A PRAYER SERVICE AT HOME
WHEN ATTENDANCE AT MASS IS NOT POSSIBLE

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time — July 18, 2021

In these times when not all feel free to gather together as a Christian Community to celebrate Mass, let us unite ourselves spiritually to the Mass as it is being celebrated in our churches.

One way you can do this by joining broadcast Masses on radio, television, or via the internet.

This resource is offered to provide a ritual by which families, "the domestic church," can keep the Lord's day holy by joining together to celebrate part of the Church's liturgy at home. Ideally, the head of the family will lead the service; other members of the family should take on roles as readers.

It would be appropriate to celebrate this service at the usual time the family would attend Mass. If possible, prepare a suitable prayer space with a crucifix, holy picture and/or a candle or two. If the family is blessed with musical talent, hymns would be appropriate.

INTRODUCTORY RITES

GREETING

PENITENTIAL ACT

  • Leader:
  • God gathers us here with Christ our shepherd to give us courage,
    and to spread the eucharistic banquet before us to give us hope.

After a pause for silent reflection, the leader continues.

  • Leader:
  • Lord Jesus, you are at our side.
    Lord, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Lord, have mercy.
  • Leader
  • Christ Jesus, you are our peace.
    Christ, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Christ, have mercy.
  • Leader
  • Lord Jesus, you are teacher and guide.
    Lord, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Lord, have mercy.

GLORY TO GOD

  • 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),
    Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
    in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

COLLECT

  • Leader:
  • Let us pray.

    Show favor, O Lord, to your servants
    and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace,
    that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity,
    they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    God, for ever and ever. Amen.

  • All:
  • Amen.

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

FIRST READING

  • Reader:
  • A Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah.

    Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my
    pasture, says the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God
    of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You
    have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared
    for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself
    will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which
    I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there
    they shall increase and multiply. I will appoint shepherds for
    them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear
    and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the Lord.

    Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
    when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
    as king he shall reign and govern wisely,
    he shall do what is just and right in the land.
    In his days Judah shall be saved,
    Israel shall dwell in security.
    This is the name they give him:
    "The Lord our justice."

  • Reader:
  • The Word of the Lord.
  • All:
  • Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

  • Reader:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

  • All:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

  • Reader:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
    beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
  • All:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

  • Reader:
  • He guides me in right paths
    for his name's sake.
    Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
    with your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.
  • All:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

  • Reader:
  • You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
    you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
  • All:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

  • Reader:
  • Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
    and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    for years to come.
  • All:
  • The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

SECOND READING

  • Reader:
  • A reading from a letter to the Ephesians

    Brothers and sisters: In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.

    For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

  • Leader:
  • Leader:
  • The Word of the Lord.
  • All:
  • Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

  • Cantor:
  • Alleluia! Alleluia!
  • All:
  • Alleluia! Alleluia!
  • Cantor:
  • My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord,
    I know them, and they follow me.

  • All:
  • Alleluia! Alleluia!


GOSPEL

  • Leader:
  • The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

    When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

    The Gospel of the Lord.

  • All:
  • Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

REFLECTION

  • Reader:
  • Daily Meditation: Mark 6:30-34

    They were like sheep without a shepherd. (Mark 6:34)

    In today's first reading, Jeremiah has harsh words for Judah's kings. They were supposed to act as shepherds of their people, but instead, he charges, "You have not cared for them" (Jeremiah 23:2).

    When the true and righteous Shepherd, Jesus, did appear, he did not come as an earthly king (Jeremiah 23:4-6). He did not wear royal garments or sit on an earthly throne. He was a shepherd who knew his sheep, who lived among his people and cared for them.

    We can see Jesus acting as the Good Shepherd in today's Gospel reading. When the disciples returned from their mission to the nearby towns and villages, Jesus knew just what they needed: some quiet time and a place to recharge. So he urged them to "come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for a while" (Mark 6:31).

    Yet as soon as they stepped off the boat, a vast crowd greeted them. Instead of making a quick getaway with his disciples, however, this Good Shepherd "was moved with pity for them" (Mark 6:34). He knew what they needed: a ray of hope. His life-giving words would feed their hungry hearts, and so he taught them. But he also knew that their hungry stomachs would need to be filled. So he multiplied the five loaves and two fish, giving them enough food so that all "were satisfied" (6:42).

    This is what the true Shepherd does: he knows and cares for each one of us. Because he understands what it's like to be human, he provides for all our needs, both physical and spiritual.

    Look over the past week or month. How has Jesus cared for you? Think of concrete examples of ways — even minor ones — that he has provided for you, even amid your challenges and trials. Let all these memories inspire you to trust in the Good Shepherd who never, ever abandons his flock.

    "Jesus, thank you for being the Good Shepherd who cares for my every need."

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:

    [All bow during these two lines:]
    and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
       and become 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.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

  • Leader:
  • God's loving kindness give us the confidence
    to offer our prayers for our sisters and brothers.

  • Reader:
  • The response will be: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For Pope Francis and the bishops: (pause)
    that they may have the hearts of true shepherds
    and guide the church closer to Jesus and into greater unity.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all who exercise leadership: (pause)
    that they may place their gifts unselfishly in the service of others
    and draw forth the skills of others for the fulfillment of God's work.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For those overwhelmed by activity: (pause)
    that God will help them to slow down and be aware
    of the gifts and blessings that are in their life each day.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For unity: (pause)
    that through Christ's victory over death,
    the divisions in the human family may be dissolved
    and the wounds of racism and prejudice be healed.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all who offer retreats and places of solitude: (pause)
    that they will assist others in finding rest
    and in deepening their relationship with God.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For the sick, especially those for whom
    we have been asked to pray, particularly,
    Pope Francis and those who are placed in quarantine and isolation, (pause)
    that God's healing touch may bring them comfort and peace.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all our sisters and brothers who have died, especially
    those who have died from the coronavirus pandemic,
    (pause)

    that they experience the joy of God's heavenly family for all eternity.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For the prayers we now make in the silence of our hearts, (pause)

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Leader:
  • Generous God, you give blessings without number and continually
    call us to share our gifts with others. Hear these prayers and
    sustain us until you call us home. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

  • All:
  • Amen.

LORD'S PRAYER

  • Leader:
  • Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our Savior gave us.
  • All:
  • Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name.
    thy kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
    on earth, as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

    Amen.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

  • All:
  • My Jesus, I believe that you are present
       in the most Blessed Sacrament.
    I love You above all things
       and I desire to receive You into my soul.

    Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
       come at least spiritually into my heart.

    I embrace You as if You were already there,
       and unite myself wholly to You.
    Never permit me to be separated from You.

    Amen.

PRAYER OF BLESSING

  • Leader:
  • St Michael, the Archangel, Protect and Pray for us.
  • All:
  • Amen.
  • Leader:
  • The Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us; the Lord turn his face toward us and give us his peace both now and forever.
  • All:
  • Amen.
  • Leader:
  • In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
  • All:
  • Amen.
SOURCES

Lectionary for Sunday Mass
© 1998, 1997, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, DC

Prayers at Home When Gathering for Mass Is Not Possible
© 2020, the Diocese of Clonfert and the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland

The Roman Missal © 2011, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC

Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest: Leader's Edition
© 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC

The Word Among Us, © 2020 The Word Among Us.