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

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time — September 5, 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 makes no distinctions between the rich and the poor.
    All are invited to be heirs of the kingdom.

After a pause for silent reflection, the leader continues.

  • Leader:
  • Lord Jesus, you guard our feet from stumbling.
    Lord, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Lord, have mercy.
  • Leader
  • Christ Jesus, you wipe the tears from our eyes.
    Christ, have mercy.

  • All:
  • Christ, have mercy.
  • Leader
  • Lord Jesus, you save our souls from death.
    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.

    O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
    look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters,
    that those who believe in Christ
    may receive true freedom
    and an everlasting inheritance.
    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 Isaiah

    Thus says the Lord:
    Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
    Be strong, fear not!
    Here is your God,
    he comes with vindication;
    with divine recompense
    he comes to save you.
    Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
    the ears of the deaf be cleared;
    then will the lame leap like a stag,
    then the tongue of the mute will sing.
    Streams will burst forth in the desert,
    and rivers in the steppe.
    The burning sands will become pools,
    and the thirsty ground, springs of water.

    The Word of the Lord.

  • All:
  • Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

  • Reader:
  • Praise the Lord, my soul!

  • All:
  • Praise the Lord, my soul!

  • Reader:
  • The God of Jacob keeps faith forever,
    secures justice for the oppressed,
    gives food to the hungry.
    The Lord sets captives free.

  • All:
  • Praise the Lord, my soul!

  • Reader:
  • The Lord gives sight to the blind;
    the Lord raises up those who were bowed down.
    The Lord loves the just;
    the Lord protects strangers.
  • All:
  • Praise the Lord, my soul!

  • Reader:
  • The fatherless and the widow the Lord sustains,
    but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
    The Lord shall reign forever;
    your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
  • All:
  • Praise the Lord, my soul!

SECOND READING

  • Reader:
  • My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Sit here, please," while you say to the poor one, "Stand there," or "Sit at my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?

    Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?

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

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

  • Cantor:
  • Alleluia! Alleluia!
  • All:
  • Alleluia! Alleluia!
  • Cantor:
  • Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom

    and cured every disease among the people.

  • All:
  • Alleluia! Alleluia!


GOSPEL

  • Leader:
  • Again Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" — that is, "Be opened!" — And immediately the man's ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, "He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

    The Gospel of the Lord.

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

REFLECTION

  • Reader:
  • Daily Meditation: Mark 7:31-37

    He put his finger into the man's ears. (Mark 7:33)

    If Jesus' actions in today's Gospel reading seem odd to you, you're probably not alone. It's not every day that you see someone placing his fingers in a man's ears or touching his tongue. But then again, this is the one who told his disciples to eat his body and drink his blood, who touched a man with leprosy, and who put mud on another man's eyes.

    If you want to know what's behind all of this, it can probably be summed up in one word: intimacy. Not the romantic or sentimental kind of intimacy, but the compassionate kind. It's the intimacy of a God who loves his people, a God who humbles himself to enter into our wounded, muddled, messy lives so that he can offer his healing and salvation.

    By touching this man's ears and tongue, Jesus singled out the parts of his body that had kept him trapped in isolation. He showed that he knew exactly what the man needed and that he wasn't afraid to deal with it. And through that physical touch, Jesus brought life back to him. The man was no longer trapped in silence. Now he could hear his loved ones' words. Now he could speak to them and share his heart with them.

    Jesus is very close to you as well. He knows you better even than you know yourself. He sees the ways in which you have become isolated — whether through sin or fear or anxiety or sickness. Just as he sighed when he touched the deaf man, Jesus knows your pain and wants to set you free. So he asks you to let down your guard and allow him to come into your heart and heal whatever is hurting.

    Today, Jesus will come to you in a very physical, personal way in the Eucharist. As you receive him, open your heart. Let him enter the silence and messiness inside you so that he can set you free.

    Jesus, I welcome you into my heart. Come, Lord, with your healing touch."

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:
  • Our God hears our cries and answers them.
    Let us call upon God with our needs.

  • Reader:
  • The response will be: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For the Church: (pause)
    that God will heal our deafness
    so that we may hear God's invitations to service
    and recognize the cry of those who are suffering.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all world leaders: (pause)
    that they recognize the dignity of all people
    regardless of status, wealth, or social position
    and seek to meet the basic needs of every person.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all who labor whether at home or in the workplace: (pause)
    that God will guide them
    as they provide healing, nourishment, safety, or resources
    and renew them in mind, body, and spirit
    for the good of all who depend upon them.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For those fleeing violence, particularly the people of Afghanistan: (pause)
    that God will protect those in danger, lead them to places of safety,
    and help them to find a warm welcome in their new communities.

    We pray to the Lord.

  • All:
  • Lord, hear our prayer.
  • Reader:
  • For all who have hearing or speech problems: (pause)
    that we may affirm them as sisters and brothers
    and help them to use their gifts fully for God's glory.

    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,
    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, . . . (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 love, help us to heed the voices of those in need.
    Gather us all together and hold us in your love.
    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.