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DAY OF PRAYER


PENITENTIAL LITURGY

WE NEED A SAVIOUR

 

 

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Presentation

The penitential liturgy is suggested for a time in Advent.

  1. Introductory Rite
  2. Liturgy of the Word
  3. Petitions
  4. Conclusion

(Biblical texts taken from: The New Jerusalem Bible, Darton, Longman & Todd. Ltd., 1985.)

 

 

 

Introductory Rite

 

Entrance song

“Wait for the Lord”

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord: keep watch, take heart!


© Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France, 2006 – DL 1025

 

Comments

During the Holy Season of Advent we want to emphasize a special concern for which we need the light of the Holy Spirit and the coming of our Saviour.

As members of the Church we recognize that we have neglected those who have been entrusted to us, especially children and vulnerable adults.

It distresses us to recognize that so many persons have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused within the Church. Moreover, it saddens us to see that there are times when we have not listened and we have not reached out to victims and survivors when they showed us their wounds and expressed their pain.

In this penitential liturgy, we ready ourselves to welcome Jesus, Light of the World. We pray for all of our brothers and sisters, for children adolescents and vulnerable adults who have been victims of abuse in the Church. Let us hear their cries, reach out to them and help them in their healing. We believe that in the presence of the Lord, wounds can be healed and wholeness can be restored thanks to his loving mercy.

At this hour of the afternoon, when we long for the coming of the Emmanuel, God with us, we pray that our Lord will give us the grace to be a safe home for all children, all adolescents, all vulnerable adults and all of his children on this earth.

 

Salutation

PRIEST: Our Lord Jesus, Saviour of all, who comes to the world to fill us with love and mercy, and to reconcile us with the Father, be with us all.

 

Penitential Act

PRIEST: Brothers and sisters: In order to heal the wounds caused to children, and to the most vulnerable ones of our society and of the whole world, it is necessary, first, to ask God to forgive us, He who through His Son Jesus Christ delivered us from sin and oppression. With a repentant heart let us pray: Lord, forgive your people.

 

  1. We ask your forgiveness, Lord, for the sexual abuse of children, adolescents and vulnerable adults which destroys respect for life and damages the victims, families and communities.

  2. We ask your forgiveness, Lord, for the times that we have assaulted the dignity of our brothers and sisters with our words or actions, forgetting that you created them in your image and likeness.

  3. We ask forgiveness, Lord, for the times our leaders have been negligent in the care of the little ones.

  4. We ask your forgiveness, Lord, for indifference to violence inflicted on others and for forgetting that we are called to practice justice and solidarity.

  5. We ask your forgiveness, Lord, for not adequately promoting the necessary measures and actions to address the physical, sexual, religious or moral abuse that occurs in our midst.

  6. We ask your forgiveness, Lord, for the times we have been, by our actions or inaction a source of suffering for our brothers and sisters, and in doing so distanced ourselves from your love and communion with your Church.

  7. We pray to you, Lord, for all those who have suffered sexual violence and other violations that have deeply affected their lives, to give them strength, to heal their wounds, to bring them peace.

 

PRIEST: Accept, merciful Father, our prayers, forgive our sins and heal all wounded hearts to live in your love and in your kindness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we know that you are present among us. Open our minds and our hearts so that we may receive your Word, so that we may listen to the victims of abuse in the Church; and so that we may commit ourselves to their healing process. May our Church be a safe home for all children, adolescents and vulnerable adults. Lord, inspire in us a prompt response, illuminated by your Holy Spirit. May your Mother, Mary, teach us to wait for you and to celebrate your coming. You who lives and reigns forever and ever….

 

 

 

Liturgy of the Word

 

Isaiah 43:1-7

And now, thus says Yahweh, he who created you, Jacob, Who formed you, Israel: “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. Should you pass through the waters, I shall be with you; or through rivers, they will not swallow you up. Should you walk through fire, you will not suffer, and the flame will not burn you. For I am Yahweh, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

I have given Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Since I regard you precious, since you are honoured and I love you, I therefore give people in exchange for you,

And nations in return for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I shall bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west.

To the north I shall say, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not hold them back!” Bring back my sons from far away, and my daughters from the remotest part of the earth, everyone who bears my name, whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.

 

Psalm 130

Response: My soul waits for the Lord, because in Him is salvation.

