Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Feast of faith: The Lord's Prayer

When we ask God to forgive us as we
forgive others, we are seeking forgiveness
and purity of heart before we approach the
altar to receive the sacrament of the
Lord’s body and blood. (Credit: Prlog.org)
By Corinna Laughlin

The Eucharistic Prayer ends with the great “Amen,” the acclamation of assent by the assembly. Then the communion rite begins with the Lord’s Prayer. We pray this prayer in many contexts, both inside and outside the church’s liturgy. Here, in the context of the Mass, the Lord’s Prayer is profoundly Eucharistic.

When we ask for our "daily bread," we are asking for the gift of the Eucharist. When we ask God to forgive us as we forgive others, we are seeking forgiveness and purity of heart before we approach the altar to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood — "so that what is holy may, in fact, be given to those who are holy" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 81).

At Mass, a prayer for peace is inserted between the prayer and the doxology. In this prayer, called the embolism, the church asks God for freedom — freedom from sin and all anxiety and distress.

We are living in an in-between time; even as we rejoice in Christ’s presence, we await his coming in joyful hope.

Corinna Laughlin is pastoral assistant for liturgy at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Reach her at claughlin@stjames-cathedral.org.

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