Eucharist: Liturgy of the Sacrament (Eucharistic Prayer)
After the Offertory, when the bread and wine are placed on the altar and offered to God, there comes the Eucharistic Prayer. The priest says or sings the familiar words: “The Lord be with you” and then “Lift up your hearts”. (1) So we are asked to lift up our hearts to God, and because we have come to offer Our Lord to God in thanksgiving for our salvation, the priest continues with the words Jesus himself used at the Last Supper (2), “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God”. (3)
The Eucharistic Prayer includes the Preface which is a prayer of thankfulness. It leads to the most holy part of the Eucharist. The great feasts and festivals of the Church have their own special or proper Preface, so that at Christmas we give special thanks for Our Lord’s Birth and at Easter for his Resurrection. So the Preface goes on until we burst into song at the Sanctus, the hymn which Isaiah the prophet heard the angels in Heaven sing (6:3).