Feast of the Epiphany

Seekers after wisdom followed the Light of the Star … we pray that the Christian Church will always be a light of truth and mercy to guide all in today’s world who search for the wisdom to live their lives in love

                              LORD WE PRAY…

      [response:]         GIVE US YOUR WISDOM

The Christ-Child attracted the seekers to His Light … may we place as our highest priority the proclamation of the Good News in the Power of the Spirit and so draw to Christ all who seek to build a better world: we pray especially for all in our parish family who are journeying towards Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist

                              LORD WE PRAY…

For a world scarred by war, conflict and violence, famine and oppression:  may world leaders be guided by the wisdom of God and the cries of their peoples; may they not dominate and exploit, but rather serve justice and freedom for all … we pray especially for the peoples of the Holy Land, all the Middle East and Central Africa; we pray also that wisdom might prevail and decisive steps be taken to heal our planet in the threat of catastrophic climate change

                              LORD WE PRAY…

Like the wise men of old,  may we bring our gifts to serve our parish as we seek to grow as a community of mission and prayer during this our 170th year: with generosity may we bring the gold of our love, the frankincense of our prayer and the myrrh of our willingness to sacrifice for the King

                              LORD WE PRAY…

The Wise Men, strangers bringing gifts, represent the nations coming together in Christ …. may our nation change its attitude and policies about immigration and racism, about those who come seeking safe sanctuary among us; we pray also for the 66 million refugees world-wide, particularly all those who have been trafficked in the dangerous waters of the Mediterranean and the English Channel as they seek safety, freedom and peace

 

                              LORD WE PRAY…

That all who care for the sick may do so with the wisdom that heals; that our elderly will be respected for their wisdom and experience; we pray for …
that the Light of Eternal love will forever shine upon all who have died recently, especially, …  and all victims of the terror and war in the Middle East;
and for all whose anniversaries are at this time,

                               LORD WE PRAY…

Mary, Morning Star and Seat of Wisdom, pray with us for our children to be baptised next week.

                                HAIL MARY… 

We pray for the deepest needs of our hearts in a moment of silence…

New Year’s Day – Feast of Mary, Mother of God

Mary is Mother of all Christians … we pray that the year just begun will see the whole Church journey towards visible unity in faith, service and mission, and so be a more effective sign and instrument of God’s Peace and Mercy to the world

                    [Reader]          LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

                   (response) BLESS OUR WORLD WITH PEACE

Mary is a sign of hope and humanity to the world … we pray on the threshold of our New Year that we will recognise every person as the dwelling of God; may peace and reconciliation defeat war and conflict especially throughout the Middle East and the conflict-torn parts of Africa: may justice and freedom everywhere progress, and all humanity be converted to their brothers and sisters

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary bore the Word of God to the world … we pray that in this coming Year the Churches of the Inner City will serve together in Mission to bring healing, mercy and help to our people, and find new ways to proclaim our Gospel Faith

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary opened her heart to the Divine dwelling within her and urges us to welcome as she did God’s amazing love … we pray for one another in our parish family,  that we may embrace the challenge of the God’s overshadowing Spirit to renew our inner life and growth in community

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary treasured the wonders of God in her heart … as this New Year begins, may all of us learn the art and joy of prayer more deeply and walk the life-giving paths of Silence and Contemplation

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary is a sign of wholeness and servant of healing – we pray God’s blessing and wisdom upon the healing ministry of our parish and our diocese, upon those who visit and bring the Eucharist to our sick and housebound and all who offer listening and counselling – may this Year bring to all Healing and Wholeness

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary gathers all her sorrowing children – we pray for those regions of the world afflicted by war and famine – for the grieving mothers of Yemen and Congo: may the world finally become weary of death and grow in compassion and justice, and seek to build one world shared equally and peacefully with all peoples

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary cared for both Joseph and Jesus at their dying: so the sick and the dying deserve our special care and respect – may carers, nurses, doctors and researchers treat all people and especially the elderly with dignity and with reverence for Life; may medical research serve to humanise and heal:

and for all who have died recently especially in war and conflict, and all whose anniversaries are at this time

                              LORD WE CRY TO YOU…

Mary, Mother of God, help us bring the Peace of Christ into the Year that lies before us

                              HAIL MARY… 

On the threshold of another year, we pray in silence for our world and our families…

New Year Eve Vigil Mass

That God’s People in every land and culture will be faithful to the call of our Baptism to be joyful witnesses of the Gospel of Love and Mercy and to heal the blindness of a world unable to believe; that we will be a people of peace building a New Civilisation of Love in this Year of Our Lord 2019

[READER]   GOD OF PEACE…

[response]  RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH

In this coming year may those unable to believe seek and find God; may those unable to commit themselves discover the joy of loving God with everything; may those who have left faith behind know again that God makes sense of all things and alone brings our truest happiness

