When the Holy Table (the Altar), has been set, the priest turns to the people and announces that it is now time for us to prepare our minds and hearts for the Coming. He says, Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church. Notice that in this prayer the Church addresses God in behalf of “all men,” not just the people gathered for that particular Mass. General prayers such as this, invoking God’s blessing on the larger body of Christ’s Church have been part of the Church’s corporate worship since biblical times (cf. I Tim. 2ff); indeed, they were characteristic of Jewish synagogue worship.
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