Opening Comment (Presiders)
In just over ten days time, the Easter Triduum will begin, on Holy Thursday evening. The time when baptism is celebrated is now very close. We ask God’s help for all the adults and children preparing for baptism this Easter, and pray that we may be fit and ready to renew our baptismal vows at the same feast.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
you showed your glory to our fallen race by sending your Son to confound the powers of death.
Call us forth from sin’s dark tomb.
Break the bonds which hold us,
that we may believe and proclaim Christ,
the cause of our freedom and the source of life,
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 (for Ministers of the Word)
The three readings today focus on the question: ‘How do we obtain life?’ Ezekiel 37: 12-14 — Ezekiel says that those committed to God will find life after they die. Romans 8:8-11 — Paul says that through the Spirit we can find life. John 11: 1-45 — The Gospel describes the raising of Lazarus and shows that all God’s power is found in Jesus, who brings believers the fullness of life.
Introduction (by the Presider) Brothers and sisters, with trust we bring our prayers to the Father.
- That all Christians may firmly believe / in life beyond the grave (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That people plagued by doubts / may be inspired by the Word of God (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That those preparing to celebrate baptism this Easter / may begin a full, new life in Christ (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That all of us taking part in this celebration / may receive strength to grow daily in the Christian life (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That those who suffer because the one they love has died / may know the compassion of Christ, who wept at the death of Lazarus (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That all the faithful departed may meet Christ / the resurrection and the life (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Heavenly Father, receive our prayers, and fill our hearts with your mercy, so that safeguarding the gifts received through your goodness, we may walk in newness of life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SUGGESTED SONGS FOR MASS: ‘I am the Bread of Life’, ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’, ‘Praise to the Holiest’.