By Archbishop Michael Jackels
The priest prepares the wine for consecration by pouring a little water in the chalice. The wine symbolizes God’s divinity, and the water our humanity. This action is accompanied by a prayer that we might share in the divinity of Christ who shared in our humanity.
The priest then bows low and prays quietly that he and the congregation will be humble and be sorry for sins so that our sacrificial gifts might be acceptable and pleasing to God.
These same sentiments are also why the priest washes his hands. This action and the accompanying prayer, said quietly, express his need for interior purification to stand in the place of Christ and offer the sacrifice of the Mass.
The priest then invites all to pray that “my sacrifice and yours” will be acceptable to God. This is a reminder of the importance for each individual to make a gift of self, represented by the donation in the collection, collectively symbolized by the bread and wine.