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The altar is a symbol of Christ at the heart of the assembly and so deserves this special reverence.
All make the Sign of the Cross and the celebrant extends a greeting to the gathered people in words taken from Scripture. At the very beginning of the Mass, the faithful recall their sins and place their trust in God's abiding mercy.
After the gifts and altar are prepared, the Eucharistic Prayer begins.
This prayer of thanksgiving is the heart of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The Nicene Creed is a statement of faith dating from the fourth century.