Fourth Sunday of Lent
April 3, 2011 Cycle A
Purple priestly vestments symbolize penance and preparation.


Home Page
Liturgical Cycles A 10-11

                                     Introductory Acts Of Worship

The Entrance Prayers:   On Sunday, usually a hymn praising God is sung in place of reciting a Psalm from the Bible which invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love for us.  The recited weekday Psalm expresses a youthful heart and spirit, delighted that we may come before the living God.

Entrance Song / Entrance Psalm (Antiphon)           
Entrance Song
Isaiah 66:10-11
  Rejoice, Jerusalem!  Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment at her consoling breasts.

The Priest Approaches and Kisses the Altar:  The altar is a symbol of Christ.  In it are cut five crosses to recall the five wounds of Christ.  The altar also represents the Church and has embedded in it the relics of her saints.  The priest comes to the altar to celebrate the Sacrifice in the Church's name.  Because of the glory surrounding the altar upon which the divine Sacrifice will be made, the kiss of the priest unites the Church to Christ, its Redeemer.

Priest:   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All:         
Amen.

The Greeting:  We are welcomed in God's name.  Our response unites us to our neighbor, to the priest and to God.  (The priest may select from several forms of greeting).

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:          
And also with you.


The Penitential Prayers:  We recognize our guilt for past sins, express our sorrow for them, and ask that Mary, the angels, the saints, and our brothers and sisters in Christ pray for the Lord God's mercy.  (The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:  As we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ's love, let us acknowledge our failures and ask the Lord for pardon and strength.
All:        I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. 

The Absolution:

Priest:  M
ay almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
All:        Amen.

The Opening Prayer:    The priest lifts the united prayers and petitions of the congregation to God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Priest:   Let us pray.  Lord, we offer you these gifts which bring us peace and joy.  Increase our reverence by this Eucharist, and bring salvation to the world.  We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.


                              Liturgy of the Word

Christ is made known to us through the Old Testament which prepares us to recognize Him.  In those days, God inspired men who spoke His message.  Now, the New Testament Gospel reading announces His presence to us directly through His Son.  Both readings bring God's message to us.  Our responsibility is to respond.
 

The First Reading:  From the Old Testament

Priest/Reader:  
A reading from the book of Samuel

First Reading:  1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

The Lord said to Samuel: “Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.  I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”

As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is here before him.”  But the Lord said to Samuel: “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him.  Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”  In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jessie, “The Lord has not chosen any one of these.”  Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”  Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”  Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.  He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance.  The Lord said, “There – anoint him, for this is the one!”  Then Samuel with the horn of oil in hand, anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.

Priest/Reader:   The Word of the Lord.
All:                           T
hanks be to God.


The Responsorial Psalm:  This Psalm praising God, is a prayer to God, or recommends the practice of virtue.  It is sung as an interlude between the scriptural readings.  It provides yet another instructional setting and invites the assembly to imitate the cantor who sings a repeated response to the verses of an ancient Psalm many of which are attributed to King David.  The verses are sung first by a cantor (song leader) accompanied by instruments, the refrain is sung by the people. 


Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

Cantor:   T
he Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
All:          The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
Cantor:   T
he Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.  In verdant pastures he gives me repose; by restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.
All:          The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
Cantor:   H
e guides me in right paths for the sake of his name.  Even though I walk in the valley of darkness 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.
Cantor:   Y
ou spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup over-flows.
All:          The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
Cantor:   O
nly 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.

The Second Reading:  Taken from the New Testament, often from a letter written by St. Paul.

Second Reading:   Ephesians 5:8-14

B
rothers and sisters: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.  Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.  Therefore, it says: “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Priest/Reader:   The word of the Lord.
All:                            T
hanks be to God.  

   
The Alleluia:  An ancient expression of joy anticipating the Lord's message we will hear in the Gospel.

John 8:12

Cantor:    Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!
ALL:  R/.  P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!
Cantor:    I
am the light of the world, says the Lord: the man who follows me will have the light of life.
ALL:  R/.  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

Priest:   C
leanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.      Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:           A
nd also with you.
Priest/Deacon:   A
reading from the holy Gospel according to John.
All:                             G
lory to you, Lord.

The Gospel:   John 9:1-41

John wrote to show that Christ was
the Messiah, the Divine Son of God.

