Traditionally, this Sunday is called Gaudete Sunday, which means ‘a day for rejoicing’. Advent is about half over, and the day of the Lord’s coming is nearer. We worship God who promises us joy without end.
Confident of the happiness that lies in the future, let us remember our sins and repent (pause): Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the peace of God’s kingdom … You come in word and sacrament to strengthen us in holiness … You will come in glory with salvation for your people.
Alternative Opening Prayer (1998 ICEL Missal prayer for Year A)
God of glory and compassion,
at your touch the wilderness blossoms,
broken lives are made whole,
and fearful hearts grow strong in faith.
Open our eyes to your presence
and awaken our hearts to sing your praise.
To all who long for your Son’s return
grant perseverance and patience,
that we may announce in word and deed
the good news of the kingdom.
We ask this through him whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near:
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Isaiah 35:1-6, 10 Isaiah looks forward to the Day of Joy, when God’s power will be seen on earth.
James 5:7-10 James reminds us to be patient, for the Lord’s coming in glory will be soon.
Matthew 11:2-11 Today’s Gospel tells us that what Isaiah prophesied came to pass in the life of Jesus.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who raises up those who are bowed down.
- That God may bless and sustain Pope Francis, who will be 86 on Saturday next (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
- That all Christians may have joy as they prepare for Christmas (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
- That people may be touched by the simple message of the Crib (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
- That families who are in need may be helped (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
- That those who do charitable things at this time of year may be rewarded (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
- That those who suffer because of the addiction of a relative or friend may find support (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: for those who have died (especially N and N), that they may be raised up to glory, we pray (we pray quietly for this). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, you keep faith with those in need of your kindness and justice, receive the prayers we make, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
may the continual offering of the eucharistic sacrifice
carry out the mystery of our redemption
and accomplish your saving work among us.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PREFACE OF ADVENT II
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother awaited with love beyond all telling,
the one whose coming John the Baptist heralded,
and whose presence he proclaimed.
This same Lord invites us to prepare with joy
for the mystery of his birth,
so that when he comes
he may find us watchful in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.
And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…..
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III (from 1998 ICEL Missal, with Advent interpolation)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
and all creation rightly gives you praise.
All life, all holiness comes from you
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the working of the Holy Spirit.
From age to age you gather a people to yourself,
so that from the rising of the sun to its setting
a pure offering may be made
to the glory of your name.
And so, Lord God, in joyful expectation
we celebrate the advent of your Christ;
and, raising up our heads to behold
the redemption that is near at hand
we humbly pray:
by the power of your Spirit sanctify these gifts
we have brought before you,
that they may become the body + and blood
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.
On the night he was handed over to death,
he took bread and gave you thanks and praise;
he broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT IT:
THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT:
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL,
SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
The mystery of faith…..
Calling to mind, Lord God
the death your Son endured for our salvation,
his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven,
and eagerly awaiting the day of his return,
we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.
Look with favour on your Church’s offering
and see the Victim by whose sacrifice
you were pleased to reconcile us to yourself.
Grant that we who are nourished by the body and blood of your Son
may be filled with his Holy Spirit
and become one body, one spirit in Christ.
Let him make us an everlasting gift to you,
that we may share in the inheritance of your saints,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles, the martyrs,
[Saint John the Baptist], and all your saints,
on whose constant intercession we rely for help.
Lord, may this sacrifice
which has made our peace with you
advance the peace and salvation of all the world.
Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth:
your servant Pope Francis, our Bishop N.,
all bishops, priests, and deacons,
all ministers of your Church,
and the entire people your Son has gained for you.
hear the prayers of the family you have gathered here before you,
and unite to yourself all your children
now scattered over the face of the earth.
Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters
and all who have left this world in your friendship.
We hope to enjoy with them your everlasting glory,
through Christ our Lord,
through whom you give the world everything that is good. Through him, with him, in him…
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
We implore your mercy, O Lord,
that the power of these divine mysteries may free us from sin
and prepare us for the approaching feast of Christmas.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
SOLEMN BLESSING (ADVENT)
May God the almighty and merciful
bless you by the light of Christ’s coming,
and enrich your lives with every grace.
May God make you steadfast in faith,
joyful in hope,
and untiring in love all the days of your life.
May God reward you with eternal life
when our Redeemer comes again in glory.
Songs for today’s Mass (Suggestions)
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; Rejoice in the Lord always; Wait for the Lord (Taizé); Christ, be our Light.