ASSEMBLING OF THE CRIB at Midnight Mass

[READER A]        We come to bless our crib … by that we mean to ask God to bless everyone who will come to pray, with wonder, awe and love, before this visual image of the poverty and simplicity of our Saviour’s birth. St Francis of Assisi, who lived some 800 years ago, was the first to make a crib, using live animals and people: today we use figures to help us celebrate and ponder the mystery of God’s love appearing in human form.

[READER B]      For the People of God the Ox was a symbol of strength, ruggedness and power, all of which is to be harnessed to the service of humankind and the Kingdom of God as we offer the world the hope of New Beginnings.

[CONGREGATION]         Lord God, help us to harness our power and gifts to the service of Your world made new in Divine Love.

[READER A]        The Donkey’s wandering is a symbol of freedom and choice. It is also a reminder that our forebears, the People of Israel, wandered aimlessly away from God and His Covenant.  An uncommon animal in Israel, and ritually unclean, yet it was good enough to carry Mary to Bethlehem, and later to carry Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to face His Passion.  (We listen as our children sing ‘Little Donkey’)

[CONGREGATION]         Lord God, never let us wander away from You, but help us use our freedom always to carry your love to the world.

[READER B]          Shepherds, especially the night watch, were among the lowest paid workers of the time. Despised, placed on the margins of society and religion, without power or influence, these men of poverty were the first to hear the Good News that ‘Today a Saviour has been born to you’.

[CONGREGATION]            Lord God, You seek to rid the world of poverty: give us the love and the insight to welcome the poor into our hearts and homes and so discover that we have welcomed Christ Jesus.

[READER A]        Joseph, the man of dreams, and that strong gentle man of faith: silent in the background, but ready to do whatever God might ask of him.

[CONGREGATION]            Lord God, come and gentle our strength; deepen in us Joseph’s strong faith and tender love that we may dream Your Kingdom, and serve its Coming.

[READER B]          Behold Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, whose ‘Yes!’ brought Hope to our world … the one who bore Jesus in her heart’s love before ever in her body’s womb.  Blessed indeed is she who believed the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.

[CONGREGATION]           Lord God, fill us with grace that like Mary we too may always say our ‘YES’ to Your Word and overshadowing Spirit, that Jesus may take flesh in our lives and bring healing to our world.

[READER A]         Now all is ready.  To African drumming, the Icon of the Nativity and the Christ Child are carried to the Crib.

[RICHARD]     Let us now dedicate our Crib, and pray God’s Blessing upon all who gaze with wonder and pray with love before our God made man, Jesus!

Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation.  Through all ages you prepared a people as Your own.  When the time was ripe, some 2000 years ago, You sent us a Saviour, conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin, a man like us in all things but sin. Loving Father, we pray, bless this our Crib + that we may marvel at Your goodness, imitate Your love, and journey in Your light, until the great day of Jesus coming in Glory, when we will live for ever and ever … AMEN!

Blessing of the Christmas Tree

READER: The erecting and decorating of Christmas Trees originated in Germany some three hundred years ago, and came to this country during the reign of Queen Victoria. It’s meaning comes from the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden which we find in the Book of Genesis. It was originally called the ‘Paradise Tree’, symbolising the Tree of Life in the Garden. It was decorated by apples (and we have some apples on our tree), symbolic of the fruit of the tree of Good and Evil that the first Eve and the first Adam ate in disobedience to God. It also carried candles – lights to express the Jesus Light of the World,  Light of Forgiveness scattering the darkness. And it was decorated on Christmas Eve – the traditional Feast of Adam and Eve in the Eastern Church.

So, as we draw close to Christmas Eve, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Second Adam, gift of the Second Eve, Mary, we put in place the symbols of the First Adam and Eve. This reminds us that Mary’s loving obedience ‘untied the knot’ of Eve’s disobedience, and that Jesus, the New Adam, came to be the One who saves us from the First Adam’s sin. The Tree that brought death is transformed by the Cross of Jesus Christ into the Tree of Everlasting Life. For on Friday, Christmas Day, we do indeed greet the Saviour!

DEACON:              O God, who by the Power of Your Word and Hovering Spirit
                                    did create all things and made them good
                                    and created men and women in your own image and likeness:
                                    pour your blessing upon this Paradise Tree …

PEOPLE:               BLESSED BE GOD!

