THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT – YEAR A

Jesus says, ‘If you only knew what God is offering…’:   that the People of God will always offer our world the living water of the Holy Spirit to heal the brokenness of war,  melt the hardness of violence,  cleanse the sinfulness of oppression and bring humanity to a new birth 

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…
                                                 [response]    GIVE US THE WATER OF LIFE!

The woman says, ‘Give me some of that water…’:  as the people of the world thirst for peace and freedom,  may conflict end and the people’s cries be heard, especially throughout the Middle East particularly Syria and Yemen, and in Kashmir and Central Africa; may all the world hear the cries of the women and children caught in war zones and famines of human making

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…

Jesus says, ‘Ask and I will give you living water…’:  may we drink deeply from the well of Christ’s love through our prayer, our liturgy, our communion with the poor of the earth – that this Lent will not pass us by, but we will stop and drink from the well of the Holy Spirit’s love and life: we pray especially for the communities and peoples of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe devastated by the Cyclone

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…

The woman says, ‘Come and see the man…’: that we will have the courage and the love to share the Gospel of Jesus, the Good News of God’s Mercy, with friends and neighbours, share our love for Him in our streets and communities – we pray for all on our Journey of Faith and all the Catechumens of the Church preparing for Easter Sacraments: may they all know the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…

Jesus says, ‘Give me a drink…’:  for an end of Government enforced Destitution and homelessness among our sisters and brothers seeking safe asylum; that we will stop harming our fragile planet, reduce consumption of essential resources, end polluting our earth and its waters;  that our nation will act decisively to provide enough homes for all our people and end the scourge of homelessness

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…

Jesus says, ‘the water I shall give will turn into the spring of the Spirit inside you…’: for all parents preparing for the baptism of their children; for our children preparing to find Christ in the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation; for all couples preparing for Christian marriage

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…

The woman says, ‘He knew all about me!…’:  for deep healing of the hurts of heart and body known only to Jesus;  for all who suffer Leprosy and the Lepra Charity which serves them; for the sick and all who care for them in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes and in the community;
we pray for all who died recently especially the victims of the Cyclone in Southern Africa
and for those whose anniversaries are at this time:

                                                 [reader]          LORD WE THIRST…

Mary, vessel of the Spirit & Mother of the Church, pray with us for the homeless & all afflicted by our bad weather conditions

                                                                            HAIL MARY… 

Let us drink from the well of silent prayer for a moment…

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT – YEAR

PRIEST:    Jesus comes among us, to offer the Water of New Life to all the peoples of the world.  He calls us to drink deeply of His Spirit and come to a new beginning. It is fitting that today we welcome especially our elected Catechumens to receive the gift of Faith expressed in handing on the Creed of the Church to them, as they prepare for Easter Sacraments. As with the Samaritan woman of today’s Gospel, so with us – he knows us through and through! Being the Face of the Father’s mercy’ He reaches out to the most excluded and scorned! Let us all with honesty recognise when we judge and so exclude others from our hearts, bring our need for repentance and forgiveness to Him, and then drink of His mercy and His Spirit.

READER:   When we take God’s presence and love for us so much for granted,
                         neglect to pray, to drink from His well…

                                                      LORD HAVE MERCY

When we neglect the mission of Christ locally or globally,
when we do not give the water of the Holy Spirit
                        to those around us thirsting for meaning and healing in their lives…

                                                      CHRIST HAVE MERCY

When we do not want to know God’s will for us,
                        do not want our plans disturbed by another’s need…

                                                      LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the all-loving Father draw us to himself,
                       May His Redeeming Son, our brother Jesus, give us to drink
of His mercy,
                      May the Holy Spirit be water of Life to forgive, cleanse and heal us,
                                        and may we all come to everlasting life…

                                                        AMEN!

PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE OF YEMEN

Please keep the people of the Yemen in your prayers as they are living in a desperate situation. Their suffering is one of the gravest humanitarian crises in the world today. After nearly 4 years of war, more than 14 million people are facing starvation and 85,000 children may have already died from extreme hunger since 2015. 

