The main act of worship for the people of the Castleford Team 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.”
Here in Castleford’s Churches, we recognise that coming to church for the first time can be very daunting; especially if you have no experience of the church or the churches services.
The aim of this guide is not to explain every aspect of the Mass because this isn’t really possible until you have seen and experienced what actually happens during Mass for yourself. This guide is intended to help you feel as comfortable and relaxed about coming to church as is possible.
We here in the Castleford Team know and recognise that it can be difficult to start coming to church. However as a Christian community we also know that church is the place where you will find fulfilment and meaning to life.
One of the first things to remember if you decide to come is that you will be coming to worship God and to pray and this is exactly what everyone else is also here to do. In recognising that we are all here for the same purpose we begin to realise that we no one will be checking up on you or taking notes about what you do or don't do. In the first instance we suggest that you attend the Church nearest your home. Our Churches We also suggest that you come along to the Sunday Mass. Mass times very across the team so you should be able to find a time which fits well with your normal routine. The reason we suggest that you come along on Sunday is simply because if you come to a mid week Mass you will be part of a smaller congregation so you may well feel a little more self-conscious. However please feel free to attend any of our services across the team, you will always be welcome. Castleford Team Parish Service times
When you arrive at your chosen church someone will greet you at the door and give you a Mass booklet, a hymn book, and the weekly pew sheet. Please feel free to sit anywhere in the church, if you are unfamiliar with the service please sit the near the back. Don’t worry about sitting and standing at the wrong times the best thing is to watch and take your cue from what those around you do. You may notice certain gestures which people make, the sign of the cross for instance. The sign of the cross tracing a cross across your body by touching your forehead, abdomen, left shoulder and right shoulder with your right hand is traditionally made at the beginning and end of Mass, usually accompanied with the words 'in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'. You don’t have to make these gestures until you are happy and comfortable in the church environment, and even then they are not compulsory.
Children are very welcome at all our services, and there are toys and a play area in all of our churches. However, if your children don’t want to play and just want to crawl or wander around let them. We are relaxed about children in our churches and we want them and indeed you to feel at home.
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 prayers, 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. This isn't quite the same as greeting someone in a non-church context it isn't really the right moment to catch up on the week’s gossip or to introduce yourself to people (the best time for that is after Mass at coffee). Nor is it necessary to share the peace with lots of people or to go wandering round the church to find people you know sharing the peace with those nearby is sufficient.
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 normally there’s a biscuit or two. This is where we can take the opportunity to meet and begin the process of getting to know each other. You will receive a warm welcome, but not everyone will realise you are new someone you assume is a regular member of the congregation may also be new themselves, or they may think that you've been coming for a while and are a bit embarrassed that they can't remember who you are so do tell them! And please do make yourself known to the priest.
We take our charge to care for the people of Castleford very seriously in this in this parish and if you need to talk to a priest make yourself known after Mass or contact us. Castleford Team Staff
We can also arrange the sacrament of reconciliation (hear confessions). We see this as an important part of the priestly ministry as we journey with people. We believe that regular reflection on life’s events is important and see forgiveness as an essential part of an authentic Christian life. Only when we make room for God in our lives can we hope to move forward in bringing his healing and reconciliation to our community.