DEACON:              May it be a sign for us children of Adam of our need of a Saviour
                                    and of the sublime gift of Jesus Christ who recreates us
                                    in the glorious image of the Second Adam …

PEOPLE:                BLESSED BE GOD!

DEACON:              May it be a sign for us of the Tree of the Redeeming Adam, Jesus,
                                    who embraced the Wood of the Cross for our Salvation and Healing …

PEOPLE:                 BLESSED BE GOD!

PRIEST:                   We bless and dedicate, O God, this Tree to your Honour and Glory
that it might shine with Light where once there was darkness,
that it might express the fruit of Redemption
where once sin held the sway,
that it might stand to remind us that Jesus came as the Saviour
who died on the Tree so that the Tree of the Cross might ever give Life

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

Re-Dediction to serve the Kingdom – Feast of Christ the King

PRIEST: Do you believe in God,  the creator of all that is,
whose name is ‘Abba, Father’, and who has chosen you
to be both beloved child of His and partner with Him
in the creation of our world and its future?

ALL: I DO BELIEVE IN MY FATHER WHO CALLS ME BY NAME.

PRIEST:  Do you believe in God,  the creator of all that is:
Do you reject any evil that destroys creation’s beauty and harmony?

ALL: I DO REJECT EVERY ENEMY OF CREATION.

PRIEST: Do you believe in Jesus Christ,  Son of God and Son of Creation,
King of Heaven and Earth,  yet Servant and Brother:
who is the Way to God and one another;
the Truth that liberates all humanity;
the Life of the Kingdom that is Justice, Love and Peace;
and whose death and resurrection loves and heals our world ?

ALL: I DO BELIEVE IN JESUS,  OUR KING WHO REDEEMS ME.

PRIEST: Do you reject the evil that oppresses our sisters and brothers
with poverty and despair,  diminishes their humanity and freedom,
and dismembers our world in violence and war?

ALL: I DO REJECT THE EVIL WHOSE NAMES ARE OPPRESSION, POVERTY AND WAR.

PRIEST: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit:  the Fire of Divine Love
renewing the face of the earth;  the Mighty Wind that casts out
every fear and fills our lives with Power and Gifts of Love;
the Well-spring of Life in all its fullness;
who sends the People of God in Mission to proclaim the Kingdom
and build the new heaven and the new earth?

ALL: I DO BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO EMPOWERS MY LIFE.

PRIEST: Do you reject the evil of inequality,  in both world and church:
that hides the divine dignity of every human person;
do you reject the evil of disunity:
that distorts the face of Christ in the Church,
and robs us of the power for Mission?

ALL: I DO REJECT EVERY INEQUALITY AND INHUMANITY THAT IS A SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT.

PRIEST: This is our faith … this is our commitment:  to Christ our King,
and to his Church, called to be sign and servant of His Kingdom.

ALL: WITH JOY I AFFIRM AND RENEW MY DEDICATION
TO THE LOVE OF GOD – SOURCE OF MY LIFE;
TO THE SERVICE OF CHRIST MY KING AND BROTHER;
TO THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT AND
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL:
MAY THE KINGDOM COME!

Eucharistic Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King

(A Note:  this Eucharistic prayer grew out of the experience of life and mission of a parish dedicated to Christ the King, but has a more universal relevance and usefulness – as any Eucharistic Prayer should express)

GOD OF COMPASSION AND LOVE,
WE DO WELL ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE TO GIVE YOU THANKS,
BUT ESPECIALLY TODAY AS WE CELEBRATE
JESUS YOUR SON, OUR KING AND SERVANT.

LONG AGO YOU CHOSE A NATION TO BE YOUR OWN,
THAT YOU MIGHT BE HONOURED ON EARTH AS KING OF ALL CREATION.
IT PLEASED YOU TO DWELL IN THE MIDST OF THIS PEOPLE,
RAISING UP KINGS, PRIESTS AND PROPHETS,
TO MAKE THE REIGN OF YOUR LOVE AND JUSTICE
A VISIBLE SIGN AND A TRANSFORMING POWER
IN THE UNFOLDING HISTORY OF OUR WORLD.

