Worship and Praise
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God!
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Father, we give you thanks and praise
through your beloved Son Jesus Christ,
your living Word through whom you have created all things;
Who was sent by you, in your great goodness, to be our Saviour;
by the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh
and, as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin,
was seen on earth
and went about among us.
He opened wide his arms for us on the cross;
he put an end to death by dying for us
and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life;
so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.
Therefore with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Isn't that a beautiful prayer to our Lord? When we pray it slowly with our hearts engaged towards the heavens, it can be a most powerful prayer of praise and worship to the Lord. Even more amazing to me is that we here on earth join with all the company of heaven in worshiping our God and King.
Before I came back home to the Church, I believed that the highest form of praise and worship was through praise songs and scripture put to music, or personal heartfelt songs sung to God.
In Mass this evening, as the priest prayed this Eucharistic prayer , I suddenly realized how much worship and praise the Mass really is. It's all about glorifying the risen Lord. I don't know how I ever missed this as a young person. Truly it is as if the scales of blindness have fallen from my eyes. This same Mass I participated in tonight has been celebrated by the faithful for nearly 2000 years .
From the Catechism:
As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:
- On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place. (Gathering together to worship on Sunday, a new Tradition)*
The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits. (Liturgy of the Word)*
When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things. (The Sermon or Homily)*
Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation. (Prayers of the Faithful)*
When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss. (Kiss of Peace)*
Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren. (Offering of the gifts)*
He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts. (Eucharistic Prayer)*
When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.' (The Great Amen)*
When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.1 (The distribution of the Body and Precious blood of the Lord)*
- *These are mine own comments inserted