15Mar Presider’s Page for 15 March (Third Sunday of Lent)

Songs: ‘Praise to the Holiest’; Like The Deer That Yearns’; ‘Be Not Afraid’; ‘Hail Queen of Heaven’ (or Salve Regina).

Opening Comment
Today’s readings about water and thirst remind us that this is a baptismal season. The holy water of baptism blesses and protects the faithful in every danger, even as the threat of the coronavirus bears down upon our world.

Penitential Rite
To prepare ourselves for this gathering, let us call to mind our sins (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)
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.

BIDDING PRAYERS

Introduction (by the Presider) Let us come before the Lord, bringing forward all our needs.

  1. For Pope Francis, as he begins his 8th year as pope, that he may have courage (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
  2. For people around the world, as we struggle with Coronavirus (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
  3. For all who are sick or suffering (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
  4. For people who thirst for meaning in this difficult time, that God may help them (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
  5. For healthcare workers, that they may be protected (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
  6. For this community, and particularly for vulnerable and elderly people, that we may support them (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.

The presider prays for the dead: For those who have died (especially N & N), that their thirst for life without end may be satisfied (short pause for quiet prayer/reflection). 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

PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
Through this sacrifice of reconciliation
grant in your mercy, Lord,
that we who seek pardon for our own sins
may also learn to forgive one another.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

PREFACE (Third Sunday of Lent, Year A)
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.

When he asked the woman of Samaria for water to drink,
Jesus had already bestowed on her the gift of faith.
He thirsted for her faith,
that he might inflame her heart with the fire of divine love.

Together with the angels
we glorify your mighty deeds
and join in their chorus of praise: Holy, Holy, Holy….

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER II
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,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Lord our God,
you feed us in this life with bread from heaven,
the pledge and foreshadowing of future glory;
grant that the working of this sacrament within us
may bear fruit in our daily lives.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.

SOLEMN BLESSING

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Bow your heads for God’s blessing.
The priest prays with hands outstretched over the people.
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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