Perhaps it's been a long time since you've attended a Mass, or maybe it will be your first time. You may not be familiar with the responses or what is happening at the Mass. That is okay! We want you to know that you are welcome at Canadian Martyrs. What's most important is that you've come to be with God. In your pew, you will find a Welcome booklet that can be your guide through the Mass. Don't hesitate to introduce yourself to another parishioner and let them know you are new to the church. We'd be happy to help you and answer any questions you may have!
What is the Mass?
The Mass is the most important prayer of the Catholic Church. The Mass is where we come together as a community to worship God, to hear His Word, and most importantly, receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the Eucharist is the "source and summit of the Christian life" (paragraph 1324), for although the Eucharist looks like a small piece of bread, it is truly the full body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. When we receive the Eucharist, we receive Jesus. At the Mass, we experience the moment of the Last Supper Jesus had with His Apostles.
"Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you." Luke 22:19-20
Throughout His time on earth, Jesus emphasized the importance of receiving Him in the Eucharist. He said to His disciples,
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." John 6:51
The Eucharist is the greatest gift God has given to the Church. We hope that you are able to come and experience this gift for yourself! If you are not a Catholic, we ask that you refrain from receiving the Eucharist, as receiving is a sign of unity of belief in the Real Presence of Jesus among Catholics. You are welcome to come up to receive a blessing during the distribution of the Eucharist. To do so, simply place your arms across your chest to indicate to the priest that you'd like to receive a blessing. In this way, you can invite Jesus spiritually into your heart. If you are interested in becoming Catholic, please let us know! We'd be happy to journey with you.