Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. All over the world, people are beginning their preparation period for baptism at Easter. We too look forward to renewing our baptismal vows and being blessed with Easter water.
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.
1 Peter 3:18-22 — The story of the Noah’s ark is interpretted by 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, Mark’s.
Introduction (by the Presider) As we begin the lenten journey, let us remember all those in need.
- For Pope Francis, our own Bishop and all our leaders in faith — we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For peace and reconciliation in our country and throughout the world — we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For Christians suffering persecution — we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the hungry, the poor and the homeless — we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For ourselves as we begin the Lenten journey — we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us
- For this community, and particularly for those who are sick — we pray (pause for silent prayer). 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 — we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of goodness, you have shown love from the dawn of creation; make us know your ways, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘Be Not Afraid’; ‘God of Mercy and Compassion’, ‘Grant to us O Lord, a heart renewed”.