The Mass begins with the entrance song, the procession of the Incense, the crucifix with the Altar Servers, and many places the Lector will follow boldly carrying the Word of God trailed by the Bishop/Priest at the end of this formation. As this procession moves forward towards the Altar, it is a reminder how the Mass transcends time and space. Catholic Apologist Steve Ray shares that when he was invited to Mass for the first time, when he witnessed this scene, his heart melted recognizing the priest coming from the Apostles.
Revelation 8:3-4 states, "And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God."
The Celebrant will then greet the altar recognizing that once consecrated, the altar represents the "most sacred" and "whatever touches it will be sacred (Exodus 29:37)." It is a holy event about to be celebrated. Hebrews 13:15 states, "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name."
The Celebrant after assuming his position behind the altar, will preside over the Liturgy of the word. He approaches the altar with the ministers and venerates it offers this the introduction with the Sign of the Cross and prays "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,and the love of God,and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all."