There is some hope in Yemen with a ceasefire brokered last month promising to restore the Hodeida Port and allow food and medicine in to Yemen.

 A prayer for Yemen

 Giver of Life,
Who hears the cries from Yemen;
of mothers choosing between medicine or food,
of parents grieving children lost to starvation,
of those who have given up everything in hunger.
Hear our cries for hope, for change, for peace
In your mercy,
Break political deadlocks,
Soften hardened hearts,
Change closed minds,
Open unhearing ears.
Let people come before power
Let life be holy again
Let your justice and peace
Shape the nation of Yemen
And the lives of all people 

AMEN!

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT YC

The Transfigured Christ reveals to the company of the disciples the Glory of God within each of us: may the Church reveal to a world, shadowed by war, terror and injustice, the glory of God’s love by our courage to love and care without limit…

[reader]           LORD WE PRAY…
[response]     SHOW US YOUR GLORY!

The Glory of God is humanity fully alive: for all whose dignity is obscured by poverty and famine;  for all whose dignity is denied by discrimination, oppression and torture; for all whose dignity is diminished by addiction and abuse: we pray for the inspiring work of CAFOD as it brings hope to the poorest of the earth

LORD WE PRAY…

The disciples gazed upon Jesus’ glory and listened to the voice of Truth:  that we might grow into a deeper love for the Word of God and a greater sensitivity to the voice of God in the stillness of prayer

LORD WE PRAY…

After the Glory passed, they saw only Jesus: may this Lent be for each of us a profound time of Renewal, a deepening of prayer, a growing in faith, an expansion of Love, and a profound conversion to Jesus; may the Holy Spirit guide the Church to become the Sacrament of the Father’s Mercy for the world
                                                                LORD WE PRAY…

As Abraham was called to leave his land and security to follow the whispers of God deep within him, we ask God’s blessing and guidance as we launch and develop this new ministry to the Catholic LGBT+ community, bringing healing to the wounds of rejection and condemnation; we pray also for all our Muslim brothers and sisters who grieve for those killed in New Zealand – may the hatred which led to this atrocity be challenged by love and mercy and a deepening of friendship among all the children of Abraham

LORD WE PRAY…

They were covered with shadow:  may all who are overshadowed with pain and sickness find healing;  we pray very especially for our Muslim brothers and sisters injured in the New Zealand atrocity, and all who have been traumatised by that terrible event;
that eternal glory may ever shine upon those who have died recently, especially all the victims of the attack on the mosques,  and all who have died of poverty or war
and for all whose anniversaries are at this time

LORD WE PRAY…

Mary,  teach us to listen to the voice of God as you did, as we pray…      

HAIL MARY…

Let us pray in silence for all our Muslim brothers and sisters killed in the attacks in New Zealand

Second Sunday of Lent YC

PRIEST: We have hardly begun our Lenten journey,  yet we are given a glimpse of the glory to come:  the glory Abraham beheld at the moment of covenant;  Jesus clothed in the glory of God on the mountain of the Transfiguration.  That vision will give him the courage to embrace the Cross that he sees lying ahead of him;  that vision will enable the apostles to hold on in the dark days of Calvary.  In our darkest moments God gives us enough light to guide our steps and encourage our faltering hearts.  But do we trust him?

READER:          ‘As he prayed,  his face was changed…’
                               For the times we have said no to prayer,
                               or have resisted the call to deeper prayer
and instead settled for superficial words…

                                                       LORD HAVE MERCY

‘Master,  it is wonderful for us to be here:  let us build three tents…’
                               For wanting to stay in the place of our comfort,
                               avoiding the disturbing Gospel

                                                       CHRIST HAVE MERCY

‘This is my Son,  the Chosen One.  Listen to him.’
For not centring our lives upon Jesus our Redeemer,
for not listening to His Word in Scripture
and in the stillness of our hearts…

                                                       LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:         May the God of all Glory transfigure our every failure
                                          by the gift of his mercy;
                           may the Transfigured Christ embrace the sins of our
                                         woundedness and liberate us for Glory;
                           may the Spirit of God’s presence ever abide with us
                                         to empower us to reconcile with love;
                           and bring our world to the Glory of everlasting life

                                                        AMEN!

