October 25th

Once we have all asked God for mercy in the penitential rite, we then sing an ancient hymn known as the “Gloria” or “Glory to God in the Highest”.  We sing this hymn, almost as a response to the penitential rite.  We have just asked the Lord to have mercy upon us and we know that He is kind and merciful, and so we praise Him, with great trust that He has heard our prayer and will, indeed, have mercy upon us.

In this song of praise, we join our voices with the voices of the Angels.  The first line of the Gloria is reminiscent of the words that the Angels sang, as was witnessed by the shepherds, shortly after the birth of Jesus.  After the Angel of the Lord announced that the Savior of the world had just been born, a whole multitude of Angels appeared saying “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”  (cf. Luke 2:13-14)

The Gloria is a beautiful hymn of praise which we offer to God in praise and adoration.  This hymn is used on Sundays (except during Advent and Lent due to the penitential nature of those Seasons) and all major Solemnities.

Following the singing of the Gloria, the priest says (or sings): “Let us pray.”  Haven’t we already been praying?  The invitation to pray is not an indicator that we are just now starting to pray: hopefully, we have already been lifting our minds and our hearts to God in the penitential rite and in the Gloria.  This invitation is to introduce the “collect” or “opening prayer”.

The official name for the opening prayer is the collect.  This prayer is focused on the theme for the Mass that is usually set based on the Gospel of the day.  There should be a moment of silence between the invitation to pray and the collect.  This allows us to call to mind the things that we want to pray for in a special way during that Mass.  The priest then leads us in the collect, which concludes with a Trinitarian ending, and all present make the prayer their own with the response: “Amen.”

God bless,

Father White

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