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.  We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.  Night is coming when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” – which means Sent –.  So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”  Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”  He said, “I am.”  So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”  He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’  So I went there and washed and was able to see.”  And they said to him, “Where is he?”  He said “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.  Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a Sabbath.  So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.  He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”  So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath.”  But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?”  And there was a division among them.  So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?”  He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.  They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How does ne now see?”  His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.  We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes.  Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.”  Has parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue.  For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give God the praise!  We know that this man is a sinner.”  He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know.  One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”  So they said to him, “What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?”  He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen.  Why do you want to hear it again?  Do you want to become his disciples, too?”  They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses!  We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.”  The man answered and said them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.  We know that God does not listen sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.  It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.  If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.”  They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?”  Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”  Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.”  He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.  Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”  Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sins; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.”

Priest/Deacon:   The Gospel of the Lord.
All:                             P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Priest's Sermon:    The priest develops, explains, and comments upon the Master's words, so our minds may be
enlightened, and our hearts enriched.

(A priestly reflection upon this Gospel)

Profession of Faith:     We state in the Nicene Creed the principles of our faith in precise and definite terms.

General Intercessions:   We pray for the needs of the pope, civic leaders, our own needs, those of others, the sick, the dying, those who have died, the church, and the world.  The response of all to each intercession:  Lord, hear our prayer.

All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

                  The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Gifts of bread and wine symbolizing ourselves are presented to the priest who will offer them to God the Father.  Through the Holy Spirit, they will become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ whom we receive in Holy Communion.  Jesus unites Himself with us for our spiritual nourishment and strength.  Today, when individuals do not present their own personal offerings of bread and wine, the monetary contribution symbolizes the material of their united sacrifice.

Preparation of the Bread and Wine:

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you;
               fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
All:           Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:   B
y the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share
               in our humanity.

Priest:    Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you; fruit
               of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.

All:
           Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.

The Priest's Hands are Washed: This act was traditional necessary because the priest handled the various gifts presented by the people.  Now, the cleansing act using water reminds the priest and ourselves of the need to cleanse not only the hands but the soul.  Soon, the priest's hands will hold the actual body of Christ, and we will become His dwelling place.

Priest:    Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin. 
               Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.


All:           
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of
               all his holy Church.

Prayer over the Gifts:  Speaking in our name, the priest asks the Father to accept the gifts we offer through him.

Priest:   Lord, we offer you  these gifts which bring us peace and joy.  Increase our reverence by this Eucharist, and bring salvation to the world.  We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Eucharistic Prayer:   (Number One: The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:    The Lord be with you.
All:           And also with you. 

Priest:
    Lift up your hearts.
All:           We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:
    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
All:           It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Preface Prayer: 

Priest:    Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.  He came among us as a man, to lead mankind from darkness into the light of faith.  Through Adam's fall  we were born as slaves of sin, but now through baptism in Christ we are reborn as your adopted children.  Earth unites with heaven to sing the new song of creation, as we adore and praise you for ever:

Acclamation:

Priest and All:   Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Priest:   We come to you, Father, with praise and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ your Son.  Through him we ask you to accept and bless these gifts we offer you in sacrifice.

We offer them for your holy catholic Church, watch over it, Lord, and guide it; grant it peace and unity throughout the world.  We offer them for _____ our Pope, for _____ our bishop, and for all who hold and teach the catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles.

Remember, Lord, your people, especially those for whom we now pray, _____ and _____.  Remember all of us gathered here before you.  You know how firmly we believe in you and dedicate ourselves to you.  We offer you this sacrifice of praise for ourselves and those who are dear to us.  We pray to you, our living and true God, for our well-being and redemption.

In union with the whole Church we honor Mary, the ever-virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God.  We honor Joseph, her husband, the apostles and martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude; we honor Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian and all the saints.  May their merits and prayers gain us your constant help and protection.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Father, accept this offering from your whole family.  Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Bless and approve our offering; make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and in truth.  Let it become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.
                             
The priest repeats the words which Christ used at his Last Supper when He changed the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  His Body and Blood are truly present but under the appearance of bread and wine.  The death of Christ is prolonged in each of those who receive Him worthily.  We apply His death to ourselves so that we may share His glory.  This moment is the most solemn on earth because it is Divine act which enables us to apply to ourselves the Cross which Christ willingly took upon Himself. 

