Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Treasures of Our Faith

The San Fernando Pastoral Region presents a new series of articles titled "Treasures of our Faith." The series is authored by Ryan Adams, one of the region's diaconate candidates and a member of the region's media team.

The second article explains the gathering hymn and greeting of the altar.

Treasures of Our Faith: Gathering hymn and greeting of the altar

By Ryan Adams

St. Augustine said that to sing is to pray twice. That may be why the first action of the liturgy is a song that we all sing together. The singing of the opening song (gathering hymn) is the first thing we do together as a worshiping community of the faithful. It is our way of saying, "Yes, God, we are all here together and all of us are ready to pray now."

Upon entering the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon and the altar servers reverence the altar with a profound bow. As an additional expression of veneration, the priest and deacon then kiss the altar. If incense is used, the priest then incenses the altar. All these acts of veneration are done to give reverence too and to show deep respect to the altar, which is the place where the sacrifice of the mass is about to take place.

When you enter your pews or you cross in front of the altar, remember that the reverence you show by bowing is actually a showing or feeling of deep respect, love and awe given to something sacred, and that true reverence flows out of a relationship of loving union with God.

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