PRIEST:  In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and on this Peace Sunday we listen to John the Baptist pointing to Jesus that we might follow him closely, for to walk his path of unity and love is to become his light in a world darkened by war, conflict and divisions.  Filled with His Spirit, we are called to be true Servants of God bringing the light of true justice to the nations. We need to repent that in God’s Church too there can be found petty warring,  conflicts and divisions.  Our disunity is a denial of our following of Christ, our ‘doing His will’:  let us embrace the Lord’s forgiveness, that he may heal the wounds of division in His Body, the Church and build peace upon the earth.

READER:      For our complacency and feelings of superiority
as a Church or as a nation;
For failing to recognise the gifts of other traditions
                           or the needs of other peoples…

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

                            For being judgmental and  impatient in dialogue
with our brothers and sisters of other church traditions;
                            when our world prefers war and conflict
to negotiation and peace

                                              CHRIST HAVE MERCY

                            When we make no effort to understand forms
of language, witness and of prayer different from our own;
                            for lacking the courage to blend love with the search for truth

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:    May the God of perfect unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
                       fill us with mercy, clothe us with forgiveness,
                       and empower us with reconciliation,
                       that together we may heal the Church
                       and build a world of unity and peace,
                       bringing all to everlasting life…



[A Penitential Rite with Sprinkling of Baptismal Water]

PRIEST: Today the Christmas Season draws to a close as we celebrate that holy day when Jesus sanctified the waters of baptism by his own humble baptism in the Jordan River at the hands of his servant and prophet, John. Jesus committed himself to be forever the sign of the Father’s Love, His Word of Liberating Truth, and the Servant of His Kingdom. Today, we call to mind our own baptism, and we say ‘yes’ once more to being the same Love, speaking the same Truth and serving the same Kingdom.  And we welcome that Holy Water that affirms and strengthens the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is ours by baptism.

                               [the blessing of water]

Loving Father, you sent Your Beloved Son to make Your Word dwell among us. And you washed Him in Jordan’s water, and filled Him with Your Spirit of Love so that His Word would bring freedom, and His touch healing. Bless + this water, and sanctify + this community, that filled with the same Spirit, we may live the Baptism we have embraced and serve the Kingdom we proclaim.

READER:   Knowing that we are sinners,
but confident in the forgiveness Baptism has brought us,
we commit ourselves afresh
                         to the journey of holiness as disciples of Christ Jesus…

                                     WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO CHRIST

Aware of our many failures, but ready to begin again,
we commit ourselves again to proclaim the Word that is Christ,
                           by our lips and by our lives…

                                     WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO CHRIST

Acknowledging our lack of courage and our many compromises,
                              we nevertheless commit ourselves in the Holy Spirit
                              to build the Kingdom of the Beatitudes in our society,
                              and to serve the needs of all our sisters and brothers in the world…

                                     WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO CHRIST

                        [water is sprinkled as we sing Taizé Kyrie]

PRIEST:     May our loving Father forgive our sins,
                       send us the freedom of Christ and the love of the Holy Spirit;
                       and as we celebrate Jesus’ Baptism and our own by this Eucharist,
                       may He rekindle within us the Spirit’s fire and life everlasting…



‘This is my Beloved Son’ … that every Christian will know their dignity,  chosen to be a daughter or son of God;  that the Church will show to all the world its reverence for every human person,  and safeguard that divine dignity, challenging all the powers that abuse or  oppress…

               [reader]              WE ARE YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…
               [response]     FILL US WITH YOUR SPIRIT…

‘Here is my servant,  bringing true justice to the nations’… may God raise up many prophets of justice,  and servants of peace for a world divided and violent; and for a world struggling in conflict yet yearning for peace, especially throughout the Middle East, Yemen and in Central Africa …

                              WE ARE YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…

‘God anointed him with the Spirit and with power’… that in this Year of Communion, we who are re-born into Christ through Baptism will be open to the breath of the Holy Spirit deepening the love we share as Church, so that our community like Jesus will be empowered to serve the Kingdom of God and the growth of the Church of the Poor in our parish
                              WE ARE YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…

‘Filled with the Spirit,  Jesus went about doing good’… that our Ministry among the Homeless in our Night Shelter project and through the Wild Goose Café, the SVP, and our work with refugees and asylum-seekers through ‘Borderlands’ and our combatting modern slavery will bring healing and hope to the most vulnerable people of our city: we pray especially for all victims of our unjust and abusive Asylum and Benefits systems  and our trafficked and enslaved sisters and brothers…

