FEAST OF CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE

PRIEST:    As this Year of Prayer draws to a close and we prepare to launch the Year of Communion, we celebrate Jesus Christ, King of all Creation. We celebrate the One 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 One who suffered and died on the Cross to make this Dream a reality. On this great Feast, which is also National Youth Sunday, we rejoice in the gift of  our young people who are called to make the Dream of God a reality for the world. So we ask ourselves:  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?

READER:       Father, your Spirit prays within us ‘Your Kingdom Come…’,
                            When we do not seek and serve first the Coming of Your Kingdom
A Kingdom Justice, Love and Peace

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

                            Jesus, our Servant-King, from your heart flowed living water,
                           well-spring of our love and healing for our wounds:
wash us clean of our compromises,
                          that we may live your Gospel and build your Kingdom…
                                                CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

                         Holy Spirit, come and refresh our wearied hearts and tired bodies,
                        that we may once more live the challenge of the Kingdom,
becoming each day your New Creation…

                                                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 the world to everlasting life…

                                                  AMEN!

33rd SUNDAY YEAR C

RICHARD:    Although the Advent season has not begun yet, there is a strong Advent feel about our Mass today – gazing into the future and yearning for a different world! In a moment of history when there is so much conflict and turmoil, so much destruction of our planet, we listen to dramatic words from God … warning us to be constant in faith before the disasters that overwhelm us personally and afflict our world; to be a people of peace in the midst of every violence; to offer a witness of courage before a world that oppresses; to struggle for justice for all the excluded no matter the cost: let us come before our God with repentant hearts…

READER:               For the times when our faith falters and crumbles
before the tragedies and crises of our life…

                                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

                                    For the times we give way to anger,
                                    and hurt others by our words or our actions
instead of channeling our anger into love’s struggle for justice…

                                                                CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

                                    For the times we ignore the injustices, oppressions
                                    and denials of human rights in our world,
when we will not change our life-style to heal our planet

                                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

RICHARD:                  May the God who comes…
                                         fill our hearts with His compassion and mercy
                                         for a world oppressed and wounded;
                                         May Jesus, anointed to be bearer of God’s Peace to the earth…
                                         touch us  and the world’s victims with justice and freedom;
                                         May the Spirit of God’s Fire…
                                         purify our love and make us a prophetic people of courage,
                                         bringing all the world the fullness of Life…

                                                               AMEN!

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 32nd Year C

PRIEST:       We gather on this day of Remembrance, while there continues to be terror attacks and war rages in many regions of the world. Jesus reminds us today that our God is ‘God of the Living, not the dead’ – that God wants to give life and not take life! We bring to mind those too many whose lives have been taken in the innumerable and tragic wars and conflicts of the past more than one hundred years.  We gather too that we might pray for life-giving peace.  With sorrow we recognise that we have still to learn how to solve conflict without violence, settle disputes without recourse to war.  Let our remembering be not a glorification of war, but a profound cry from the heart for Peace.

READER:              Lord, have mercy on our world for the darkness of war,
                                   for the inhumanity of destruction,
                                   for the pollution of our minds and our earth,

                                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY…

Jesus, forgive us for striking our brother and sister
                                   with bullet, missile and bomb,
                                   for being blind to the human devastation of modern warfare,
and the immorality of the Arms Trade

                                                                  CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

Spirit, heal the wounded hearts and minds
                                   that seek power more than humanity,  war more than peace,
destruction more than feeding the starving

                                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:       May the God of perfect peace touch every heart with mercy,
                         every mind with healing and every conflict with reconciliation,
                         that we may transform darkness to light and war to peace,
                         offering our world the hope of everlasting life…

                                                                       AMEN!

