The Scriptures at Mass
An accusation that many make toward the Catholic Church is that we are not a scriptural Church. This simply is not true. Some have even said that our high prayer, the Eucharist, does not reference scripture at all. The Catholic Church is a Church that is deeply rooted in scripture, and the Mass is overflowing with scriptural references. In every part of the mass, if we are not quoting scripture directly, we are at least fulfilling a command that is given in scripture. The following is a list of such scriptural references throughout the Eucharistic celebration. It is by no means exhaustive, nor does it include all the scriptural references that appear in the more specific prayers for each day.
I. Introductory Rites
a. The Sign of the Cross—Revelations 7:4: “I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal…”
i. The Sign of the Cross is the seal with which we are marked as Christians belonging to Christ.
ii. From the introduction to the baptismal rite, the priest prays: “I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of his cross. I will now trace the Sign of the Cross on your forehead, and invite your parents and godparents to do the same.”
iii. The Mass begins with those gathered marking themselves with the sign of Christ’s victory.
b. Greeting: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”—2 Corinthians 13:13; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:2; 2 John 2; Jude 2
c. “Lord, have mercy.” Luke 18:13; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 20:30, 31; Mark 10:47, 48; Luke 17:13; Luke 18:38, 39
d. “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.” Luke 2:14
II. Liturgy of the Word
a. 1st Reading from the Old Testament (except during the Easter Season, when it is taken from the Acts of the Apostles).
b. Responsorial Psalm is one of the Psalms from the Old Testament.
c. 2nd Reading is from the New Testament, usually one of the epistles or letters.
d. The Gospel reading from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John
e. The homily is a reflection on the Scriptural readings that help us apply the Word of God to our daily lives.
f. Petitions: 1 Timothy 2:1, 2—“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”
III. Preparation Rites: Luke 22:7-13—Jesus sent his disciples ahead of him to prepare the Passover supper.
a. Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation…” Luke 22:19—“Jesus took bread, said the blessing…” Luke 20:20—“And likewise the cup…”
b. Private priest’s prayer: “Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice that we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.” Psalm 51:19
c. As the priest washes his hands, he prays: “Lord, wash my iniquity; cleanse me of my sin.
” Psalm 51:4
IV. Liturgy of the Eucharist
a. Holy, Holy, Holy:
i. Isaiah 6:3—“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!”
ii. Revelations 4:8—“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
iii. Psalm 118:26—“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
iv. Luke 19:38—“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
v. Matthew 21:9—“Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.”
b. Eucharist Prayers
i. Matthew 26:26-28
ii. Mark 14:22-25
iii. Luke 22:14-20
iv. Luke 24:30, 31
v. John 6:51
vi. 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
c. Memorial Acclamations
i. 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
ii. 1 Corinthians 11:26
d. Our Father: Matthew 6:9-13
e. Sign of Peace: Matthew 5:23, 24—“Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with our brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
f. Lamb of God: John 1:29
g. “This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
h. “Happy are those who are called to his supper.” Revelation 19:9—“Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”
i. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the world and I shall be healed.” Matthew 8:8—“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”
V. Concluding Rites
a. Priest’s blessing of the people: Numbers 6:22-27