CELEBRATION OF THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
The celebration begins without a procession. As the liturgical assembly and ministers gather at their place, instrumental music may be played or a hymn may be sung. When all have taken their place, the lay leader of prayer (Leader), stands at a central place (other than behind the altar of the chair designated for the priest), faces the gathered assembly, and then begins the celebration with the following introduction:
Leader: We gather here to celebrate the Lord’s Day.
Sunday has been called the Lord’s Day because it was on this day that Jesus conquered sin and death and rose to new life.
Unfortunately, we are not able celebrate the mass today because we do not have a priest.
Let us be united in the spirit of Christ with the Church around the world and celebrate our redemption in Christ’s suffering death and resurrection.
All stand and begin by making the Sign of the Cross:
Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The Leader greets those present in the following words, take from sacred Scripture.
Leader: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God for ever.
All: Blessed be God for ever.
The Leader invites the liturgical assembly to pray, saying:
Leader: Let us pray.
All present pray in silence for a short time. Then the LEADER, with hands extended, says the following prayer:
Leader: Blessed are you, Father, Holy and Divine Creator.
All creation comes from your hand;
the entire universe bears the imprint of your goodness.
You call us not only to inhabit the earth, but also to build it
and thus become your co-workers.
You give us a Sabbath day of rest when men and women everywhere
raise their song to you and become the voice of all creation.
What you accomplished in creation and wrought for your people in the Exodus
has found its fullest expression in Christ’s death and resurrection.
And so we remember on this first day of the week the salvation
which you have given us in baptism
and which has made us a new creation in Christ.
In these Advent days when we prepare for the coming of the Lord in glory
and the celebration of his birth into the human family,
we pray, O God, that you would remove from our heats
whatever might hinder us from receiving Christ with joy.
We praise you, Almighty God and Father,
for there is no greater power that saves and no greater love and mercy,
than that which comes from you through your Son, Jesus Christ,
in communion with the Holy Spirit, both now and forever.
Alternate opening prayers, specific for each Sunday, may be found here.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
The readings and the psalm are those assigned in the Lectionary for Mass for that particular Sunday. Before the readings are proclaimed, a brief introduction may be given in order to stimulate the attention of the listeners, to put the readings into context, or to point out connections between the readings.
A reader other than the leader of prayer proclaims the first reading.
The first reading for the day may be found here.
After the first reading, the psalm assigned in the Lectionary is sung. If not sung, the reader proclaims the verses of the psalm and, as a rule, the people say the response.
The responsorial psalm for the day may be found here.
If there are to be three readings, a reader other than the leader of prayer proclaims the second reading.
The second reading for the day may be found here.
The Gospel acclamation given in the Lectionary is sung before the proclamation of the Gospel.
A deacon proclaims the Gospel in the usual manner. However, a layperson omits the greeting “The Lord be with you” and proceeds to “A reading from the holy Gospel according to N.”
The Gospel for the day may be found here.
HOMILY OR REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
A Leader who is a deacon gives a homily. If the Leader is a layperson, he or she must be delegated by the bishop to preach. In that case the Leader may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text for the spiritual advantage of the faithful.
DISMISSAL OF CATECHUMENS
PERIOD OF SILENCE
After the preaching there is to be a period of sacred silence for reflection on the Word of God.
PROFESSION OF FAITH
The profession of faith is recited. Either the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed may be used.
All: I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is 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 the next line:
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became 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.
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
The leader introduces the Prayer of the Faithful inviting the liturgical assembly to pray. Another minister sings or recites the intentions. The intentions listed below may be adapted to apply to particular circumstances.
Leader: In faith and humility let us offer our needs to the God of compassion.
Leader: With faith in God’s promises, let us now present our needs and petitions.
The intentions are read or sung. Suggestions for intentions may be found here.
Leader: God of love, our refuge and our strength,
hear the prayers of your Church,
and grant us today what we ask of you in faith.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Father, we come before you with faith and love
to praise your goodness and to acknowledge our need.
We ask you to hear the prayers we make in the name of Jesus the Lord.
Currently in the Military Archdiocese, the Communion Rite is reserved for deacons only. If you are not a deacon, please continue to the Act of Thanksgiving. Otherwise, a lay leader, with the permission of the Diocesan Bishop, proceeds with the Communion Rite.
The leader goes to the place where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, genuflects, takes the ciborium and places it on the altar.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The leader returns to his/her place and invites all to sing or say the Lord’s Prayer:
Leader: The Father provides us with food for eternal life
Let us pray for nourishment and strength.
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 for give those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
INVITATION TO COMMUNION
The leader goes to the altar and genuflects. Taking the host, he/she raises it slightly over the ciborium and, facing the people, says:
Leader: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the Supper of the Lamb.
All: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
The leader reverently consumes the Body of Christ. Then he/she, with other extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, if needed, take the ciborium and go to the communicants.
The communicant bows his or her head as a sign of reverence before receiving Holy Communion. The ministers take a host for each on, raise it slightly and say:
The Body of Christ
The communicant answers “Amen” and receives Holy Communion.
During the distribution of Holy Communion, an appropriate hymn may be sung.
After Holy Communion the leader returns any remaining sacred hosts to the tabernacle.
The leader then returns to his/her designated Chair. When the distribution of Holy Communion is finished, all spend some time praying privately.
ACT OF THANKSGIVING
The Leader invites all to an Act of Thanksgiving, in which the faithful praise the glory and mercy of God.
All stand and the Leader, facing in the same direction as the gathered assembly, leads the Act of Thanksgiving.
Other Psalms that may be used can be found here.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy.
Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.
At this time, brief announcements may be made and a collection of monetary offerings may be taken up. The celebration ends with an invitation to pray for vocations to the priesthood, the blessing and sign of peace.
INVITATION TO PRAY FOR VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD
Leader: Mindful of the Lord’s word, “Ask the Master of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest,” let us pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood. May our prayer hasten the day when we will be able to take part in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist every Sunday.
The Leader, using no gesture (like the Sign of the Cross), says:
Leader: May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
SIGN OF PEACE
The lay leader of prayer may invite the people to exchange the sign of peace in these words:
Leader: Let us offer each other a sign of peace.
All exchange an appropriate sign of peace.
A hymn, instrumental music, or choral anthem may conclude the celebration.