First Sunday of Lent

Jesus is tempted to turn stone into bread:  that God’s People, resisting our cravings for destructive things, will always hunger for the Bread of God’s Word, use only the power that comes from the Gospel and deepen our openness to God and the Good News

[Reader]        LORD WE PRAY…
[response]    STRENGTHEN US TO DO YOUR WILL…

Jesus is tempted to worship power, wealth and ambition:  that the world’s political and business leaders will seek to serve,  not dominate, to share wealth not just accumulate it;  seek the good of their communities, not their own petty ambitions, especially in Zimbabwe, Central Africa, Syria, the Yemen and throughout the Middle East

LORD WE PRAY…

Jesus is tempted to turn miracle into magic and so to avoid the Cross:  that this Lent we may open our hearts more deeply than ever to God’s Loving Mercy, build a Church that  truly expresses the Father’s merciful heart, recognising all people as Children of God and each of the World’s great Faiths as bearers of something of Christ’s Truth and Love: we pray also that our nation and others will show a quality of mercy and humanity towards the wives and children of the defeated Islamic State

LORD WE PRAY…

Jesus held steadfast in the midst of every temptation:  may the journey of this Lent see us grow in faith,  deepen in love,  expand in hope; that prisoners everywhere might be touched this Lent by the strength of Christ to resist their temptations and to grow in the freedom of New Life

LORD WE PRAY…

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness … we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as our diocese begins to develop a ministry among the LBGT+ community at St Nicholas of Tolentino Church; may we become more attentive to the Spirit, grow in prayer and use the many opportunities for spiritual growth our parish offers us, especially to meet Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Forgiveness

LORD WE PRAY…

That the sick be healed and not tempted to despair:  we pray especially for the sick and frail, the babies, children and their mothers and all the vulnerable suffering in refugee camps – may they experience humanity’s compassion;
for those who have died recently: especially the babies and vulnerable who died in refugee camps in the Middle East;
and those whose anniversaries occur at this time:

LORD WE PRAY…

Mary, always faithful, pray with us for all Catechumens elected to easter Sacra,ends at this time, and that the Church will be a Sacrament of the Merciful and healing Christ                

                              HAIL MARY… 

Let us pray for other and unknown needs in silence…

ASH WEDNESDAY

‘Proclaim a Fast’ – may God’s people journey the path of repentance these 40 days of Lent and so make room in our hearts for God’s love, for God’s challenging Word, for God’s Renewing Spirit and discover the true happiness of God-centred lives – may our world fast from the injustice and violence that leads to war and embrace the pathways of mercy

LORD IN YOUR MERCY…

‘Give alms’ – may our fasting be a sacred communion with the hungry, the poor and the oppressed of our world, so that our giving might be more than charity but restore justice, and live with courage the ‘Covenant with the Poor’

LORD IN YOUR MERCY…

‘Pray…’ – may this Lent during this Year of Prayer be a real time of committed prayer for us as individual Christians and as a community; may we seek with a renewed love the heart of God, and value the many opportunities for prayer and for Eucharist in our parish life

LORD IN YOUR MERCY…

‘Be reconciled to God’ – as we walk together the desert path of this Lent, may we open our hearts to God’s reconciling mercy and healing spirit; through forgiveness may we grow in deeper unity with God, with each other as a Parish in Communion for Mission, with the world in its need for peace, justice and reconciliation especially throughout the Middle East, central Africa and in the Indian sub-continent

LORD IN YOUR MERCY…

‘Now is the favourable time’ – may each of us hear the call to missionary discipleship and use this Lent to grow in Christ: may the Lord lead us to bring healing and renewal to the Earth and all its creatures, caring for our ‘common home’ before it is too late!  

