Presider’s Page

This section, provided by Fr. Bernard Cotter of Cloyne diocese, offers useful material for the celebrant, on Sundays and Feasts: alternative prayers, introductions, intercessions etc.

Presider’s Page for 23 January (Third Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Catholic Schools Week begins today in Ireland. ‘Sunday of the Word of God’ is observed in the universal Church, and so, the Word of God is the focus at Mass, read by Ezra the priest in the Old Testament reading, and by Jesus in the Gospel. By his Word, God reassures the people of his closeness, especially in the Word made flesh, Jesus of Nazereth.

Presider’s Page for New Year’s Day 2022 (Feast of Mary, Mother of God)

Happy New Year! On this first day of the Year of Our Lord 2022, we acclaim Mary as Mother of God and ask her to mind us and those we love during this new year. We pray that the world may be freed from COVID-19 through a global programme of vaccination.
[Background: The Virgin Mary was already venerated as Mother of God when, in 431, the Council of Ephesus acclaimed her Theotokos (God-bearer). Her role in the mystery of the incarnation was celebrated on this day in Rome in the seventh century but was soon eclipsed by other feasts of Mary. Restored to the liturgical calendar in 1931, and to this day in 1969, the feast celebrates from a Marian perspective the Word made flesh, and so enriches the observance of the octave of Christmas and provides a solemn beginning to the New Year.]

Presider’s Page for St Stephen’s Day (Feast of the Holy Family)

On the day after Christmas Day, Irish people traditionally honour St Stephen, the first Christian martyr. This year, we also reflect on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, whom St Stephen loved so much that he gave his life for the message of forgiveness that Jesus brought. We pray that these qualities will be seen in our families.

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