Presider’s Page for Lent 3 (Sun 23 March)
Opening Comment (for the Presider)
Today’s readings about water and thirst remind us that this is a baptismal season. During Lent, many people all over the world look forward to their baptism, while those already baptised prepare to renew their promises.
Alternative opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
O God, living and true,
look upon your people, whose dry and stony hearts are parched with thirst.
Unseal the living water of your Spirit;
let it become within us an ever-flowing spring, leaping up to eternal life.
Thus may we worship you in spirit and in truth
through Christ, our deliverance and hope,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings Exodus 17:3-7 — A thirsty people complain to Moses, and God gives them water from the rock. Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 — A reflection on God’s love, which was proved, Paul says, by Jesus’ death on the cross. John 4:5-42 — The Gospel story of the woman at the well contains the promise of living water to those who believe, foreshadowed in the reading from Exodus.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us come before the Lord, bringing forward all our needs.
- For the baptised / that they may appreciate the gifts that are theirs (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For adults and children preparing for baptism / that our prayer and support may encourage them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For all who thirst for meaning and truth / that they may experience God’s revealing grace (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For poor nations, where water is scarce / that they may have the help they need in the fight against thirst (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the people in our world who thirst for basic human rights / that believers may work for the dignity of all (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For this community, and particularly for people in any kind of difficulty, that this Lent may teach us to be true friends of those in need (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for those who have died (especially N & N): that their thirst for life without end may be satisfied (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, we are yours, you lead us by the hand: send the help we need, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen
SUGGESTED SONGS: ‘Praise to the Holiest’, Like The Deer That Yearns’, ‘Lord Of All Hopefulness’.