AT THE APPOINTED HOUR,
YOUR SPIRIT OVERSHADOWED A YOUNG GIRL, MARY:
SHE ALLOWED YOUR KINGDOM TO INVADE HER HEART
AND YOUR WORD TO BE CARRIED IN HER WOMB.
SHE BROUGHT FORTH JESUS WHOM YOU ANOINTED THE CHRIST –
OUR KING AND OUR SERVANT:
HE MADE KNOWN TO ALL PEOPLES YOUR REIGN OF LOVE AND PEACE.

AND SO WITH ALL THE SAINTS AND ANGELS
WHO DWELL IN THE FULLNESS OF THAT KINGDOM,
WE JOIN IN THEIR CRIES OF JOY, SINGING…

[Holy, Holy. Holy…]

WE GIVE YOU GREAT THANKS,
THE GOD WHO YEARNS FOR US TO BE FULLY ALIVE.
YOU FILLED OUR BROTHER JESUS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT,
THAT HE SHOULD PROCLAIM TO ALL MEN AND WOMEN:
THAT THE KINGDOM HAD COME;
THAT THE SEED OF THIS KINGDOM WAS A TREASURE BURIED WITHIN US;
THAT THE LEAVEN OF THIS KINGDOM
WILL ONE DAY TRANSFORM ALL CREATION
INTO A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH.

HE CALLED WEAK PEOPLE LIKE US, APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES,
TO WITNESS TO THE KINGDOM AMONG US;
HE LIVED AND LOVED,  HEALED AND PROPHESIED
AMONG THE POOR,  THE WOUNDED, THE EXCLUDED AND THE POWERLESS.
THUS HE REVEALED TO ALL WHO HAVE EYES TO SEE
AND A HEART TO KNOW,
WHO IS FIRST IN THIS KINGDOM.

SO SEND FORTH UPON OUR COMMUNITY THE EMPOWERING SPIRIT:
TO HEAL OUR BROKENNESS, AWAKEN OUR APATHY
AND INFLAME OUR HEARTS WITH DIVINE COMPASSION;
TOUCH BY THE SPIRIT’S POWER,
THESE SIMPLE GIFTS OF BREAD AND WINE
THAT THEY BECOME THE SIGN OF THE KINGDOM AMONG US,
THE BROKEN BODY AND THE POURED-OUT BLOOD
OF JESUS, KING AND SERVANT.

FOR ON THE NIGHT HE DIED FOR LOVE OF US,
HE LAID ASIDE HIS GARMENTS AND HIS ROYAL DIGNITY,
AND ALL CREATION’S KING BENT LOW AT OUR FEET AND WASHED THEM.
HE COMMANDED US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS HE HAS LOVED US,
TO SERVE OUR WORLD AS HE HAS SERVED US;
THEN TAKING THE BREAD,
HE BLESSED YOU TO WHOM THE KINGDOM BELONGS,
BROKE THE BREAD AND GAVE HIS FRIENDS LOVE’S FOOD, SAYING:
                               TAKE THIS ALL OF YOU AND EAT IT:
                               THIS IS MY BODY,  WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

AT THE END OF THE SUPPER, AS DEATH DREW NEAR,
HE TOOK THE CUP OF LOVE’S PAIN AND LOVE’S JOY,
AND EMBRACING HIS FATHER’S WILL,  HE SAID:
                                TAKE THIS ALL OF YOU AND DRINK IT:
                                THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
                                THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
                                IT WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR ALL
                                FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN.
                                DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

LET US PROCLAIM THE MYSTERY OF FAITH…

WE REMEMBER, THAT WE MIGHT BE FULLY ALIVE,
THAT JESUS SHARED THE PAIN AND JOY OF OUR FLESH,
EVEN UNTO DEATH!  BUT DEATH NO LONGER HAS DOMINION,
FOR LOVE RAISED HIM TO EASTER’S DAWNING LIGHT.
ENTHRONING THE SERVANT JESUS AT YOUR RIGHT HAND AS OUR KING,
HE POURED OUT IN ABUNDANCE THE SPIRIT OF HIS HEART,
THE POWER OF HIS LOVE, THE LIFE OF HIS KINGDOM.

MAY THAT SPIRIT INFUSE US AFRESH,
THAT WE MIGHT EVER SERVE YOUR BROKEN WORLD,
EVER HEAL YOUR WOUNDED PEOPLE,
EVER CRY FREEDOM FOR THE VICTIMS THAT ARE YOUR BELOVED ONES.

