Catholic rituals

My father is a Catholic convert.

He told me the Eucharist is incredibly meaningful and powerful for him.

I’m wondering if any of you can share some about the way the Eucharist and the other Catholic rituals affect you?


It is the “source and summit” of our faith. Without it we have nothing.

CCC 1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”136 “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”137 (864)


First off, just so you know, we don’t refer to our liturgies as rituals, per se, they are liturgies. :slight_smile:

There is more than one liturgy in which the truths and graces of God are given to us by word and sacrament. The Liturgy of the Mass consists of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the first we hear God’s word, including the Gospel. In the second we receive the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ.

Another liturgy is the Liturgy of the Hours, which is the daily prayer life of the Church. Here is an example:

Okay, having explained all this, we Catholics do not necessarily expect any emotional reaction within our liturgies. Our faith is not based on feelings but on the truths God has revealed to us in Christ through his Apostles. We attend Mass to worship God “in spirit and in truth,” to hear his word proclaimed and to receive the Eucharist.

The reason the Eucharist is so profound is because we receive the risen Christ in the Eucharist, which means we receive the graces of his life, death and resurrection. This grace enables us to do God’s work and to remain faithful to him even though we are fallen creatures prone to sin.

The Holy Spirit works through our sacraments to actually do what they promise. So baptism actually does remove the stain of original sin, confession actually does confer absolution for our actual sins, marriage actually does join a man and a woman into one flesh, etc. As human beings we cannot help but be moved by these realities in our lives.

All the liturgies are both tactile as well as spiritual. We hear, we sing, we eat and drink, we have water poured over our heads, we are anointed with oil, we see the various parts of the Mass as well as our sacred art, vestments, etc. All these things have spiritual content, as well, which moves the soul to love God and to be his arms and legs, voice and hands to a needy world.

Beautiful summary :thumbsup:

Thank you.


In addtion to the Euchrist, I also like the three crosses made before the reading of the Gospel.

This prayer is said silently. I think it is very important, especially in preparation to hearing the Gospel.

May the Word of the Lord be always on my mind (sign of the cross on the forehead)
and on my lips (sign of the cross on the lips)
and in my heart (sign of the cross over the heart)

When I receive the Holy Eucharist, I am receiving the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the core of our faith. I feel the same way about Eucharistic Adoration as I sit and reflect on the same.

Matthew, others have expressed answers beautifully. I just want to say thank you for asking!

Glad to. When you walk out of the confessional you can feel both a spiritual and physical lightness. Truly physical, as if a literal weight has been lifted from your shoulders, as if your spine suddenly loosens and stretches upward. :slight_smile:

Receiving the Eucharist is deeply moving for me. So are going to confession and praying the rosary. Doing these things brings me great peace.


Really appreciate all the answers…

Confession is a very therapuetic and peace giving event. I remeber the first time I went to confession after being away from the Church for close to 20 years. That poor preist didn’t see me coming. It was at a men’s conference in Calgary. St. Joesphs Covenant Keepers. I had christs ear for almost 2 hours. I have never been the same since that day and I try to go back once a week.

As for the Eucharist… What can anyone say that could possibly explain the truth of the Blessed Sacrament.

A Preist saw me crying after Communion and walked straight to me looked me in the eyes and told me that I have the “Gift of Tears” Iv’e been crying ever since.


I am no longer Roman Catholic, I’m Orthodox, but there’s one Roman tradition that I still hold in very high esteem: the Rosary.

The Rosary is perfect when everything is going to pot. When its an emergency and there’s nothing you can do but pray, you maybe still can’t form the words because your brain is racing a mile a minute and you just want to do something. The answer is the Rosary. You’re praying, so you’re doing something, but it also gives your hands something to do and, if you can manage it, your brain something to focus on. It’s the perfect recourse for when you just need to take your mind off line for a second.

Ritual serves the same purpose when someone dies. You know what to do without having to think about it, so your brain can focus on grieving or even disassociation if you need for a bit, until you’re removed enough form the even to process it. When my Grandma died, both of these things helped me get through it.

I don’t pray the rosary really anymore, but I still keep one around in case I need it.

BTW, this Eucharist reflection by Father Barron is pretty awesome. Get the video, he explains it better than I ever will - even after I watched it.

Matthew Light,

I would say that, since becoming Catholic, the sacraments have definitely changed my life! Though the ways in which each affects you are very different, and though you may not always feel the effects of all of them, you know the effects to be true. For me, the sacrament of Penance (confession) is particularly powerful. I cannot even begin to describe how worry-free and joyful I feel when I step out of the confessional, knowing that my sins have truly been forgiven! That never gets old!

This is not true. The Rituale Romanum (translated Roman Ritual) is the official book containing all of the rituals for the services of the Roman Rite. Though the name of the book may have changed for modern editions, that doesn’t change that it outlines the *rituals *of our Church!

By emphasizing liturgy over ritual for Matthew Light I meant to rid him of the notion, if he has that notion, that merely by reciting words or doing some ceremony that we believe we are saved, when this is not the case. Our liturgies are grace-filled and are not mere rituals as so many think of the word, not mere mumbo-jumbo or cant. Ritual may be an acceptable word, but too often it carries connotations of a lazy approach to spirituality, which is simply not so. :slight_smile:

I was raised Catholic and I do like the art, stained glass, candles and…statues, incense…

And in my case, as a “convert” to the Catholic faith all those things attracted me to the Church, especially the crucifix–the reminder of what he did for us out of his ineffable love for us. I cannot now understand how I could ever have thought a bare cross sufficient, except to remind me that I must die upon my own cross by denying myself and taking up my cross to follow Jesus.

Confession is great. Its a way of getting back on the right track with God and getting a second chance to get it right.

The Eucharist is the best though. Having Christ and his spirit enter into you! No words for that one. Tears of Joy!

Lent is really something to learn about. Try to go through it this year if you can, Todays the first day. Follow the Passion of Christ these next 40 days. See what happens!!:wink:

I will learn more about Lent today!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit