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!

Christmas Day

PRIEST: Today is a wondrous day … a day for untold rejoicing as we gaze upon the awesome mystery of our God in vulnerable human flesh … the All-powerful contained in the powerless frame of a tiny baby.   Looking into the eyes of this child we can only treat every child with immense respect and love, embrace every human person with a divine love. Yet our world is not like that … and too often neither are we. So we repent of all evil, and seeking the way of peace for ourselves and our world: then our joy will be full this day!

READER:    Father,  come and speak Your Word of Forgiveness
                                  to every human heart:
                         forgive us when we close our heart to Jesus’ brothers and
sisters,
                          when there is no room in our nation for the stranger and
refugee;
                          come free us to welcome Your forgiveness

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY

                          Jesus, come and speak Your Word of Peace
 into the violence and war of our world:
                          for every anger that we harbour within,
                          for every injustice that makes some victims,
                          for being so slow to work for the peace proclaimed at
Your birth…

                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

                          Holy Spirit, come and speak Your Word of Love
                                  to a world that forgets how to accept each other:
                          for every refusal to love, to heal,  to give ourselves in
compassion and sacrifice…

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the Father who has so loved the world that He has
sent His beloved Son embrace you in forgiveness;
                       May the Son and Saviour Jesus who died to reconcile us all
                               touch your heart with pardon and peace;
                       May the Holy Spirit who hovers over this day more brightly
than the Star 
fill your lives with light and healing;
                       and may our God who is with us bring us and all the world
to everlasting life…   

                                              AMEN!

Blessing of Advent Wreath – Fourth Sunday YC

PRIEST:          My dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
We gather today on this last Sunday of Advent Preparation to welcome in this Eucharist the Visitation of God’s Love. Like Elizabeth, we carry humanity’s longings within us…longings for a world of peace,  equality and justice;  like Mary,  we carry the Christ within us,  he who is God’s answer to every human longing, God’s gift of Mercy made Flesh.  Our meeting with the living God this day is rich with promise.  Let us seek to run to meet him with the obedience of love.

                            [sing the ‘Magnificat’]

Let us pray…
O God of our History, from all eternity You have spoken forth Your Word of Love that gives Life. Your Word created the heavens and earth…Your Word made man and woman in Your own image and likeness…Your Word called forth a People to serve Your Truth and Kingdom in the world. And in the fullness of time, You found a woman so full of love that Your Word could make His home in her heart and her womb. Through her,  indeed You our God have visited your people!  Bless this Advent Wreath of Light and Expectancy and bless our parish community with the faith and love of Mary so that the Word may be free to become Flesh in our flesh, so that the Day of His Kingdom may come…In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…AMEN!

READER:   Mary, the woman of faith, risked saying ‘yes’
                        to an unknown future in God’s plan:
                        for our lack of faith and trust,

                                     LORD HAVE MERCY

                        Mary, the woman of hope, journeyed forgetting her own needs
                        in order to serve Elizabeth and all God’s People:
                        for the times we refuse to hope and to serve,

                                       CHRIST HAVE MERCY

                       Mary, the woman of love, welcomed the Word in her heart
                       before she welcomed the Word in her womb:
                       for our lack of love that silences God’s Word in today’s world,

                                     LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:   O Lord, stir up your might and come!
                      Touch us with Your overshadowing Spirit,
                      speak Your Word of forgiveness to our hearts and world,
                      so that the Saviour may come again and bring us life everlasting

                                      AMEN!

Penitential Rite & Blessing of Advent Wreath – Gaudete Sunday

PRIEST:       My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This third Sunday of Advent is a day for rejoicing…rejoicing that the coming of our Saviour is close at hand; rejoicing that we are called to work joyfully for the Great Day of the Lord,  when all creation will ring with the Glory of God; rejoicing that we hear the call to conversion, and wish to respond, rejoicing in the endless mercy of the Father that Jesus brings.

