Traditionally, this Sunday is called Laetare Sunday, which means ‘a day for joy’ — although few will feel much joy this year, as the COV-19 epidemic draws ever nearer. But at this midpoint of Lent, it is traditional to honour mothers, treasuring those still with us and praying for those we have lost to death.
Let us remember the love we have experienced in our lives and call to mind the times we failed to show love (pause): Lord Jsus, you raise us to new life, Lord, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins, Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus, you feed us with your body and blood. Lord, have mercy.
Alternative Opening Prayer (1998 ICEL Missal)
God our Creator,
show forth your mighty works
in the midst of your people.
Enlighten your Church,
that we may know your Son
as the true light of the world
and through our worship confess him
as Christ and Lord,
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
Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13 — God’s choice of the young boy Samuel is described in the first reading.
Ephesians 5:8-14 — The second reading and Gospel both reflect on light and darkness, and the new sight that believers can have.
John 9:1-41 — The healing of the man born blind is described: believers also need to go from blindness to new sight.
Introduction (by the Presider) Brothers and sisters, let us turn to God for help.
- For the Church, that it may be a sign of hope in a time of sadness (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For those sick with the coronavirus, that they may be healed (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For doctors and nurses, that they may be kind to the weak and helpless (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For all who suffer, in body, mind or spirit, that they may not feel crushed (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For people with limited sight, that we may be sensitive to their needs (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For the mothers of this community, and for all who care for children (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For mothers who have died, and for all our dead (especially N & N) that they may dwell in God’s house forever (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God, source of forgiveness, in Jesus you have given us freedom of heart: hear our prayers and help us to do your will, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
With joy, Lord, we present to you the sacrifice
that brings us eternal healing.
Grant in your goodness
that we may celebrate this mystery with faith
and offer it worthily for the salvation of the world.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PREFACE OF THE FOURTH 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.
By the mystery of his incarnation
he has led the human race out of darkness
into the clear light of faith.
Through the fall of Adam we were born the slaves of sin,
but through the waters of baptism
Christ has raised us to new life as your adopted children.
And, therefore, earth unites with heaven
to sing a new song of praise;
we too join with the hosts of angels
as they proclaim your glory without end: 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,
[Saint Patrick, Saint Joseph], 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
God of majesty,
you enlighten everyone who comes into this world;
fill our hearts with the light of your grace,
that our thoughts may always be pleasing to you
and our love for you always sincere.
We ask 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.