From the depths I cry to you, Yahweh:

Lord, hear my cry

Listen attentively

To the sound of my pleading

Response: My soul waits for the Lord, because in Him is salvation.

If you kept a record of our sins,

Lord, who could stand their ground?

But with you is forgiveness,

that you may be revered.

Response: My soul waits for the Lord, because in Him is salvation.

I rely, my whole being relies,

Yahweh, on your promise.

My whole being hopes in the Lord

More than watchmen for daybreak,

Let Israel hope in Yahweh.

Response: My soul waits for the Lord, because in Him is salvation.

For with Yahweh is faithful love

With him generous ransom;

And he will ransom Israel

From all its sins.

Response: My soul waits for the Lord, because in Him is salvation.

 

Song before the Gospel

“Ubi Caritas”

Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

© Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France, 2006 – DL 1025

 

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: Look! The virgin is with child and will give birth to a son whom they will call Immanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’.

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home, he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.

 

Homily/ Reflection

 

 

 

Petitions

 

Prayer to accept the Way of Pain

GOD KNOWS THAT I AM SUFFERING

 

Song:
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. God alone is sufficient” © Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France, 2006 – DL 102
Lyrics: Santa Teresa de Jesús, Music: J. Berthier

MINISTER: Pain needs to find a release, a way out. When a person has suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse, the feelings experienced are the same as those experienced when a loved one has been lost, when mourning is lived; something has been lost and it may not be recovered.

When a child, an adolescent or a vulnerable adult has suffered abuse, the feeling is one of lost innocence, life can assume a darkness. This pain is lived with each one of the emotions and feelings experienced, sometimes for years until those feelings and emotions are recognized, named and expressed.

PRIEST: As members of the Church, we wish to work with you, your pain, to be there when the feelings of anger, helplessness, disgust and despair erupt. We will accompany you while you experience your pain, and we beg our Lord to embrace you with his mercy.

Song :
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. God alone is sufficient”.
© Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France, 2006 – DL 102
Lyrics: Santa Teresa de Jesús, Music: J. Berthier

MINISTER: When abuse has been committed, the wound remains forever. This wound can produce a sensation of helplessness and desolation, lack of confidence in oneself, the sensation of not being able to take control of life.

In order to start the healing process, it is necessary to compensate for the pain, to claim for justice, to prosecute the guilty. It is imperative to know the truth, generating an environment of transparency, care and protection in our Church.

(1) With the abiding love of God and the care and protection of our Church, the healing process is possible for all those who have been abused and victimized.

(2) The healing process is truly possible for all of God’s children who have been abused and harmed, who have suffered pain and anguish, despair and hopelessness.

(3) To acknowledge the pain and anguish of abuse is to begin to walk the pathway of the healing process. With the care and the protection of the Church the truth can be acknowledged in an environment of transparency.

PRIEST: As members of the Church, we commit ourselves to walk with the victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the Church, so that their voice may be heard and their pain may be healed. We will accompany them in claiming for justice, and we beg our Lord to embrace them with his mercy.

Song:
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. God alone is sufficient ”
© Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France, 2006 – DL 102

Lyrics: Santa Teresa de Jesús, Music: J. Berthier

 

 

Litany prayer

Brothers and sisters: Let us beg our Lord Jesus that, in his coming, our hearts may be transformed by his mercy, in order to live in our society the true love that comes from God, and not to violate the human dignity.

That we prevent more darkness in this world…. In your coming, have mercy on us, Lord.

That good prevails over evil…

That we overcome our passions …

That fraternity grows among all men and women…

That hatred and violence come to an end…

That we all work for justice…

That there is no oppression….

That no children or youngsters be mistreated…

 

PRAYER: Our Father…

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

FINAL PRAYER

 

We thank you, God our Father, for Christmas days are coming. Thank you for the Salvation that your beloved Son Jesus brings to us. We thank you because we know that you are already present among us, embracing us with your mercy, accompanying all victims of abuse in your Church. Grant us Father to make of your Church a safe place, so that your grace and kindness be revealed in the whole world. We ask this through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen

 

Final song to the Virgin Mary:

“Magnificat” (canon)

Magnificat, magnificat, magnificat anima mea Dominum. Magnificat, magnificat, magnificat anima mea!
© Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France, 2006 – DL 102

Lyrics: Santa Teresa de Jesús, Music: J. Berthier