Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sunday Intercessions ~ Twenty First Sunday Ordinary Time

The Intercessions prayed at Sunday Mass are usually taken from any number of books that are available from a variety of sources. These prayers are generic as they have to fit all kinds of worshiping communities: urban, suburban, rural, chapels in institutions, college campuses. They usually follow a "For....that...." pattern: For the Holy Father, that he may... They don't  speak to any current event or concern as they would quickly go out of date. They seldom speak to conscience pointedly or to our communal and personal transformation. I can only imagine that is so because we're not reflecting very deeply or we don't want to upset anyone with the challenge of the Gospel.

I'm making a set of Sunday Intercessions available each Thursday on this blog for anyone who wishes to use them in any way. The hatch marks / are a kind of speed bump which slows the reader down. Many Lectors read the intercessions so quickly, they lose their effectiveness as prayer. The opening and closing parts are left to the celebrant. Even if your parish priest isn't interested in using them at Mass, we might pray them at home as a preparation for Mass or in church while we wait and  get ready. 

Syria and Egypt are countries of ancient Christianity./ Many thousands have died in conflicts and unrest the past few weeks./ Huge numbers of people are now refugees./ We pray for these troubled lands/ asking for the restoration of calm./ We pray to the Lord.

In the late summer we pray for the maturation of faith in our parish communities/ asking for the spiritual gifts we need to draw people to Christ./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for the safety,/ health,/ and well-being of the nation's children these days before returning to school./ For minds that are open to learning/ and a blessing for those who teach./ We pray to the Lord.

We ask for the healing and strengthening of family members/ especially aware of those who are addicted,/ anxious,/ troubled mentally or spiritually,/ or who are out of work./ We pray to the Lord. 

We entrust the sick to God's care,/ mindful of those who receive no medical attention,/ those in great pain/ or who are facing long-term or terminal illness./ And for people who help in caring for the sick./ We pray to the Lord.

Finally/ we pray for those who have died/ especially those from among family,/ friends,/ co-workers and fellow parishioners./ We ask for the forgiveness of sins and their enjoyment in seeing Jesus face to face./ We pray to the Lord.


  1. Magnificent! Relevant and right on point. These are so meaningful for the here and now.

  2. Looking forward to these each week. It is just what we need to focus on the world at hand. Not knowing where the intercessions came from, I see know that they fit into the needs of the day. Not so sterile and generic. We need to get out of the "one size fits all" mentality in our Church.

  3. I'm glad and grateful for these responses. "One size fits all" doesn't work especially well as a prayer formula.

  4. Amen Father. I am sure you are not the only priest who preaches these things, but I am grateful that you are out there somewhere posting these beliefs, meditations and prayers for us. We can be current and Catholic. Amen I say again.

  5. "Current and Catholic" - I like that. May I have your permission to use that phrase? I'll put it in quotes or italic?