Instead of a Gloria today,  let us sing sing a chant as a prayer for all who have died:
                                                                       No 813 ‘Bless the Lord…’

31st SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C

PRIEST:       With echoes of the Holy Year of Mercy three years ago, we today celebrate God’s great yearning for us, His compassion and acceptance of us – His passionate desire that we should allow him to love us and so to change us … to restore us to our truest selves. We hear how Jesus reaches out to someone everyone else rejects and calls a corrupt, wealthy but outcast man, Zacchaeus, to conversion – coming to know the power of Jesus’ love converted him from his old life of injustice and sin to a new life of generosity and holiness. Let us now allow the mercy of God to change and convert us into the ways of the Kingdom.

READER:                When we hide from the injustice that lurks in our own hearts,
                                     the prejudices hidden in our own minds…

                                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we judge others, condemn them and shun them,
And yet are not honest about our own failures and sins…

                                                                        CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

When we are afraid to let God love us and change us,
when we fail to struggle for honesty and justice in our world…

                                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:       May the God who comes searching for us speak our name,
                         bring us forgiveness, lead us into justice and heal our hardness,
                         bringing us  all into everlasting life…

                                                                        AMEN!

ALL SOULS’ DAY

PRIEST:        We gather to proclaim our faith in the Resurrection, which alone gives meaning to today’s Celebration: for we come to be with the ‘Living who have Died’. Our love for those who have ‘gone before us marked with the sign of faith’, is matched by our trust in mercy so freely given by our God. Therefore, we too can have the courage to recognise our own sinfulness.

READER:              Father,  you sent your Son to die  on the Cross and
to win forgiveness for us and for all people,
                                   so with confidence we cry…

                                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY

Lord Jesus, you are the Lamb of God…
you are the sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world,
so with faith we cry…

                                                                        CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Holy Spirit, you are the love and power
that raised Jesus to life on Easter morning;
we believe and therefore we know that we will not die but live forever,
so with hope we cry…

                                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:        May the God of all Life embrace us and all the dead with his mercy,
                          may Jesus, the Lamb of Sacrifice, grant us forgiveness,
                          may the Holy Spirit send us to our world as bearers
                          of Reconciliation and Hope,
                          to bring us and all the faithful departed to 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 seek forgiveness and mercy that we may journey to Christ with them…

READER:          Holiness is about being thoroughly human:
                               for the ways we have been inhuman and insensitive to each other…

                                                  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

                                                  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!

ALL SOULS’ DAY

PRIEST:   Let us pray with faith in the Resurrection, with thankfulness for friends and family who have gone before us, and with hope of that great day when we shall all be united in the eternal love of our God

READER:   For those of our families, parish community and friends who have died in the friendship of Christ, for all in our parish’s 171 year history who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith  … may their memory inspire us to continue our Pilgrimage to God with great love and deep faith…

[Reader]                      Let us pray to the Lord…
[response sung]      JESUS, REMEMBER ME…

For all whose Funerals have been celebrated here at St Nicholas’s this past year,  that they may know eternal life and endless peace before the face of God;  for all who are recently bereaved,  as the pain is still sharp and the darkness still paralysing,  that they may be comforted…

[Reader]                      Let us pray to the Lord…

For those who grieve the loss of the ones they love and experience the emptiness of bereavement … may the Holy Spirit bring them consolation in the dark hours, and the touch of his love in the lonely days, until light begins to dawn…
[Reader]                      Let us pray to the Lord…

For those who have died alone, unloved and unmourned; for all who have perished in the Mediterranean or in our lorry parks in the refugee journey to freedom; for the forgotten ones with no-one to pray for them and yet are so precious in the eyes of our God who never forgets one of his little ones…

[Reader]                      Let us pray to the Lord…

That we may live truly as a people of the Resurrection, passionately in love with life, generously life-giving and valuing and protecting life from the womb to the grave…

[Reader]                      Let us pray to the Lord…

Mary, who mourned your Crucified Son, and shared in the Life of your Risen Jesus, pray for us and all our dead…

                                                                                      HAIL MARY…

We pray in silence for all the departed…

PRIEST:Lord God, well-spring of all life, hear the cry of our hearts for those we mourn, embrace them in the fire of your tender love and raise them into the fullness of Risen Life, through Your Son and our Brother Jesus, alive forever and ever…
                                                                                     AMEN!

