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

Thursday 9 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 cloth if you have any, as this is the seasonal colour for today. You may also include a bowl of water and a towel in this prayer focus.

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 Glory in the Cross (Dan Schutte)

Greeting

Leader:

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

All:

Amen.

Leader:

Blessed be God, who is charity and love.

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 were lifted up to draw all people to yourself:
Lord, have mercy.

All:

Lord, have mercy.

Leader:

You shouldered the cross, bearing our suffering and our sinfulness:
Christ, have mercy.

All:

Christ, have mercy.

Leader:

You open for your people the way from death into 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 calls us to participate
in the most sacred Supper,
in which your Only Begotten Son,
when about to hand himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity,
the banquet of his love,
grant, we pray,
that we may draw from so great a mystery,
the fullness of charity and 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 Book of Exodus

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month is to be the first of all the others for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock, one for each family; one animal for each household. If the household is too small to eat the animal, a man must join with his neighbour, the nearest to his house, as the number of persons requires. You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal. It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may take it from either sheep or goats. You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel shall slaughter it between the two evenings. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. You shall eat like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand. You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord. That night, I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt, I am the Lord. The blood shall serve to mark the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will pass over you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt. This day is to be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour. For all generations you are to declare it a day of festival, for ever.”‘

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.

℟   Our blessing-cup is a communion with the blood of Christ.

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name.  ℟

O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.  ℟

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make:
I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.  ℟

Second Reading

Reader:

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

This is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.

The word of the Lord.

All:

Thanks be to God.

Gospel

Reader:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

It was before the festival of the Passover, and Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was.

They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew the hour that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garment and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me.’ ‘Then, Lord,’ said Simon Peter ‘not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’ Jesus said, ‘No one who has taken a bath needs washing, he is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are.’

When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’

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.

Jesus’ confronting and radical action carries with it serious consequences for the disciples.
What are the ways that we, at this time, place ourselves at the service of others?

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, as we enter into the Easter Triduum.
That we may be drawn deeper into the mystery
of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.
Lord, hear us.

All:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader:

For health professionals who serve our community
by caring for those with infectious diseases.
That they may know of our gratitude.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who lack access to basic needs.
That they will be aided by those who live in comfort,
particularly through support of organisations such as
Caritas Australia and the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those who are absent from the table of the Lord.
That they will be sought out with hospitality and care.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those preparing to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord for the first time this Easter.
That they may learn to proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Lord, hear us. ℟

For those soon to be nourished with the Lord’s Body
on their journey to eternal life.
That the dying may offer their lives to God as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Lord, hear us. ℟

Leader:

God of love,
your Son demonstrates for us the way of perfect humility.
Help us to follow his example by serving all people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All:

Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Leader:

Let us pray the words that Jesus taught us.

All:

Our Father…

Concluding Prayer

Leader:

Let us pray.

Lord God,
since for your glory and our salvation,
you willed Christ your Son to be the eternal High Priest:
grant that the people he gained for you by his blood,
may be strengthened by his cross and resurrection
when they take part in his memorial sacrifice.
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.

As we do at the Mass on this evening, today’s celebration ends without the Sign of the Cross.


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.