God desires our salvation and calls us today, as He called Samuel so many centuries ago; we are free to respond to that loving call and we also say, "Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will". And so we gather together to worship and praise and thank our Loving Father. We begin with a procession. The people in this procession represent the entire congregation; we are all pilgrims on a journey that we hope will culminate in being in God's presence forever (Heaven). We are led by the Cross- a symbol of suffering and defeat turned into a symbol of victory; death has been overcome by Resurrection! We follow Christ through suffering into the Kingdom. Altar serves - we are all called to service in the building of this Kingdom. The Lectionary or the Book of Gospels is carried in procession, representing the Word of God, God revealing Himself to us. Deacon - diakonia (Gk) service - read the Acts of the Apostles to learn the role of deacons in the early Church. The priest has a dual role - he represents Jesus in our midst and represents us before God. We also participate by joining in the entrance hymn. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 2000: "The purpose of this liturgical song is to open the celebration, intensify the unity of those who have assembled, lead their thoughts to the mystery of the season or feast, and accompany the procession of priest and ministers.") The entrance song, therefore, helps us become conscious of ourselves as a worshipping community. Let us, then, journey joyfully as God's people.
(Taken with permission from Anne Perez, Dir. Religious Ed., Holy Family Parish, St. Petersburg, Fla.)