Songs this Sunday (Suggestions): ‘Be Not Afraid’; ‘Take Our Bread’; ‘Bind us together, Lord’; ‘City of God’.
This Sunday falls within the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, when the Church prays that all Christians may grow closer together. As we join with Christians all over the world today to honour the death and resurrection of Jesus, we pray that the journey to full unity may soon be complete.
Christians have not always worked for peace and unity. We acknowledge our own sins (pause): I confess …
Opening Prayer for Year A (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God of salvation,
the splendour of your glory
dispels the darkness of earth,
for in Christ we behold
the nearness of your kingdom.
Now make us quick to follow where he beckons,
eager to embrace the tasks of the gospel.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Isaiah 8:23 to 9:3 — A prophecy of the time when the light of the world is to come, a prophecy Christians see fulfilled in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 — Paul’s appeal against the splintering of the community fits well with the themes of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Matthew 4:12-23 — The Gospel describes the visit of Jesus to places on the fringes of Israel, just as the prophet Isaiah had foretold.
Introduction (by the Presider) The Lord is our light and our help, so let us bring all our needs to God.
- For a passion for unity among all who follow Christ, we pray (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For harmony among nations and the defeat of violence, we pray (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For unity among us, in this place, this community, this parish, we pray (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For our friends, that God may bless them and keep us close to each other, we pray (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of hope and light to all who feel lost, we pray (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For the healing and strength of those who suffer, we pray (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
The Presider prays for the dead: For eternal life for the dead (especially N and N), that they may savour the sweetness of the Lord in the heavenly Jerusalem (pause a moment for prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O Lord, our light and our help, you refresh our hope and give us fresh heart: grant our prayers, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
In your kindness, Lord,
accept our gifts and make them holy,
that they may become the sacrament of our salvation.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER from those for use in Masses for Various Needs I: “The Church on the Path of Unity” (2011 Roman Missal, page 659) or as below from the 1998 ICEL Missal (THE CHURCH ON THE WAY TO UNITY):
It is truly right to give you thanks,
Father of infinite goodness,
it is fitting that we sing of your glory.
Through the gospel proclaimed by your Son
you have brought together in one Church
people of every nation, culture, and tongue.
Into it you breathe the power of your Spirit,
that in every age
your children may be gathered as one.
Your Church bears steadfast witness to your love.
It nourishes our hope for the coming of your kingdom
and is a radiant sign of the lasting covenant
you promised us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore heaven and earth sing forth your praise
while we, with all the Church,
proclaim your glory without end: Holy, holy, holy…..
Holy indeed are you, Lord God,
and greatly to be praised:
your faithful love attends us
as we journey through life.
Blessed is your Son, Jesus Christ,
who is present among us
when his love gathers us together.
As once he did for his disciples,
Christ now opens the scriptures for us
and breaks the bread.
Therefore we ask you, merciful Father:
send down your Holy Spirit
to hallow these gifts of bread and wine,
that they may become for us
the body + and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
On the eve of his passion and death,
while at table with those he loved,
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;
and, handing the cup to his disciples, he 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
And so, Father most holy,
we celebrate the memory of Christ, your Son,
whom you led through suffering and death on the cross
to the glory of the resurrection
and a place at your right hand.
Until Jesus, our Saviour, comes again,
we proclaim the work of your love,
offering you the bread of life and the cup of blessing.
Look with favour on the offering of your Church
in which we show forth the paschal sacrifice of Christ
that was handed on to us.
Through the power of your Spirit of love
count us both now and for ever
among the members of your Son,
whose body and blood we share.
Renew by the light of the gospel
the Church of N.
Strengthen the bonds of unity between
the faithful and their pastors,
that together with Francis our Pope, N. our Bishop,
and the whole college of bishops,
your people may stand forth
as a sign of oneness and peace
in a world torn by conflict and strife.
Be mindful of our brothers and sisters [N. and N.],
who have fallen asleep in the peace of Christ,
and all the dead whose faith is known only to you.
Lead them to the fullness of the resurrection
and gladden them with the light of your face.
When our pilgrimage on earth is ended,
welcome us into your heavenly home
to dwell with you for ever.
There, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles, the martyrs,
[Saint Vincent] and all the saints,
we shall glorify your name and give you praise
through Jesus Christ, your Son.
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
Grant, all-powerful God,
that we who receive in this eucharist
your life-giving grace
may always delight in your blessings.
We make our prayer in the name of Jesus, the Lord.