During Advent and Christmastide, we are asked to pray for these intentions:
Migrants and Refugees: especially on 3 December.
“On December 3rd the Church commemorates St Francis Xavier. This is the day chosen by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People to mark World Migration Day. Each year there is a message from the Holy Father reflecting on the 'signs of the times'.
“’Asylum seekers and refugees I wish to underline how the tendency is to stop at the question of their arrival while disregarding the reasons for which they left their native land.’ [Benedict XVI Message for World Migration day 2005]”
Lord, no one is a stranger to you and no one is ever far from your loving care.
In your kindness watch over refugees and exiles, those separated from their loved ones, young people who are lost, and those who have left or run away from home. Bring them back safely to the place where they long to be and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need.
Roman Missal: For Refugees and Exiles
Expectant Mothers: especially on 4th Sunday of Advent
The Gospel on the 4th Sunday of Advent focusses on the role of Mary in our salvation. Over the three year cycle the gospel tells of the betrothal of Mary to Joseph, the Annunciation and the Visitation. The stories prepare us for the Birth of our Lord at Christmas.
God has brought gladness and light to the world through the Virgin Mary’s delivery of her son.
Grant the prayer of all mothers to be as they ask for the birth of a healthy child. May they safely deliver a son or daughter to be numbered among your family, to serve you in all things, and to gain eternal life.
Adapted from the Book of Blessing
Source: Diocesan Calendar for East Anglia 2022
During Ordinary Time (Autumn), i.e. from September to Christ the King, we are asked to pray for these intentions:
The Harvest: the Fruits of Human Work and the Reverent Use of Creation; especially on World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation (1 September) and on last Sunday in September.
‘"The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live."’ (Pope Francis, Letter inaugurating World Prayer of Care for Creation)
The Church has long celebrated the agricultural harvest. This intention also includes all human work. In all circumstances of human life there are choices to be made regarding the environment and our reverent stewardship of God's gift of creation.
O Lord, good Father, who in your providence have entrusted the earth to the human race, grant, we pray, that with the fruits harvested from it we may be able to sustain life and, with your help, always use them to promote your praise and the wellbeing of all. Roman Missal
Students and Teachers: especially on Education Day — 2nd Sunday of Sep
The day of prayer for Education is organised ecumenically by the Education agencies of the various denominations. In the Catholic Church material is distributed by the Catholic Education Service.
God is the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Let us ask him to bless those who seek to learn and their teachers. For students, that the Spirit of God may grant them the gifts of wisdom of understanding. For teachers, that they may share their knowledge with gentleness, patience, and concern for their students. Book of Blessings.
The Spread of the Gospel: especially on Home Mission Day - 3rd Sunday in September - (Second Collection) and World Mission Day - the penultimate Sunday in October - (Second Collection).
O God, whose will it is that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, look upon your abundant harvest and be pleased to send workers to gather it, that the Gospel may be preached to all creation and that your people, gathered by the word of life and sustained by the power of the Sacraments, may advance in the path of salvation and love. Roman Missal
Justice and Peace in the World: especially on Harvest Fast Day: 1st Friday in October. The Harvest Fast Day is one of two such days organised by CAFOD. (Second Collection on 2nd Sunday in October)
O God, who show a father’s care for all, grant, in your mercy, that the members of the human race, to whom you have given a single origin, may form in peace a single family and always be united by a fraternal spirit. Roman Missal
Prisoners and their Families: especially on Prisoners Sunday (2nd Sunday in Oct) and in Prisons Week: 2nd Week in Oct
Prisoners Week was a Catholic initiative begun in 1975 by Bishop Victor Guazelli which has since gained ecumenical support and observance. It reflects the work of the Prison Advice and Care Trust which builds on its origins as the Bourne Trust the Catholic Prisoner's Aid Society. Sunday and the following week seek to focus attention not only on the needs of prisoners but on all those involved the field of prison care, prisoners families, victims of crime, prison staff and many volunteers.
Almighty and merciful God, to whom alone the secrets of the heart lie open, who recognize the just and make righteous the guilty, hear our prayers for your servants held in prison, and grant that through patience and hope they may find relief in their affliction and soon return unhindered to their own. Roman Missal
All Victims of War: especially on Remembrance Sunday: 2nd Sunday in November
Remembrance Sunday falls on the Sunday nearest Armistice Day, 11 November, which marks the end of the First World War. On this day are remembered all those who gave their lives for their country, all who suffered and died through acts of war and those who were left behind to grieve and mourn.
Prayer: O God, merciful and strong, who crushes wars and casts down the proud, be pleased to banish violence swiftly from our midst and to wipe away all tears, so that we may all truly deserve to be called your children. Roman Missal
Young People: especially on Christ the King: 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The Church in England and Wales has marked the contribution of young people on Christ the King for many years. Universally it is marked on Palm Sunday. In many parishes it is an opportunity to focus on the role of young people in the Sunday liturgy and in the life of the parish. Over the last few years material prepared to assist the day has used the live simply campaign.
O God, who gave one origin to all peoples and willed to gather from them one family for yourself, fill all hearts of all young people, we pray, with the fire of your love and kindle in them a desire for the just advancement of their neighbour, that, through the good things which you richly bestow upon all, each human person may be brought to perfection, every division may be removed, and equity and justice may be established in human society. Roman Missal (adapted)
New Members of the Church:
‘This is a time for the community and the [newly baptized] together to grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery and in making it part of their lives through meditation on the Gospel, sharing in the Eucharist, and in doing works of charity.’ RCIA 234
Father, you give your Church constant growth by adding new members to your family. Help us put into action in our lives the baptism we have received in faith. Roman Missal
Especially on World Day of Prayer for Vocations —
4th Sunday of Easter
Father, in your plan for our salvation you provide shepherds for your people. Fill your Church with the spirit of courage and love. Raise up worthy ministers of your altars and ardent but gentle servants of the gospel. Roman Missal
Human Work: Especially on St Joseph the Worker —
God our Father, creator and ruler of the universe, in every age you call men and women to develop and use their gifts for the good of others. With St Joseph as our example and guide, help us to do the work you have asked and come to the rewards you have promised. Roman Missal (adapted)
The Right Use of the Media: Especially on World Communications day —
the seventh Sunday of Easter
Father of light, from whom every good gift comes, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech, for without your Spirit men and women could never raise their voice in words of peace or announce the truth that is Jesus the Lord. Roman Missal
The Church: Especially at Pentecost
God our Father, in all the churches scattered throughout the world you show forth the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Through the gospel and the Eucharist bring your people together in the Holy Spirit and guide us in love. Make us a sign of your love for all people, and help us show forth the living presence of Christ in the world. Roman Missal
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