I've been to a Catholic Church very few times in my adult life. It's a very different experience than the protestant Churches I'm used to.
In most of the Protestant Churches, there is generally a time of singing/praise/worship, followed by some general announcements for members (The Lady's Missionary meeting will be meeting on Monday night at Liz's house, for example), followed by a prayer, then a sermon on a particular topic, more singing, and a prayer. In most Baptist Churches, there's an altar call just before the final prayer.
The Catholic Church also seems to have a very set format, and it doesn't seem to vary much, but that's probably an outsider's perception. I'm interested to know what the standard format it, and also, what things are the same every week, and were there is variation.
To give an example, in all the activities in the Protestant Churches I described, each and every one of those activities vary. The sermon is different every week. The Hymns vary (in our Church they are chosen because the doctrine in the Hymn is directly relevant to the sermon message) The format stays the same, but the contents seem different.
In the Catholic Church, however, it seems to be much less flexible. I do not mean this to be disrespectful, but it seems that everyone knows when to stand, when to kneel, when to sit, and there's usually a time when the Priest says one thing and everyone else responds in unison. ("Peace be with you" - "and also with you" being the easiest to remember.) I get the impression that this part of the service is the same week after week.
So, in short, could someone post a general format something like:
- Opening prayer - varies
- Other activity - standard part of the Mass, always part of the Mass, doesn't change
Even better would be each item listed with the correct Catholic terminology with a layman's or potestnt synonym... Like
- Eucharist (communion/Lords Supper)
Or if I'm just perceiving things incorrectly, correct my misunderstanding.