[READER]   GOD OF PEACE…

That many may hear the call of the Spirit in this coming year to leave all things for the Joy of the Gospel, to risk their very lives if necessary to be Good News to the Poor, Prophets of Justice, Living Bread of Christ in God’s Hands to be broken and given for the Life of the World

[READER]   GOD OF PEACE…

That as the Church of the Inner City, the mission of Christ will in the Year that lies ahead come before all else; that building from our many traditions and cultures a Church united in heart and mind we will together give of ourselves generously to the work of Gospel; that the Spirit’s Courage empower us to be a community of prayer, and of welcome and protection for the refugee and those seeking safe sanctuary among us, for the homeless and the vulnerable; that the work of ‘Borderlands’ will go from strength to strength

[READER]   GOD OF PEACE…

For the families of our Christian Communities throughout this Year of 2019, that we might all embrace the call to prayer and to the mission of Christ and lead our children and young people to serve the Kingdom with a loving heart

[READER]   GOD OF PEACE…

Despite the ever-present darkness of war and conflict, may this New Year bring Peace to the peoples of the Middle East, Yemen and the Holy Land, to the Congo, Cameroon and all of Africa: that all people of faith will embrace each other in friendship helping  to end religious intolerance and to build One World, discovering that Peace and Mercy is more effective than war

[READER]   GOD OF PEACE…

Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Peace, pray with us for the peace of the world

[READER]    HAIL MARY…

We pray for God’s Blessing upon the coming Year in a moment of silence…

Feast of the Holy Family

Jesus in the midst of the Holy Family teaches us that the Church is called to be a family of love and faith, safeguarding life and sharing compassion … may the Church always live the challenge of being family in Christ

                              LORD WE PRAY …

               [response:]    Teach us how to love …

The Holy Family of Bethlehem were homeless, persecuted, refugees and exiles … we pray for all families exiled from their homeland,  for refugees fleeing war and violence which destroy life and the respect for life, for those seeking safe asylum in our land, for the millions of unaccompanied child refugees throughout the world; we pray too for all parents forcibly separated from their partners or children: may they be protected and find peace and stability

                              LORD WE PRAY …

We pray for the work of the CCS Adoption Society, asking God’s blessing as they seek to find good and safe homes for our most vulnerable children: may the Spirit work in the hearts of many families to encourage them to consider adoptive parenthood and fostering

LORD WE PRAY …

In a world of broken relationships and shattered dreams, we dare still to believe in love: so we pray for all single parent families,  for all whose hopes for love have ended in divorce or separation,  for all children hurt by the break-up of parents … may they all experience healing and the hope of new beginnings

                              LORD WE PRAY …

We pray for all organisations that support marriage and the family, for those who offer counselling and healing for life’s wounds: for Marriage Encounter and Catholic Marriage Care, for Relate and the Association of Separated and Divorced Catholics; we pray too for all whose sexual orientation lead them to other forms of family life – may we be a Church of Mercy and Welcome bringing hope and healing to those who feel excluded by the Church

LORD WE PRAY …

The Holy Family of Nazareth reveals to us God’s school of love:  we pray for all for Christian families that they may discover Christ and risk living his ideal of faithfulness and tenderness in their homes;  we pray for all the families of our parish and throughout the City,  that we may teach each other how to be truly human

                              LORD WE PRAY …

The sick, the elderly and the dying deserve special care and respect from families and the world of medicine – may nurses, doctors and researchers treat all people with dignity and with reverence for Life; we pray for …
for those who have died recently, especially… and the victims of the Indonesian Tsunami;

and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time,  in particular …

                              LORD WE PRAY …

Mary and Joseph,  pray with us for the peace and stability of the peoples of our troubled world …

                              HAIL MARY …

We pray in a moment of silence for all the families of the world…

Christmas Midnight/Day

Jesus was born in the dark of the night,  enlightened by the glory of the angels … may Christians everywhere so love in the power of Jesus that they may give the light of hope and mercy to the world of today

                [READER:]              WORD MADE FLESH…

                [response:]               Fill our world with Peace

Jesus was born as Angels cry out for peace on earth … may peoples of every land resist all cries for war, and instead build a future of Peace:  may the Prince of Peace be with the Palestinian and Jewish peoples of the Land of Jesus’ birth; and may we bring about miracles of peace throughout the Middle East, Yemen, and Cameroon, Burundi and Congo; and among all peoples denied justice and freedom

                             WORD MADE FLESH…

Jesus was born homeless and poor in the stable … may we build a nation that ensures the dignity of decent housing and wages to every family, where there is room for the stranger, the refugee and those seeking safe asylum; may we build a world no longer divided between rich and poor; may we  build people of hope, healing and new life – we pray especially for working in refugee camps around the world this Christmas

