For more information on prefaces in general, see The Eucharistic Prayer (2) and The Eucharistic Prayer (3)

This preface is used on weekdays in Ordinary Time.

Praise to God for the creation and restoration of the human race

Imagine if the Lord gave you a wonderful toy or gadget that gave you hours of enjoyment. Now imagine if you broke it. It’s not the end of the world. You’d survive, sad but, hopefully, wiser for the experience and more appreciative and careful in the future.

Imagine that you’re in the Arctic and the Lord gave you shelter and a space heater. Now imagine that you broke both. It’s not a nice optional thing to make life more enjoyable: cold death is spilling in through that hole in the wall and you have nothing to stop it from leaching the life from you.

Adam and Eve were given a world to enjoy. They were given a place to live and thrive. The Lord deserved praise for that (and still does), but instead, he received mistrust. The Fall broke the world and it broke us: it turned a garden with all we’d need into a cold and harsh losing battle for survival at the end of which the only thing that awaited us was spiritual death to cap off our physical one.

For just as through your beloved Son you created the human race, so also through him with great goodness you formed it anew.

When you’re experiencing a harsh winter you almost forget that the warmth of spring ever existed at all. The Lord created the world “in spring” and we turned it into “winter.” Our Lord came and reminded us what “spring” was like again: he showed us the perfection which humanity could achieve after millennia of disfigurement and futility. He not only started patching up the shelter; he huddled with us to warm us and help us feel a little of the spring inside him. He showed us how to warm ourselves again and leave a cold world behind.

You don’t have to imagine that the Lord gave you life itself; he did. You don’t have to imagine that we “broke” it; we did. Our Lord came and fixed it all. That deserves some praise.

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