Opening Comment Just three birthdays are celebrated by the Church in the Liturgy each year – that of Jesus at the winter solstice, his mother’s on 8th September and that of his cousin John the Baptist near midsummer’s day. John’s birthday comes just after the longest day of the year, when the light begins to decline — just as Jesus’ birthday is after the shortest day. The placing of these two feasts summarises John the Baptist’s mission: ‘I must decrease, he must increase.’
Penitential Rite: Surrounded by the Light of God, we remember our sins and see them disappear, in God’s forgiveness: (pause) You raise the dead to life in the Spirit … You bring pardon and peace to the sinner … You bring light to those in darkness … Lord, have mercy.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Isaiah 49:1-6 — Describes the call of the prophet to be like a sharp sword — a call that comes before birth itself.
Acts of the Apostles 13:22-26 — Paul describes John’s role as a messenger, who makes way for the saviour.
Luke 1:57-66, 80 — The birth of John the Baptist is described.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our needs to God who created us.
- For all who serve the Church in leadership positions, that they may humbly point people towards Christ, as John the Baptist did (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For those who have a prophetic role in today’s world, that they may never shirk from preaching the truth, whatever the cost (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For parents and guardians, that they may give their children a solid foundation from which to grow in faith (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For people impaired in speech, hearing or sight, that they may have the patience and grace to develop their gifts to the fullest (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For those who care for people with special needs, that their generous service may be source of courage and hope (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For our dead (especially N and N), that perpetual light may shine on them (pause). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God our creator, you care for us from the first moment of our being: let us know your help always, and hear our prayers, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Other Liturgical Suggestions Penitantial Act IV (page 1386). Mass texts page 784 (vigil), page 785 (day Mass). Preface of St John the Baptist (without music) page 788. Eucharistic Prayer 1. Final Blessing: Prayer over the People 27 or 28 (Page 568). Songs O The Word of My Lord; Will you let me be your servant (Servant Song); Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat; Sweet Heart of Jesus.