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General Audience: Pope Calls for Silence, Without ‘Rushing’ During Mass

January 10, 2018. Reflecting on the Gloria & the Collect at General Audience, Pontiff Gives Priests Some Advice.

Pope Francis has given priests some practical advice about the importance of silence and taking one’s time during Mass.

The Pontiff did so during this morning’s General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Jan. 10, 2018, as he continued his catechesis on the Holy Eucharist, considering the Gloria and the Collect. Last week, he reflected upon the Penitential Rite.

Reflecting on the song of the Gloria, this very old hymn, the Holy Father stressed, has a connection with the Nativity.
“The beginning of this hymn – “Glory to God in the highest” — takes up the song of the Angels at Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, joyful proclamation of the embrace between Heaven and earth.

Moreover, he reflected, it is an act of ‘trust’ in the love of the Holy Trinity. “The song of praise to God the Father and to His Son Jesus Christ, the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world,” the Gloria, he noted, is also a confident supplication of divine goodness.

The Pontiff then commented on the liturgical silence, the meditation, which precedes the prayer.

After the “Gloria,” or when this isn’t immediately after the Penitential Act, the Pope reminded, prayer takes a particular form in the prayer called “Collect,” through which is expressed the character proper of the celebration, variable according to the days and the times of the year.

With the invitation ‘Let us pray,’ the Pope continued, the priest exhorts the people to recollect themselves with him in a moment of silence, in order to be conscious of being in the presence of God and have arise, in each one’s heart, the personal intentions with which he takes part in the Mass.

After the priest says “Let us pray,” a moment of silence follows in which each person thinks of their personal intentions, what they wish to ask for in prayer. This silence, the Pontiff noted, is a way each person makes himself available to the Holy Spirit.

“Silence, whose character depends on the moment when it intervenes during the Mass, allows, just before the Collect, to dispose ourself to listening to the voice of our heart and especially that of the Holy Spirit and to present to the Lord our personal intentions. “

The Pope reminded that the prayer follows.

“After this brief moment of silence,” the Jesuit Pope explained, “the priest, with his arms extended to imitate Christ on the Cross, expresses to God, in the name of everyone, the common prayer which concludes the rites of introduction, and whose content goes from praise to supplication.”

Pope Francis concluded,  inviting faithful to “meditate these texts, outside the Mass,” which he reminded will help them  “to learn better how to turn towards God.”