Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on Holy Mass, we now turn to the Profession of Faith and the Universal Prayer of all the Christian faithful. In the Liturgy of the Word, after the homily and a time of silence, the whole assembly professes its faith: we recite the Creed, which bridges the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. In doing so, we respond to what we have heard and received; this will lead us, in turn, to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Apostles’ Creed, which is the Church of Rome’s Baptismal Creed, may be appropriately taken up especially in Lent and Eastertide. Particularly on Sundays and feast days, we then offer the prayers of all the faithful: “for holy Church, for the civil authorities, for those oppressed by various needs, for all mankind, and for the salvation of the entire world.” After each intention, we pray together: “Lord, graciously hear us” (or similar words), confident that God takes care of his sons and daughters.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Ash Wednesday Audience, particularly those from England, Ireland, China and the United States of America. I wish you and your families a holy and fruitful season of Lent, and I invoke upon you the grace and peace of Christ our Lord. May God bless you all!