Friday, April 8, 2016

A Biblical Walk Through the Mass (Ascension Press)

A Biblical Walk Through the Mass is one of the shortest study programs offered by Ascension Press, weighing in at five lessons. However, don't let the length of this study fool you. It is also one of their most important and powerful study programs. The program is led by Dr. Edward Sri, who also did the study programs Mary; A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother and the upcoming Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John. In the beginning of the Leader's Guide, there is some background information on the course and a method on how to effectively lead people through this study. The lessons are then as follows:

Week 1 - Introduction
Week 2 - The Introductory Rites
Week 3 - The Liturgy of the Word
Week 4 - The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Preparation of the Gifts and Eucharistic Prayer
Week 5 - The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Communion Rite; The Concluding Rites

The Introduction begins with the question, "Do you ever wish you could 'get more' out of Mass?" I'm not sure if everyone has wondered this before, but I sadly have. We then are provided with what the Mass is, why it is so important, and an overview/outline of the Mass. The rest of the lessons walk us through the different parts of the Mass, including the Sign of the Cross, Opening Greeting, Act of Penance, the Kyrie, the Gloria, The Collect, the Readings, the Homily, and all the parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Apart from just explaining to us each part on a basic level, Dr. Sri dives deep into the Bible to show us exactly where to find each part of the Mass. There is an optional lesson, which takes place after the above mentioned five where the group goes to Mass together and then meets for a meal afterwards to discuss how their view of the Mass has changed after this program. I highly recommend getting your group to do this, because it ties a nice bow on the package.

I have read a lot of books by Dr. Sri and also taken another study of his. He is an excellent teacher, who makes difficult concepts accessible and makes you want to learn more about your faith. You walk away from a lesson not realizing how quickly the time passed and wishing that the lesson was not over. If you have never attended or even led a study program, I highly recommend this one for both the length and affordability of it. At $79, it's a steal, and with only five lessons you could cover this in just over a month. The length is just enough to get people used to the idea of a study program without feeling like they have to commit a quarter of the year to one. It also lets you see if you want to attend more studies, and if you do, Ascension Press has a lot of great ones. I highly recommend it. If you'd like to see a little sample, check out the video below.

This program was provided to me for free by Ascension Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!