Those of you who have been reading this column since Easter will now be aware that there are some small changes occurring in the celebration of Mass from Pentecost Sunday. In fact, there are only two changes that will affect the entire assembly; both have to do with our posture during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
After the gifts are prepared during Mass, the priest invites us to pray by saying:
Pray, my brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.
We then respond with “May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands…”, and stand for the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer.
Starting from Pentecost Sunday, we will need to stand before we make this response.
Why? We will now stand before we respond because the priest is inviting us to pray, and the Church always stands or kneels when it prays during Mass. Our posture of standing or kneeling says something about our relationship with God. When we stand at this time, we show our importance for the Eucharistic Prayer; the most important prayer of the Mass.
When we stand, we not only show how important the prayer is, but that we are ready, with the priest, to pray this prayer. Our affirmative response to the priest’s invitation to pray allows him to proceed with the celebration of the Eucharist.
On the Sunday before Pentecost, we will remind you of this and the other change that will occur. As you can see, the first change is simple; we’re just standing one sentence sooner.