Welcome | Resources for Liturgy | Rites of the Church | Celebrations of the Word for God for Home Use during COVID-19

Sunday 29 March 2020

Celebration of the Word of God

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In the current COVID-19 pandemic, many Catholics are unable to participate in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration.  This resource is provided so that families and individuals can observe and celebrate Sunday in their homes. It is adapted from, and based on, Celebrations of the Word of God that may be celebrated on Sundays in parishes when a priest is not present to lead the celebration of Mass.

Before the celebration, choose a space for prayer together in the home.  You may wish to prepare a focus for prayer, with a lit candle and cross. You could also decorate this focus with purple cloth if you have any, as this is the seasonal colour for Lent.

If several people will pray together, choose who will be the leader of the celebration.  Other people should be chosen to read the readings and the intercessions. If you are on your own, you may omit the parts that would only apply to a group setting (eg responses).

The Introductory Rites

Opening Song

You may choose to play this recording of You Are Mine (David Haas)

Greeting

Leader:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All:

Amen.

Leader:

Blessed be God, the giver of life.

All:

Blessed be God for ever.

Penitential Act

Leader:

The love of Christ has gathered us together.
Let us ask forgiveness of the Lord who is compassion and love.

Pause briefly for silent prayer.

All:

I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Leader:

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life.

All:

Amen.

Collect Prayer

Leader:

Let us pray.

Pause for silent prayer.

Leader:

By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God,
may we walk eagerly in that same charity
with which, out of love for the world,
your Son handed himself over to death.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

All:

Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading

Reader:

A reading from the prophet Ezekiel

The Lord says this: I am going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.

The word of the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Someone praying on their own may read the psalm from beginning to end, without the response in between each stanza.

℟   With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ear be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.  ℟

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you.  ℟

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
(Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord.)  ℟

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.  ℟

Second Reading

Reader:

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans

People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

The word of the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.

Gospel

Reader:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

The sisters Martha and Mary sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’

On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life,
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’

‘Yes Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’ Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said ‘See how much he loved him!’ But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him ‘Lord by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:
‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.
I knew indeed that you always hear me.
But I speak
for the sake of all these who stand round me,
so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’

When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free.’

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

All:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily or Silent Reflection on the Readings

You may choose to watch the homily video, or use the questions below to as a guide for your own silent reflection.

Through the raising of Lazarus, we see the glory of God.
Do our lives reveal the glory of God to others?

Profession of Faith

Leader:

United with the Church throughout the world, let us profess our faith.

All:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader:

We have listened to God’s word.
Moved by that word,
let us pray to God for our needs and the needs of the world.

Reader:

For the Church in Australia, as it continues towards the Plenary Council.
May the Holy Spirit guide it in its discernment.
Lord, hear us.

All:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader:

For all those with the COVID-19 coronavirus,
May the work to protect their lives be successful.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who now find themselves without work.
May they receive practical support to meet their needs.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who mourn the loss of a loved one.
May be comforted by our hope in the resurrection.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who have died.
May they dwell forever with Christ, who is the resurrection and the life.
Lord, hear us. ℟

Leader:

God of mercy,
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of our pleading.
Guide us to live spiritual lives.
Through Christ our Lord.

All:

Amen.

Proclamation of Praise

Leader:

This is the day that the Lord has made,
So let us give praise to God.

Everyone prays Psalm 113 together.

All:

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
    praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time on and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,
who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

Lord’s Prayer

Leader:

Let us pray the words that Jesus taught us.

All:

Our Father…

The Concluding Rites

Blessing and Dismissal

All make the Sign of the Cross as the leader says:

Leader:

May God fill us with faith, hope and love,
both now and forever.

All:

Amen.

Leader:

Let us bless the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This celebration is based on the Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, Congregation for Divine Worship, 1988; and Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest: Directives for the Dioceses of Australia, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, 2004. In Pastoral Handbook for the Dioceses of Australia: Sunday Celebration of the Word, Sunday Celebration of the Hours, © National Liturgical Commission (Australia), 2004, published by The Liturgical Commission, Brisbane.

Excerpts of the English Translation of The Roman Missal, © 2010, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

Readings from the Jerusalem Bible © 1966, 1967, 1968, Darton Longman and Todd Ltd. Respsonsorial Psalm texts from The Psalms: A New Translation © 1963, The Grail (England).

Psalm texts used in the Proclamation of Praise from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

Other texts, homily video and graphics (except where otherwise indicated) produced by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wentworthville for prayer at home during the period of time that Masses are suspended and/or Sunday obligation is dispensed in the Diocese of Parramatta due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource can be used for personal, non-profit use, and only for its intended purpose.