June 08, 2007

PRAYERS AND ALTARS

In Scripture, our prayers are understood as rising to God from the altar. In the following verses, the word "saints" refers to all who belong to Christ.
Revelation 5:8
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints

Revelation 8:3-4
And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.
For this reason, at Mass the "Prayers of the Faithful" or "General Intercessions" take place just before the priest prepares the altar to receive the bread and wine that the people present to him. Together with the bread and wine (representing all of creation plus all of human activity), all our prayers are also spiritually placed on the altar.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Marie said...

Wow! Thanks, Father, for this explanation. I've always thought the Prayers-of-the-Faithful merely separates the Liturgy of the Word from the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
But your explanation makes more sense.

12:47 AM  

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