MAY WE GROW IN COMMUNION WITH THOSE WHO KNOW
THE GLORY OF YOUR KINGDOM:
WITH MARY,  CLEAREST SIGN OF YOUR LOVE’S REIGN,
WITH THE APOSTLES TEACHING US TO REACH OUT INTO THE WORLD,
WITH ALL THE MARTYRS AND SAINTS,  SHOWING US LOVE’S FIDELITY,
ESPECIALLY ST NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO AND THE SAINTS OF OUR OWN COMMUNITY.

MAY IT BE OUR JOY TO BUILD ONE CHURCH AMONG ALL BELIEVERS,
IN UNBREAKABLE BONDS OF LOVE WITH ALL THE CHURCHES,
WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SERVANTS, FRANCIS AND DECLAN,
AND WITH THE WHOLE OF HUMANITY
WHO ARE THE FAMILY OF THE KINGDOM.

THEN WE SHALL JOURNEY AND WORK AND LOVE TOGETHER
UNTIL THE GREAT DAY OF OUR KING’S COMING,
WHEN ALL THE EARTH SHALL BE THE KINGDOM HE PRESENTS TO YOU,
AND YOU WILL BE ALL IN ALL.

THROUGH HIM, AND WITH HIM,  AND IN HIM,
O GOD, ALMIGHTY FATHER
IN THE UNITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,
ALL GLORY AND HONOUR IS YOURS,
FOREVER AND EVER…AMEN!

Mass of Patronal Feast of St Nicholas of Tolentino – Mass of Rededication

ENTRANCE LITURGY

PROCESSIONAL SONG    African

THE RITE OF CATECHUMEN IS CELEBRATED

GLORIA                                        said
OPENING PRAYER

LITURGY OF THE WORD

AT THE LECTERN –  Rededication to the Word
Our priest and Readers go to the Lectern to welcome the Holy Scriptures, and all rededicate ourselves to the Word Who is Life for us, Bread for our Journey.

RICHARD:     Our God is the One who speaks – a Word that creates, redeems and heals.
God speaks with such intensity that the Word was made Flesh in Jesus.
This Living Word is to be proclaimed in new ways by this parish for years to come.
Let us always open our hearts to the Word Who is Life,
that the flesh of our lives will also carry the Word to the World.

PARISHIONER:     Will you rededicate yourselves to being the People of the Word?
Will you allow the Word to gather you as one community?
Will you welcome the Word when it challenges you to change?
Will you, like Mary, ponder the Word in your heart and make it your treasure
and like St Nicholas build your lives upon the Rock of God’s Word?

PEOPLE:  WE DO!

FIRST READING                                        Jeremiah c1: vv 4-10
RESPONSORIAL PSALM                               CD Psalm
SECOND READING                                    Romans c8: vv 14-25
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION                       CD Alleluia de Kiev (Taizé)
GOSPEL Luke c4: vv 16-21
HOMILY

BAPTISMAL LITURGY

BLESSING OF THE WATER

RICHARD: As we give thanks for 172 years of mission and witness, we recommit ourselves to God’s future for our parish of community and mission. Baptism is the foundation of our Life in Christ. Signed by the Cross of Christ and immersed in the Sacred Waters, we die to ourselves and rise with Christ, to live for Him, for each other and for our world; from the Fount of Living Water we drink deeply of the Holy Spirit, and cry out ‘Abba! our Father!’. From every tribe and nation, race and people we are gathered into the one Family of all God’s Children.

PARISHIONER: Will you now renew your commitment as the People of the Water:
Do you renounce all evil in the world and in your own hearts?
Do you commit yourselves to living the holiness of the Beatitudes?

PEOPLE: WE DO!

PARISHIONER:   Will you love God your Father with all your heart and strength?
Will you accept afresh the New Life won for you
by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, brother to all Humanity?
Will you live faithfully as a member of God’s Holy Church,
building together a Universal Communion of love for all the nations?
Do you open afresh your life to the Power and Gifts of the Spirit that we might continue the Mission of the Church here long into the future?

PEOPLE: WE DO! 

RICHARD: Brothers and sisters:
Let us ask the Lord our God to breathe His restless Spirit upon this water, gift of His hand and sign of our baptism, upon our children chosen for baptism, and upon everyone of us, that we may be faithful to the new life we have received.

