OFFICE FOR LITURGY

of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford

THE CELEBRATION OF MASS ON SUNDAYS

“On the first day of each week, which is known as the Day of the Lord or the Lord’s Day, the Church, by an apostolic tradition that draws its origin from the very day of the Resurrection of Christ, celebrates the Paschal Mystery. Hence, Sunday must be considered the primordial feast day.”
 
Universal norms for the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar 4
"At Mass or the Lord’s Supper the People of God is called together, with a Priest presiding and acting in the person of Christ, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord or Eucharistic Sacrifice. In an outstanding way there applies to such a local gathering of the holy Church the promise of Christ: ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst’ (Mt 18: 20). For in the celebration of Mass, in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated, Christ is really present in the very assembly gathered in his name, in the person of the minister, in his word, and indeed substantially and uninterruptedly under the Eucharistic species."
 
General Instruction on the Roman Missal 27
To navigate to the right Sunday, use the tab on the top of the page: hover over "Sunday Mass" and a drop downmenu will invite you to choose a Liturgical Year: hover over the right year and you find a drop down menu of all the Sundays in that year - click on the Sunday you need.
The Church teaches us that Sunday, the weekly Easter, is at the very heart of the meaning of the Liturgical Year. Each Sunday commemorates the Paschal Mystery, and each Sunday the community assembles, as it has since the time of the apostles, to acclaim Christ as Risen Lord, to celebrate our victory over sin and death, and to be renewed as the Body of the Risen Christ. Sunday is always, and in every sense, “special”.
 
As we come together on the 52 or 53 Sundays of each year, we are presented with the whole of the mystery of salvation: in Advent we hear of the expectation of the coming of the long-awaited Messiah; at Christmas we hear of the great events of his birth. In Lent we are called to renew our membership of Christ, first given in Baptism, and renewed at Easter, when we hear once more of his triumphant victory. Throughout the “ordinary” Sundays of the year we walk with Christ in Galilee and Jerusalem: we stand on the hillsides, by the lake and in the porticoes as he speaks to us; we learn who Christ is, so that we can declare him to be the Messiah, the One sent by God. And every time we hear the story, it is sealed by the sacramental gift of Christ himself – his Body and Blood given to the people who are his Body.
 
Sunday is, however, more than our Sunday Eucharist. It is a day given over to something else – to God and the things of God. Wherever possible, we must take this day and set it aside, as a gift from the Lord. It is to be our weekly re-creation and renewal. It will be coloured by the Seasons – we should take Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter from our Churches, and allow the colours, images and stories of the Seasons to fill our homes. We should carefully take home the gift of God’s Word each Sunday, and find time to dwell on (and in) the picture of Christ given each week.
 
Thus, each Sunday, a parish should develop a keen sense of how Christ is present to us this week: always in the Eucharist, but also in different ways through the Word and the Season. So we see the expected Messiah in Advent, the child at Christmas, the suffering servant and the Risen King at Lent and Christmas, and throughout Ordinary Time, the teacher, the healer, the leader, the carer. As Sunday mounts up on Sunday through the year, so our picture of Christ should deepen and develop, as we are all led through the unfolding mystery of God’s purpose.