Monday, September 12, 2011

This morning on FaceBook, I noticed a question that I really can't answer with any authority, but I can put my two cents in, if you don't mind, Mark.  The question: Why doesn't the Catholic Church have bibles in the pews?
The Catholic Mass is structured as to the order of events taking place on any particular day.  Perhaps I'll draft up a blog on the order of the Mass, but for reference to the question, there are three yearly cycles for the weekly mass; 50 per year with three cycles A, B, & C.  The prayers, responses, and the Bible readings can be found in the Daily Missals, provided as you enter the church along with the Hymnals.  The Mass is structured with readings from the bible as follows:  1st Reading from the old testament, the Psalm (a song usually sung) a 2nd reading from the new testament (very often the letters of St Paul to the new church) and last but not least the Gospel reading (Always read by the priest or Deacon)  Many people pick up or bring their daily Missal to read the prayers for that particular day and readings.  This never changes.  People have asked me why I go to Mass if they don't have bible study included.  The Catholic church certainly offers bible study for those interested but bible study is not part of the Mass.  The FOUR readings from the bible are most certainly given at each Mass.  The Priest's homely after the four readings almost always ties the four readings into a relationship with each other.  In fact, the Mass follows a theme, so to speak, with all the readings related to that particular Mass. The songs sung, the readings, the homely, are all inter-connected with the thyme of the Mass.
I attended services at many a church, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, etc. and usually have not noticed bibles in the pews.  The presence of the bibles or not in the pews most certainly does not mean that the readings are not covered at Mass.

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