In just over ten days time, the Easter Triduum will begin, on Holy Thursday evening. The time when baptism is celebrated is now very close. We ask God’s help for all the adults and children preparing for baptism this Easter, and pray that we may be fit and ready to renew our baptismal vows at the same feast.
To prepare ourselves to hear God’s challenging word today, let us call to mind our need of divine assistance (pause):
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy.
You bring pardon and peace to the sinner: Lord, have mercy.
You bring light to those in darkness: Lord, have mercy.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
you showed your glory to our fallen race
by sending your Son
to confound the powers of death.
Call us forth from sin’s dark tomb.
Break the bonds which hold us,
that we may believe and proclaim Christ,
the cause of our freedom
and the source of life,
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: The three readings today focus on the question: ‘How do we obtain life?’
Ezekiel 37: 12-14 — Ezekiel says that those committed to God will find life after they die.
Romans 8:8-11 — Paul says that through the Spirit we can find life.
John 11: 1-45 — The Gospel describes the raising of Lazarus and shows that all God’s power is found in Jesus, who brings believers the fullness of life.
Introduction (by the Presider) Brothers and sisters, with trust we bring our prayers to the Father.
- That all Christians may firmly believe in life beyond the grave (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- That people who doubt may be inspired by the Word of God (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- That those preparing to celebrate baptism this Easter may make a real new start (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- That all of us here may grow closer to Christ each day (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- That young people may respond generously to God’s call to them (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- That Christ, who wept at the death of Lazarus, may comfort all who grieve (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: That all the faithful departed (especially N & N) may meet Christ, the resurrection and the life (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Heavenly Father, receive our prayers, and fill our hearts with your mercy, so that safeguarding the gifts received through your goodness, we may walk in newness of life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
listen to our prayers:
as you have instructed your servants in the Christian faith,
so purify their hearts by the power of this sacrifice.
Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
PREFACE (Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A)
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.
As a human being,
he wept for Lazarus, his friend;
as eternal God,
he called him forth from the tomb.
In his compassion for the human family,
Christ leads us by the Easter mysteries
from death to new life.
Through him the hosts of angels adore you
and rejoice in your presence for ever.
May our voices join with theirs
in the triumphant chorus of praise:
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II (With interpolation for Sunday morning, in bold italics)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
you are the fountain of all holiness.
In communion with the whole Church,
we have assembled on this day which you have made holy,
and, rejoicing that you have made us a new creation in your risen Son, we pray:
Send down your Spirit upon these gifts to make them holy,
that they may become for us
the body + and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Before he was given up to death,
a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks;
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,
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…..
Remembering therefore his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord God,
this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
We thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
We pray that all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.
Lord, remember your Church throughout the world:
perfect us in love
together with Francis our Pope and N. our Bishop,
with all bishops, priests, and deacons,
and all who minister to your people.
Remember our brothers and sisters
who have gone to their rest
in the sure hope of rising again;
bring them and all who have died in your mercy
into the light of your presence.
Have mercy on us all:
make us worthy to share eternal life,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles and with all the saints,
who have found favour with you throughout the ages;
in union with them
may we praise you and give you glory
through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through him, with him, In him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
We ask, almighty God,
to be numbered always among the members of Christ,
whose body and blood we share
in this sacrament of unity.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Bow your heads for God’s blessing.
The priest prays with hands outstretched over the people.
God of salvation,
let your Son’s passion and death
be for your people
protection from evil in this life
and the sure hope of glory
in the life to come.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SONGS: ‘I am the Bread of Life’, ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’, ‘Praise to the Holiest’; On Eagle’s Wings.