Let Us Pray

The Collect

What Not to Miss

  • This prayer is called the Collect because it gathers or "collects" all the people's prayer intentions for the Mass.
  • Like the Entrance Chant, the Collect helps set the tone for the whole Mass.
  • The Collect typically calls upon God and asks him for some gift or grace. It will reference the day's feast if there is one.
  • The Collect has a Trinitarian conclusion that specifically emphasizes Jesus' divinity.
  • During the Collect, the priest uses the orans position (hands extended) to imitate Christ on the Cross and to show that he is gathering together the prayers of all the people.
  • We are now ready for the first major part of the Mass: the Liturgy of the Word.

Next Time You Go to Mass...

  • During the moment of silence, call to mind your prayer intentions for the Mass.
  • Ask God to prepare your heart and mind for the Collect and scripture readings.
  • Listen attentively to the Collect and then respond with "Amen," our agreement with and participation in this prayer.

Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.

This collect prayer begins the Mass for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Jesus is calling us to "take up battle against spiritual evils." We'll explore fasting itself in a few weeks; during the week of Ash Wednesday, we're going to dig into an important set of weapons the Lord gives us to fight evil: sacramentals.

What's a sacramental? Well, if you attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, you're probably going to receive one on your forehead.