30th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C

PRIEST: The familiar story in today’s Gospel – the Pharisee and the sinner – reveals God’s way of looking at the sinful one and the religious person. Not at all what we might expect!  Jesus’ words challenge every form of religious pride, as well as our hardness of heart. God urges us today, in this One World Week, to be bearers of reconciling and forgiving love, to throw wide open the doors of God’s mercy. May we allow his word to challenge our easy assumptions about both God and people. Let us commit ourselves afresh as ‘ambassadors of reconciliation’ and peace in our contemporary world.

READER:        For the times and ways that we judge others as inferior to us,
more sinful than us, less worthy than us…

                                                                   LORD HAVE MERCY …

For the pride that boasts of our virtues and ignores our vices
whenever we look down on others
because they do not practice their faith like us…

                                                                   CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For our unwillingness to welcome God’s compassion
                             and forgiveness into our own lives,
                             for hardness of heart that withholds mercy from another…

                                                                   LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:               May the God and Father of all compassion hold us in his love;
                                may our redeeming Brother, Jesus, free us from all sin
                                                   and heal all our wounds;
                                may the Holy Spirit’s fire purify our hearts
                                                   sending us bearers of reconciliation to our world,
                                bringing us to everlasting life…

                                                                  AMEN!

29th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C – WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

PRIEST: Today we celebrate World Mission Sunday – the global mission of the Church to ‘renew the face of the earth’ in the power of the Spirit poured into our heart through baptism and confirmation. Jesus teaches us in the Word of God for today that persevering prayer is the well-spring of the energy for Mission, especially to continue praying when nothing seems to be happening. In the face of the monumental injustices we find in our world, can we trust God even when God seems silent? when God seems uninvolved? But God is far more urgent about bringing justice to the poor, the weak and the vulnerable than ever we are! Justice for our brothers and sisters, healing for our planet – that is the Church’s Global Mission. If Justice is withheld, then don’t blame God! It is we who deprive the world of Justice. Let us repent …

READER:                 When we give up on prayer,
                                      no longer turn to God for Love’s energy for mission
when we lose heart and no longer believe God cares,
                                               Father forgive us…

                                                                     LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we do grow tired of ‘listening to the cries of the poor’,
when we give up the struggle to bring healing to our planet
hope to the marginalised and excluded
Jesus reconcile us…

                                                                     CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

When we do not challenge and work for Justice for the poor,
when we do not defend the most vulnerable,
when we do not seek a more just world as urgently as God
                                                Holy Spirit change us…

                                                                     LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:                  May the God Justice forgive our injustice;
                                   May the God of intimacy have mercy on our shallow prayer;
                                   May the God of the Weak fill us with Divine Urgency;
                                   and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                                       AMEN!

28th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C

PRIEST:     Jesus touches with His love the outcasts of His day … the ten lepers. Only one returned to give thanks:, and he was not even a member of the People of God!  We are provoked to ask a number of questions: who do I make into an outcast, putting them beyond my love? Do I reach out to those the world despises? Do I live with a grateful heart, do I live the Eucharist, the ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving?

READER:             When I exclude anyone from my love,
                                 making them my outcast,
                                 Father forgive me…

                                                     LORD HAVE MERCY

For accepting the prejudices of my society
against whole groups of my fellow citizens,
                                 for not struggling to unmask and eradicate these prejudices,
Jesus reconcile me…

                                                     CHRIST HAVE MERCY

For the lack of gratitude in my life, for forgetting to thank God,
or to thank those who show me their love and compassion,
                                 Holy Spirit change me…

                                                     LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:         May God the Creator of all fill our hearts with love
                                     for all that He has made;
                           May Jesus our Brother reconcile us with all against whom
                                     we have closed our hearts;
                           May the Holy Spirit sing with thankfulness for God’s mercy
                                     deep within our being;
                           and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                    AMEN!