Let us now sing with joy as we witness the Light of Christ growing in our midst…
                          [ proceed to wreath, singing – Rejoice in the Lord always! ]

Let us pray…

O God, Mother and Father of all that lives, come among us and dance over us with your joy, as on a day of Festival! Fill our community with that rejoicing that comes from welcoming your Light, Jesus Christ, and sharing that light with one another in the household of faith and with all the world. Bless this Advent Wreath and our parish so that we may hasten the day when your Son, our Brother, will fill all creation with joyous Glory…

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER + AND OF THE SON,
AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…AMEN!

READER:

Lord, for all the darkness that is in our lives, and in our world: a darkness that deprives our earth of your joy; we ask your mercy

                            LORD HAVE MERCY

Lord, for the darkness of violence and war, for the darkness of hunger and poverty, for the darkness of greed and luxury; we ask your mercy

                           CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Lord, because of the joy you have in forgiving us, because you come among us bearing the light of healing and reconciliation; with confidence we ask your mercy

                             LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:          Lord, stir up your might and come! Clothe us in your joyous Light,
                             renew our hearts in your compassion and forgiveness,
                             and bring us all to your Day of unending Light,
                             that we may live for ever and ever…

                               AMEN!

Second Sunday of Advent – Bible Sunday

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 in the Bible, 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. In this Year of Prayer we recognise that the Bible is our first and greatest ‘prayer book’.

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

(‘The Lord is my Light’)

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!

          

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

PRIEST: Today is a day of rejoicing,  a day of holiness:  for Mary’s conception is the earliest dawn of the Holiness of our Redeemer.  Her holiness is the fruit of His Redemption,  so that she should always be a mirror, reflecting the wonder of Christ to us.  She summons us likewise to holiness, to mirror Christ’s love and Wholeness to the world; she pleads with us to tread her same path of humble and faith-filled love,  and like her to give of Christ’s endless life to the people of our earth.  Let us ask forgiveness for the ways and times we have clouded, not reflected Christ’s humanity and love…

READER:    For the ways the poverty of our loving has hidden
the beauty of Christ’s Holiness from those among whom we live…

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

For the ways we do not embrace our own humanity
and so do not reveal to the world Christ’s loving divinity…

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

For the moments when our faith and trust give way
before the suffering we encounter;
                            for the ways we do not walk the Way of Christ…

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:             May the God of Life free us from the sin that is death;
                               May the Risen Jesus summon us by his mercy into the holiness
                                                 that is His Redemption;
                               May the Holy Spirit heal us into the holiness that is our calling
                                                 and our witness to the world;
                               and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                     AMEN!

Penitential Rite & Blessing of Advent Wreath 1st Sunday

PRIEST:  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…

                                                              SUNG RESPONSE

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…

                                                              SUNG RESPONSE

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…

                                                               SUNG RESPONSE

PRIEST:  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…’  

Penitential Rite for the Feast of the Christ the Universal King

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…

SUNG RESPONSE

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…

SUNG RESPONSE

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…

SUNG RESPONSE

PRIEST: May the all-merciful God, our Lord and King,
touch our hearts with His reconciling love;
fill our community with the peace of His Kingdom;
and renew among us the fire of His Spirit;
and so bring us and all the world to everlasting life…

                              AMEN!

Penitential Rite for 33rd Sunday

PRIEST: That Jesus will come again is certain … when and how is unknown.  As Advent draws near,  the Liturgy leads us to reflect on the meaning of the vivid images in the Gospel about the Day of the Lord’s Return.  We are challenged to be a People of constant expectancy, always straining our eyes and hearts to watch and work with love for his coming.  Let us repent and so make room for him as he comes to us…

READER: For the superficiality that often marks our lives; 

for our lack of prayer that fails to watch and welcome…

SUNG RESPONSE

When we needlessly add to the distress of others 

by thoughtlessness,  lack of real listening 

and our readiness to judge…

SUNG RESPONSE

When we fail to recognise his coming 

in the offer of friendship or the cry of need,  

in wounds to be loved into healing 

and hungers to be filled with compassion

SUNG RESPONSE

PRIEST: May the God who comes embrace our sin and sets us free for loving compassion;  May the Lord who will return prepare our hearts with his mercy and forgiveness; May the Spirit who is to fill all creation come with a peace that will reconcile all to each; and bring us all creation to everlasting life…

AMEN!