Second Sunday of Advent YC

PRIEST: My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,
We gather this morning, at the beginning of our second week of Advent Preparation and Prayer. We come together to listen to God’s Holy Word on this Bible Sunday, so that we may allow His Word to be made Flesh in our lives. That Word will be spoken over bread of the earth and wine from the hills, with such power that the Word will become the Flesh and Blood of Christ in Eucharist. May we recognise the Bible as our first and greatest ‘prayer book’.

Let us now praise the Light of God’s Word as we sing…

(‘The Lord is my Light’)

[ proceed to the wreath ]

Let us pray…

O God, from all eternity You have spoken forth Your Word, so that all creation may experience Your Love. Your Word first created Light at the dawning of time. In the fullness of that time, Your Word became Flesh in the poor Virgin of Nazareth. For Your People everywhere, Your Word remains the Light that guides our journey, the Lamp revealing the path before us. Bless our Wreath, and this our parish family, so that the Light of Your Word may grow in our hearts, inspire our lives, and guide our community,

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER  +  THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,

 … Amen!

READER:       Too often, Lord, we allow the false lights of our world to guide us,
                             rather than the Light of Your Word:
                             forgive us for failing to root our lives in the Word of the Gospel…

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

                              Lord, for the many times we do not listen to Your Word in the Bible,
                              for the ways we leave it an unopened book, a treasure sadly neglected

                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

                               Lord, the neglect of Your Word make us less a People of Faith;
                               it weakens our witness to Your Presence and Your Kingdom:
                               so for the ways our lives do not shine with the Light of Your Word

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:      O Lord, stir up our hearts
                        to prepare the way of Your Son, the Word made Flesh,
                        so that through His Coming on earth we may serve you
                        with lives filled with the Light of His Word,
                        for He Who will come again lives for ever and ever …
                                               AMEN!

          We sing once more our Advent Song of Joyful Hope…

First Sunday of Advent Year C

RICHARD:  My dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have come to the Holy and Joyful Season of Advent, these four weeks of preparation … learning to watch with faith for the Coming of the Lord in Glory … learning to welcome with love our brother Jesus who has already come … learning to yearn with hope for the final coming of the Kingdom upon the earth.

Let us now sing the ancient prayer of our Christian forebears, ‘Come, Lord Jesus!’

[proceed to wreath]

Let us pray…
O God, Father and Mother of all Life, by your Word all things are made holy. Send forth your Blessing upon our Advent Wreath, and upon our parish family: may we use this sign of Your growing Light to prepare our hearts and minds to serve Your Kingdom, and so hasten that day when the Lord Jesus will come in His Glory … In the Name of the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit … AMEN!

READER:    The purple candles and ribbon call us to repentance,
                          making our hearts wide open and ready for His Coming:
Lord, grant us the grace of conversion to your Gospel this Advent…

                                                 LORD HAVE MERCY…

The circle of evergreen reminds us that God is ever faithful to us,
                           in His love and mercy that never ends:
Lord, forgive us all our unfaithfulness to your call to love…

                                                 CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

The red berries make us mindful that Jesus came among us
                           to die on a Cross, & that we drink the Cup of His Redeeming Blood:
Lord, by Your wounds we are healed,
                           and by Your death we are freed from the death of sin…

                                                 LORD HAVE MERCY…

RICHARD:     O Lord, stir up Your might and come!
                            Be our protector and liberator; rescue us from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins,
                            and lead us to our salvation, for ever and ever…
                                                 AMEN!

Let us now sing once more ‘Come Lord Jesus…’  as we prepare to listen to God’s Word

Feast of Christ the King Year B

PRIEST:   As the Church’s Year draws to a close, we celebrate Jesus Christ, King of all Creation. We celebrate He who came with a dream for the world, for the Universe – a dream of creation alive with divine love, drawn together in the deepest Unity in Christ. We celebrate our Brother who suffered and died on the Cross to make this Dream a reality. On this great Feast, which is also National Youth Sunday, we ask ourselves the question:  does Jesus reign in our hearts and in our lives? Do we share His Dream with our young people and draw them joyfully to serve His Kingdom? Does the quality of our loving reveal the Servant King to our wounded world? Do we serve each other and the broken of our world in the name of our King? Do we serve our own kingdom rather than God’s Kingdom?

