SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions): ‘When Creation Was Begun’; ‘Sing A New Song Unto the Lord’; any version of the Magnificat.
Our preparations for Christmas always include Mary, the Mother of God. Her Advent feast is displaced from 8th December this year because of a clash with the Second Sunday of Advent, which we celebrated yesterday. Today, we honour her conception free from sin, a miracle that displays God’s power for believers. We worship God, for whom everything is posssible.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God most high,
from the first moment of her conception
you favoured the Virgin Mary with your grace,
that she might become the mother of the world’s Redeemer.
As you blessed the daughter of Israel,
so grant us the grace
to be fully engaged in your service,
eager to do your will.
Hasten that day of gladness
when you will bring to completion your saving work,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Genesis 3:9-15, 20 — The story of Adam and Eve illustrates some of the consequences of sin, including alienation and hatred. Mary’s life displays the consequences of faith; she is called ‘the new Eve’
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12 — The author praises God, who chose all people to be holy and spotless, characteristics we see especially clearly in Mary.
Luke 1:26-38 — Describes the conception of Jesus, which was made possible by Mary’s role in God’s plan.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us pray to God, who has brought salvation to all the world.
- For the Church, that Christians may do God’s will cheerfully, as Mary did (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the world, that it may be filled with the Mercy of God (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For believers, that experiencing God’s mercy, they may be merciful to others (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who feel unimportant, that they may realise their role in God’s plan for the world (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For women unable to conceive, that they may rely on the power of God who makes the impossible possible (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For all children, born and unborn, that they may be loved as warmly as Mary’s own child Jesus (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the departed: For God’s chosen ones who have died (especially N and N), that they may find a home in heaven, with Our Lady and the saints (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, salvation of the earth, your power is seen in the lives of your people: continue to support us with your grace, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
In your goodness, Lord,
receive the sacrifice of salvation
which we offer on the feast of the immaculate conception.
We profess in faith
that your grace preserved the Virgin Mary
from every stain of sin;
through her intercession deliver us from all our faults.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
You allowed no trace of original sin to touch the Virgin Mary.
Full of grace, she was to be a worthy mother of your Son
and prefigure the beginning of the Church,
the fair Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle.
Purest of virgins, she was to bring forth your Son,
the innocent Lamb who takes away our sins.
You chose Mary before all others
to be our gracious advocate and our pattern of holiness.
And so we join the multitude of angels
in their joyful chorus of praise: Holy, holy, holy…..
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Lord our God,
let the sacrament we have received
heal in us the wounds of that sin
from which you preserved the Virgin Mary
through the singular grace of her immaculate conception.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SOLEMN BLESSING: The Blessed Virgin Mary
May God, who through the child born of the Virgin Mary
graciously redeemed the human race,
enrich you with every blessing.R. Amen.
May you always rejoice in the loving protection of Mary,
through whom you have received the author of life. R. Amen.
May you who are gathered to honour the feast of our Lady
take from this celebration
the joys of the spirit and the gifts of heaven. R. Amen.