LORD IN YOUR MERCY…

‘Ambassadors for Christ’ – may the Spirit of God help form in us a new heart and a new spirit in the weeks and months ahead…

LORD IN YOUR MERCY…

Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of Mercy and first and greatest disciple of Jesus, pray for us that this Lent may form Christ in us

HAIL MARY… 

We pray other needs in the ‘secret place’ of our own hearts…

First Sunday of Lent

PRIEST:      We have begun our journey of these 40 days of Lent – like Jesus we enter into the desert to face the demons of our own hearts – demons of selfishness and of comfort,  demons of greed and exploitation.  Whatever our demons are,  Lent is a time to confront and defeat them in the power of Jesus’ love. Jesus seeks to set us free from everything that imprisons our hearts and limits our love. So let us enter upon the sacred and life-giving task and so grow in the freedom of the children of God…

READER:        Jesus is tempted to be popular with the crowd  rather than faithful to His Father:
                             when we conform to others wisdom and prejudices
rather than live by the challenging values of the Gospel

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY

Jesus is tempted to use His power for his own gain, rather than to enrich others with life:
                            when we use our power to diminish others or
                            to satisfy our own desires,  rather than to serve others

                                                          CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Jesus is tempted to take the quick and easy road to success,
                                       rather than the hard road through calvary to love’s victory:
                            when we opt for our own comfort,  when we do not want
                            to be disturbed or to disturb

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the God who calls us to the desert of his love embrace us with mercy;
                       may the Redeemer who walks our path of temptation so forgive us
                      as to heal our sin;
                      may the Spirit change our hearts and give us the joy of repentance;
                      and bring us and the world to everlasting life

                                                          AMEN!

Mass of Thanksgiving for 170 Years of Mission at St Nicks

Mass for of Thanksgiving for 170 years of  the Mission and Presence of St Nicholas of Tolentino Parish 

ENTRANCE LITURGY

PROCESSIONAL SONG African

ENTRANCE HYMN No 458

WORDS OF WELCOME by co-chairs of the Parish Pastoral Council

AT THE BAPTISMAL FONT – Penitential Rite

RICHARD: 170 years ago, in 1848, six people were baptised in this parish in its first year of existence. Baptism is the foundation of our Life in Christ. Signed by the Cross of Christ and immersed in the Sacred Waters, we die to ourselves and rise with Christ, to live for Him and His world; from the Fount of Living Water we drink deeply of the Holy Spirit, and cry out ‘Abba! our Father!’. From every tribe and nation, race and people, with every form of diversity we are gathered into the one Family of all God’s Children. Every Sunday we begin our Mass by gathering around the Font of Holiness and New Life with repentant hearts so that the Holiness of God might be restored within us

READER: We commit to being a community of the welcoming Heart of Christ building together a Universal Communion of love for all: forgive us for those times in our parish’s history and in our own lives when we have not welcomed, not loved those different from us yet whom God sends us, such as the Windrush generation of our Caribbean sisters and brothers

ALL: HAVE MERCY, LORD, HAVE MERCY…

READER:     We commit to being a community building unity among all people: forgive us for those times in our parish’s history and in our own lives when we have been divided among ourselves, allowed elitism among us, when we have isolated ourselves from other Christians and People of other World Faiths

ALL: HAVE MERCY, CHRIST, HAVE MERCY… 

READER: We commit to being a community of both prayer and mission, developing new forms of mission as the Holy Spirit calls us: forgive us for those times in  our parish’s history and in our own lives when we have been inward looking, afraid to reach out to others, content to stay comfortable in our church and neglect the Christ of our streets

ALL: HAVE MERCY, LORD, HAVE MERCY…

BISHOP: May the God of endless Love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, embrace us with mercy and pardon, renew the Grace of Baptism in all of us empower us for our mission of Proclamation and Service and bring us all to everlasting life…

PEOPLE: AMEN!

