"The liturgy is never a mere meeting of a group of people, who make up their own form of celebration and then, so far as possible, celebrate it themselves. Instead of that, through our sharing in Jesus’ appearing before the Father, we stand both as members of the worldwide community of the whole Church and also of the communion of all the saints. That is its true greatness, that heaven is torn open here, and we are incorporated in the great chorus of praise and that is why the Preface ends with these words: With all the choirs of angels in heaven, we join in singing. We know that we are not alone, that we are joining in, that the barrier between earth and heaven has truly been torn open."
-Pope Benedict XVI
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For an in-depth explanation of the Mass, go to the Roman Missal Formation Materials provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.