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

Sunday 5 December 2020

Celebration of the Word of God

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, to reflect the liturgical colour of the season. If you have an Advent wreath at home, include this in your space, and light the first and second candles.

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 O Emmanuel (Michael Mangan)

Greeting

Leader:

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

All:

Amen.

Leader:

Blessed be God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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 came to gather the nations into the peace of God’s kingdom:
Lord, have mercy.

All:

Lord, have mercy.

Leader:

You come in word and sacrament to strengthen us and make us holy:
Christ, have mercy.

All:

Christ, have mercy.

Leader:

You will come in glory with salvation for your people:
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.

Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance to his company.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

All:

Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading

Reader:

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

‘Console my people, console them’
says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem
and call to her
that her time of service is ended,
that her sin is atoned for,
that she has received from the hand of the Lord
double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness
a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God
across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
let every cliff become a plain,
and the ridges a valley;
then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
and all mankind shall see it;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

Go up on a high mountain,
joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice,
joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear,
say to the towns of Judah,
‘Here is your God.’
Here is the Lord coming with power,
his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him,
his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast
and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

The word of the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

℟ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for his people.
His help is near for those who fear him
and his glory will dwell in our land. ℟

Mercy and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
and justice look down from heaven. ℟

The Lord will make us prosper
and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
and peace shall follow his steps. ℟

Second Reading

Reader:

A reading from the second letter of St Peter

There is one thing, my friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, ‘a day’ can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not being slow to carry out his promises, as anybody else might be called slow; but he is being patient with you all, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to change his ways. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up.

Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace.

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 Mark

The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:

Look, I am going to send my messenger before you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,

and so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

All:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection on the Readings

Profession of Faith

All:

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. 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:

That the Church will have the courage to act
as a prophetic voice for the marginalised in society.

All:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader:

That, with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions,
people will remain vigilant about the risks of the virus.
We pray to the Lord. ℟

That Christmas will be a time of joy, for all,
despite increased concerns about financial security.
We pray to the Lord. ℟

That we will greet the upcoming Christmas season with hope.
We pray to the Lord. ℟

That the sick will be healed and strengthened.
We pray to the Lord. ℟

That those who have died enjoy eternal life.
We pray to the Lord. ℟

Leader:

Lord, listen our prayers
which we make 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 the Magnificat together.

All:

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her nothingness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.

Lord’s Prayer

Leader:

Let us pray the words that Jesus taught us.

All:

Our Father…

The Concluding Rites

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.

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.

Adapted excerpts of the English Translation of The Book of Blessings, © 1987, 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 not from sources acknowledged above are 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.