Once the homily is over, it's time to finish up just a few things to prepare for the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We begin by standing and professing our faith. Yes, this will also have some wording changes. Our faith and the substance of what we are professing is the same, but some of the wording is different. It's long, but I'll write it out here:
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
And one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the live of the world to come. Amen.
I love that this is our chance in the Mass to stand up with the other believers and proclaim what it is that we believe. It is certainly a long prayer, but consider that it distills so many of the teachings of the Bible in one place so that we can proclaim our belief, but not just our own personal belief, but the belief of all those present, the belief of all those that are going to Mass anywhere in the world, and the belief of all those that have proclaimed their belief in these words throughout history. The new translation has changed the wording from "we believe" to "I believe", but nonetheless, the fact that we say it together makes the unity of our belief clear.
Next, we take a moment from Matthew 18:19-20:
"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
This is the time of the general intercessions. While the Scripture verse itself may not be heard during the Mass, it is lived. For the general intercessions, prayers are read, followed by "we pray to the Lord." And the congregation responds "Lord, hear our prayer." I don't pretend to fully understand the mystery of prayer. I do know this, however. They are heard, and we should not underestimate the power of these prayers that are prayed together.
Next we sit, the baskets are passed (tithing is also quite biblical!) and the gifts (especially the bread and wine) are brought to the altar for the preparation of gifts for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.