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Our pilgrimage to Mass begins before we leave home, in our morning prayers and preparation. Once in church our preparation intensifies as we pray silently, recalling our intentions and people we are praying for. Perhaps we may read over the scripture readings and the words of a hymn, making them our own. The priest enters and we stand together. This is the moment we become a community. .... St Paul said “we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf”. Together we seek forgiveness and then join the angels of Bethlehem singing “Glory to God in the highest”, peace to people of goodwill. The Collect is prayed, so called because it collects our individual prayers together. Then we listen to God’s word, attentively and prayerfully. If we silently pray, “What, Lord, do you want me to hear today?” he may have a personal word for us. This is what happened to St Francis when he heard the Gospel read one day in Assisi. Following the Creed and our prayers, the most solemn part of the Mass begins. Bread and wine are brought in procession to the altar, and with them we offer our own work and life to God. In a moment we are bidden to lift up our hearts, for this is when, as we pray today, “with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy...”. Through the words of consecration, through the power of the Holy Spirit, St Francis tells us: Christ, the Son of the living God, is present on the altar in the hands of a priest! Let everyone be struck with fear, let the whole world tremble, and let the heavens exult.” (Source: Sunday Living Word)


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