frequently asked questions
What is a Liturgy of the Word service?
A Liturgy of the Word prayer service is essentially the first part of a Mass. If you look at the outline of the Mass here, a Liturgy of the Word service includes the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word (the scriptures), and the Concluding Rites. It omits the Eucharistic prayer (there is no bread and wine). Leaping Liturgies build on the structure of a Liturgy of the Word to also include custom rituals and prayers that aid in prayer around a particular issue or situation.
Why should I pray the Liturgy of the Word?
The Liturgy of the Word is a communal prayer service that can aid the Spirit in bringing our hearts into focus on God's unceasing work in our lives. Life is busy and complicated and even overwhelming, so sometimes we need a pattern of prayer to help us orient our hearts toward God so we can receive what God is trying to give us. Through the Liturgy of the Word God may offer:
Why should I pray a Leaping Liturgy?
Leaping Liturgies are specially designed to help you pray through especially difficult circumstances. The prayers, selection of scripture and rituals are carefully crafted to offer a profound gesture of need and hope to God while also inviting God to respond to your needs. Gathering friends and family to pray a Leaping Liturgy takes time and sacrifice, and it is one way to demonstrate to God that you both understand God's place as the fount of all Life and Goodness, and that you want an intimate, give-and-take relationship with God as your companion in everyday life. A Leaping Liturgy can help you carve out the space in your life and in your heart so that you can receive God's unfailing love in a more profound way.
How is the Liturgy of the Word different from the Mass?
The Liturgy of the Word does not include the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the part of the Mass where the bread and wine are consecrated into the Body and Blood of Christ. A Mass not only includes a Liturgy of the Word within it, but it also includes the Liturgy of the Eucharist where the bread and wine are consecrated. The Liturgy of the Word can be led by any lay person or deacon who is baptized into the Catholic faith, but the Mass can only be led by an ordained priest.
Does the Church allow me to lead the Liturgy of the Word?
Yes. The Liturgy of the Eucharist can be led only by ordained priests. The Liturgy of the Word, however, can be led by any baptized lay person or deacon.
Have I experienced a Liturgy of the Word service?
If you have ever attended what is referred to as a "Communion Service," then you have experienced a Liturgy of the Word service. A Communion Service is more descriptively entitled "Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion." This liturgy follows the structure of a Liturgy of the Word but also includes the distribution of hosts that were consecrated during a prior Mass. Communion services are to be held only with permission in the absence of a priest. The Liturgy of the Word can be held at any time and in any place.