The Mass














The main act of worship for the people of the parish takes place on Sunday morning.


This service is called The Mass, or The Eucharist. The word Eucharist is derived from the Greek word meaning thanksgiving. Roman Catholics and some Church of England churches use the word Eucharist interchangeably with Mass to describe their Sunday morning Holy Communion services.


Saint Jean Vianney said of the Eucharist. “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.”


The Sunday Mass time is 10.30am unless it is the 5th Sunday in the month. On the 5th Sunday in the month, when it occurs, we join with the congregation of St Lukes, Sharlston for a joint Mass at 6.30pm. The church for this mass alternates between Altofts and Sharlston. On these days there are no other services in either church.


The next 5th Sunday services are as follows:


Sunday 30th July 2017 - St Lukes, Sharlston at 6.30pm


Sunday 29th October 2017 - St Marys, Altofts at 6.30pm


The Mass booklet is fairly easy to follow, and anyone in church will be very happy to help or guide you.


The Mass itself can be broken down into four main parts:


  • The Introductory Rite, which includes the greeting, a confession and the collect, the special prayer for the day;
  • The Liturgy of the Word follows, which normally consists of a reading from the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures to give it its correct title, which is followed by a responsorial Psalm and then a reading from the New Testament.
  • The Liturgy of the word always finishing with a reading from one of the four gospels, which is followed by the homily or sermon; the peace usually takes place after the prayers of the faithful or bidding prayers as they are also called, here we pray for the Church, for the World, for the Community in which we live and for our families and friends, we also pray for the sick and for those who have died.
  • The Liturgy of the Eucharist, follows, bread and wine are brought to the altar, the Priest gives thanks and prays that they may become the body and blood of Christ, which we share in at communion (more on how this works practically below); and finally:
  • The Dismissal when we give thanks for what we have received during Mass and are then sent out with a blessing.


During the service normally after the Lord's Prayer, we have what is called the 'peace'. After the introduction to the peace it is traditional to share a 'sign of peace' a simple greeting usually in the form of a handshake or it may be a kiss. Sharing the peace with those nearby is sufficient. We then quickly return to our places for the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God..).


At communion time, people go forward to the front of church to receive communion. If you are confirmed or normally receive communion at another Christian church, then you are welcome to receive communion here. However, if not, you can still come forward to receive a blessing, please bring your Mass book with you to indicate to the Priest that this is what you want. Children are always encouraged to come forward for a blessing.


After Mass, please stay with us for tea or coffee and biscuits.


The charge to care for the people of Altofts is taken very seriously in this in this parish and if you need to talk to a priest make yourself known after Mass or contact the Vicar from the website.


© Copyright 2018 St Luke the Evangelist, Sharlston