GLORIA                                        No 530

OPENING PRAYER 

LITURGY OF THE WORD

AT THE LECTERN – Rededication to the Word                     

Our priest and Readers go to the Lectern and invite all of us to rededicate ourselves to the Word Who is Life for us, Bread for our Journey.

RICHARD: Our God is the One who speaks – a Word that creates, redeems and heals. God speaks with such intensity that the Word was made Flesh in Jesus. This Living Word has been proclaimed in this parish for 170 years.Let us always open our hearts to the Word Who is Life, that the flesh of our lives will also carry the Word to the World.

READER: Will you rededicate yourselves to being the People of the Word? Will you allow the Word to gather you as one community? Will you welcome the Word when it challenges you to change? Will you, like Mary, ponder the Word in your heart and make it your treasure and like St Nicholas build your lives upon the Rock of God’s Word?

PEOPLE: WE REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO BEING BOTH LISTENERS AND DOERS OF THE WORD, PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL WITH OUR LIVES SO THAT THE WORD WILL BE MADE FLESH IN US.

FIRST READING Isaiah c61: vv 1-3, 6, 8-9

RESPONSORIAL PSALM                                       Kurdish Hymn

SECOND READING                                    Ephesians c4: vv 1-7, 11-16

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION                                 Zimbabwean Gospel procession 

GOSPEL Matthew c5: vv 11-16

HOMILY – 

HANDING ON THE MISSION   Senior citizen parishioners (‘Elders’) come forward, with a candle lit from the Paschal Candle, with a Bible and with a bowl of water and a towel.

Young people and children come forward to receive these symbols expressing the ‘handing on’ of the Tradition of Faith & Mission Senior parishioners handing Light, Gospel, Faith, on to young people of the parish community … to take into the future

ELDER ONE: We received the Light of Faith from those who went before us: With confidence we pass on to you that Light – Go speak your voice, share your vision, and so renew the Church for a New Age, and go be the Light of Christ 

ELDER TWO: We received the Gospel from those who went before us:… With confidence we pass on to you the Living Word of God to shape your lives and to proclaim to your New World

ELDER THREE: We received from generations past the Mission to Serve the Wounded and Poor, the beloved of God:  with confidence we hand on to you the call to serve the Poor, to wash the wounds of the hurting, to speak out with courage for Justice and Equality and so create a New World 

ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD!

INTERCESSIONS    AFTER EACH INTERCESSION, ALL SAY
                                   RENEW YOUR PEOPLE  IN LOVE…

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

OFFERTORY  (collection for the support of St Nicks 170 Fund)        No 883  and the Taizé chant
The Kingdom of God is justice and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, Come, Lord, and open in us the gates of Your Kingdom

EUCHARISTIC ACCLAMATION
Sanctus:                           No 559
Consecration:               No 560                                   

PEACE                              No 590

COMMUNION                No 245 (‘Ubi Caritas’)
African Song
No 882

AT THE TABLE OF THE EUCHARIST Rededication as the Community of the Bread and the Cup

After sharing the Eucharist together, the Bishop and priests and deacons stand once more at the Altar Table and lead us in an Act of Rededication as the People of the Eucharist.

RICHARD: For 170 years people have gathered around the Eucharistic Table to share the Breaking of the Bread, and to drink deeply of his transforming love in the One Cup. The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Christ that has broken down the barriers dividing us from each other; it is the centre of our lives, the love that gathers us from every race, culture and language into a Universal Community, a People of joyous diversity, the People of God; the power which nourishes us and sends us in mission to our world.

READER: Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, working in the years and decades that lie ahead of us as a parish for the unity of the One Bread and One Cup  among yourselves and with Christians of every tradition? Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, to break bread of justice, share the cup of suffering with the poor, welcome the stranger and the outcast to our Table and bring healing to our divided society?

ALL: WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS WE WILL BECOME THE LIVING EUCHARIST IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD, SERVING UNITY.

