By Archbishop Michael Jackels
The Introductory Rite of Mass concludes with the Opening Prayer, also called the Collect (pronounced caw-lect), from the Latin for collecting or gathering together.
This prayer is meant to sum up, or to collect our thanks and praise, together with all the intentions that we bring with us to Holy Mass.
There is supposed to be a moment of silence after the invitation Let us pray for us to acknowledge we are in the presence of God, and to allow us to form our own petitions in silence.
This prayer, like all Christian prayers, is addressed to God the Father, through God the Son, and in God the Holy Spirit. It is concluded with the word Amen, which comes from the Hebrew, meaning this is true, or I believe, or an enthusiastic Yes!
As he says this prayer, the priest raises and stretches out his hands. This is a gesture of pleading, of supplication in prayer to God.