Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. Lent is celebrated in lockdown this year, in this and most every country, as the world fights COVID-19. But though apart, we are united in worship and in prayer, looking forward to Easter and better days ahead.
NB: The ‘Mass in Time of Pandemic’ is not used on Sundays of Lent or Easter, or in Holy Week.
Aware that God’s grace within us brings us to repentance, let us call to mind our sins (pause):
You were sent to heal the contrite: Lord, have mercy.
You came to call sinners: Christ, have mercy.
You plead for us at the right hand of the Father: Lord, have mercy.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God of the covenant,
as the forty days of deluge
swept away the world’s corruption
and watered new beginnings
of righteousness and life,
so in the saving flood of baptism
your people are washed clean and born again.
Throughout these forty days, we beg you,
unseal for us the wellspring of your grace,
cleanse our hearts of all that is not holy,
and cause your gift of new life to flourish once again.
Grant this through Christ, our liberator from sin,
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
Genesis 9:8-15 — Includes the story of the Great Flood and the rainbow, two reminders of God’s care. Christians think of the waters of baptism when they read about the Flood, because out of it came new life.
I Peter 3:18-22 — The story of the Noah’s ark is interpretted by St Peter. Through baptism, God saves a lot more people than were saved by the ark.
Mark 1:12-15 — On the first Sunday of Lent each year, the story of Jesus’ temptation is read – this year, a very brief account, as Mark recorded it. Since Mark does not describe the temptations, we can imagine what they were…..
Introduction (by the Presider) As we begin the lenten journey, let us remember all those in need.
- For those live in poor countries — that they may receive the vaccines they need (pause and pray). Lord, hear us.
- For the people of South Sudan — that they may have peace (pause and pray). Lord, hear us.
- For all who fast in Lent — that we may help the hungry (pause and pray). Lord, hear us.
- For those who are sick because of COVID-19 — that they may get better (pause and pray). Lord, hear us
- For people who feel a bit down — that friends may look out for them (pause and pray). Lord, hear us.
- For healthcare workers — that their strength may not fail (pause and pray). Lord, hear us.
The Presider prays for the dead: For N & N who died recently and N & N whose anniversaries occur, and for all who have died (pause and pray). Lord, hear us
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of all goodness, you have shown love from the dawn of creation: make us know your ways, and give us your help, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
at the beginning of this holy season re-fashion our hearts
and make them one with the sacrifice we are about to offer.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PREFACE (First Sunday of Lent)
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.
His fast of forty days established this season of self-denial.
By rejecting all the devil’s temptations
he has taught us
to rid ourselves of the leaven of malice,
and so to celebrate the paschal mystery in sincerity and truth,
until we come at last to the eternal feast of heaven.
And so we join the throng of saints and angels
as they sing the unending hymn of your praise: Holy, holy, holy….
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III (from 1998 ICEL Missal, with Lent 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 this, the acceptable time,
we celebrate the lenten days of salvation;
turning back to you in repentance
and to one another in reconciliation,
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,
[St Peter Damian], 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,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
you have renewed us with the heavenly bread
that enlivens our faith, inspires our hope,
and strengthens our charity.
Teach us to hunger for Christ, the true and living bread,
and to live by every word that proceeds from your mouth.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PRAYER 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.