THE CHURCH AT PRAYER
Series drawn from the document Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (2007).
The Gathered Assembly: What does “COLLECT” mean? Liturgically, when a priest prays a prayer, he is “collecting” the prayers of all gathered. His words are our words. The mass is a dialogue – the words exchanged are rich, poetic, and distilled to their most intense and economical form. This is why it is helpful, before mass begins and in preparation for full participation in it, that we can examine and digest the words through the resources in the pews – (St. Michael Hymnal – Lumen Christi Missal) and numerous other printed and online resources to be ready. It is not a trivial or simple thing to attach our thoughts and intentions to that of another. In the Collect this is what we are doing – submitting our own will and joining with that of all present to pray to God with one voice. This is an intentional action and requires our full attention.
From Sing to the Lord : 24. “In the celebration of Mass the faithful form a people, a people whom God has made his own, a royal priesthood, so that they may give thanks to God and offer the spotless Victim not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, and so that they may learn to offer themselves.” This is the basis for the “full, conscious and active participation” of the faithful demanded by the very nature of the Liturgy.