Help With Mass?

Hi, not sure this is the right place to ask… Am in RCIA and been going to mass for a year now. When my Catholic friend comes to mass with me, I can stumble through. When she isn’t there, I feel like crying half the time trying to figure out how people know what to say.

There are glossy brochures in the pews that have some of the things but I think those were meant to help people with a change in the previous way mass was said and are not complete.

When I look on my missal app it shows the day’s readings and they usually don’t match what the priest is saying which makes me feel even crazier!

It’s enough to make a person want to give up. I suggested to my RCIA instructor that they should have an “adopt a newbie” program. He said that is what one’s sponsor is supposed to do. Since none of us in class even have a sponsor, that doesn’t help either.

Does anyone know of any guides or books that go through the daily mass all the way through? If not, could someobody create one (just kidding but not really!)




Since you mention books I’m going to assume that you don’t mind spending some money on an app. I’d suggest Univerallis (about $13). I have not used it for a full Mass but seems accurate for readings if I remember OK. You would need it on Mass today.

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I will look and see hat I can come up with and put it here for you. DO NOT GIVE UP! PLEASE it is so worth it for you to stay in the Catholic Church and go to Mass at least weekly and Holy Days of Obligation or even more if you can.

Here are 3 things I’ve found so far. I like the app one I may just have to get that for myself.

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This is challenging because there are a lot of minor variations in parts of the Mass.

First, see if your church has a missal with step-by-step instructions. Because of the variations, you will have to follow some parts and skip other parts, so it is not completely straightforward, but it may be somewhat helpful.

I looked for online resources but so far have not found a simple how-to guide (when to sit, stand, kneel; responding to the priest; various prayers; hand gestures). Maybe someone here knows where to find that kind of information.

Order one of the subscription missalettes available from OCP or elsewhere. There are many criticisms of OCP material out there, but their “Today’s Missal” is wonderful for learning the flow because it includes all directions and cues to know what page to be reading when. Two things to note:

  1. I’ve only seen these for Sunday Masses. I’m not sure if there’s a weekday version available.
  2. There may still be options (which are likely explained in the missalette) for prayers and readings. Particularly at daily Mass, there’s often an opportunity for the priest celebrant to choose from a couple of legitimate options for readings. If your priest belongs to a religious order (e.g., Franciscan), that adds complexity to the options as well, because he may follow a slightly different calendar than the diocese.

Finally, be at peace. You’ll get it eventually, and you’re certainly not alone - there are even many Catholics who stumble over words and don’t always know what’s supposed to happen next!



RA’s above post is spot on. I taught RCIA for six years in a former parish, and to this day, I still find unexpected minor variations in prayers, responses, etc. I suggest when you are frustrated, simply listen. I often say prayers quietly, a word behind everyone else so that I offer the prayer and don’t worry about “being right” After almost 70 years of being Catholic, I am often delighted by something or some word that is unexpected. Remember, Mass is a community prayer, the Lord doesn’t take off points or give you a failing grade because you miss a step or a word. Soak in the consecration of the Eucharist and know that when you are received into the Church, that great gift of the reality of Jesus in your life will be yours, regardless of whether you sing off key or don’t get all the words and gestures right. And you will learn by repetition. Just going to Mass, you will absorb it all over time.
Shalom and a prayer offered for you and your journey

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Thank you so much!!! I promise I won’t give up!

Thanks Joey. Our church does not have a step by step but Inwill look at the links!

Thanks everyone!

Most parishes here have a subscription paper back missalette that has the Sunday readings, “step by step” for Mass and it will have the references for one set of readings on Daily Masses.

At our Mass you can pick up a bulletin or read one on the website that also contains a list of the daily readings references. What I mean by references it will tell you to go to Genesis 1:1-5 but it does not have the text of those verses typed out.

If you are in the US you can bookmark this website (it is what many of the apps use for their reference materials)

Thing is, the priest has options most days. He can say the regular readings OR he may use the readings linked to a certain Saint or other liturgical celebration. One usually gets a feel for each priest or you can call the Parish Office. The secretaries will know “Fr Brown will always to the Saint readings for that day, Fr Smith will stick with the regular readings.”

If you want to purchase a subscription, I’d suggest either the paper or the electronic version of the Maginficat

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Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. You could get the Sunday and Weekday Missal which has all the readings for every day of the year and also the responses and prayers for every occasion.

You’d still have to learn to use the Missal but it’s not hard and it comes with bookmark ribbons to mark the frequently used pages.

You can buy these online or in a Catholic Bookshop.

Yes I can find the readings. It’s the rest of the things that I cannot find. The “back and forth” if you will. Sadly, all the links just give th order of mass but not the words through the whole thing. The Catholic Mass explained just gives background on the readings and says it’s meant for people who are already Catholic.

I appreciate your help. It seems such a thing does not exist.

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On a different note, I’ve heard it’s quite common for discouragement to be a part of the whole experience of joining the Church. Remember that the Devil will be trying to dissuade you from this. I remember my wife telling me that before her baptism she would get terrible anxiety about attending mass and even sometimes feel physically ill when approaching the church for mass/adoration. She is convinced that this was the result of the devil trying to make church less appealing to her. Ironically, it made her even more determined to push on and become Catholic.

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The Word Among Us is a great little magazine with masses of every day of the month in it. In the center is the rubric with all of the responses and everything.
Don’t take heart my friend. Christ knows you are trying. If you need any help just let me know.
In Christ

I am sorry that you cannot find what you are looking for at this time.

I have a Magnificat in my hands. It most definitely has a step by step guide to what the priest says, what the people say, when to sit, when to bow, when to stand. Maybe order a sample?

It notes when the readings take place, then you have to flip to the text of the readings, then back for the creed.

ETA The free resources may not have the text of the Mass parts because they are subject to copyright. A paid subscription or book will be best

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Thanks Jason! I will look that up!

See my post above. The hard copy of the Sunday and Weekday Missal literally has every prayer in the mass in it.

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Haha that’s my initials . It’s actually Justin .

If you subscribe the one with daily mass is the best way to go for that. Some churches actually give them out to parishioners.

Here’s a good resource too.

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I have no problem finding the readings. It’s the rest I cannot find… Especially when people start talking in Latin…

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