PEOPLE: COME CREATOR SPIRIT COME!

We praise you, our creating God, for fresh water, sparkling mirror of your glory;
for fresh water, out of which life first sprang, and upon which the first path to new life was charted;
for the parting of the waters of Exodus, clearing freedom’s highway out of the house of slavery;
for the waters of repentance, flowing straight into the hearts of your people at the word of John the Baptist;
for the Living Water, your Son Jesus, pouring himself out like a flood,
quenching our thirst with his love.  

PEOPLE: COME CREATOR SPIRIT COME!

God, Father and Mother of all Life,
look with love upon your Church gathered this Holy Night
and unseal for us the founting water of baptism,
and raise your children by New Birth into your new Humanity,
that we may work with you to create a new world, your kingdom upon the earth.

PEOPLE: COME CREATOR SPIRIT COME!

God, take this, our water, once more as your own.
Make it really alive, as in the beginning;
You who are Creator, brood over it in love as tender Mother;
You who are Redeemer, fashion us anew in the image of Jesus
who is alive in Your Spirit forever

PEOPLE: COME CREATOR SPIRIT COME!

Our Catechumen is now baptised

BIDDING PRAYER BEGIN WITH THE RENEWAL OF OUR PARISH COVENANT WITH THE POOR

RICHARD: As in the past, so into the future God entrusts to our parish the care of the poor of the city and beyond. The Holy Spirit calls and empowers us to rededicate ourselves as a community to that same caring for the poor and marginalised, excluded and rejected. We hear the cries of our poor Earth, our planet hurting and abused by our exploitation. Challenged to work for a True Jubilee of Justice and Peace for our Earth and its peoples by remaining true of our Covenant with the Poor, and inspired by God’s great Lover of the Poor, St Nicholas,
we accept again the challenge :
to hold in prayer the poor and conflict-torn of the world;
to recognise the causes of poverty, war and racial conflict and so campaign;
to find renewed energy for inspired action to bring about peace and justice;
to welcome the stranger among us and struggle with them for freedom.
Do you reaffirm this Covenant with the Poor?

People: WE DO!

INTERCESSIONS    AFTER EACH INTERCESSION, ALL SAY

RENEW YOUR PEOPLE  IN LOVE…

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

OFFERTORY      The Blessing of the St Nicholas Bread

READER:     As a child, St Nicholas went to the homes of the poor with his parents to bring food, clothes and comfort;
as an Augustinian novice he gave the Priory’s food away to the poor and converted his brothers to generosity;
as a priest he organised the distribution of food to poor families during time of famine;
as God’s servant of healing Nicholas blessed bread and placed it on the lips of a dead child who came to life;
and every day he broke the bread of the Word and the bread of life for God’s people.

PRIEST:
Hear our prayer O Lord and with the intercession of St Nicholas of Tolentino bless this bread that it might bring healing and strength to Your People today, encouraging us to share with love, touch with gentleness and speak with courage so that we might be Good News to the Poor, Bread in your hands to be broken  for a New World of justice and equality
In the Name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

AMEN! 

EUCHARISTIC ACCLAMATIONS

COMMUNION                                      

AT THE TABLE OF THE EUCHARIST Rededication as the Community of the Bread and the Cup

After sharing the Eucharist together, the Priest stands once more at the Altar Table and lead us in an Act of Rededication as the People of the Eucharist.

RICHARD:    At the centre of every Catholic church stands the Table of the Lord.
May generations to come gather around this Eucharistic Table
to share the Breaking of the Bread, and to drink deeply of His transforming love in the One Cup.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Christ that has broken down the barriers dividing us from each other; it is the centre of our lives,
the love that gathers us from every race, culture and language
into a Universal Community, a People of joyous diversity, the People of God;
the power which nourishes us and sends us in mission to our world.

PARISHIONER: Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, working in the years and decades that lie ahead of us as a parish for the unity of the One Bread and One Cup  among yourselves and with Christians of every tradition?
Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, to break bread of justice, share the cup of suffering with the poor,
welcome the stranger and the outcast to our Table and bring healing to our divided society?

PEOPLE: WE DO!

PARISHIONER:  Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, by hungering for Christ’s presence and thirsting for Christ’s love …
by expressing that love by humble service of the poor and broken of your world? 

PEOPLE: WE DO!

