The fourth Sunday of Easter is often called Good Shepherd Sunday, because the readings are about the care we receive from Christ, our true shepherd. We rejoice that this pastoral care continues, in the loving tenderness extended by many Christian women and men today. Today is also the day of prayer for vocations.
Knowing the God cares for us every step of the way, we rely on divine forgiveness (pause):
Lord Jesus, you have shown us the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you have given us the consolation of the truth: Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd, leading us into everlasting life: Lord, have mercy.
Alternative Opening Prayer (1998 ICEL Missal, Year A)
you never cease to call even those far away,
for it is your will
that all be drawn into one fold.
Attune our ears to the voice of the Good Shepherd,
who leads us always to you,
that we may find under your tender protection
life in all its fullness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Acts 2:14, 36-41 Just like last week, St Peter’s words are found in the first two readings. The first contains another part of his speech on Pentecost day, and the second is again part of one of his letters.
1 Peter 2:20-25 Here Peter calls Christ the shepherd and guardian of our souls.
John 10:1-10 Jesus describes himself as the gate of the sheepfold, who comes that we might have life to the full.
Introduction (by the Presider) Confident that God’s care is boundless, let us bring forward our prayers.
- For our world — that we may be free of COVID-19 (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.
- For Christians, Jew and Muslims —that we may care for each other in these stressful times (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For bishops, priests and Religious— that they may love like the Good Shepherd (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For carers, whether working in hospitals or homes — that they may love tenderly and patiently (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For chaplains and others who look after the dying — that they love them to the end (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For young people — that they may continue the work of the Good Shepherd, in whatever vocation He calls them to (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
The presider prays for the dead For all who have died in Christ (especially N & N), that may dwell in God’s house forever (Pray quietly, then… Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Loving God, like a caring shepherd you bring us along the right path: hear our prayers and grant us your help, through Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer over the gifts
make the paschal mystery our constant joy:
may it continue within us the work of redemption
and be the cause of our unending delight.
Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
Preface (Easter III)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
that we should always sing your glory, Lord;
but we praise you with greater joy than ever
in this Easter season
when Christ became our paschal sacrifice.
He continues to offer himself for us,
to plead our cause before your throne.
Christ is the victim who dies no more,
the Lamb, once slain, who lives for ever.
Therefore, the universe resounds with Easter joy,
and the choirs of angels sing the endless hymn of your glory: Holy, holy, holy….
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II (With interpolation for Sunday morning, in bold italics)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
you are the fountain of all holiness.
[In communion with the whole Church,
we have assembled on this day which you have made holy,
and, rejoicing that you have made us a new creation in your risen Son, we pray:]
Send down your Spirit upon these gifts to make them holy,
that they may become for us
the body + and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Before he was given up to death,
a death he freely accepted,
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;
again he gave you thanks,
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…..
Remembering therefore his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord God,
this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
We thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
We pray that all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.
Lord, remember your Church throughout the world:
perfect us in love
together with Francis our Pope and N. our Bishop,
with all bishops, priests, and deacons,
and all who minister to your people.
Remember our brothers and sisters
who have gone to their rest
in the sure hope of rising again;
bring them and all who have died in your mercy
into the light of your presence.
Have mercy on us all:
make us worthy to share eternal life,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles and with all the saints,
who have found favour with you throughout the ages;
in union with them
may we praise you and give you glory
through your Son, Jesus Christ.
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
Like a good shepherd, O God,
keep watch over those
you have redeemed by the blood of your Son,
and lead them as your flock into heavenly pastures.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Songs at Mass (Suggestions) ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’; ‘My Soul is Longing for your Peace’; ‘Shepherd me O God’; “Be not Afraid”; “Bring Flowers of the Rarest”.