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Presider’s Page for Sunday 29 December (Holy Family)

Opening Comment (for the Presider)
The Holy Family is the focus on the first Sunday after Christmas, so we honour Jesus, Mary and Joseph today. We worship God who shared the life of the human family, and thank God for all the gifts we continue to receive in each other.
Penitential Rite Let us be thankful for the love in our families — and recall our own failure to show love: (pause) I confess …
Opening Prayer (Year A, 1998 ICEL Missal)
Loving God,
guardian of our homes,
when you entrusted your Son
to the care of Mary and Joseph,
you did not spare them the pains
that touch the life of every family.
Teach us to rely on your word,
that in our trials as in our joys
we may be clothed in gentleness and patience
and united in love.
Make us ever-thankful
for the blessings you give us
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 (for Ministers of the Word)
Ecclesiasticus 3:2-6, 12-14 — Those who look after their elderly or frail parents will be rewarded.
Colossians 3:12-21* — Family life works when people live in harmony. (*Last paragraph may be omitted — verses 18-21.)
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 — Describes the early family life of Jesus, from his exile in Egypt to his childhood in Nazareth.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who showers blessings upon all his sons and daughters.

  1. For the members of the Christian family, that they may have joy and peace throughout the Christmas celebration (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  2. For the families of this community, that members may learn to give way to each other in tolerance and respect (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  3. For families where there is hurt and difficulty, that those who have suffered may find healing (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  4. For families which live with illness and frailty, that those called to be carers may be filled with gentleness and patience (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  5. For families who are homeless, that political leaders may fight for their right to shelter (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  6. For our own family … (long pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.

The Presider prays for the dead: For the members of our families who have died, and for all those we knew who died during 2019, whom we remember now: (pause for silent prayer). That the light of heaven may be theirs. Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, your care for your family is constant: hear the prayers we make, in faith and trust, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer Over the Gifts
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 II)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him the marvellous exchange that brings our redemption
is revealed this day in all its splendour.
When your eternal Word assumes human frailty,
our mortal nature takes on immortal value.
More wonderfully still,
this union between God and ourselves
makes us sharers in eternal life.
And so we join the multitude of angels
in their joyful chorus of praise: Holy, holy, holy.
Prayer After Communion
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.
SONGS AT MASS (for Ministers of Music): Christmas Carols, ‘My Soul Is Longing For Your Peace’, ‘Lord of All Hopefulness’.

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