This Sunday we come to the midpoint of Lent. The season is half over, and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus is nearer to us. On this midway Sunday, it is traditional to honour mothers, praying for those still with us and remembering those who have died.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
O God, rich in mercy, you so loved the world
that, when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth, he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross, he is truth and salvation.
Raise us up with Christ and make us rich in good works,
that we may walk as children of light toward the paschal feast of heaven.
We ask this through Christ, our deliverance and hope,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23 — The history of the Jewish people is interpretted, with their misfortunes linked by the writer to their sins.
Ephesians 2:4-10 — God is rich in mercy, a free gift we each receive. We are invited to be God’s work of art.
John 3:14-21 — God loved us so much that he was generous with his mercy. If we have faith in that mercy, we will not be lost.
Introduction (by the Presider) We bring our prayers to God, whose love for us has no end.
- For Pope Francis, our own Bishop (N), and all who minister in the Church (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those preparing to celebrate baptism this Easter time (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For peace and reconciliation in our country, and throughout the world (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For exiles and refugees, and all who travel in search of a better life (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For Christians suffering persecution today, that the world may not forget them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the mothers of this community and all who take a mother’s role (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: for mothers who have died and for all the dead, especially N & N (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of love and mercy, your gifts to your people are boundless: give us your grace and hear our prayers, we ask in faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions): ‘O Sacred Head Surrounded’; ‘A Íosa Glan Mo Chroíse’; ‘O the Love of My Lord’