Presider’s Page for 31 December (Holy Family)

On this first Sunday after Christmas Day, we honour the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We entrust our families to their patronage, and pray for all who have been part of our families, those still alive and those whom we hope have joined the great family of God in heaven.

Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
O God,
you cradle us at the beginning of life
and embrace us at our journey’s end,
for you love us as your own.

Bind our families together
and deepen our faith,
that, like the Holy Family of Nazareth,
we may grow in wisdom,
obedient to your word.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendour of eternal light,
God for ever and ever.

Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3 Abraham and Sarah are given a child as a reward for their faith
Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19 A reflection on the outcome of the faith of Abraham and Sarah
Luke 2:22-40 The story is told of Jesus’ presentation in the Temple, the prophesies of Simeon and Anna and the growth to maturity of Jesus in Mary and Joseph’s care.


Introduction (by the Presider)
As members of God’s family, we bring our prayers to the Lord, whose love surpasses all others:

  1. For all our families, that we may learn to say “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry” to each other. (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.
  2. For families in difficulty, that they may have the support they need. (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.
  3. For grandparents that, like Simeon and Anna in the Temple, their hopes may be fulfilled. (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.
  4. For all the members of our families, that God may keep them healthy and happy in 2024. (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.
  5. For families in Gaza and families in Ukraine — that God may protect them (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.
  6. For people who are homeless in these winter days — that they may find warmth and love. (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.

The Presider prays for the dead: For those who died recently (especially N and N) and for the people from our parish who died during 2023, and the members of our families who have died, that all the dead may see the face of God. (Pause and pray, then…..) Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, your remember your covenant forever: hear the prayers of those who seek your help, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

We beg you, Lord,
accept the sacrifice which makes our peace with you
and, through the prayers of Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
and of blessed Joseph, her husband,
unite our families in your grace and peace.
Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.

PREFACE (Christmas I)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

In the mystery of the Word made flesh
your glory fills the eyes of our mind
with a new and radiant vision,
so that, seeing God made visible in Christ,
we are caught up in the love of things we cannot see.

And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: Holy, holy, holy….

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III (from 1998 ICEL Missal, with Christmas 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, on this day of glory and peace,
we celebrate the birth of your incarnate Word;
and, rejoicing that your loving kindness
has appeared among us,
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:

When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

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 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.

Merciful Father,
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.

Merciful Father,
you have refreshed us with this heavenly sacrament.
Grant us the grace to follow closely
the example of the Holy Family,
that, after the trials of this present life,
we may be welcomed into their company for ever.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SOLEMN BLESSING (The Beginning of the New Year)
May God, the source of every blessing,
grant you the fullness of grace
and keep you safe throughout the coming year.
R. Amen.
May God safeguard the purity of your faith,
give you an unwavering hope
and a love that patiently endures to the end.
R. Amen.
May God order your works and days in peace,
listen to your every prayer,
and lead you safely to eternal life.
R. Amen.

SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions)
Christmas Carols; May Your Love be Upon Us; Praise the Lord All you Nations; Christ be Our Light.

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