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The priest’s greeting at Mass is based on these Bible quotes


Diego Cervo | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 04/28/21

The opening words of the Mass are taken directly from these Bible passages.

At the very beginning of a Roman Catholic Mass, the priest will greet the people using a direct Bible quote.

It is designed to alert our minds that the Mass is not merely a human discourse, but also a divine discourse, where the people turn their thoughts toward God.

The greeting also recalls the words of Jesus that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

The two most common greetings used by the priest are quotes from St. Paul’s letters in the New Testament.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Paul began many of his letters in similar words.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the holy Spirit
be with all of you. (2 Corinthians 13:13)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 1:7)

Another common option is directly from the Old Testament.

The Lord be with you. (Ruth 2:4)

Interestingly, this last greeting is from a biblical story that deals with themes of harvest, thanksgiving and daily bread.

As you can see, at the very beginning of Mass, the Church wisely bases its words on quotations from the Bible.

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