We’re half way through Advent. Traditionally, today is called Gaudete Sunday, which means ‘a day for rejoicing.’ The reason for celebration is that the day of the Lord’s coming is nearer.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
O God, most high and most near,
you send glad tidings to the lowly,
you hide not your face from the poor;
those who dwell in darkness you call into the light.
Take away our blindness,
remove the hardness of our hearts,
and form us into a humble people,
that, at the advent of your Son,
we may recognise him in our midst
and find joy in his saving presence.
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 61:1-2, 10-11 — Isaiah’s message forms the basis for the Magnificat, which follows it as today’s Responsorial Psalm.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 — We have plenty to be happy about, says St Paul: God has called us. God will not fail us.
John 1:6-8, 19-28 — John the Baptist was the focus of the Gospel last Sunday, and again today. This time his actions are described by St John.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us pray to our generous God, who fills the starving with good things.
- For all the world, that the birth of the Redeemer may bring hope to people of good will (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those who follow Christ, that they may have joy as they prepare for the Lord’s coming (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people whose hearts are broken, that God, the source of joy, may bring them comfort (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the members of the healing professions who care for victims of violence or abuse: that they may show compassion and wisdom (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For asylum-seekers, immigrants, homeless and hungry people, that they may learn of God’s care — through our friendship (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people suffering because of the Ebola Vrus in West Africa, that the whole world may help them (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
The Presider prays for those who have died (especially N and N), that they may rejoice in God eternally, with Mary and the saints (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of generous love, your mercy continues to embrace the world: hear the prayers of your people, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’; ‘Magnificat’; ‘Christ Be Our Light’
PREFACE OF ADVENT II (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
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….