40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass.

Lesson 17: Gospel

Did you ever wonder what the Deacon asks the priest before he proclaims the Gospel? He says: “Your blessing, Father.” And then the priest says, in a barely audible voice:

“May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may proclaim the Gospel worthily and well; In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

If no Deacon is present, the Priest bows to the altar and quietly says: “Cleanse my heart and lips Almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.”

The Deacon or Priest proclaims the Gospel loudly and clearly and in such a manner that the faithful can understand it. All stand for the Gospel as a sign of respect.

The Gospel readings for weekdays follow a two year cycle, and for Sundays follow a three year cycle. The Gospels are according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The four Gospels we use today are the same used by the early Christians. In fact, the New Testament as we know it, 27 books in all, has been the same since at least 170 AD.

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