Praying the (WR-OF-EF) Mass

In both Western Rite Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism (EF and OF) there are liturgical texts assigned for nearly every day’s Mass.  The “nearly” is because sometimes it’s a repetition of the previous Sunday’s mass. It is beneficial for the layperson who cannot get to church on a given day to pray and meditate on those texts as a way to practice the faith and stay “in communion” with the Church even when not being able to get to Mass.

The method suggested below is based on the “Missa Sicca” or “Dry Mass” which was used in earlier days (up til the mid 16th Century) by priests who could not, for one reason or another, get to say Mass on a given day. It is combined with a few prayers from another source of devotions during Mass. Until about 100 years ago it was popular piety for the laity to participate in mass by saying vernacular prayers appropriate to what was happening at the altar.

Below you will find a private, devotional method for “Praying the Mass” that should be usable by both Western Rite and Roman Catholic readers, be the latter participants in a Latin Mass community or a Novus Ordo community. I have used various Prayers at Mass from a book called The Key of Heaven, printed in the mid 1930s with the Imprimatur of the then-Bishop of Indianapolis. I hope the notes make it clear what to do and say – but please let me know if there is anything unclear or if anything seems “Un(o)thodox” in any way. Below the language and Rubrics are for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, by far the most common. However at the end of the page are links to to PDFs for downloading for the Extraordinary Form and for Western Rite Orthodox.
A form of
Missa Sicca for Lay Use
when unable to attend Mass
(in the Ordinary Form).
Begin with the sign of the Cross, saying:
✠ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If one is appointed for the day, say the Entrance Antiphon from the Missal. Generally, the days of the week use the one for the preceding Sunday. You may skip this.
Then this prayer:
O my God, though I cannot draw near to your altar at this time I do so now spiritually to gain new strength and vigor to my soul’ separate me from those unbelievers who have no trust in you, grant me that grace which comforts me when the remembrance of my sins afflicts me and casts me down; that grace which lets me know there is an everlasting refuge in your goodness and that you are always ready to forgive even our greatest sins. Amen.
Say this prayer from the Penitential Rite:
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, And, striking your breast, say: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Then say the Kyrie.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy upon us.
Make an act of Contrition:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
If it is appointed for the day then say the Gloria here. (Omit during Advent and Lent.)
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Say the Collect or prayer of the day from your Missal. You can also find it online.
Before the Epistle or any Lessons say this prayer:
May you be eternally praised and blessed, O Lord,  for having communicated your Spirit to the holy prophets and apostles, disclosing to them admirable secrets, redounding to you glory and our great good. We firmly believe their word, because it is yours. Give us, we beg, the happiness to understand from the Church, by their instructions, what is profitable, and grace to practice the same all our lives. Amen.
Read the lessons for Mass from your missal.  If you have any lessons assigned before the Epistle, read them as well, and then the Epistle and Gospel of the day.  Include any Responsorial Psalms, Graduals, and Alleluias. If there are any collects or prayers appointed between the readings (as there may be on certain fasting days) say those as well.
After the Alleluia and before the Gospel say this prayer:
May you be ever adored and praised, O Lord, who, not content to instruct and inform us by the prophets and apostles. You have even vouchsafed to speak to us by your only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, commanding us, by a voice from heaven, to hear HIm: grant us, O Merciful God, the grace to profit by His divine and heavenly doctrine. All that is written of you, dread Jesus, in your gospel, is truth itself: nothing but wisdom in your actions; power and goodness in your miracles; light and instruction in your words. With you, sacred redeemer, are the words of eternal life: to whom shall we go, but to you, eternal Fountain of Truth! Give me, O God, grace to practice what you command, and command what you will.
After the Gospel, makes these acts of Faith, Hope, and Love as follows (On Sundays or Feast days say, also, the Nicene Creed using your familiar form):
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
Act of Hope
O my God, I hope by your grace for the pardon of all my sins and after life here to gain eternal happiness because you have promised it who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind, and merciful. In this hope I intend to live and die. Amen.
Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things and I love my neighbor for your sake because you are the highest, infinite and perfect good, worthy of all my love. I forgive all who have injured me and I beg pardon of all whom I have injured. In this love I intend to live and die. Amen.

Then, having prepared yourself with all the foregoing, make a Spiritual Communion using this or another form.
I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of your altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers you your own adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank you, imploring your mercy, invoking your assistance, and presenting you the homage I owe you as my Creator, the love due you as my Savior.
At your feet, O my Jesus, I prostrate myself and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which is humbled in its nothingness and in your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I desire to receive you into the poor dwelling that my heart offers you. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I wish to possess you in spirit. As you came once to the house of Zacchaeus, come to me, O my Jesus. I, for my part, am coming to you! May your love embrace my whole being in life and in death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. Amen.
Then end with the following prayers:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
✠ In the Name of the Father &c. Amen.
Here are downloadable PDFs of for use in the Orthodox Western Rite, and the Roman Rite in the Extraordinary Form (the TLM 1962), and the Ordinary Form

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He feeds the homeless and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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