                              WORD MADE FLESH…

Jesus was comforted and warmed by the Ox and Donkey … may we learn to be at one with our good earth and all creatures, no longer abusing our environment, but reverencing the divine creation, and healing our Mother Earth from the ravages of Climate Warming

                              WORD MADE FLESH…

Some 2000 years ago, Jesus was welcomed by the poor shepherds … may we find Jesus always in the world of the poor, discovering him as he walks the streets of our Inner City:  may the people among whom we live find in Jesus the Good News of great joy that will give new meaning and purpose to their lives

                              WORD MADE FLESH…

For the sick and housebound, for the elderly and lonely, for those struggling with terminal illness:  in particular for those who are isolated, unwell or in hospital during the Christmas season, and especially ….

for all who have died recently:  … and all killed in the Indonesian Tsunami and by war and violence around the world; 

for all whose Christmas is shadowed by the memory of a loved ones anniversary, as we pray for  …

                              WORD MADE FLESH…

Mary and Joseph,  teach us to wonder at the love that is Jesus,  and pray with us for the peace of our world

HAIL MARY…

Let us bring the cries of humanity and our hearts’ needs to the new-born King…

LITURGY OF DEDICATION TO THE MISSION OF CHRIST THIS NEW YEAR

 

PRIEST We stand in: a rich tradition of faith, witnessed by the martyrs and prophets; a rich tradition of hope, witnessed by courageous missionaries opening up new lands and cultures for Christ; and a rich tradition of love, witnessed by all who have sacrificed themselves for the poor, the broken and the excluded of our world in every age. In these ways we, the Church of Christ, have served our God and our world well, and for this tradition we give great thanks.

READER We confess with sorrow that there is another, darker, history revealed in centuries of divisions among the People of God; in a Church too often identifying with the powerful rather than with the struggles of the poor; in the persecution even to death of Christian brothers and sisters different from us, and of those of other faith systems. In these ways we, the Church, have failed our God and our world, and for this sad tradition we repent with all our heart.

PRIEST And now, as we are about to set foot upon this Year of Our Lord, 2019, we come to affirm our faith in the Living God, Creator, Redeemer, Life-Giver; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nourished as we are by God’s Word and guided by God’s Spirit, we come to dedicate ourselves anew to the work of the Kingdom, to fill this Year with the Mercy, Compassion and Love of Christ and His Holy Spirit.

So now I ask you, my brothers and sisters,

Will you affirm your faith in the Father, the Creator, the Life-giver?

PEOPLE      I affirm with joy that I am a child of God, created in the Divine image, called and gifted to continue God’s creation of our Universe.

READER Will you affirm your faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Brother and Redeemer, who gives Himself to you in Word
and Eucharist?

PEOPLE     I affirm with gratitude that Jesus is my Saving Brother, speaking Divine Truth to my mind and heart by His Word, and nourishing His Love in me by the great gift of the Eucharist; calling me to a life of prayer and contemplation so that I may live as brother and sister with all people; challenging me to strive for peace and justice in a broken world, urging me to proclaim the Good News of Mercy and Healing by my action, life-style and words.

PRIEST    Will you affirm your faith in the Holy Spirit, Breath and Flame of God?

PEOPLE    I affirm with profound openness of heart that the Holy Spirit is the breath of God’s Life and the Fire of God’s Love within me: bidding me to welcome and use the Spirit’s Power for deep prayer, radical action and loving community and so to be part of God’s Renewal of the Face of the Earth.

READER Will you, as we  set out together on this New Year, affirm your faith in the Church of God as a living Bread of Christ in God’s Hands to be broken and given for the life of the world?

PEOPLE    I affirm with deep love that, despite its many failures and profound inadequacies, the Church will always remain God’s gift proclaiming the Gospel down the centuries, calling me to prayer, challenging me to live community with love, to heal every disunity, to share my gifts and insights,  to foster Christian freedom and mission and to be Bread in God’s Hands broken to give life to the world.

PRIEST  At the turning of the Year may this affirmation deepen our faith, envision our hope and enlarge our love; as this Year of our Lord 2019 begins may the Holy Trinity continue always to empower our Mission of Mercy and Healing to our torn world.

PEOPLE    AMEN! AMEN! ALLELUIA!

Renewal of our Allegiance to Jesus Christ No 777 & Song of Africa
[each one is invited to approach the Baptismal Water, bless themselves and then be anointed with Blessed Oil for the Mission of Christ in this New Year]

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

PRIEST: The Wisdom of God has guided each of us here today, as surely as the Magi’s Star:  for we too are pilgrims on a journey searching for wisdom,  walking by faith and yearning in hope for the peace for our world.  We gather to offer our gifts,  our talents and our very selves on this feast of the Epiphany,  the Manifestation of Christ’s Redeeming Light to all the Nations of the world, the glory of the Father’s infinite Mercy to all creation.  Let us find in the Wise Men inspiration to give all we are in the service of the Light of Christ’s Good News.

