Introit means “entrance” and marks the beginning of the Divine Service. This part of the service is not as old as some other portions of the Liturgy. Many years ago the Faithful would meet at a certain central church and move in procession to the church where the special service was to be held. Psalms would be sung on the way; and as the people would enter the church, the Introit Psalm (from the Latin introire, “to go in”) would be chanted, and the Celebrant, with his attendants, would enter the Sanctuary. Later, when these processions were discontinued, a shortened Psalm was sung as the Introit. Thus we have it today.
The Introit sounds the key-note of the day. It is the herald’s voice announcing the great theme of the day’s worship. The words of the Introit change every Sunday, according to the Church Year. It ends with the Gloria Patri, (Latin: “Glory be to the Father”), a hymn of praise to the Triune God.
We have been created to the glory of God. Before any man lived, the angels sang praise to the Lord of Creation. When we are in church, we cannot begin our service in any better way than to praise the Almighty God. United with the angels we sing praises to Him.
“The Little Service Book” was written by the Rev. Berthold von Schenk (1895-1974), pastor of Our Saviour—New York, as an explanation of the Common Service for children.