READER: Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, 

by hungering for Christ’s presence and thirsting for Christ’s love … 

by expressing that love in humble service of the poor and broken

of your world? 

ALL: WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS WE WILL DEEPEN OUR LOVE 

FOR CHRIST, WHO WASHED OUR FEET AT THE FIRST EUCHARIST AND TOLD US TO DO LIKEWISE.

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION

Commissioning and Sending our Community for a future of Service and Witness to the Lord

BISHOP:     We stand in a rich tradition of 170 years of faith and prayer, witness and service …  may the Father make us faithful to all that has been handed on to us

PEOPLE: AMEN!

BISHOP:    Jesus shares with us His dream of a world made new. May we listen to his call, walk his Way, proclaim His Truth and give Life by His Love in new and challenging ways

PEOPLE: AMEN!

BISHOP: May the Holy Spirit, fall upon us … with life-giving Water to cleanse and heal; with Fire to burn love into our hearts; with Mighty Wind to empower us to be Prophets that we will be a Parable of Communion in the Inner City forging the future with new courage

PEOPLE: AMEN!

BISHOP: May Almighty God bless us all
Father + Son and Holy Spirit
now and forever …

PEOPLE: AMEN!

DEACON:  We have celebrated together 170 years of this community … now go into the unknown future with the love of God, the Freedom of Christ and the power of the Spirit to proclaim the Risen Christ

PEOPLE: THANKS BE TO GOD!

RECESSIONAL   No 854

Thank you for coming to celebrate this very special celebration, marking 170 years since the foundation of our parish and its mission. We are inspired by the remarkable witness of St Nicholas of Tolentino, together  with St Maximilian Kolbe, St Edith Stein and all who perished in the Holocaust. St Vincent de Paul, St Louise de Marillac, Bl Frederick Ozanam and St Oscar Romero also hold special places in our parish story.  

We are immensely grateful to our Bishop Declan and to all of you who have come and celebrated with us our identity as a parish of diverse peoples called together by God here in the Inner City. Rededicating ourselves to the work of the Kingdom in the years and decades to come, may we embrace every new challenge that the future holds so as to be a community in Christ that is Re-Born in obedience to His Word, ready again to continue building this One World in His Justice, Equality and Peace.

 

8th Sunday YC

‘The fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher’ – for Pope Francis and the whole College of Bishops as they lead and guide God’s People to deeper fidelity to Christ,  empowering us a missionary disciples and bearers of God love and mercy to our world

[READER]     LORD, WE PRAY…
[response]    THAT WE MIGHT SEE!

‘Take the plank out of your own eye first!’ – as Lent approaches may we grasp the grace of repentance, be ready to be more honest with ourselves, become less judgemental and more merciful and compassionate, welcoming all who have experienced rejection by the Church

[READER]    LORD, WE PRAY…

‘Every tree can be told by its fruit’ – for all who till the soil, farm the land and harvest the seas to bring forth food for the whole world; for greater care of our creation and environment that we like St Francis will live in communion with all creatures

[READER]    LORD, WE PRAY…

‘For a person’s words flow from their heart’ – for honesty and integrity from all politicians and all leaders of the Church, so that confidence can be restored in the institutions that guide our society and offer moral leadership to our world  

[READER]    LORD, WE PRAY…

‘Death, where is your victory, death where is your sting’ – for the end of our addiction to war, brutal repression, knife crime and domestic violence and for the growth of peace in the Middle East, between India and Pakistan, on our streets in our our homes 

[READER]    LORD, WE PRAY…

‘From the store of goodness’ – for the healing of nations and communities, for all dedicated to the healing of the sick and care of elderly and vulnerable, and for the sick and frail of body, mind and spirit …
for those who have recently died, especially victims of crime and war…
for all whose anniversaries are at this time…

[READER]   LORD, WE PRAY…

Mary, who bore from your heart and your womb the most blessed fruit that is our Saviour, Jesus, prayer for us and our world
HAIL MARY… 

We pray other needs in the ‘secret place’ of our own hearts…