Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on the Holy Eucharist, we now turn to the Gloria and the Opening Prayer. Having confessed our sinfulness and asked God’s forgiveness in the penitential rite, we recite, on Sundays and holydays, the ancient hymn “Glory to God in the highest”. Echoing the song of the angels at our Lord’s birth, we praise the mercy of the Father in sending his Son who takes away the sins of the world. The Opening Prayer is also called the “Collect”, because it gathers up and presents to the Triune God all our individual prayers. The priest’s invitation, “Let us pray”, is followed by a moment of silence, as we open our hearts and bring our personal needs to the Lord. The Opening Prayer praises the Father’s provident love revealed in history and then implores his continued help as we strive to live as his sons and daughters in Christ. By ancient tradition, the prayer is addressed to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. By reflecting on these rich prayers, and uniting ourselves with the Church in lifting them up to God, we see how the liturgy becomes for each Christian a true school of prayer.