possible.
The Mass has been a source of consolation for me during difficult times. After my mother died ten years ago, I tried to go to Mass every day and offered my Mass for her. Being at Mass made me feel close to my mother and to the other members of the Church, as well as to God. The Mass was also a comfort for me in the times after two priest friends of mine died. I knew I could still help them by offering my Mass for them, and believed that we were still connected to one another through the Mass. As St. John Paul II wrote in his encyclical on the Eucharist: “…in celebrating the sacrifice of the Lamb, we are united to the heavenly ‘liturgy’ and become part of that great multitude which cries out: ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb.’ (Rev. 7:10)”
I have had many special experiences at weekday Masses. One Mass I will always remember is the Mass celebrated for my birthday three years ago. Father Rooney, my spiritual father and friend, wanted to offer Mass for me as a birthday present. He was assisted by his friend, Father O’Connor, in celebrating the Mass in the chapel of the nursing home where he lived. Two of my friends participated in this special Mass. It was the most perfect gift Father Rooney could have given me.
I believe that frequent attendance at Mass and frequent reception of the Blessed Sacrament has given me an increase of the virtue of charity. I have a greater desire to serve Jesus through service to others in the works of mercy. I attribute having that desire and the graces to do the works of mercy to my participation at Mass.
The Mass prepares us to be missionaries in the world. Before the blessing, the priest sends us to live as Jesus’ disciples with the dismissal: “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord” or “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Each day Mass is usually offered in the morning, at noon, and less often, in the evening. It is beautiful to begin your day with Mass in the morning; spending time with Jesus gives you the strength to fulfill your duties the rest of the day. Mass at noon is a time of tranquility in the midst of a busy day, a way to become recollected to the presence of God in your life. Evening Mass can provide us with a feeling of awe in Jesus’ presence, as we remain in His light while the night sky turns dark.
Attending weekday Mass is a way we can celebrate the feast days and holy days of the liturgical year. For Catholics, every day is a holiday. Not only do we have great feast days such as Christmas, but we have many days honoring the Blessed Mother, and the numerous saints and blesseds who are part of our family in the Church.
The Mass is the greatest way we can help others. At the beginning of each Mass, we can offer it for someone or for a specific intention, such as the protection of unborn babies from abortion or world peace. We can also arrange to have Masses celebrated for individuals who are living or deceased, or for our intentions.
It is not always possible to go to Mass every day, but whenever we can, taking the opportunity would benefit us. If you don’t already participate at Mass during the week, the season of Lent would be an ideal time to begin. Sometimes attending weekday Mass involves sacrifice, as you might need to get up earlier to go to Mass before work or drive some distance to find a Mass celebrated at a time that is suited to your schedule. As our attendance at Mass often depends on our work schedule, we may go to Mass at churches other than our parish, an experience that is like a pilgrimage.
Going to Mass during the week is a reminder that every day, throughout the day, in most places in the world, Holy Mass is being offered, and Catholics are worshiping God together in church. As the priest prays in the Third Eucharistic Prayer, “…You never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting, a perfect sacrifice may be offered to Your name.”
I try attending Mass daily because I love Jesus, want to spend time with Him, want to thank Him for all His blessings, and because I know I need His graces. I also believe that because Jesus loves me, He wants me to be at Mass with Him.