READER:     We welcome the wisdom of the Gift of Gold…
our love given to Christ our King:
                          may we so grow in love that we can offer the world
Christ’s healing, justice and New Life…

                                              O … ADORAMUS TE DOMINE [x2]

We welcome the wisdom of the Gift of Frankincense…
our worship for our God in human flesh:
                           may we so grow in prayer that we will find strength
and inspiration to shine before the world
with Christ’s Light…

                                             O … ADORAMUS TE DOMINE [x2]

We welcome the wisdom of the Gift of Myrrh…
our share in the passion of Christ
for the salvation of our world:
                          may we so grow in his sacrificial love that we may place
the demands of the Kingdom
                                    before our own desires and wants…

                                           O … ADORAMUS TE DOMINE [x2]

PRIEST:     May our God forgive the coldness of our love,
                                 the poverty of our prayer,
                                the shallowness of our sacrifice;
                       that we may shine with the splendour of Christ’s Light,
                                and journey with Gospel Wisdom to everlasting life…

                                            AMEN!

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

PRIEST: As we draw near the end of this year we gather as a family of families … around the simplicity and poverty, the love and the faith of the Holy Family of Bethlehem and Nazareth.  Theirs was not a trouble-free family life: homeless, fleeing for their lives into exile because of the fears of the powerful, destined to be refugees for years.  Yet we celebrate the wonder of God’s great confidence in us and in our families, entrusting His own Son to a family like ours, for Jesus to grow and develop into the power of love that He became.  Let us rededicate ourselves to the task of love, recognising that our failures are forgiven…

READER:         The family is the school of love:
                              that we may replace harshness with forgiveness,
                              criticism with encouragement,
deafness with sensitive listening

                                            LORD HAVE MERCY

The family is called to be a healing community:
                              that we may care rather than judge, accept rather than
reject,
cherish rather than take for granted

                                             CHRIST HAVE MERCY

The family is called to be a place of prayer:
                              that Christ may be the centre of our homes,
not on the edge,
                               that parents may be the first and best of teachers
                                        of their children in the ways of faith,
                               that love may set all free to search and develop,
                                        not criticism  to stifle and limit

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May our God who is family, Father, Son and Spirit,
                       bring mercy to our failures, fire to our love grown cold,
                       healing peace to our hurting hearts,
                      and renewed hope to the challenge of love and growth
                      bringing us all to everlasting life…       

                                                AMEN!

 

NEW YEAR’S DAY – FEAST OF MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD

PRIEST: On this first day of the New Year, the Church celebrates Mary the Bearer of God to the world. We look to the first and greatest disciple as we are about to embark on making this year truly the Year of Our Lord 2019. We commend all that is past into the Mercy of God, all that is present into the Love of God and all that is the future into the Providence of God, and journey ahead in faith and trust in the God who leads us. 

READER:      Mary said ‘Yes’ to God with her whole being holding
nothing back:
For the weakness of our ‘yeses’ and
                                      the strength of our ‘no’s’

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

Mary pondered and treasured the Word she carried in
her heart
so that she could treasure the Word enfleshed in her
womb:
for so often taking the wonder of the Word for granted 

                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Mary embraced an unknown future for the sake of the
Kingdom
trusting that the promises of God would be fulfilled;
for our fears of God’s unknown, failing to trust that
                                       God is Love

                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:  May the Father strengthen our ‘yes’ with His forgiving
mercy;
                     May the Word be enfleshed in our lives with the healing of
forgiveness;
                     May the Spirit carry us forward into God’s Future of
Reconciliation
                     To bring all the world to everlasting life…

                                                  AMEN!

 

NEW YEAR VIGIL

PRIEST: We gather the year that is past with thankfulness for the many touches of grace and goodness that have been the gifts of God; with sorrow for all that has wounded our world through sin and selfishness, war and injustice; with healing prayer for hurts we have endured or have inflicted. We seek to enter the New Year with hearts purified in the fire of Divine Love and lives focussed on the God who makes all things new!

READER:    For Peace not won, and Justice not achieved;
For poverty still rampant and power still abused
We ask your mercy, O God of Peace

                                    LORD HAVE MERCY

For forgiveness withheld and wounds inflicted;
For relationships broken and lives abused
We ask your mercy, O God of Pardon

                                  CHRIST HAVE MERCY

For touches of grace not welcomed and gifts not
accepted;
For the Good News not proclaimed and unity not
achieved
We ask your mercy, O God of Oneness

                                    LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the God of Pardon bring mercy to our failures,
                       The God of Unity bring fire to our love grown cold,
                       The God of Peace bring healing to our hurting hearts,
                        and renew hope as we journey into this New Year
                       To bring all the world to everlasting life…

                                      AMEN!