One theme to show the interconnection of the “parts” of the Mass is preparation. There is remote preparation (one’s way of life) and immediate preparation. Regarding the latter, we should come early, look over the readings and form our intention for being present, etc. Coming late to Mass is a failure to appreciate the dependence of the whole Mass upon its many parts.
1. Opening Prayer(s) – There is a call to worship and repentance that prepares us for the Word of God (Liturgy of the Word).
2. Liturgy of the Word – God confronts and comforts us to prepare us for the Preparation of the Gifts (“we” are those gifts).
3. Preparation of the Gifts – It prepares us for transformation, that we might be given the disposition and likeness of Christ.
4. Liturgy of the Eucharist – It prepares us for fruitful communion with God in the person of Jesus Christ.
5. Communion – It prepares us for our pilgrim journey as individual Christians and as the family of God.
6. Dismissal – It empowers and prepares us to go forth and to spread the “Good News” and to apply in our lives what we have done in the liturgy.
Msgr. William J. Awalt