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION

THE BLESSING AND MISSION 

Commissioning and Sending our Community for another year of Service and Witness to the Lord

RICHARD:  We stand in a rich tradition of 172 years of faith and prayer,
witness and service …
may the Father make us faithful to all that has been handed on to us

PEOPLE: AMEN!

RICHARD: Jesus shares with us His dream of a world made new,
a New Heaven and New Earth where all creation is set free.
May we listen to his call, walk his Way, proclaim His Truth
and give Life by His Love in new and challenging ways

PEOPLE: AMEN!

RICHARD:   May the Holy Spirit, fall upon us …
with life-giving Water to cleanse and heal;
 with Fire to burn love into our hearts;
with Mighty Wind to empower us to be Prophets
that we will be a Parable of Communion in the Inner City
forging the future with new courage

PEOPLE: AMEN!

RICHARD: May Almighty God bless us all
Father + Son and Holy Spirit now and forever …

PEOPLE: AMEN!

RICHARD:   Our Celebration is ended …
                         go in the love of God,
                         the Freedom of Christ
                         and the power of the Spirit
to proclaim Good News to All Creation!

PEOPLE: THANKS BE TO GOD!

   

Blessing of ‘St Nicholas Bread’ Food Bank

THE WORD OF GOD
The Apostles said: ’It is late, send the crowds away to buy some food.’ But Jesus replied: ‘There is no need for them to go – give them something yourselves’…
On the night before He dies, Jesus was with his disciples and he got up from table, took off his outer garments, took a bowl and water and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then he washed the feet of his disciples… And He said: ‘Go and do likewise’.

Prayer of Blessing:
All-loving and ever-living God,
in your great love hear our prayer.
We name and dedicate this building ‘ST NICHOLAS BREAD’
to the care of our poor and hungry sisters and brothers,
that it might be ‘the Eucharist of the Street’,
translating the Breaking of Bread at our Altar
into the Breaking of Bread with the impoverished of our city.
May Your Love be the well-spring of all we do and all we share.
May we live with courage Your ‘Option for the Poor’,
and raise our voices in protest against the poverty we see
May Christ the Prophet and Provider always be in this place.
In the Name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
AMEN!

Holy Water (a reminder of our Baptism in Christ and a symbol of the Holy Spirit) is sprinkled upon the building as a sign of blessing and hallowing.  

Final Blessing:
May the all-loving God, who is Lord, show us His Way;
may Christ, the eternal Wisdom, teach us Gospel foolishness;
may the Holy Spirit, healer and source of power,
inspire and empower our humble service;
and the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
come down upon us now and always ….
AMEN!

VIGIL OF PRAYER FOR PENTECOST

SONG TO INVOKE THE SPIRIT Shona Processional Song           No 458 vv 1, 3, 5

PENITENTIAL RITE

Genesis 11: 1-9 Diverse Languages ruin the building of the Tower of Babel: so division hinders the building of the Kingdom. The Pentecost event is the healing of Babel.

Sung Response:         No 936

THE WORD OF GOD – THE OLD TESTAMENT PREPARES FOR THE SPIRIT

[1] Exodus 19: 3-8, 16-20   God enters into sacred Covenant with the liberated Hebrew slaves at Mt Sinai and the people see cloud and fire – the Spirit comes to the disciples in the Upper Room in the form of mighty wind and tongues of flame. The Spirit brings the ancient Covenants to fulfilment as our hearts and community are filled with Divine Presence.

Sung Response: No 720

Prayer

[2] Isaiah 61: 1-3, 6, 8-9 The Spirit anoints God’s People so that they can be servants of a perpetual ‘Jubilee Year’ – announcing Good News to the Poor and freedom to all held captive in oppression.

Sung Response: No 883 vv 1, 2, 5

Prayer

[3] Ezechiel 37: 1-14 The Spirit blows through our inner deadness – as individuals and as a church – to bring us alive, to renew us, to ‘re-form‘ us as a People filled with the power of the Spirit.

Sung Response: No 302

Prayer

[4] Joel 3: 1-5 Through the outpouring of the Spirit, we know the Lord is in the midst of us, and then we can dream, be visionary of a world where everyone is alive to the Spirit!

