Feast of Faith
Friday, July 30, 2021
The Preface: Thanksgiving
The preface of the Mass has been called “a poem, the cry of joy and recognition, the song of the world discovering its salvation . . . the certitude of faith making hope spring forth” (Philippe Béguerie, quoted in The Mass, Lucien Deiss, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1992, p. 70).
The preface takes up the last words of the dialogue, and expresses briefly and simply why we are grateful, why it is right and just to give thanks and praise to God. On feast days, the preface sings of the specific mystery or saint we celebrate; in Ordinary Time, the Sunday and weekday prefaces express our gratitude for God’s gift of the Son, Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption and newness of life. The prefaces offer a succinct account of what God has done for us in Christ; they express the mystery of faith, always relating it to us, to our lives. “By his birth we are reborn,” we hear in Preface IV for Sundays in Ordinary Time. “By his suffering we are freed from sin. By his rising from the dead we rise to everlasting life.” Yes, we have cause to give God thanks and praise.