Preface means “introduction.” The Preface in our Liturgy is the introduction to that part of the service which has always been known as “the Mass of the Faithful.” The first part of the service included those who were not members of the Church.
The Preface is very beautiful. We are not alone now. The angels who praise God in all eternity are with us. They help us to praise God and bear our poor song to the very throne of the Eternal Father.
The Prophet Isaiah was permitted to see what no human eye saw—the Glory of God. He saw the Lord sitting upon His Throne (Isaiah 6). So glorious was this sight that the angels covered their faces with their wings. In great reverence they sang the same song which we sing: “Holy, holy holy.”
The Children of Israel sang “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord” when Christ entered the city of Jerusalem. Jesus also comes in the Holy Communion. He is the only Son of the Father. Therefore we greet Him with our song of praise: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes!” He wants to enter our hearts, to live and reign in us.
“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.