Today’s readings about water and thirst remind us that this is a baptismal season. During Lent, many people all over the world look forward to their baptism, while those already baptised prepare to renew their promises.
Penitential Rite: To prepare ourselves for this celebration, let us call to mind our sins (pause):
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Exodus 17:3-7 — A thirsty people complain to Moses, and God gives them water from the rock.
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 — A reflection on God’s love, which was proved, Paul says, by Jesus’ death on the cross.
John 4:5-42 — The Gospel story of the woman at the well contains the promise of living water to those who believe, foreshadowed in the reading from Exodus.
The General Intercessions
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us come before the Lord, bringing forward all our needs.
Intercessions (announced by the deacon, cantor or another person)
- For the baptised, that they may appreciate the gifts that are theirs. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For adults and children preparing for baptism, that in our prayer and support we may encourage them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For all who thirst for meaning and truth, that they may experience God’s revealing grace. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For poor nations, where water is scarce, that they may have the help they need in the fight against thirst. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For this community, and particularly for people in any kind of difficulty, that this Lent may teach us to be true friends of those in need. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For those who have died (especially N & N), that their thirst for life without end may be satisfied. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider)
O God, we are yours, you lead us by the hand: Send the help we need, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen
Other Liturgical Suggestions
Penitential Rite c-iv) — or replace penitential rite with Blessing and Sprinking of Holy Water (formula a or b.) Alternative Opening Prayer. Shorter form of Gospel (John 4:5-15, 19-26, 39-42). Preface of the Third Sunday of Lent. Eucharistic Prayer 2. Prayer over the People 13, preceded by the invitation: ‘Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing’, and followed by the simple blessing: ‘And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit’.
• Next Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, is celebrated as Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day in Ireland and Britain.
‘Praise to the Holiest’, Like The Deer That Yearns’, ‘Lord Of All Hopefulness’.