St Patrick’s Day – Liturgy Preparation

Opening Comment

As we journey through the first week of Lent, we pause from our lenten penances to honour Patrick, the apostle of the Irish. In our celebration of this solemn feast, we worship God, creator, redeemer and sanctifier, who brought our ancestors into the Christian fold through the preaching of St Patrick.

Penitential Rite: To prepare ourselves for this celebration, let us call to mind our continuing need of grace and mercy: (pause)

I confess…

(then: A Thiarna, déan trócaire x 2; A Chríost, déan trócaire x 2; A Thiarna, déan trócaire x 2.)


Introduction to the Scripture Readings

Ecclesiasticus 39:6-10 — Like the wise man praised in this reading, Patrick was filled with the spirit of understanding. His memory will not disappear.

2 Timothy 4:1-8 — Paul gives his advice to an apostle, advice St Patrick heeded and lived

Matthew 13:24-32 —Every country has good and bad in it, wheat and darnel: God will sort it all out at the end of time. But the smallest seed of goodness can produce the biggest harvest, like the impact of the small country like Ireland, the land of Patrick.


The General Intercessions

Introduction (by the Presider)

Because God’s love for us is strong, we can present our needs with confidence.

Intercessions (announced by the deacon, cantor or another person)

  1. That the leaders of the Church in Ireland may have the courage and wisdom of Patrick. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. That peace and friendship may grow among Irish people of all faiths. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. That the civic leaders of Ireland may bear witness to Christian values: honesty, generosity and compassion. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. That Irish emigrants may have the help they need, particularly those who feel lonely and lost. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. That the people who enter Ireland as refugees may experience friendship and support. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. That our loved one who have gone on the way of truth (‘ar shlí na fírinne’) may enter the promised land of heaven. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider)

God of all nations, you are faithful to your people: Hear the prayers we bring on the feast of Patrick and grant them, we implore you, through Christ our Lord. Amen


Liturgical Suggestions

Best vestments are worn, spring flowers decorate the altar (just for today) and flags are flown (Irish/European/Vatican). Penitential Rite a (Confiteor), possibly followed by the Kyrie Eleison in Irish (as above). Gloria. Alternative Opening prayer. Lenten gospel acclamation. Preface of the Apostles 1 or Holy Men and Women 1. Eucharistic Prayer 2. Solemn Blessing 17 (Apostles – adapted) or 18 (All Saints). Use Irish language during Mass: eg general greeting: Go raibh an Tiarna libh / Agus leat féin etc.



‘Be Not Afraid’; ‘Christ Be Beside Me’; ‘Hail Glorious St. Patrick’.

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