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

Fifth Sunday of Lent

In these extraordinary times when we cannot gather 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:
  • Where Jesus is, there will his servants also be,
    giving thanks and praise to God.

After a pause for silent reflection, the leader continues.

  • Leader:
  • Lord Jesus, you are the new covenant.
    Lord, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Lord, have mercy.
  • Leader
  • Christ Jesus, you are the grain of wheat that dies to bring life.
    Christ, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Christ, have mercy.
  • Leader
  • Lord Jesus, you are the chosen and glorified Son of God.
    Lord, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Lord, have mercy.

COLLECT

  • Leader:
  • Let us pray.

    By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death. 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 Book of Jeremiah

    The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not
    be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took
    them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for
    they broke my covenant, and I had to show myself their master,
    says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with
    the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will place
    my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be
    their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have
    need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the Lord.
    All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for
    I will forgive their evil doing and remember their sin no more.

    The Word of the Lord.

  • All:
  • Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

  • Reader:
  • Create a clean heart in me, O God.

  • All:
  • Create a clean heart in me, O God.
  • Reader:
  • By the streams of Babylon
    we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
    On the aspens of that land
    we hung up our harps.
  • All:
  • Create a clean heart in me, O God.
  • Reader:
  • Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
    Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
  • All:
  • Create a clean heart in me, O God.
  • Reader:
  • A clean heart create for me, O God,
    and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
    Cast me not out from your presence,
    and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
  • All:
  • Create a clean heart in me, O God.
  • Reader:
  • Give me back the joy of your salvation,
    and a willing spirit sustain in me.
    I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners shall return to you.
  • All:
  • Create a clean heart in me, O God.

SECOND READING

  • Reader:
  • A reading from the book of Hebrews
    In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

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

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

  • Cantor:
  • Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!
  • All:
  • Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!
  • Cantor:
  • Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord;
    and where I A.M., there also will my servant be. Jn 12:26

  • All:
  • Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!


GOSPEL

  • Leader:
  • A reading from the Gospel according to John:

    Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I A.M., there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

    "I A.M. troubled now. Yet what should I say? `Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I A.M. lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

    The Gospel of the Lord.

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


REFLECTION

  • Reader:
  • Daily Meditation: John 12:20-33

    I A.M. troubled. (John 12:27)

    Jesus was troubled? That's putting it mildly. The Greek word John used here means to be greatly distressed or in fear and dread. It's the same word used to describe the disciples' reaction to a deadly storm at sea (Matthew 14:26). It's the same kind of distress that King David felt as he wept over his slain son, Absalom (2 Samuel 19:1), and that Lot felt as he fled the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:16).

    So what troubled Jesus so much? The realization that his "hour" had come (John 12:23). After spending so much time preaching and teaching, healing people and driving out demons, Jesus had now arrived at the time for his passion. He knew that agonizing torture and a slow, lingering death awaited him, and the thought of it filled him with dread.

    Yet Jesus also knew that, as terrible as it would be, the cross was necessary if he was going to save us from sin. It wouldn't be easy, it wouldn't be pretty, but it was necessary. So rather than shrinking back, he placed himself in God's hands and trusted that his Father would see him through it. He loved us too much to walk away.

    We all face times when we feel troubled. It could be because we are witnessing a loved one suffering, or it could be as we face our own suffering. It's painful, it's challenging, but it's unavoidable. If that describes you today, know that you are not alone. Jesus has his arm around you and is holding you close. He knows what it's like to feel so distressed that you want to run away. And because he knows, he can comfort you and help you.

    Jesus endured the cross because he knew that his death would reveal the depths of God's love for us—and for you. Let that love surround you and sustain you today.

    Lord, teach me to open my heart to your love. Jesus, I need you today.

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:
  • Confident that God will hear us,
    we offer our prayers for the Church and the world.

  • Reader:
  • The response will be: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For the Church: (pause)
    that God's covenant, which is written upon our hearts, may help us know the Lord more deeply and guide us in serving God each day.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For immigrants and refugees: (pause)
    that God will guide them in their search for a new homeland, protect the children at the border between the United States and Mexico, and speed their connection to their families

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For a spirit of repentance: (pause)
    that God will free us from our false attachments and sinful actions, move our hearts to celebrate the sacrament of penance, and open us to the power of forgiveness.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all who lay down their lives for others: (pause)
    that God will guide and strengthen parents, caregivers of the sick, and those who assist the marginalized to be instruments of God's love and compassion.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all searching for employment: (pause)
    that God will help them to recognize all the gifts that they possess, open new opportunities to use them, and give them confidence in presenting themselves to employers.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For successful distribution of the Covid vaccine, (pause)
    that God will guide the delivery of vaccines
    to where they are needed
    and give strength to all who are administering them.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For the sick, especially those for whom we have been asked to pray,
    and, particularly, 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:
  • God of nations, your people know your miracles.
    Hear the prayers of our hearts and grant them
    through Jesus 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.