Opening Comment (for Presiders)
The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light: Jesus, the light of the world, walks among us, preaching a message of repentance. We gather to listen to him, to share the bread of life and to prepare to go out and build up his kingdom.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
God of salvation,
the splendour of your glory dispels the darkness of earth,
for in Christ we behold the nearness of your kingdom.
Now make us quick to follow where he beckons,
eager to embrace the tasks of the gospel.
We ask this through our Lord 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 (for Ministers of the Word)
Isaiah 8:23 to 9:3 — A prophecy of the time when the light of the world is to come, a prophecy we Christians see fulfilled in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 — Paul appeals against the splintering of the community into factions.
Matthew 4:12-23 — The Gospel describes the visit of Jesus to places on the fringes of Israel, just as the prophet Isaiah had foretold.
Introduction (by the Presider): The Lord is our light and our help, so let us bring all our needs to God.
- For a deep faith in all who follow Christ, we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For harmony among nations and the defeat of violence,we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of hope and light to all who feel lost, we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For Catholic schools, that they may be places of faith and learning, we pray (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For students of all ages, that they may grow in wisdom (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the healing and strength of those who suffer, we pray (pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead (especially N and N), ‘that they may live forever in the house of the Lord’ (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O Lord, our light and our help, you refresh our hope and give us fresh heart: grant our prayers, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (for Ministers of Music) ‘Be not afraid’, ‘Here I am, Lord’, ‘City of God’.