What is Mass? What are we really doing?

Catholics worship God in a variety of ways, but our chief act of communal worship is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the Western Church we call this service “Mass,”  an English word derived from the Latin text of the priest’s dismissal at the end of the liturgy (“Ite, missa est.“).

We believe that Jesus Christ accomplishes the work of salvation by making Himself present in our world, especially in sacraments. In baptism we are plunged into Christ’s death and resurrection, becoming God’s adopted and beloved children. As disciples of Christ, we share communion with him in the breaking of bread and prayers that are the Eucharist.  For us, liturgy is truly sacred: uniting ourselves to Christ in prayer, worship, and thanksgiving is our most important act as Christians. Although the Church is active in many other ways, liturgy is the “summit” towards which all other activity is directed, and the “font” from which all power for ministry flows.

At Mass, we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist and offer ourselves to God. We taste the heavenly liturgy we are already journeying towards. Attending Mass for the first time can be intimidating or even confusing, but don’t worry! Relax, reflect on the sights and sounds, take time to pray in your own words, and listen to the Word of God

It is easy to find entertainment in today’s world. Mass is something different: a place to contemplate and pray, a place to bring the sufferings and joys of daily life to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday and Holy Day Liturgies at the Cathedral

Sunday Mass includes prayers, hymns, readings from the Bible, a sermon (also called a “homily”), and the Eucharist. In all this we worship the Triune God: we offer thanksgiving and praise to the Father, in the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Church, by the power of his word and of his Spirit.

Our Building and Grounds

Entrances: The front entrance to St. Matthew Cathedral is located at 1701 Miami Street between E. Dubail Street and E. Dayton St. There are also entrances to the church from the parking lots on the north and south sides of the Cathedral and school building. The south parking area (accessed from E. Dayton Street) is the largest off-the-street parking area at our church. Those side entrances will take you into side vestibules off the front of the church, while the Miami St. entrance takes you into the back of the church — the “narthex.”

Handicap Access: Handicapped parking is available in the south parking lot. There is room for wheelchairs in the front left section of the church, near the south door entrance.

Hearing Assistance: Hearing assistance devices are available at all services in the “server sacristy” (room near the north entrance to the church). Please see any usher for assistance.

Seating: You are welcome to sit anywhere. Pews on the front left of the church have additional space for wheelchairs.

Lavatories: Restrooms are located on either side in the Miami St. entrance of the church.

Fussy Babies and Children: Babies and children of all ages are welcome.  If your baby is crying excessively, please take him or her to the rear of the church (Miami St. entrance) or into the “cry room” (also known as the “bridal room”) on the north side of the Miami St. entrance.

Kneeling: Our pews contain kneelers and we kneel as a sign of reverence during portions of prayer. Members of other religions and people with health problems may sit during the kneeling times.

Summer and Winter Concerns: Our church is air conditioned in the summer. Because our pastors live in the rectory, adjacent to the church, we always have Mass (even during significant snowfall) in the winter. However, if it is unsafe for you to travel during winter weather, we encourage you to remain at home.