1. Come earlyGet to mass at least 15 minutes early so that your not rushing in during the readings, speeding, or anxious about getting there on time. This will give you time to prepare your heart, quiet your mind, and allow your soul to enter into the Liturgy. It was often said by our spiritual director at the seminary: "If you come to mass on time... you're late!"
2. Pray with the Sunday Readings
Nearly every church has a missallette. Simply look up the readings for that Sunday by date and spend some time reading through them. Take notice of any lines, words, or phrases that catch your attention. That just may be God speaking to you! You can find them here. If you have an iOS or Android you can us this app by clicking on "Daily Readings".
3. Got Guilt?
You probably did something stupid over the last week. We all sin. Try to think about anything you feel sorry about, feel shame from, or simply need to let go of. The Penitential Rite is at the very beginning of mass. "Brothers and Sisters, Let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries." The priest (hopefully) pauses for a moment of silence. We are actually supposed to be doing something here! It helps if we know before hand what sins we want to acknowledge, be forgiven for and enter into mass with a clean conscience! (Please note all venial sins are forgiven at every mass - this is Awesome! However, if you have any serious sin or if you haven't been to confession in over a year then let yourself be loved by God in that way first. Click here to learn more about Confession).
4. If you could ask God for anything... what would you ask him for?
We begin every mass with "The Sign of the Cross" and then the "Opening Prayer". When the priest says "Let us pray." Again, there is a moment of silence. That is your time to pray and ask God for anything that you want!
Jesus promises us that the Father will grant us anything that we ask for, especially when we are gathered together in his name.
"Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8
5. Eucharist means Thanksgiving!
Take some time for gratitude. It's easy as thinking about all the good things that God has given to you.
"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:6-8
I hope these 5 Ways will help you "Get More" out of Mass!
Fr. Michael Denk
There's a wonderful app that can actually help you to do all of this. It's called the Examen Prayer and it helps us learn to be aware of God so that we can experience Him more fully, especially at the mass.