We are called to die to sin and lift our very selves to God so that we become changed; to do as God would have us do, to become what God would have us become.  Our own little cross can lift us into union with Christ's Cross so we may earn the joys of everlasting happiness with God the Father. 

The Lord's Supper:   The day before he suffered he took bread in his sacred hands and looking up to heaven, to you, his almighty Father, he gave you thanks and praise.  He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
                                      
Take this, all of you and eat of it: for this is my Body which will be given up for you.
                                    
When supper was ended, he took the cup.  Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it; for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new
and eternal covenant; which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.

Memorial Acclamation: (The priest may select from several forms). 

Priest:               Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Priest and All:   Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Memorial Prayer:

Priest:   Father, we celebrate the memory of Christ, your Son.  We, your people and your ministers, recall his passion, his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into glory; and from the many gifts you have given us we offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice: the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.

Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as once you accepted the gifts of your servant Able, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchisedech.

Almighty God, we pray that your angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven.  Then, as we receive from this altar the sacred body and blood of your Son, let us be filled with every grace and blessing.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Remember, Lord, those who have died and have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, especially those for whom we now pray, _____ and _____.  May these, and all who sleep in Christ, find in your presence light, happiness, and peace.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

For ourselves, too, we ask some share in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs, with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia and all the saints.  Though we are sinners, we trust in your mercy and love.  Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness.  Through Christ our Lord.

Through him you give us all these gifts.  You fill them with life and goodness, you bless them and make them holy.

Doxology:   

Prayer of Praise:   Through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

                                        Communion Rite

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we symbolically offer ourselves to the Lord through the gifts of bread and wine.  At the Consecration, we offer our very lives to be united the God the Father through the Cross of Christ.  In Communion, we find that we have not died at all, but have come to life.  We have surrendered ourselves to God through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  In return become ennobled and enriched.  We give up time and we get eternity, we give up our sin and we receive grace, we surrender our self-will and receive the strength of the Divine Will, we give up ourselves and we receive everything.  For the Son of God says to us that unless we receive Him we shall not have Divine life in us.  But it is not really we who receive Christ as it is Christ who receives us, bringing us into Himself.

God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.  While we have crucified Him, His eternal love cannot be extinguished.  Christ willed to give us the very life we crucified in our Redemption, the Consecration of Holy Thursday into Communion, His death into our everlasting life.

The Lord's Prayer:

Priest:                Let us ask our Father to forgive our sins and to bring us to forgive those who sin against us.
Priest and All:   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they 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.
Priest:   Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
All:        F
or the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever.

Prayer for Peace:

Priest:   Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever.  Amen.
                                     

Priest:   Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

Priest and All:   Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                                  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                                  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Priest:   May this mingling of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Communion of the Priest:

Priestly Preparation:   Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit your death brought life to the world.  By your holy body and blood free me from all my sins, and from every evil.  Keep me faithful to your teaching, and never let me be parted from you.

Priest:   This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Happy are those who are called to his supper.
 

Priest and All:   Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Priest:   May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
              May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Communion Antiphon:

Communion Prayer:   John 9:11
Priest:   T
he Lord rubbed my eyes: I went away and washed; then I could see, and I believed in God.

Priest:              The Body of Christ.    
The Faithful:   
Amen.
Priest:               
The Blood of Christ.   
The Faithful:   
Amen.

Cleansing of the Vessels:

Priest:   Lord, may I receive these gifts in purity of heart.  May they bring me healing and strength, now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion:

Priest:
   Let us pray.
Priest:   Father, you enlighten all who comer into the world.  Fill our hearts with the light of your gospel, that our thoughts may please you, and our love be sincere.  Grant this through Christ our Lord.

                                           Concluding Rite

Priest:   Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing.
Priest:   Father, look with love upon your people, the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us when he delivered himself to evil men and suffered the agony of the cross.  Grant this through Christ our Lord.
All:           Amen.

Priest:   May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  
All:          Amen.

 
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. 

 Save us from the fires of hell.
 
 Lead all souls to heaven,
 
 especially those in most need of your mercy.

 www.Divinemasterplanforlife.com

 www.Saintsnheaven.com

 


Top
Home Page
Liturgical Cycles A 10-11