“And their eyes were opened and they recognized him .” (Luke 24:31).
The Church celebrates the Eucharist with eyes opened wide in recognition of Christ our Lord and bridegroom. The priest introduces the Prayer after Communion as he did the collect at the beginning of mass, saying, “Let us pray.” The assembly responds in a brief but intense silent prayer. The priest then prays in the name of all for the fruits of the mystery just celebrated: healing of body, mind, and spirit, the forgiveness of sins, the protection of God, the strength to go forward in holiness. The people seal the prayer with their Amen.
Announcements may follow, made in such a way to foster the climate of unity and joy that should characterize the Mass from beginning to end. In the final greeting, “The Lord be with you,” the priest wishes the people the abiding presence of Christ. The people in turn acknowledge the gift of grace that is his for the service of the Church: “And also with you.”
(Adapted from Fr. Mark-Daniel Kirby, OCist. Copyright 2005, Liturgy Training Publications,)