READER:    When we have thought only of our own needs and desires,
                         when we have given into our selfishness
                         and not become servants to those among whom we live…

                                                 LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we have not offered the time, the energy and the gifts
                         God has given us to build up the Body of Christ in our parish,
                         and to transform our world into
                         His Kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace…

                                                 CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

Because Christ our King comes to the world in all its poverty and brokenness,
                       to speak the Word of Forgiveness, Mercy and Healing
                       that brings about His Kingdom…

                                                 LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:     Lord God, Trinity of Love and source of Life,
                       touch us with the mercy of Your Kingdom,
                       work in our hearts, renewing our lives,
                       and lead us in the ways of the Beatitudes:
                       heal our blindness that we may see,
                       cleanse our hearts that we may love,
                       and renew our dedication
                       that we may work for the coming of Your Kingdom upon the earth
                       bringing us and all Creation to everlasting life…

                                                 AMEN!

Prayer for Action to combat Global Warming

Loving God, we praise Your name with all you have created.
You are present in the whole universe, and in the smallest of creatures.
We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us
as loving stewards of Your creation.                                                                                   We know we are called to live in a communion of love and justice
with all the creatures of the Earth, with the forests, seas and land.
We are called to purify and protect the air we breathe, the water we drink.

May the Holy Spirit inspire us all
to embrace the changes needed to heal our Common Home, the Earth.
Give courage and wisdom to political leaders to fulfil their promises
and take decisive action to care for the Earth                                                                     and bring true justice and equality to the poorest and most vulnerable.                                                                                  Guide us to commit our and all nations to the care of our Common Home.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son…AMEN!

32nd Sunday of the Year B

Priest: Today we celebrate the generosity of God in giving us everything when he gave us Jesus … and the story of the poor Widow who has little but gives everything challenges us about the degree of generosity and sacrifice in our own giving. Through Baptism we are utterly identified with Christ and in the Eucharist we are gradually transformed into His self-giving, sacrificial love. Let us all reflect a moment on just how much we give, or don’t give of ourselves in love of God and service of His Kingdom:

READER:      Jesus, you ask us to trust you so completely
that we give everything into your safe-keeping …
                             for our unwillingness to  trust you –

                                                 LORD HAVE MERCY…

Jesus, you ask of us a generous response to the call to serve your Kingdom …
                             for the times when we will not sacrifice our own pleasure or plans for you –

                                                 CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

Jesus, you ask us to have the courage to share
whatever we have, great or small, with our brothers and sisters …
                              for not having the courage to share generously –

                                                 LORD HAVE MERCY…

Priest:        May the God who has so generously poured out all his love into our hearts
                      be abundant with his mercy,
                      endless with his forgiveness,
                      and powerful with his renewal of our hearts;
                      and so bring us to full and everlasting life…

                                                  AMEN!

ALL SAINTS DAY

PRIEST:       We celebrate today the Feast of Holiness – our call and our destiny to be a people of the Spirit,  a people of holiness.  All the Saints,  those known and those unknown,  those raised to the Altars of the Church,  and those whom we have known in our lives and our parish family:  all the saints are given to us to help us on our journey of holiness. Rejoicing as we do in all the ‘ordinary’ people who have loved’, we are challenged to reflect upon the nature of holiness in our contemporary world. Let us seek forgiveness and mercy that we may journey to Christ with all the saints…

READER:      Holiness is about being thoroughly human:
                           for the ways we have been inhuman and insensitive to each other
for the ways we have not cared for justice, cared for our world,…

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

                           Holiness is about loving with one’s whole being:
                           for the ways we have avoided the challenge and the pain
                          of loving too much;
for not changing our life-styles to bring healing
                          to our ‘Common Home’, the planet we share

                                                CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

                         Holiness is about welcoming the mercy of God in the midst of our weakness:
                        for failing to forgive or be forgiven

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:       May the God of Holiness fill us with His Peace,
                        may the God of Life embrace our every wound with His mercy,
                       may the God of our Humanity set us free to find happiness in holiness;
                     and bring us all with the Saints to everlasting life

                                              AMEN!

TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR B

PRIEST:           We are made for faithfulness – to live our relationships with commitment and love. For God made us to need each other, and to complete each other. Yet our world finds it so difficult to say ‘forever’! As Christians we are called, in all our weakness, to echo God’s ‘forever’ in all our relationships. We are the People of the Covenant – covenanted to a Faithful God. Let us confess the ways we are unfaithful.