                              WE ARE YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…

‘God sent His Word to the People … the Good News  of Peace brought by Jesus Christ’ … we ask the Wisdom of God to guide our new government towards policies that will bring real justice to the poor and healing to the planet – may the Common Good not only of our nation but all peoples and nations be uppermost in their decision-making 

                              WE ARE YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…

‘Because God was with him,  Jesus cured all’… that the Spirit will renew the Healing Ministry throughout the Church; we pray in particular for …
may those who have died know that eternal life that baptism brings, especially … and the victims of the Australian Forest Fires, the floods in Jakarta and those killed in the Ukrainian aircraft shot down in Iran
and for those whose anniversaries are at this time: 

                              WE ARE YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS…

Mary,  bearer of the Spirit and mother of the Anointed One,  pray with us…

                              HAIL MARY…

Let us wait upon the Spirit in silence…


HAPPY NEW YEAR        A New Year is a time for reflection upon the past, and commitment to the future. Our Faith is a faith in the future – the future God and ourselves will forge together for our own lives and for the world. Our Faith is a faith in God’s New Beginnings, who always redeems and heals the mistakes and tragedies of the past and launches us confidently upon the paths of the future. Our Faith is faith in a God who walks with us through dark threatening valleys and light-filled joyous mountain tops – and helps us see the creativity and beauty of both! I wish you every blessing this new Year – let us together make it a Year of Communion for Mission, a Year of Contemplation, a Year of Friendship with our Emmanuel, our God who walks always at our side in our hearts.

New Year’s Eve Watchnight Mass

[NB Hymn numbers refer to the ‘Laudate’ Hymnal]



GLORIA ‘Glory to God…’ (Peruvian Gloria)

            First Reading Acts of the Apostles 2: 42-47
           Responsorial Song No 948
           Second Reading Philippians c2: vv1-11
           Gospel Acclamation African ‘Alleluia!’
           Gospel Luke 4: 16-22


Priest: Last year we concluded our celebration of 170 years of mission, service and presence here in the inner city of Bristol. We gave thanks for the riches of faith and love handed on to us by those who have gone before and are present with us still in the Communion of Saints.  As we accept the challenge to continue into a new decade and beyond, to be a light of faith, a vision of hope and a heart of love for the poor, the broken and the excluded of our city and our world we know that we cannot serve God’s Option for the Poor and proclaim the Gospel of Joy without a deep communion with our God Who is Love, an unbreakable communion with the Universal Church and a close communion with each other in our parish family. 

Deacon:  In this Diocesan Year of Communion we confess with sorrow that too often we have failed to be a ‘Living Parable of Communion’: too often we have not welcomed with a warm and open heart those different from us; too often we have wanted to remain cosy in our own small religious world, while God was calling us to engage compassionately and with the courage of prophets, with the real world of pain and hope, of despair and joy.  So we acknowledge that we, the Church in this place, have failed our God,  our city and our world.

Priest: As we are about to set foot upon this Year of Our Lord, 2020 (and with it a new decade), 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 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.

Deacon:    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.

Deacon:    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 2020 and this New Decade begins
may the Holy Trinity continue always to empower
                   our Mission of Mercy and Healing to our torn world.


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]

Bidding Prayers        People’s Response ‘Renew the Face of the Earth’

           Offertory Hymn No 858
           Eucharistic Acclamations
                   Sanctus No 553
                   Memorial No 761 [v1]
Our Father said
Peace ‘Let there be love…’
Communion Hymn No 633 (Eat this Bread)
No 932
 Recessional No 854    [Final Blessing and Hymn after all have processed outside the church to greet the New Year in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ]

Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord

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 not escalate conflicts but be guided by the wisdom of God and the cries of their peoples, especially in Syria, Iraq and Iran; 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 New 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 67 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 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 for Wisdom as we seek to witness to the Light of Christ in today’s world

                                               HAIL MARY… 

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

ew Year’s Day, Feast of Mary, the Mother of God

Mary is Mother of all Christians … we pray that the year and decade 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, mother of the Creator, is the Mother of all Creation … may her wisdom and generous love guide us to take decisive life-style  and political decisions to limit Climate Warming before it is too late for the future of our planet and our children
                                                 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, Syria 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 and decade, we pray in silence for our world and our families…


[NB During this Penitential Rite, the figures of the wise men, the Magi, are brought for ward and placed in the Crib]

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…



PRIEST: On this first day of the New Year and a New Decade, 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 2020. 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…       



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 and especially those injured by war in Idlib and also …
for those who have died recently, especially in the brutal conflict in Syria, for  all victims of the war and violence
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…