Liturgical Notes: What is the Offertory?
The Offertory is an act of worship in which we make an offering to God by giving up something that we value.
In placing on the altar bread, money and wine, the congregation offers itself and its world. Money represents the work of the congregation. As in every sacrificial act of time immemorial, a part stands for the whole. We give part of what we make. That part stands for “ourselves, for our souls, for our bodies.”
Symbolically we offer the bread to be the body of Christ. But the underlying reality of the action is that we offer our lives individually and corporately to become the body of Christ in the world. We acknowledge that what we offer to God is, in a certain sense, but his all along, given to us in trust as stewards of his creation.
From Liturgy of Living, by Charles P Price and Louis Weil