31Mar Presider’s Page for 31 March (Lent 4 – Laetare)

Suggested Songs: ‘The Lord Will Heal The Broken Heart’; ‘Come Back To Me’; ‘O The Love Of My Lord’; ‘Amazing Grace’.

Opening Comment
We have reached the midway point of the season of Lent. The joy of Easter is within our reach and the parent of the prodigal son encourages us to rely on divine mercy.
(Sunday morning Masses: On this Mother’s Day, we honour the mothers of the community, and pray for those who have died.)

Penitential Rite:
As we begin, we call to mind our lack of love — and God’s endless compassion (pause):
Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to one another and to the Father: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you heal the wounds of sin and division: Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you intercede for us with your Father: Lord, have mercy.

Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God of compassion,
you await the sinner’s return
and spread a feast to welcome home the lost.

Save us from the temptations
that lead away from you,
and draw us back by the constancy of your love,
that we may take our place in your household
and gladly share our inheritance with others.

Grant this through Christ, our liberator from sin,
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
Joshua 5:9-12 Tells the story of the Israelites’ first Passover after their years wandering in the desert.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Paul reminds us that we are a new creation, ambassadors for Christ.
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 The story of the Prodigal Son, the Loving Father and the disapproving older brother.

BIDDING PRAYERS

Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, who rescues us from all our distress.

  1. That all who follow Christ may return to the embrace of their Loving Father during this Lent (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.
  2. That people who have fallen out with each other may be reconciled (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.
  3. That families who are experiencing difficulties may learn to forgive (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.
  4. That Pope Francis may experience a warm welcome from Muslims and Christians in Morocco this weekend (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.
  5. That Christian communities in every country may have their rights respected (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.
  6. That our mothers may be blessed, and that mothers who have died may find eternal rest (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.

The Presider prays for the dead: That God may bring to Paradise all those who have died, and all our relatives and friends who have gone before us in faith (pause and pray for 10 seconds). Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, you love your people unceasingly, hear the prayers we make in faith through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer over the gifts
With joy, Lord, we present to you the sacrifice
that brings us eternal healing.
Grant in your goodness
that we may celebrate this mystery with faith
and offer it worthily for the salvation of the world.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Preface (Lent I)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Each year you bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts
and prepare with joy for the paschal feast.
By more faithful prayer and works of charity
and by celebrating the mysteries of our rebirth,
we are led to the fullness of grace as your sons and daughters.

And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: HOLY, HOLY…..

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II (with interpolation for Sunday mornings)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
you are the fountain of all holiness.

[In communion with the whole Church,
we have assembled on this day which you have made holy,
and, rejoicing that you have made us a new creation in your risen Son,
we pray:]

Send down your Spirit upon these gifts to make them holy,
that they may become for us
the body + and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Before he was given up to death,
a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT IT:
THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.

When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT:
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL,
SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

The mystery of faith…..

Remembering therefore his death and resurrection,
we offer you, Lord God,
this life-giving bread, this saving cup.
We thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
We pray that all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ
may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, remember your Church throughout the world:
perfect us in love
together with Francis our Pope and N. our Bishop,
with all bishops, priests, and deacons,
and all who minister to your people.

Remember our brothers and sisters
who have gone to their rest
in the sure hope of rising again;
bring them and all who have died in your mercy
into the light of your presence.

Have mercy on us all:
make us worthy to share eternal life,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles and with all the saints,
who have found favour with you throughout the ages;
in union with them
may we praise you and give you glory
through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through him, with him, in him …..

Prayer after Communion
God of majesty,
you enlighten everyone who comes into this world;
fill our hearts with the light of your grace,
that our thoughts may always be pleasing to you
and our love for you always sincere.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Solemn Blessing (Lent)
God of salvation,
let your Son’s passion and death
be for your people
protection from evil in this life
and the sure hope of glory
in the life to come.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


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