READER:         When we are unfaithful to God,
                              neglecting to listen to him in Word and in Silence,
not trusting him in the hard days and long nights

                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we are unfaithful to Creation,
polluting and damaging our earth
                              because of our greed and consumerism

                                                        CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

When we are unfaithful to each other,
by not valuing our families or our friends,
by not listening to the cries of the poor,
by not building up the Body of Christ in love

                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:          May God, faithful and merciful,
                            lead us along paths of forgiveness to
                                  a deeper fidelity,
                                          a more profound  compassion,
                                                  a more merciful generosity,
                            and bring us all to everlasting life

                                                           AMEN!

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY OF YEAR B

PRIEST:         Possessiveness is utterly foreign to Jesus…when his disciples resent another using His name,  using His power to set others free they want Jesus to stop him:  but Jesus yearns that all would set free their world in the power of his name!  He challenges us this morning to give up our possessiveness, as does St James challenge our materialism and greed: instead the Word of God urges us to seek each other’s freedom and growth…Let us confess the narrowness of our hearts and minds…

READER:               When we resent another’s gifts,  and resist another’s ministry;
                                    when we fail to encourage each other…

                                                            LORD HAVE MERCY …

For our possessiveness depriving others of the necessities for life;
                                   for a rich world refusing to share justly with the impoverished;
                                   for blinding ourselves to injustice…

                                                            CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For disunity in the Body of Christ
                                    that harms our witness to the Gospel;
                                    for neglecting to worship and work
                                    with our fellow Christians of other traditions…

                                                            LORD HAVE MERCY …


PRIEST:
                   Be assured that we are forgiven,
                                     forgiven by the tender Father,
                                     forgiven by our brother Jesus,
                                     forgiven by our fellow-pilgrims filled with the Spirit
                                     released from all that hurts us,
                                     that we might set others free from pain
                                     and bring all to everlasting life…

                                                                 AMEN!

TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY OF YEAR B

PRIEST:       We hear today how Jesus tries to teach his disciples about the paradoxes of the Gospel:  the New Way that Jesus walks – the path of greatness that travels always through the Cross.  He urges us to walk with weakness:  our own and others,  and to discover the joy of serving with humble love.  He challenges us to learn from the child that true greatness is love alone! Let us confess the poverty of our love and the violence of our world…

READER:               For the wars and violence of our world,
                                    for the angers and aggression in our hearts,  `
                                    for the greed of voracious desires…

                                                           LORD HAVE MERCY…

For our refusal to serve,
                                     for building up our own esteem at the expense of others’ dignity,
                                     for not wanting to get involved…

                                                           CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For resisting the cross in our lives,
                                     for lacking gentleness with the weakness of others or our own,
for every form of selfishness…

                                                           LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:            May the God of compassion embrace us with the tenderness of mercy;
                              may Jesus forgive us and set us free to serve;
                              may the Spirit heal us into deeper love and make us ambassadors of reconciliation;
                             and bring all creation to everlasting life…

                                                            AMEN!

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY OF YEAR B

PRIEST:      Jesus asks each of us today:  ‘Who do you say that I am?’  He leads the disciples on a Journey of Faith, and as they share with him and each other they begin to discover the depths of Jesus.  They also have to come to terms that being His disciples means embracing the cross of suffering as He did. Only then can they proclaim Jesus to their world.  On this Education Sunday let us reflect upon the ways we neglect to nourish our faith in Christ, share that faith with others and resist the cross of the world’s suffering…

READER:         When we do not translate our faith into action for others;
when we do not live God’s option for the poor

                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY…

For every abuse of power and authority in the Church,
When we do not root our way of acting and thinking
                               in the mind of Christ,  in the love of Christ;
                              when our Church is a stumbling block to others meeting Christ

                                                  CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

When we protect ourselves and our comfort
                              rather than risk living the radical love of the Gospel;
                              for all the things we cling to rather than to Jesus

                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY…


PRIEST:
               May the life-giving God hold us in mercy…
                                 The pain-bearing Jesus heal us with forgiveness…
                                 The love-making Spirit reconcile us through compassion
                                 and bring us and all the world to everlasting life…

                                                    AMEN!