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Sunday 12 April 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 white and/or gold cloth if you have any, to reflect the seasonal colour and the joy of this solemn occasion.

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

Greeting

Leader:

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

All:

Amen.

Leader:

Blessed be God, whose love is stronger than death.

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.

Leader:

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy.

All:

Lord, have mercy.

Leader:

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy.

All:

Christ, have mercy.

Leader:

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy.

All:

Lord, have mercy.

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 on this day,
through your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray, that we who keep
the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection
may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
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 Acts of the Apostles

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.’ Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses – we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead – and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.’

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.

℟ This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say:
‘His love has no end.’ ℟

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me up.
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds. ℟

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes. ℟

Second Reading

Reader:

A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians

You must know how even a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

The word of the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.

Acclamation Before the Gospel

Try to sing Alleluia to a simple tune known to all.

Gospel

Reader:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

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 question below to as a guide for your own silent reflection.

Across the fifty days of Easter that this holy night opens us to us, we will hear constant reminders to not be afraid. Our salvation history, recalled in these scripture texts, is one of God’s love and power conquering darkness and despair.
How can our Easter faith, hope and joy break through the darkness and despair that hangs over our world right now?

Profession of Faith

Leader:

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection
we have died to sin in baptism and risen to new life.
Now that we have completed our Lenten observance,
let us profess our faith of our baptism on this most holy day,
united with the Church throughout the world.

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.
May we be renewed in grace on this most blessed of days.
Risen Lord, hear us.

All:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader:

For political leaders and public health authorities.
May they make wise decisions for the good of all,
and work to maintain calm in these times of uncertainty.
Risen Lord, hear us. ℟

For the newly baptised.
May their faith shine forth as a sign of hope,
and may they always be blessed with God’s peace.
Risen Lord, hear us. ℟

For our parish community.
May the joy of this night overflow in acts of love
towards all we encounter in our daily lives.
Risen Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who are sick,
especially those diagnosed with COVID-19.
May they be comforted and strengthened by Christ,
who shared and conquered our human suffering.
Risen Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who have died,
May those who have imitated Christ’s death
also share in his resurrection.
Risen Lord, hear us. ℟

Leader: God of compassion,
by your Son’s cross and resurrection, you have set us free.
Fill our hearts with Easter joy,
so that we may be true to our baptism
and give witness to the power of Christ’s love.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

All:

Amen.

Proclamation of Praise

Leader:

Christ has conquered death and opened for us the way to eternal life,
so let us give praise to God.

Everyone prays the Gloria in excelsis together.

All:

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

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 praise the Lord, alleluia, alleluia.

All:

Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.


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.

Excerpts of the English Translation of The Divine Office, © 1974 the hierarchies of Australia, England and Wales, Ireland.

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.