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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 Open My Eyes (Jesse Manibusan)

Greeting

Leader:

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

All:

Amen.

Leader:

Blessed be God, the light of the world.

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:

O God, who through your Word
reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith
the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.
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 first book of Samuel

The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’ When Samuel arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed one stands there before him,’ but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his appearance or his height for I have rejected him; God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’ At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.

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.

℟   The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
to revive my drooping spirit.  ℟

He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.  ℟

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.  ℟

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.  ℟

Second Reading

Reader:

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

You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light. That is why it is said:

Wake up from your sleep,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.

The word of the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.

Gospel

Reader:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. He spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.

His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’

They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’, replied the man.

‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.

Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him’. Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

All:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Silent Reflection on the Readings

You may choose to use the following to guide your reflection:

The Pharisees were blind to the divinity of Jesus.
Do we ask God to open our eyes to his presence in all creation; in all people?

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 our Church, at a time when so many may not celebrate the Eucharist.
May we be united by the prayers that we make without ceasing.
Lord, hear us.

All:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader:

For health professionals, teachers and retail staff
who continue their work through this time of pandemic.
May they be appreciated and treated with respect.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who are isolated and vulnerable at this time,
especially the elderly, the homeless, and those without family support.
May they experience care and solidarity,
rather than selfishness and greed.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For the elect preparing for initiation at Easter,
especially those whose initiation may be delayed.
May their deepening and courageous faith, like that of the blind man,
be an inspiration to us all.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For the sick, the dying, and those who have departed this life.
May God’s goodness and kindness follow them.
Lord, hear us. ℟

Leader:

God of mercy,
Listen to the prayers of your people.
Guide us along the right path,
so that we may dwell in your house for ever.
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 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.