Songs at Mass (Suggestions) O The Word of My Lord; Will you let me be your servant (Servant Song); Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat; Sweet Heart of Jesus.
Just three birthdays are celebrated by the Church in the Liturgy each year – that of Jesus at the winter solstice, his mother’s on 8th September and that of his cousin John the Baptist near midsummer’s day. John’s birthday comes just after the longest day of the year, when the light begins to decline — just as Jesus’ birthday is celebrated as days begin to lengthen. The placing of these two feasts summarises John the Baptist’s mission: ‘I must decrease, he must increase.’
Surrounded by the Light of God at this bright time of year, we remember our sins and see them disappear, in God’s forgiveness: (pause)
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy.
You bring pardon and peace to the sinner: Christ, have mercy.
You bring light to those in darkness: Lord, have mercy.
OPENING PRAYER (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
you raise up prophets in every age.
Let your Spirit, who filled John the Baptist from his mother’s womb,
fill us with joy as we celebrate his birth.
May the example of his life,
the urgency of his preaching,
and the power of his prayers
make us ready to receive the one he announced,
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 49:1-6 Describes the call of the prophet to be like a sharp sword — a call that comes before birth itself. John the Baptist was the last of the prophets.
Acts of the Apostles 13:22-26 Paul describes John’s role as a messenger, who makes way for the saviour.
Luke 1:57-66, 80: The birth of John is described: people wonder ‘what will this child turn out to be?’
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our needs to God who created us.
- For church leaders, that they may humbly point people towards Christ — as John the Baptist did (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For today’s prophets, that they may never stop preaching the truth — whatever the cost (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For politicians, that they may work for the greater good of all humanity (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For parents and guardians, that they may teach their children well (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For people who cannot see or hear or speak, that they may develop their other gifts to the full (pause). Lord, hear us.
- For carers, that their loving service may bring courage and hope (pause). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For our dead (especially N and N), that following the way of salvation and peace, they may enter their Father’s house in the company of St John the Baptist and all the saints (pause). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God our creator, you care for us from the first moment of our being: let us know your help always, and hear our prayers, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
We place these gifts upon your altar, Lord,
in celebration of the birth of John the Baptist,
who heralded the coming of our Saviour
and made him known when at last he came.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord
PREFACE (St John the Baptist)
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.
We praise your greatness as we honour the prophet
who prepared the way before your Son.
Among those born of woman
you marked John the Baptist with your special favour.
His birth brought great rejoicing;
even in the womb he leapt for joy, so near was our salvation.
Alone of all the prophets, John pointed to the Lamb
who would take away our sins.
He baptised Jesus, the giver of baptism,
in waters made holy by the one baptised.
By shedding his blood
he gave his last and greatest witness to your Son.
With joyful hearts we echo on earth
the song of the angels in heaven
as they praise your glory without end:
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III
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, 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 John the Baptist, 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.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
your Church has been renewed at the table of the Lamb.
As we rejoice at the birth of John the Baptist,
grant that we may acknowledge as author of our rebirth
the Christ whose coming John foretold.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
Bow your heads for God’s blessing……
May God the Father,
who called us together
to celebrate the feast of Saint John the Baptist,
bless you, protect you,
and keep you in peace.
May Christ the Lord,
who revealed in the saints
the power of the paschal mystery,
make you faithful in witnessing
to his risen and glorious life.
May the Spirit,
who is the source of all holiness,
make of you a true communion
of faith and love.
And may almighty God bless you……