Thursday, March 21, 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 third article talks about the "Collect" or Opening Prayer.

By Ryan Adams

The term “collect” comes from the Latin word "collecta" which refers to the gathering of the people. The term has also come to be understood as referring to the opening prayer which is a "gathering up" or "collecting" of all the prayers of the individual members of the congregation.

The Collect is offered as the end of the Introductory Rites, inviting the community to call to mind, in the silence of their hearts, those persons or needs for which they desire to pray for, with the celebrant then "collecting" these prayer intentions together as one prayer, which is offered up to the Father. The Character of the opening prayer is one of petition.

Listen to what the celebrant says to us: "Let us pray." This is where we are to actually bow our heads and pray. The celebrant pauses for a moment or two of silence so that we can silently pray. While it is only the priest who speaks and addresses this prayer to God the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, all who are gathered and present are invited to unite their minds and hearts with that spoken (or sung) prayer, offering themselves and their intentions within that prayer.

We, the community of the faithful then make the prayer our own with the acclamation, "Amen!"

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