Sung Response: No 295 

Prayer

GLORIA Glory to God, Glory to God…

COLLECT PRAYER OF THE VIGIL MASS OF PENTECOST

The Epistle:  Romans 8: 22-27      The Spirit is at once cosmic in dynamism, drawing all creation to the freedom of the Children of God; and profoundly personal and interior – praying too deep for understanding at the core of our being.

Responsorial Psalm sung

Alleluia, acclaiming the Gospel (African)

THE GOSPEL: John 7: 37-39 Jesus is a the source, or wellspring of the Spirit, for from his heart pierced on the Cross flows streams of ‘Living Water’ into the desert of our hearts and our world, healing and giving life in all its fullness.

Homily

ACT OF DEDICATION TO THE SPIRIT

Richard Do you believe in the Creator Spirit given by the Father?
PEOPLE    We believe that God breathed the Spirit over the chaos at the dawning of creation; that the Spirit hovered over the dark waters and brought forth Light and creation’s order and beauty.
… And so we will reverence all creation and care for our earth and fragile environment.

Mary Do you believe in the Spirit of Love flowing from the Heart of Christ?
PEOPLE    We believe that God overshadowed Mary so that Jesus’ flesh was conceived in the Holy Spirit; that God anointed Jesus with the Spirit in the Jordan River for a life of Loving Service of the Kingdom – of love in word and action; and that from His broken Heart on the Cross Jesus poured forth the Water of the Spirit upon all humankind.
… And so we will share the Mission of Christ, welcome the Spirit’s Gifts and work with Jesus in the Power of His Spirit for the Kingdom.

Andrew Do you believe in the Spirit that unites us and leads us into all truth?
PEOPLE We believe that from all eternity the Spirit has united the Father and the Son in a Trinity of Love; that the Spirit brought the Church to birth in a ferment of Mission and Praise; that the Spirit challenges the People of God in every age and place to be the One Loving Body of Christ; that the Spirit through the ages guides His People to proclaim the Truth that is Christ with greater courage and deeper insight.
… And so we will seek the new ways of the Spirit for the Church in our time; to unite all God’s People that together we might Proclaim the Gospel with a renewed Power to the world of the Third Millennium.

SONG No 305  

INTERCESSIONS 

MINISTRY OF PRAYER FOR THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT Chant:  Sing to the Lord, O my soul, and all that is in me proclaim God’s salvation!
Sing to the Lord, O my soul, and remember all of God’s marvellous deeds!

African Song

Spiritus Jesus Christi, Spiritus Caritatis, confirmet cor tuum (X2)
[May the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Love strengthen your heart.]

Lighting a Candle in your home (to be placed in your window at the end of the Service)

The Lord is my Light, my Light and Salvation
In God I trust, in God I trust!

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION 

While the Early Church tumbled out of the Upper Room into the Market Place to witness to Christ, we cannot leave our homes at this time, but we want to commit ourselves to the Mission of the Gospel. So we place our lit candle if possible on a window sill or outside our home (garden?).

Blessing and Dismissal No 770

ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

This prayer off offered to all who are unable to receive Holy Communion during this Coronavirus pandemic. May it help us to recognise the Risen Christ, our Emmanuel, God always with us, reaching into the ‘locked rooms’ of our isolation and binding us together in Him, whom we know Risen from the Dead in the Breaking of the Bread

Jesus, my Brother and Lord,
I recognise you  present with me
in the Breaking of the Bread and the sharing of the Cup,
in this most holy Sacrament of Your Body and Blood.
I love you Who come to me in the poverty of this bread and wine
and desire with all my heart to receive you into the core of my being.
It hurts that I cannot at this time eat Your Body and drink Your Blood,
but I truly believe you do come to me in all fulness.
For Your love unites me spiritually with my Eucharistic Community,
with Your whole Body, the Church.
I believe nothing can separate me from Your love.
I thank you with all my being that I am now one with you
and my  sisters and brothers in Your Church
through this Holy Eucharist.
Praise to You, my Food and my Love, my Brother and my Lord!

AMEN!

STATIONS OF CREATION

The ‘Stations of Creation’ are inspired by Str Francis of Assisi and his ‘Canticle of the Creatures, and Pope Francis epoch-making Encyclical Letter of Climate Change and Social Justice. This communal Devotional Prayer is offered to help us all reflect upon the greatest crisis of our time – global warming – and to pray for courage and wisdom for leaders and ourselves in response to ‘the cries of the poor, the cries of the earth’.

Stations of Creation