As the American secular culture continues to influence our daily lives there are times when it threatens to affect our spiritual lives. With this in mind the following information, culled from Catholic resources, is offered to help our parishioners prepare themselves for their participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Chapter 1 - The Sacraments of Christian Initiation; Article 3 - The Sacrament of the Eucharist; Section 1348:
All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ Himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is the high priest of the New Covenant; it is He Himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing Him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose song and "Amen" manifests their participation.

The Mass is not an individual spiritual event but rather an assembly where the people of God are called together, with a priest presiding and acting in the person of Christ, to celebrate the eucharistic sacrifice, for the celebration of the Mass, perpetuates the sacrifice of Christ on the cross on our behalf. "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst" (Mt 18:20).

How should I prepare for Mass:
The gathering for Mass should begin long before the Entrance Procession and Hymn. As people ready themselves and their families in their homes for the Sunday Eucharist, they should be preparing for Mass. The Eucharist is "source and summit" of all we do, and it deserves attentive preparation (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11).

There is spiritual preparation that can be done as a family ahead of time, such as reviewing the Mass readings over a meal the day or days before the Mass. There are also temporal preparation activities, such as determining proper and modest attire and proper reverential behavior for the Mass.

These preparations set a tone and aid in not distracting your fellow parishioners.

There are various kinds of Masses: Solemn Mass
High Mass
Low Mass
Pontifical Mass
Requiem Mass
For more information on these Masses click on the this link:
Kinds of Masses

Keep in mind:
Arrive before Mass begins.
Properly dispose of chewing gum before entering church.
Turn off cell phones/pagers.
Say an individual preparatory prayer.
Settle in (and down) and place your heart and mind in the presence of the Lord.
Participate and assist at the Mass devoutly by using the Missal to follow the priest, saying the Mass prayers as found in the prayer book, and singing hymns.
Assisting in the Mass also means to unite fully with the priest in offering the Holy Sacrifice and to receive Holy Communion.
Remember not to leave until after our celebrant, acting in the presence of Christ, has left the church.
Leave the Lord's house neat and tidy by placing books back in the pew holder.
Please take the Church Bulletin home with you.

Vestments worn during Mass:
Alb, a long white linen garment covering the body.
Cincture, a cord tied about the waist (worn when and as needed).

Amice, a white linen cloth placed over the shoulders and about the neck (worn when and as needed).
Stole, a long narrow band of cloth worn over the shoulders.
A Deacon's Stole is a variation of the Priest's Stole.
Chasuble, an outer garment covering the greater part of the body.
On significant occasions, such as the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a cope is worn.
These vestments have an ancient origin, and most of them resemble the garments worn by the apostles.

Some important articles used during Mass:

The Chalice, a gold-lined or other precious cup, in which the wine is consecrated;
The Paten, a gold-covered or other precious plate, on which the host is placed;
The Purificator, or cloth, for wiping the chalice;
The Pall, or linen-covered card, used to cover the chalice;
The Corporal, or square linen cloth, on which the host is placed;
The missal, or book, from which the priest reads the prayers of the Mass;
The Candles;
The Crucifix over the altar;
The Linen Cloths that cover the altar.

Vestment Colors:
The colors of the outer vestments worn during Mass are:
White: signifies purity of soul and holiness
Red: signifies the shedding of blood and burning love
Green: signifies hope
Violet: signifies penance
Black: signifies mourning
Rose: signifies joy in the midst of penance
Gold: used on solemn occasions in place of white, red, or green vestments.

White vestments are worn on feasts of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, saints who were not martyrs, and during the Easter season;
Red is used on the feasts of the Holy Ghost, the passion of Our Lord, and martyrs;
Green is used on the Sundays outside of Advent, Lent, and the Christmas and Easter season;
Violet is worn in Lent, Advent, and on penitential days;
Black is worn in Masses for the dead
Rose may be used instead of violet on the third Sunday of Advent and on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

The above information compiled from resources that includes but is not limited to the
Catechism of the Catholic Church; Catholic Online;;
and Eternal Word Television Network archives.

Mass Readings (daily, monthly)
Parish Directory